Before you call them and their protest shallow and ignorant, you should read their court statements.
They are anything but shallow and ignorant. Instead, they are classic Russian dissidents.
It is the author of this column who is ignorant and shallow. The author echoes Walter Duranty in sanitizing the persecution of these women on a charge of hooliganism, and pooh-poohing the idea that Putin’s depradations might give rise to any legitimate protest.
Putin’s government is a corrupt gangster government that murders its opponents with complete impunity and does everything possible to thwart US interests around the world. These women have lost their liberty by protesting it through artistic expression. But here is this column, and here are people on this board actually taking Putin’s side in the controversy.
If folks had paid attention, the protest was in an church because PR was protesting the close relationship between Putin and the Orthodox Church in Russia which has become more or less a branch of government (which historically it pretty much was before the Soviets suppressed them).
That Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of the authorities was clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putins former [KGB] colleague Kirill Gundyayev took over as leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. After this happened, Christ the Savior Cathedral began to be openly used as a flashy backdrop for the politics of the security forces, which are the main source of political power in Russia.
Sounds like these girls have a bit more acumen than the average OWS member did. What would the Tea Party do if the National Cathedral turned out to be nothing but a branch of Acorn.
Thank you buckhead!
The author of the article is clueless. Putin talking points repeated in the American press as fact.
Putin is destroying the last vestiges of real democracy, free markets and liberty in a country that has suffered for centuries under repressive regimes.
I do not like the group’s tactics but I am not sure they have any other real options. They have effectively exposed the brutality of the Putin government that no other freedom loving dissidents have so far been able to achieve. The Putin government is corrupt, intolerant, petty and
Whether or not you like these ladies’ tactics they should be commended for their bravery and willingness to confront tyranny and have suffered greatly in the process.
Their actions have had an impact. Now the whole world cannot continue to pretend Russia is freedom loving, open society that cherishes and protects individual rights and freedom. The mask of a civilized society has been ripped off and exposed the pettiness of this brutal, petty, corrupt and evil regime.
The girls are heroes.
Well said, Buckhead, and good to see you again.
Maybe Garry Kasparov is respectable enough for the skeptics here?
The only surprise to come out of Friday’s guilty verdict in the trial here of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot was how many people acted surprised. Three young women were sentenced to two years in prison for the prank of singing an anti-Putin “prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Their jailing was the next logical step for Vladimir Putin’s steady crackdown on “acts against the social order,” the Kremlin’s expansive term for any public display of resistance.
In the 100 days since Mr. Putin’s re-election as president, severe new laws against public protest have been passed and the homes of opposition leaders have been raided. These are not the actions of a regime prepared to grant leniency to anyone who offends Mr. Putin’s latest ally, the Orthodox Church and its patriarch.
Unfortunately, I was not there to hear the judge’s decision, which she took hours to read. The crowds outside the court building made entry nearly impossible, so I stood in a doorway and took questions from journalists. Suddenly, I was dragged away by a group of policein fact carried away with one policeman on each arm and leg.
The men refused to tell me why I was being arrested and shoved me into a police van. When I got up to again ask why I had been detained, things turned violent. I was restrained, choked and struck several times by a group of officers before being driven to the police station with dozens of other protesters. After several hours I was released, but not before they told me I was being criminally investigated for assaulting a police officer who claimed I had bitten him.
It would be easy to laugh at such a bizarre charge when there are already so many videos and photos of the police assaulting me. But in a country where you can be imprisoned for two years for singing a song, laughter does not come easily. My bruises will heal long before the members of Pussy Riot are free to see their young children again. In the past, Mr. Putin’s critics and enemies have been jailed on a wide variety of spurious criminal charges, from fraud to terrorism.
But now the masks are off. Unlikely as it may be, the three members of a punk band have become our first true political prisoners.
[more at link, worth a click]
I've been in touch with a few Russians inside Russia via facebook. One is stridently defensive of Putin, pointing to his pretty pro-capitalism, pro-freedom essays.
Okay, it's easy to write one way but live another, right?
Anyways, I don't view Putin as trying to take Russia back to Communism. I view Putin as taking Russia back to Tsarism, with Putin as the Tsar.
Thank you for posting the statements by Pussy Riot. Exceptional.
I highly recommend they be read.
I do think there is some confusion pertaining to this issue. Inconveniently enough, the outward appearance of this group, and some of it's other member's antics are off-putting enough that deeper underlying issues become lost.
As you're link outlines, what they were on trial for;
Yet since Putin successfully plays the sentimentalist, and gives to the Russian church some support and funding from the present regime's ill gotten, criminally contrived gains, some are fooled into thinking him some sort of righteous fellow.
He and his people have killed journalists who ask the wrong questions, or find out too much. How soon we forget, how easily misled...
Putin and his criminals, by co-opting the Russian Church, have succeeding in making their own murderous selves into the voice for morality?
As one of the defendants, Maria Alyokhina put it;
Three members of Pussy Riot were remanded in custody and charged with hooliganism, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment, after conservative Orthodox activists called on the authorities to punish them.
One prominent Orthodox commentator even called for them to be "burnt at the stake".
There was widespread dismay at the women's treatment and the Church's attitude to them, including from some Orthodox Christians.
Hospice charity worker Lidiya Moniava wrote an open letter to the Patriarch urging him to adopt a "Christian attitude" to the women and to stop the "hatred and anger" being vented at them.
The letter was signed by nearly 6,000 people. According to Ms Moniava, more than 1,900 of them were Orthodox Christians and 23 clergy.
Patriarch Kirill was unmoved. He issued a stern rebuke to believers who sought to "justify this sacrilege, to minimise it".
He was referring to relics housed in the cathedral, including a nail said to have been used in Jesus's crucifixion.
Hey great. Protect relics, icons, and one's own personal religious sensibilities concerning them, from perceived insult, at the cost of contradicting example and instruction, provided by Christ Himself. With friends like that, does Jesus really need other enemies?
Good statements. This firmly exposes that Vladimir Putin remains an unrepentant unreconstructed Chekist. These women might not have experienced the repression of the Soviet Union firsthand, but they are not ignorant of it. Just what did Putin have on Yeltsin to be his designated successor?