Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Russian Police Raid Pussy Riot Music Video Shoot for 'Gay Propaganda'

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot says Russian authorities stormed a shoot for its new music video over a charge of "gay propaganda."

The group — whose music and activism is often critical of the Eastern European nation's record on human rights, including LGBTQ issues — was recording a production Sunday in Saint Petersburg for its new song, “БЕСИТ / RAGE,” when police rushed in and accused it of “extremism” and “making an illegal video."

According to Pussy Riot, the police shut off the electricity for the rest of the day at the studio, Lenfilm, to prevent the group from finishing production of the video, which included 150 women and LGBTQ activists. Authorities also allegedly prohibited the group from bringing in a generator to restore power.

Lenfilm, in a statement to Russian press, claimed that the police were actors and the outage was due to an unrelated electrical failure. Pussy Riot denounced that narrative on Instagram, stating, “Damn it, if the actor played this, he would have been given an Oscar.” The caption accompanied a video of the police encounter.

Pussy Riot claims it sustained monetary losses due to the police interruption and is asking for donations through PayPal and Venmo to complete its "gay propaganda" music video.

In 2013, Russia outlawed so-called gay propaganda, an umbrella term for displays of LGBTQ identity that has been used to crack down on everything from social media posts to Pride gatherings. The European Court of Human Rights found it to be illegal in 2017, but the law is still being enforced.

Watch the video from Pussy Riot below.

Tags: World, Russia, Music

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