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Punk Rock Girls Against Putin

It’s not easy to take on Vladimir Putin. Just ask Nikolai Maksimov, who was thrown in prison, or Boris Berezovsky, who was forced into exile. Both men are billionaire tycoons who didn’t play by Putin’s rules. 

On the other hand, if you have an $18 billion fortune and apparently promise to play nice (e.g. New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov), you can put your name on the ballot along with other Kremlin-approved nonthreatening candidates who don’t stand a chance against Putin. Your campaign can then help legitimize what is certain to be an illegitimate election. 

Obviously, that’s a pretty dismal set of options, so other Russians have started to get creative. Since the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring began about a year ago, Big Think has been running a feature called “Revolutionary’s Handbook.” The purpose of this feature is to present the ways that groups and individuals have been able to successfully take on authoritarian regimes. The one big idea in common with all of the stories we have followed is that technology empowers social change. 

The following story details how one group of girls have taken on Putin. Other revolutionaries take note. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Join an all-girl punk rock band

2. Come up with a provocative name (e.g. “Pussy Riot”)

3. Cover your faces with balaclavas

4. Perform an impromptu concert in Red Square and other public spaces around Moscow

5. Upload concert footage to Youtube and let it go viral

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Pussy Riot:


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