• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Pussy Riot fans in Zurich church protest

Lyssandra Sears · 21 Aug 2012, 10:40

Published: 21 Aug 2012 10:40 GMT+02:00

Ten men and women staged a protest against the two-year sentence received by the band that has captured headlines across the world in recent days, online news site Tages Anzeiger reported.

Chants of “Free Pussy Riot!” and “Fuck Putin!” could be heard from the top of the one of the famous Grossmünster Cathedral towers, as the protesters unfurled a 10-metre long poster from the top of the church.

Police were called to the scene, and tourists were barred from entering the building. After about one hour, the protesters let the banner drop, along with a bag of the demonstrators’ brightly coloured balaclavas.

Police immediately began to question the woman who picked up the dropped items.

A woman wearing a red wig and giving the name Jacky Müller said she was the spokeswoman for the protesters, who have named themselves the Free Punk Committee of Zurich.

She said the group was made up of like-minded local artists who were outraged by the decision of the Russian court to imprison the three women after they performed an anti-Vladimir Putin "punk prayer" in an Orthodox cathedral in Moscow in February.

“We are fortunately not in Russia here,” Müller said. “We won’t get two years’ inside.”

Several tourists were attracted to the scene, some of them Russian. A handful of passers-by even applauded.

“This is very good,” one man told the news site.

Story continues below…

The activists said that they did not expect a great deal to come of this one act, but hoped that the cumulative effect of demonstrations being held across the world would put pressure on Putin to release the three women.

No charges have yet been brought against the activists. The police have confirmed that they will not be taking any action, but the church itself could choose to press charges. The church's decision is as yet unknown.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
WHO calls for action against air pollution
File photo: Issouf Sarego/AFP

Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organization has said.

Two arrested in police raid on Basel mosque
File photo: Michele Limini/AFP

Police in Basel raided a controversial mosque in the city and arrested two people on Tuesday morning, Swiss media reported.

Families slapped with hefty rise in health costs
File photo: Marcel Grieder

Health insurance premiums will rise by on average 4.5 percent for adults and 6.6 percent for children in 2017.

Neuchâtel votes no to foreigners running for office
Photo: kuhnmi/Flickr

Neuchâtel voted on Sunday against an initiative that would have made it the first Swiss canton to allow foreigners stand in cantonal elections.

Swiss voters say no to higher pensions
Photo: AFP

Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a plan to increase pension payments by ten percent.

Italians enraged by Ticino foreign worker vote
File picture of Lega Nord leader Roberto Maroni. Photo: AFP

The leader of Italy's Lega Nord is plotting "adequate counter-measures".

EU warns Swiss over vote to curb cross-border workers
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann (R) and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker met in Zurich on September 19th to talk about the implementation of Swiss immigration restrictions. Photo: AFP

The EU warned Switzerland on Monday over a vote by one of its cantons backing curbs on migrants, an issue being closely watched in London as a possible template for Brexit negotiations.

Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Twelve thousand women participated in a race against breast cancer in Le Mans, France, October 2014. Photo: AFP

The study suggests a link between aluminium salts and breast cancer.

Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Airolo in the Gotthard Pass. Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl

Voters in Ticino on Sunday strongly backed an initiative giving preference to local workers over foreigners.

France demands 45,000 Swiss accounts in tax hunt
Photo: AFP

France is tracking down UBS account holders.

Sponsored Article
7 tips for learning Swiss French
Photo: AFP
National
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
National
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Photo: File
Politics
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Education
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
Photo: AFP
Society
Swiss ‘slave children’ to finally get compensation
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Lifestyle
Zurich named ‘greenest’ city on the planet
Photo: Swiss
National
Brawl over seats forces Swiss to abort flight
Photo: Daniel Stockhammer
Culture
Research shows typical Swiss chalets ‘not actually Swiss’
Photo: AFP
National
Switzerland to get nationwide disaster alert system
Photo: S3
National
Swiss space firm boss left badly injured in violent attack
Photo: ETH Zurich
Education
ETH Zurich crowned best uni in continental Europe – again
File photo: Martin Abegglen
National
Report: Swiss citizenship rules leave some stateless
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Fatal crash: pilot told to fly below safe altitude
Photo: Peter Linke
Business & Money
Elderly Italian on benefits stashed €1m in Swiss bank
Photo: Stuart Richards
Society
Court sides with chickens in dispute over noisy henhouse
Photo: SAC
Lifestyle
Hiking: 7 incredible Swiss Alpine Club cabins
Photo: David Abercrombie
National
Swiss politician arrested over illegal entry of migrants
Photo: Coiffure X
National
Chewbacca stolen in ‘terrorist attack’ on Swiss hair salon
Photo: AFP
National
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
Photo: AFP
National
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
Photo: The Local
National
Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
Photo:C Carlstead
National
Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
4,331
jobs available