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Riot Days

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Riot Days

Maria Alyokhina

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On 21st February 2012 Maria Alyokhina and the group Pussy Riot performed a protest song in Moscow Cathedral. It only lasted a few seconds, but saw her sentenced to two years in one of the world’s harshest prison systems. This is her fearless account of how she survived, and fought for freedom – every day.

’Freedom does not exist unless you fight for it every day.’

Maria Alyokhina always wanted to change the system – but, as protests go, this didn’t seem like a big deal. One gloomy February morning in 2012, wearing a balaclava, she performed a protest song in Moscow Cathedral with the group Pussy Riot. It only lasted forty seconds. But as a result she was sentenced to two years in one of the hardest prison systems in the world, sent hundreds of miles away, forced to leave her young son and her life behind her. This is the story of what happened. It’s a story of endurance and survival, of solidarity and female friendship and, above all, the will never to back down. It’s one of the most honest, raw and searing memoirs in years.

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