Pussy Riot Issues Call to Europe With ‘Refugees In’

Photo by Vianney Le Caer for Pussy Riot.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer for Pussy Riot.

No one has accused Pussy Riot of understatement, but as hysteria and cynical opportunism mount in the wake of last weekend’s Paris terrorist attack, there’s something both refreshing and necessary about the Russian punk collective’s blunt new song “Refugees In.”

More a statement of purpose than a work of art, the thumping electroclash song excoriates governments in Europe for erecting obstacles to asylum-seekers from war-torn regions. “Bombing people out of homes/ We want peace, not fucking drones,” goes one verse, which Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova intones in English with a thick Russian accent. (See all the lyrics below.)

To hammer the point home, Pussy Riot filmed a video for the song in September in Banksy’s Dismaland art project in England. The video depicts police in riot gear swinging batons, members of the collective performing in their trademark balaclavas and glimpses of Tolokonnikova — one of three Pussy Riot members imprisoned in 2012 for protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin — singing from inside a cage.

“We are planning to release a lot of disturbing videos next year, we hope that you will not like them,” Tolokonnikova says in a press release. She talks more about the situation in Europe, where 750,000 people have sought refuge so far in 2015, many of whom are escaping the ongoing butchery in Syria, in this piece for The Guardian.

The United States agreed to admit 10,000 refugees from Syria, a commitment that many politicians here (some of whom seem to have a hazy grasp on U.S. geography) are questioning after the attacks in Paris that killed 129 people — 89 of them at an Eagles of Death Metal concert — and wounded hundreds more. In the meantime, government officials like CIA Director John Brennan are scoffing at the “hand-wringing” over intrusive government surveillance efforts while seeking to expand them — despite the fact that most of the perpetrators of 10 major terrorist attacks between 2013-15 were already known to the governments that failed to stop them, according to this story in The Intercept.

 

Met in Europe by razor wires,
Governments here fucking liars
Desperate people who need to flee
Seeking refuge by land and sea
Push for borders, get no peace
Fuck the police like we’re in greece

Cage me in cage me out
Refugees in, nazis out
Governments here should feel the shame
Fucking liars, you’re to blame

Fuck the police
Like we are in Greece
Destroy piece by piece
This conservative disease

Huff and puff and smash it up
Burst, blast, blow it up
Cage me in cage me out
Refugees in, nazis out
Governments here should feel the shame
Fucking liars, you’re to blame

Cage me in cage me out
Refugees in, nazis out
Governments here, should feel the shame,
Fucking liars, you’re to blame
You’re to blame

Cage me in cage me out
Refugees in, nazis out
Governments here, should feel the shame,
Fucking liars, you’re to blame
You’re to blame

Cage me in cage me out
Refugees in, nazis out
Governments here, should feel the shame,
Fucking liars, you’re to blame
You’re to blame

Bombing people out of homes
We want peace, not fucking drones
Push, push borders away!
Push borders, do it today!
Human beings –
not a swarm Injustice –
government norm

Cage me in cage me out
Refugees in, nazis out
Governments here, should feel the shame,
Fucking liars, you’re to blame
You’re to blame

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