PUSSYRIOT3

Putin’s Madness Worse Than North Korea: How PUSSY RIOT Trial Is Exposing The Horror Of Modern Russia

by • August 16, 2012 • Government & Politics, History, Inspiration, Music, Random News, SocietyComments (0)729

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A verdict is expected out of Moscow on Friday at 2pm Moscow time (6am EST), which could see the three young women of the protest punk band PUSSY RIOT sentenced to three years in prison on charges of hooliganism.  The incident in question was PUSSY RIOT’s February performance of a pointed and crass protest song called “Our Lady, Chase Putin Out!” inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February while sporting colorful balaclavas.

The outrageous trial has once again exposed the devastating effect that Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s authoritarianism has had on Russian freedom and democracy.  As Anna Nemtsova of The Daily Beast writes: “Political observers say the decision to imprison the girls was the result of a deal struck between Putin and the Church, without much involvement by the Kremlin’s administration. And for Putin, of course, there is not much political cost in punishing critics who are already despised by a large part of the population. At the beginning of the trial, nearly half those polled said a punishment of two to seven years in prison was appropriate.”

Vladimir Putin, along with his government and his supporters, have become one of the darkest corners in the world ever since he gained power in 2000.  In the beginning of his reign, his decisiveness and intelligence helped pull Russia out of the abyss.  Twelve years later, however, his zombie-like hunger for power and corruption and his disdain for democracy has turned him into one of the most tyrannical and despotic leaders in the modern world.  The Huffington Post writes: “The U.S. State Department has expressed concern about what it called the ‘politically motivated prosecution of the Russian opposition and pressure on those who express dissenting views.’ In France, Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti last week issued a statement expressing concern that artistic freedom was on trial. A German cross-party group of lawmakers sent a letter to the Russian ambassador calling the five months the band members have spent in custody and the possible prison terms ‘draconian and disproportionate’ punishment.”  Amnesty International has called the women “prisoners of conscience” and has collected signatures by text message for a petition to be sent to the Russian government. (UPDATE: Amnesty International says two boxes of petitions in support of Russia’s punk performance-art group Pussy Riot were trashed by an official after a heated interaction at Moscow’s Embassy in Washington.  LEARN MORE).

Various high profile artists from around the world have raised their powerful voices in support of the women of PUSSY RIOT.  Madonna wore a balaclava during a concert in Moscow on August 7th with the words “PUSSY RIOT” written on her bare back.  In a letter released Thursday, Paul McCartney urged the members of PUSSY RIOT to “stay strong” and called on authorities to allow them freedom of speech. McCartney adds, “I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom.”  Yoko Ono sent a personal message to 29-year-old PUSSY RIOT member Yekaterina Samutsevich, saying that “the power of your every word is now growing in us.” At a recent concert in Finland, Björk dedicated her 2008 Volta single “Declare Independence” to PUSSY RIOT.  British rock icon Pete Townshend of The Who, along with members of the Pet Shop Boys, published a letter in the Times of London ahead of Putin’s visit during the Olympics to urge him to give the PUSSY RIOT members a fair hearing.  On Friday, activists in more than a dozen cities are taking to the streets beginning at 2pm Moscow time (6am EST), an hour before the judge is scheduled to issue the verdict. The protests are being coordinated by PUSSY RIOT’s defense lawyers.  The following is an excerpt from The Huffington Post’s August 15th report detailing the worldwide movement of support for the three women:

Venues vary from the square outside the ornate Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona to the yard outside the Russian Embassy in London. In Paris, the protest will be held on Stravinsky Square and led by 29-year-old Alexey Prokopyev from Russie-Libertés, a Paris-based organization formed in December to bring together Russians studying or working in France. “Most people go to these rallies in Paris because we cannot be in Russia at the moment for various reasons – because of jobs, classes,” said Prokopyev, who was born in the Soviet Union and has spent most of the past 17 years in France. “We all wish we were in Moscow now, but since we can’t we do it in Paris.” Russie-Libertés also is helping to organize rallies in Marseille, Nice, Lyons and Montpellier. Wearing balaclavas, activists protested earlier this month on the iconic Alexander III bridge, named after the Russian czar who was France’s ally in the 1890s. Prokopyev said that he and his peers “want Russia to be a normal country” and be able to elect a president “who doesn’t make the country where we were born a laughingstock.” In New York, Friday’s protest will take place outside the Russian Consulate and later on Times Square. “It’s absurd that this case is being treated as criminal, while in any other civilized country that would be merely an administrative offense,” said Xenia Grubstein, a 31-year-old journalist helping to organize the New York protest. She said the hope was that the louder people speak out against the Pussy Riot case, the greater the chance that the verdict will be fair. A protest is also planned in Washington, where last month punk rockers and arts activists rallied outside the Russian Embassy.

To learn more about why this verdict is so significant be sure to read the following reports from: The Economist, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Billboard.com, Amnesty USAand The Washington Post.  This week’s FEELguide Banner Photo also happens to spotlight the phenomenal must-see BBC2 documentary entitled Putin, Russia & The West, which chronicles Putin’s rise to power and the illegal, immoral, and reprehensible actions he taken through the years to secure his place at the top.  I am not exaggerating in the least when I tell you it blew my mind wide open. You can watch it in full by CLICKING HERE.  To visit PUSSY RIOT’s website CLICK HERE, and to visit their YouTube channel CLICK HERE.  To visit the FREE PUSSY RIOT website simply head over to FREEPUSSYRIOT.org.

SEE ALSO: Russia Officially The Asshole Of The Earth: U.S. Catches Them Sending Attack Helicopters To Syria

Sources: The Economist, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Billboard.com, Amnesty USA, The Washington Post, and CNN
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