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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Musings: Book review of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot

After reading this book, I am so grateful to live in a country where citizens are free to voice their political views. I think what frightened me the most about this story is that it’s true.

Three young women living in Russia, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Nadya), Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were found guilty of hooliganism and went to prison (one was finally given a suspended sentence) because they spoke out against Putin and his tyranny. One of the most horrific parts in this book described the conditions of these prisons. The “prisons” aren’t fit for animals let alone human beings. Atrocious is the word that pops in my head. Along with living in terrible conditions, inmates are subjected to mistreatment by guards for doing something like complaining about the horrible conditions. For example, if an inmate complained about lack of hot water, all the water would be shut off for all the inmates.

These women showed amazing strength throughout their ordeal. This book takes us from the beginning with backgrounds on the women, their foray into political activism, the emergence of Pussy Riot, their fateful performance that got them arrested, the harrowing trial (another example of human rights violations), and finally their imprisonment.

A quote from Maria’s court statement: “And I am not afraid of you. I am not afraid of lies and fictions and of poorly coded deception in the verdict of this so-called court, because all of you can take away my inner freedom, the only sort that exists in the Russian Federation. But no one can take away my inner freedom.” She closes with this: “I believe that openness and public speech and a hunger for the truth make us all a little bit freer.”

I greatly admire these women for their heroism and strength to fight for better conditions and rights for all. They had the courage to speak out against Putin’s atrocities, and they were successful in encouraging others to do the same. If they had failed, they wouldn’t have scared Putin into having them arrested.

Pussy Riot lives on as an example of feminine power and courage.

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.

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