Blog Posts

Announcing New York City’s 37th Annual April Fools’ Day Parade (2022)

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Challenges, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, The History of Pranks

The 37th Annual New York April Fools’ Day Parade goes worldwide and kicks off early with a call to everyone to activate everywhere.

“MASK UP. HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF PUTIN!”

This year, New York’s beloved annual April Fools’ Day Parade, which pokes fun at outrageous displays of dishonesty, greed, hypocrisy, deceit, and bigotry, is going global. For the past 36 years, the public has been invited to create outrageous floats and dress up as look-alikes in colorful costumes to reflect the folly of duplicitous politicians, crooked corporate leaders, superficial celebrities, and whoever else has proven to be a total fool in the past year. The parade, which has always been a protest against war, corruption, propaganda and deceit, has marched down 5th Avenue from 57th Street to Washington Square Park for the crowning of the King of Fools.

This past year has provided no shortage of fools to choose from, but nothing can top the most egregious, corrupt, exploitive, vile and horrific actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The theme of the 2022 parade is “MASK UP. HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF PUTIN!” and we’re not waiting for Friday, April 1st, to start the parade. People everywhere are encouraged to activate IMMEDIATELY.

We stand with the people of Ukraine and with Russians who oppose Putin’s despotic aggression. To help make their voices heard, we’re offering these Putin masks to download, share, print, wear, and put in public places everywhere.

Individual masks and instructions for use are here.

Says Parade organizer Joey Skaggs, “Use your freedom to express yourself. Silence is consent.”

Protestors Rally on Behalf of Pussy Riot

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Filed under: Creative Activism

Global activists gear up for Pussy Riot rallies
by Nataliya Vasilyeva
Associated Press
August 15, 2012

Moscow (AP) – The global campaign to free Pussy Riot is gaining speed: Supporters of the punk provocateur band are mobilizing this week in at least two dozen cities worldwide to hold simultaneous demonstrations an hour before a Russian court rules on whether its members will be sent to prison.

Friday’s rallies will ride a wave of support for the three women who have been in jail for more than five months because of an anti-Putin prank in Moscow’s main cathedral. Calls for them to be freed have come from a long list of celebrities such as Madonna and Bjork. Protests have been held in a number of Western capitals, including Berlin, where last week about 400 people joined Canadian electro-pop performance artist Peaches to support the band.

In one of the most extravagant displays, Reykjavik Mayor Jon Gnarr rode through the streets of the Icelandic capital in a Gay Pride parade this weekend dressed like a band member – wearing a bright pink dress and matching balaclava – while lip-synching to one of Pussy Riot’s songs.

Although the band members and their lawyers are convinced that the verdict depends entirely on the will of President Vladimir Putin, and prosecutors have asked for a three-year sentence, activists hope their pressure will ease punishment or even free the women. (more…)

Pussy Riot, Russian Punk Rock Band, Experiences the Consequences of Dissent in Russia

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks

Russian prosecutors ask for 3 years in punk case
by Nataliya Vasilyeva
August 7, 2012
Associated Press

Moscow (AP) – Prosecutors on Tuesday called for three-year sentences for the members of a feminist punk band who performed an anti-Vladimir Putin stunt in Moscow’s main cathedral, ignoring demands by human rights groups that the three women be set free.

Defense lawyers and an influential Russian Orthodox cleric warned that jail time for the women could backfire by severing trust between ordinary Russians and the country’s institutions.

Prosecutor Alexander Nikiforov portrayed his request as lenient, saying the recommendation takes into account the fact that two of the defendants are young mothers and that they have good character references.

The hooliganism charges the three women of the Pussy Riot band face can carry a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

The three women – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Maria Alekhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 – have been in custody for five months following the February stunt, in which they took over a church pulpit in Christ the Savior cathedral for less than a minute, singing, high-kicking and dancing.

Their case is part of a widening government crackdown on dissent that followed Putin’s election in March and caused strong protests in Russia and abroad. Musicians including Madonna, the Who’s Pete Townshend and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys have urged their release.

The verdict is expected this week. Read the rest of this article here.