Russia

Russian Dissident Punk Band Pussy Riot Goes on Trial

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Today, over in Putin's unfree Russia, three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot go on trial for "hooliganism motivated by by religious hatred or hostility" for a February stunt where they performed "Punk Prayer"in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior during massive protests against then-nearly relelected President Vladimir Putin. The lyrics of the song include:

St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!

Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners are crawling and bowing
The ghost of freedom is in heaven
Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB is their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend the Holy
Women have to give birth and to love

Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!

Conservative Russians were outraged at the blasphemy. The women, however, claim that their protest was politically-minded only — they wanted to protest the close ties that the Russian church has with Putin and the Russian government. They have apologized to anyone religiously offended, but say that they meant the politics behind the protest.

CNN notes some of the outcry:

The Orthodox leader Patriarch Kyril has been widely reported as saying Putin's years in power have been a miracle from God.

But the band's behavior in one of Russia's most sacred cathedrals has outraged many of the country's faithful.

"This is a disgusting thing to do," one woman told CNN.

"They should go to jail," said another. "A year or two. Let them to think about their behavior."

But even some of those who were offended believe the women should not be in jail.

"If necessary, God will punish them," said one man. "It must be not be cruel punishment."

The three women have pleaded not guilty to the aforementioned "hooliganism," but they are facing up to seven years in jail.  Reuters has further details:

They were led into a metal and clear-plastic courtroom cage, where they milled and spoke with lawyers as preparations began. Tolokonnikova, in a blue chequered shirt, lowered her head to speak through a small opening in the enclosure. Two pairs of handcuffs hung at the ready just beside her face.

[…]

The protest offended many believers and enraged Kirill. The church, which has enjoyed a big revival since the demise of the officially atheist Communist Soviet Union in 1991 and is seeking more influence on secular life, cast the performance as part of a sinister campaign by "anti-Russian forces".

Pussy Riot's supports include fellow-dissidents in Russia, as well as Amnesty International, and Western musicians including Sting and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Two of the women have young children. Here's hoping that the international attention (they're the headline on Drudge right now) gets them home safe.

Reason on Russia and on punk rock

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  1. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber ? where the bullets are actually struck ? is solid metal.

    I think some Austrian company thought of this a while back, and now has lots of imitators..

    1. You might want to shoot some squirrels with it.

  2. didnt the gop wanna throw the dixie chicks in jail for bad-mouthing lil w and his playmates?

    1. Got any proof of this ? No, didn’t think so.

    2. No. But by criticizing him in the UK, the Dixie Chicks did manage to so thoroughly alienate their Country audience, they had to change genres.

      1. How hard is it for some band with a Nashville sound to leave the country genre they are only technically in because of a mandolin in the band?

        1. It’s very easy. Selling the new music, not so much.

        2. judging by the group’s immense success in its new genre, uh wait. Turns out that leaving is very easy; it’s selling records to a new audience that is tough.

          1. Wow. Okay, so worse than Taylor Swift. That’s a hard knock.

    3. It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge of our rivals. And the last known survivors stalks his prey in the night, and he’s watching us all through the eye of tiger.

    4. didnt the gop wanna throw the dixie chicks in jail for bad-mouthing lil w and his playmates?

      I think most people want them thrown in jail just for making awful music.

    5. No, stOOOpid, the GOP – cocksuckers they may be – did not want to throw anyone in jail for singing forbidden songs.

      Your pal, Putin, however…

  3. They will probably get a slap on the wrist, as they already have been detained for months. The worst thing now is for outside players to make this into a big issue, this will play straight into the hands of the nationalists who say they are agents of the West.

  4. That is one cute little punk girl.

  5. Not here to contribute anything, just wanted to get into a Pussy Riot thread.

  6. Any Russian officials making religious arguments against these women is bullshit. Being religious in Russia is a way they show they are no longer part of the old system, where they were all atheists.

    1. Most of them weren’t atheists, and that includes public officials, They pretended to be atheists. My father had to be baptized secretly.

      1. It seems we may both be speaking from anecdotal evidence, but I have heard from a man who worked for the Soviet machine and military who still has friends in the government that what I said is true, so I don’t think you can claim most.

        1. My wife is Russian. Been there 4 times, and never saw any indication that religion was simply a protest against the “old system”. Most I met held many superstitions apart from their religion as well. In general it’s not really much different than here, minus the Westboro Baptist types. But, you could say Chechnya might hold a few that compare.

  7. In Soviet Union Church seperates you.

  8. Looks like they are guilty of trespassing and after watching the video of felony singing and dancing.

    Also it probably was not a good spot to choose, the atheist Joseph Stalin blew up the original cathedral in 1931 so a bunch of atheist coming and insulting the same church is not going to go over well.

  9. I offer them political asylum and a place to stay.

  10. The sentence should be hot, hard sex with me. That’s TRUE justice!

  11. In 1990, Every priest in the Russian Orthodox Church was an officer of the KGB.

    Since there was no wholesale restarting from scratch, I assume that the church is still dominated by the FSB.

  12. “The Orthodox leader Patriarch Kyril has been widely reported as saying Putin’s years in power have been a miracle from God.”

    Indeed it is – somewhere between a plague of frogs and the first born of all but a few slain.

  13. Finally, a riot I want to see beaten down.

    By the way, I’ll save you the googles, their music is otherwordly bad.

    1. The only thing more mindlessly conformative than punk music is punk music from other countries.

      1. Yup, the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Black Flag, Minutemen, H?sker D?, Voidoids, Meat Puppets and Bad Brains all sound exactly the same.

        1. You forgot Avril Lavigne.

  14. I hope Pussy Riot comes to the U.S. and tours with Nashville Pussy and Pussy Galore.

  15. I think they should let these girls go. It’s not like they played this tune for a killer whale or something horrible like that.

  16. Sexy dissidents are sexy.

    I don’t know about that. sometimes they photograph OK while other times they look hideous.

    Also they are young and it is hard not be sexy at that age.

    further Russian is the worse language any woman could ever speak. Russian women are hot sure…but as soon as that guttural racket comes out their mouths like so much vomit their hotness quickly seeps away.

  17. “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility”

    So they have a hate crime law in Russia? Why not simple trespass and disturbing the peace? WTF is up with seven years in prison?

  18. “If necessary, God will punish them,” said one man. “It must be not be cruel punishment.”

    Has SCOTUS incorporated the Eighth Amendment against God now?

  19. Vladimir Putin is a cocksucker.

  20. Those guys really dod seem to know what the deal is wow.

    http://www.Anon-Go.tk

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