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”I am not afraid of you. I am not afraid of you” –Pussy Riots


The Russian authorities have an exceptional talent for letting their mistakes be blown out of proportion.

Pussy Riot Found Guilty and Sentenced.

Three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot were found guilty of “hooliganism” and sentenced to two years in prison today in Russia. The maximum sentence for the charges was seven years. In a case that has garnered international attention, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, and Marina Alyokhina, 24, have been in jail since March, when they were arrested after performing (video) a “punk prayer” on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in dissent of Vladimir Putin.

The members entered the church wearing bright colors and balaclavas, singing “Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin!” They noted later that their intent was to challenge the Church’s political support for Putin and to show their dissatisfaction with Putin’s 12-year political dominance.

The Associated Press reports that Boris Akunin, one of Russia’s best known authors, said: “This is all nonsense. I can’t believe that in the 21st century a judge in a secular court is talking about devilish movements. I can’t believe that a government official is quoting medieval church councils.”

Musicians, activists and human rights groups worldwide have been standing in solidarity with Pussy Riot both online and in the streets. Amnesty International has named the women prisoners of conscience, and artists including Sting, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bjork, Madonna, and Chloe Sevigny have been speaking out in support. Activists have marked August 17 as Pussy Riot Global Day and are staging solidarity protests all over the world. Although the women have experienced an outpouring of international support and solidarity, opinion polls indicate that Russians themselves are not very sympathetic. The case has shed international light on the Russian government’s intolerance of dissent.

In her closing statement at the trial, Alyokhina said, “I am not afraid of you. I am not afraid of you and I am not afraid of the thinly veneered deceit of your verdict at this ‘so-called’ trial. My truth lives with me. I believe that honesty, free-speaking and the thirst for truth will make us all a little freer. We will see this come to pass.”

A New Dark Age has descended upon Russia. A New Dark Age has descended upon humanity.

Comments

    • Francisco Bacopa says

      Screw the petition. We got a Russian consulate here and I’ve got spray paint. Check to see whether you have a Russian consulate in your city. Ours has some nice big visible walls and police response times are quite slow on Sunday mornings.

  1. smrnda says

    This is pretty disgusting, and I hope that a show of international support has an impact. Russian authorities need to be sent a clear message that if they want to stand for Medieval bullshit, they can stand alone. At the same time, the fate of Aan in Indonesia makes me worry that international support isn’t enough, but I’m hoping it can make a dent.

    • says

      “This is pretty disgusting, and I hope that a show of international support has an impact.”

      It probably has. I imagine it reduced their sentences considerably. Also, how accurate can we really expect the polls of public opinion coming out of Russia, especially these days

  2. says

    Russia was the last European nation to have a serf-based economic system. Its theocratic feudal system was eliminated by a “glorious revolution” which quickly turned into a totalitarian oligarchy dominated by a cult of personality. That, in turn, was eliminated by a “democratic revolution” which quickly restored the theocratic feudal system.

    That country and its people have some serious problems.

  3. Rempetis says

    A New Dark Age has descended upon Russia. A New Dark Age has descended upon humanity.

    Not really.

    I agree that a 2 year sentence was way too much, i’d have given them a few days of community work, but the real issue here is that this is overblown way out of preportion by the western media. I seriously doubt if in any western country they’d get much more leniency. Also, it’s revolting to me that pussy riot is the TOP story of many of the western media when this happened, which is not only burried but the opinion of the murderers is presented in the headline!

    So, to sum up, the pussy riot trial in my opinion is used as anti-russian anti-putin propaganda, and people around the world are taking the bait. It’s easy to take the bait when it’s a feminist punk-rock group with lovely videos which are uploaded on youtube and interviews on the Guardian.

    • astro says

      -I agree that a 2 year sentence was way too much, i’d have given them a few days of community work,-

      WTF.

      -but the real issue here is that this is overblown way out of preportion by the western media.-

      bullshit. The Russian govt ignoring it altogether would have been the way to keep it off the map

      I seriously doubt if in any western country they’d get much more leniency.

      ANY jailtime is un-lenient. They would have paid a fine at best

      Also, it’s revolting to me that pussy riot is the TOP story of many of the western media when this happened, which is not only burried but the opinion of the murderers is presented in the headline!

      You can care about more than one thing at a time you know. Thanks for mentioning the miner incident though. I’ll check it out. However this post isn’t about that, as I’m sure posts about the miner incident don’t mention Pussy Riot

      So, to sum up, the pussy riot trial in my opinion is used as anti-russian anti-putin propaganda,

      No need, they do a good enough job incriminating themselves. Plus anti-Russian propoganda would be sold BY the American right TO the american right , neither being sympathetic to any liberal free speech girl band, especially one making a scene in a church, and especially one called Pussy Riot

      and people around the world are taking the bait.

      This is why letting them off (with community service if you must)would have been the right thing to do.

      It’s easy to take the bait when it’s a feminist punk-rock group with lovely videos which are uploaded on youtube and interviews on the Guardian.

      Yawn

      • Rempetis says

        Most people don’t look very much past the headlines, and if an issue is burried and the way that it is presented (the narrative attached to it, how catchy it is etc) are extremely important. Also, if you think that anti-Russian propaganda is only “sold BY the American right TO the american right” you should go back to sleep, since you’re yawning it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

        • smrnda says

          There is no need for anti-Russian propaganda. The country is doing so poorly that any fact about Russia makes the nation look bad. If you think that Russia is being unfairly slandered, could you tell me first, what are some good things about Russia these days that are being ignored, or for what purpose is this propaganda? I mean, exposing the fact that you can get thrown in jail for insulting a religion in a nation is, to me, a fact I want to know about a place.

          • Rempetis says

            Yes, i suspect that they’re unfairly slandered. Truth be told i don’t know many good things about Russia of today but on the other hand i never expected that i would or search to find out.

            or for what purpose is this propaganda?

            An easy answer would be this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRIC

    • says

      I agree that a 2 year sentence was way too much, i’d have given them a few days of community work, but the real issue here is that this is overblown way out of preportion by the western media. I seriously doubt if in any western country they’d get much more leniency.

      Rubbish — petty trespass would be about the size of it IF the church decided to press charges, which they might not if they had any PR sense at all. In Canada and the US at least (and maybe some of Western Europe), insulting religion isn’t even an offense, and there would be general jeering if it was still on the books, and was attempted in a case like this. Of course, this is really about Pussy Riot’s criticism of Putin, isn’t it?

      Also, it’s revolting to me that pussy riot is the TOP story of many of the western media when [South African miners' shooting] HEY! LOOK OVER THERE!!!

      Your *concern* for the poor miners is duly noted.

  4. Albert Bakker says

    This either will be a wake up call to the Russians or a spiraling descent into darkness. Dictatorship and theocracy are teaming up. And with Putin appointed judge/ sock puppet Marian Syrova representing the death of all hope of a rule of law in Russia. The verdict wasn’t decided in court but in the Kremlin. These women serve as a warning to anyone aspiring to sound the mildest form of protest against Putin’s absolute power. Other protesters and critics will follow and be punished much more severely still, judges may serve to rubber stamp the verdict. But it was ‘Patriarch’ Kirill 1 who pushed this particular matter, be it is on his head. I hope lightning strikes him dead.

  5. says

    I’m not surprised by the verdict. The only way that they know how to deal with dissent is stomp on it. They also know that we in the West have a short attention span and the next scandle will push this out of the headlines.

  6. says

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