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Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina say their dismissal from Pussy Riot “doesn’t follow” group’s ideology

on February 10, 2014, 2:59pm

Last week, just hours before Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina took the stage at Amnesty International’s concert in Brooklyn, anonymous members of Pussy Riot released an open letter announcing they’d be cutting ties with both women.

“[Tolokonnikova and Alekhina] are being so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons, that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group — feminism, separatist resistance, fight against authoritarianism and personality cult, all of which, as a matter of fact, was the cause for their unjust punishment,” the statement of dismissal read.

Now, according to the New York TimesTolokonnikova and Alekhina have issued a response of their own, saying that the letter “doesn’t follow the ideology of Pussy Riot”.

“Pussy Riot can be anyone, and no one can [be] excluded from Pussy Riot,” Tolokonnikova told the Times, rebuking the letter’s suggestion that Pussy Riot was an exclusive “all-female separatist collective”. She added, “Pussy Riot can only grow.” Just ask Stephen Colbert.

Also challenging the letter’s claims that both women had fallen out of touch with the feminist group, Tolokonnikova insisted she and Alekhina are “still in contact with” the Pussy Riot members they performed with during the Moscow protest that led to their eventual 21-month imprisonment.

Tolokonnikova continued, “What we’d like is for other people who have this same kind of microphone — this celebrity — to stand up” for the voiceless and oppressed, “too.”

The next possible step in Tolokonnikova and Alekhina’s campaign to help spread the word of the disenfranchised? A Hollywood film about Pussy Riot.

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