Pussy Riot Protest Reading in Notting Hill


The protest reading held today, just off Notting Hill gate and Bayswater, before the Russian consulate in London, was a great testament to the swell of support that has run throughout the poetry community in the city over the last month or two for the members of Pussy Riot facing draconian jail sentences for the crime of 'hooliganism.' I rarely countenance people speaking of things getting worse in the general sense in the world, violence and war is clearly lesser now compared to the recent past, and this is also clearly so for Russia. But it has to be said that this is purely because the comparison is so truly, unimaginably awful in that nation. Hooliganism is the kind of label that Daniil Kharms or Velimir Khlebnikov or Sergei Esenin would have sought a century ago. Let us hope the end to this situation is less tragic than that which befell the Russian writers of the past. The reading today was an act of solidarity and camaraderie and was persevered in good humour and cheer despite the awful rain.