NME and The Guardian are reporting that Russia is currently formulating legislation to crack down on emo. The plan involves heavy regulation of emo websites and a ban on the display of emo and goth fashion in schools and government buildings. The legislation was first presented last month at a hearing held by at the State Duma on "Government Strategy in the Sphere of Spiritual and Ethical Education," a piece of legislation which aims to curb "dangerous teen trends". Among the stereotypes that are driving fears are claims that emo culture leads to depression, glorifies suicide and encourages anti-social behavior. Bill sponsor Yevgeny Yuryev hopes to pass the legistlation by the end of the year. From Guardian reports:
The new bill describes "emos" as 12-16 year-olds with black and pink clothing, studded belts, painted fingernails, ear and eyebrow piercings, and black hair with fringes that "cover half the face". Emo culture's "negative ideology" may encourage depression, social withdrawal and even suicide, the bill alleges - with young girls being particularly vulnerable.
Bill co-author Igor Ponkin explained to the Moscow Times "Of course, there are emo teens who just listen to their music. But our actions are not directed at them but rather at those who also hurt themselves, commit suicide and promote those acts." Advisor Alexander Grishunin explained "The point of the bill is so that by 2020, Moscow will have someone to rule its government… This is the first step in the public discourse."
Members of Russian bands have spoken out, with Dmitry Gilevich of Moscow's MAIO underlining "Expressing psychological emotions is not forbidden by law." Fans have also begun to hit the streets in protest, notably in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, where the legislation is being fast tracked.