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Pu$$Y Riot, Putin, The Church, and Human Rights

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pussyriot.jpgWhen a covey of young Russian women, in skimpy colorful dresses and bright tights – a punk band with the feministic name “feline Riot” – showed up at the Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow and for less than a minute sang a prayer

they probably didn’t know that the Church, with all its power and ties to Putin’s government, wouldn’t take it lightly and initiate a criminal case against them.

The Russian Orthodox church arranged to have three girls, two of whom are the mothers of small children, arrested in March and are detained still, facing up to seven years in prison for “hooliganism.” The young mothers, reportedly, have been threatened to lose custody of their children.

The feminist band, feline Riot, used the idea of peaceful performances in public places to empower women in Russia and, right before the presidential elections in February, participated in anti-Putin protests. The anti-Putin prayer in the church might’ve looked extreme to many faithful people but in light of the situation, when people’s voices are not heard and requests for fair elections are ignored, stepping outside of the boundaries of normality is sometimes the only thing that’s left to do.

“In this day and age if you don’t break the rules nobody pays attention to you”, David Gross, a producer for music events in New York City, said. Together with Bryan Swirsky they are organizing a Free feline Riot benefit concert in New York. More than a dozen bands will play at Knitting Factory in Williamsburg on June 23rd to raise money. The proceeds will be given to Amnesty International, where a special account has been created for feline Riot, and the money will be transferred to Russia to provide a proper legal defense for the punk band.

girls-300x199.jpg

image: http://rookiemag.com

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyukhina, and Ekaterina Samucevich, probably, didn’t expect that their little impromptu performances would turn into months of incarceration and their actions would be elevated to the level of a serious criminal case, receiving international attention. Amnesty International named them “prisoners of conscience”. In some cases the girls are called “political prisoners”, impelling musicians around the world to go on stage and raise funds for their legal fees.

“This is the crime against artists, and against humanity and freedom” said Frank London of Klezmatics, one of the musicians participating in the Free feline Riot concert. London expressed his concern over collusion between state and church, and sees that that issue is relevant not only to Russia, but in some ways to the United States as well.

Even though technically the Russian Orthodox Church and the government are officially separated, it’s been widely known that the relationship between the two are quite cozy. The church supports the government, and the government supports the church.

Musicians from all over the world play shows in support of feline Riot. One of them, Ellina Graypel, a New York-based musician, is outraged because she feels the Russian government doesn’t care about human rights. “The bottom line: women are in jail for expressing themselves as artists. For me, it’s a human right and a first amendment issue”

The Human Rights Council representative Mikhail Fedotov expressed his concerns that there are no grounds to keep the girls in pre-trial detention. However, the young women – the musicians, who didn’t steal anything, didn’t kill anyone, didn’t do real harm to anyone — have been behind bars for months, while there are plenty of real crooks and criminals roaming around free.

“When religion puts people in jail it’s unjust” – Gross said, expressing the concerns of many following the case

this is a demonstration of christianities stated desire to once again link church and state .

stupid filters will not show the topic and bands real name which is pu$$y riot

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  • 1 month later...

feline Riot members on trial for 'punk prayer'

Three women who protested against Vladimir Putin in a "punk prayer" on the altar of Russia's main cathedral have gone on trial in a case seen as a test of Mr Putin's treatment of dissent during a new presidential term

Three women who protested against Vladimir Putin in a "punk prayer" on the altar of Russia's main cathedral have gone on trial in a case seen as a test of Mr Putin's treatment of dissent during a new presidential term.

The women, from the band feline Riot, face up to seven years in prison for an unsanctioned performance in February in which they entered Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral, ascended the altar and called on the Virgin Mary to "throw Putin out!".

Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were brought to Moscow's Khamovniki court for Russia's highest-profile trial since former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was convicted in 2010.

Supporters chanted "Girls, we're with you!" and "Victory!" as the women, each handcuffed by the wrist to a female officer, were led from a white and blue police van into the courthouse through a side entrance. Streets around the court, on a high Moscow River embankment, were closed.

They were put 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.

"We did not want to offend anybody," Tolokonnikova said, speaking to a defence lawyer who stood outside the enclosure.

"We admit our political guilt, but not legal guilt."

The stunt was designed to highlight the close relationship between the dominant Russian Orthodox Church and Mr Putin, then prime minister, whose campaign to return to the presidency in a March election was backed clearly, if informally, by the leader of the church, Patriarch Kirill.

The protest offended many believers and enraged Patriach 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".

'Rift in society'

The women are charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility.

But in opening statements read by a defence lawyer, they said they were protesting against Patriach Kirill's political support for Mr Putin and had no animosity toward the church or the faithful.

"I have never had such feelings toward anyone in the world," Tolokonnikova said in her statement.

"We are not enemies of Christians ... our motives are exclusively political. We only want Russia to change for the better."

Alyokhina's statement said: "I thought the church loved all its children, but it seems the church loves only those children who love Putin."

Prosecutors asked for the trial, which was streamed live on the internet, to be closed to the public and the media, saying a "rift in society" and emotions over the case put the defendants and other participants at risk.

And a group of conservative Russian writers called on Monday for tough punishment.

But Kremlin opponents, rights activists and supporters of the defendants say the charges are politically motivated.

The performance, a protest against the church's support for Putin, was part of a lively protest movement that at its peak saw 100,000 people turn out for rallies in Moscow, some of the largest in Russia since the Soviet Union's demise.

The plight of the three women, who have been held in a courtroom cage during pre-trial hearings, has also drawn attention in the West, where governments are closely watching how Mr Putin will handle dissent.

Rights groups and musicians such as Sting and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have expressed concern about the trial, reflecting doubts that Mr Putin - who could serve until 2024 if re-elected in six years - will become more tolerant.

The trial comes as Mr Putin, 59, is trying to forestall potential challenges and rein in his opponents, who hope to reignite the street protest movement this autumn.

On Monday, he signed a law enacting stricter punishment for defamation. That follows recent laws tightening controls on foreign-funded civil rights groups and sharply raising fines for violations of public order at street rallies.

Amnesty International has called for the release of the feline Riot members, two of whom have young children, saying the charges are not a "justifiable response to the peaceful - if, to many, offensive - expression of their political beliefs."

But Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev dismissed criticism of the case in remarks published on Monday, saying the trial was a "serious ordeal" for the defendants and their families but that "one should be calm about it" and await the outcome.

"It seems to me that there will always be different perceptions about what is acceptable and not acceptable from a moral point of view and where moral misbehaviour becomes a criminal action," he told the Times of London in an interview.

"Whether that is the case here is up to the court to decide," he said, according to a Russian government transcript.

Few Russians believe the country's courts are independent, however, and Mr Medvedev acknowledged during his 2008-2012 presidential term that they were subject to political influence and corruption.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Madonna Shows Her Support for Jailed Russian Punk Band feline Riot at Moscow Concert (Video)

4:05 PM PDT 8/7/2012 by Vladimir Kozlov

madonna-feline-riot-p.jpg

UPDATED: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sting, Terry Gilliam and now the queen of pop speak out against the arrest and detainment of three musicians facing up to seven years in prison for "hooliganism." THR offers a primer to the political firestorm.

MOSCOW -- Madonna is the latest high-profile celebrity to throw her support behind three jailed members of the Russian feminist punk band feline Riot.

A hearing for the highly publicized band is in progress in a Moscow court and drawing international attention, and during a Monday concert in Moscow, the queen of pop appeared onstage with the words "feline Riot" stenciled on her back (see photo). Not necessarily related to the political firestorm, the venue had received threats against U.S. citizens attending the Madonna concert and issued a warning to attendees.

The feline Riot story has snowballed far beyond Russian borders. A primer: The three young women were arrested in the wake of an illegal gig, which feline Riot staged in March at Moscow’s the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the country’s main Orthodox church, shortly before the presidential vote that brought Vladimir Putin back to the country’s top office.

During the short gig at the cathedral, “a punk prayer,” five participating feline Riot members covering their faces with balaclavas -- similar to a ski mask -- and wearing bright-colored tights, performed a song with the lyrics “Mother of God, drive Putin away.”

PHOTO: The Music Industry's Wildest Riders: From Kanye West's 100 Percent Cotton Rule to The Stooges' 7 Dwarfs

Among Western celebrities who have expressed support for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, are Danny DeVito, Stephen Fry, Terry Gilliam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Franz Ferdinand, Peter Gabriel, Faith No More, Sting and, more recently, Peaches, who is recording a song and shooting a video devoted to the three women.

Midway through her show at Moscow's Olimpiisky Sports Center, Madonna said: "The three girls -- Masha, Katya, Nadya -- I think they have done something courageous. I think they have paid the price and I pray for their freedom. They deserve the right to be free." She also put on a balaclava similar to the ones feline Riot members wore at their gigs and performed the song "Like a Virgin."

All of the celebrity supporters have called for the band members’ release, saying the accusations against them and the fact that they already have spent five months in pretrial detention are disproportionate to the charge against them.

During the pretrial detention, the jailed feline Riot members were refused bail several times. They are being accused of “hooliganism” and face up to seven years in prison. Many in Russia believe that the case is politically motivated and comes as an act of revenge on the part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Hey Putin, over here we invented a thing called seperation of church and state. It work like hot damn. You big strong Russian hero man, very brave, do everthing. When you grow bigger pair you tell church to frack off. Then life will be good again, for you too. You will see. Perestroika suck for sure but glasnost really is good idea. Perhaps if you pray to Gorby instead you will get good inspiration for people and you will see that life is short and fear not good tool.

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They've been sentenced to 2 years in prison. :sadno:

Three members of feline Riot have been sentenced to two years in prison today after a Russian court found them guilty of "hooliganism" in connection with a March "punk prayer" protest they staged against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral, Reuters reports. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, jailed since shortly after the incident, have received expressions of support from musicians including Paul McCartney, Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers during legal proceedings that have been criticized as a politically motivated show trial intended to chill dissent against Putin. The women said that theirs was a political protest that was never intended to offend the Russian Orthodox Church.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/feline-riot-members-found-guilty-in-russian-court-20120817#ixzz23ocqVZcmp

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What an absolute joke and a sham of justice this sentence is.

Good for these girls for smiling and staying calm even when the bullcrap sentence was handed down.

Shame on Putin, though I doubt he feels any. Shame on the Orthodox Christian Church who still wields so much power in Russia, though I doubt shame is furthest from what they're feeling putting these young women and prisoners of conscience behind bars for daring to stand up to and protest them, in their own building.

Just disgusting.

Good on the girls for refusing to ask for a pardon from the napoleonic complexed Putin.

Yay religion, once again.....get those girls, they must be witches or a demon harem! :picard:

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Wow, Putin is a fool. As a member of the music industry that closely follows every trend and band that I can I can honestly say that I had never heard of this band before now and, shock of shocks for a band from Russia, I like them a lot (at least based on this video). They remind me of Crass from the good old days (a band that, had the U.K. had similarly draconian laws regarding freedom of expression back then, would still be doing time). Putin has just guaranteed this band lasting fame and notoriety while at the same time has focused world attention on Russia's dreadful human rights record (new laws banning pride parades etc.) and the cozy relationship between the church and the state in Russia which we all know is never a good thing. However I must add that, before we get all high and mighty about this in the west there have been similar witch hunts like this over here in the past (Dead Kennedys, Day Glo Abortions) that were equally ridiculous.

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Wow, Putin is a fool. As a member of the music industry that closely follows every trend and band that I can I can honestly say that I had never heard of this band before now and, shock of shocks for a band from Russia, I like them a lot (at least based on this video). They remind me of Crass from the good old days (a band that, had the U.K. had similarly draconian laws regarding freedom of expression back then, would still be doing time). Putin has just guaranteed this band lasting fame and notoriety while at the same time has focused world attention on Russia's dreadful human rights record (new laws banning pride parades etc.) and the cozy relationship between the church and the state in Russia which we all know is never a good thing. However I must add that, before we get all high and mighty about this in the west there have been similar witch hunts like this over here in the past (Dead Kennedys, Day Glo Abortions) that were equally ridiculous.

I am pretty sure the girls were trying to get the world to focus on these issue's in russia , they are true freedom fighters and are paying a heavy price .

i love your reference to the dayglo abortions , great band .

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Wow, Putin is a fool. As a member of the music industry that closely follows every trend and band that I can I can honestly say that I had never heard of this band before now and, shock of shocks for a band from Russia, I like them a lot (at least based on this video). They remind me of Crass from the good old days (a band that, had the U.K. had similarly draconian laws regarding freedom of expression back then, would still be doing time). Putin has just guaranteed this band lasting fame and notoriety while at the same time has focused world attention on Russia's dreadful human rights record (new laws banning pride parades etc.) and the cozy relationship between the church and the state in Russia which we all know is never a good thing. However I must add that, before we get all high and mighty about this in the west there have been similar witch hunts like this over here in the past (Dead Kennedys, Day Glo Abortions) that were equally ridiculous.

Agreed.

Anytime a gov't or a nation's justice system is corrupted by the gov't or organized religion against the freedom to protest or speak out against that gov't or organized religion with draconian laws or acts, then it's a disgrace, regardless of region or religion.

This particular case only stresses the absolute necessity of a separation between church and state.

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Ok, my thinking was just that if I was in church and this masked punk band started thrashing about, I'd get pretty upset. I just hope people reading this story think about what they were actually doing, and how offensive it really was, protest or not.

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Ok, my thinking was just that if I was in church and this masked punk band started thrashing about, I'd get pretty upset. I just hope people reading this story think about what they were actually doing, and how offensive it really was, protest or not.

2 years in jail for offending people in Church??

How very 'Christian' of them.

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