Pussy Riot

No riots here…

Freedom of expression has a price.  For the all girl punk band founded in 2011, Pussy Riot, it means two years prison time in Russia.  What did they do?  Three members performed a song critical of President Valdimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral.  Nadezida Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich yelled “Mother Mary, please drive Putin away.”  Regardless if offensive or not, these women have every right to express themselves for the sake of human rights everywhere.

According to Tom Esslemont of the BBC News: “Once the sentences were handed down, the United States and the European Union were quick to condemn them as “disproportionate.”  Certainly many feel that the initial protest by Pussy Riot was blasphemous, foolish and wrong. But Russia’s most outspoken critics say the trial took things to another extreme; it showed how the country was returning to the dark ages, said one.”

Sergey Baranov, an Orthodox Church deacon, left the church over the Pussy Riot verdict.  Mr. Baranov to Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Moscow correspondent Norman Hermant: “It was the very last straw when I realised that concepts such as mercy and forgiveness had been shredded to pieces.”  Being born in the United States, church and state don’t mixed with freedom of speech.

Support for Pussy Riot has grown globally with protests.  Via Twitter, the U.S Embassy in Moscow finds the punishment “disproportionate.”   A website (www.freepussyriot.org) has a petition to support the group.  The musician Madonna on her current concert tour has urged for the group’s release.  Yoko Ono, Pete Townshend, Pet Shop Boys, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, and others have voiced their support and concern.

The world is increasingly becoming connected via the internet, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media outlet.  As a result, authoritarian governments may try to ban all speech but it’s impossible.  Global citizens will demand free speech eventually everywhere.  When will governments realize that allowing freedom of expression is positive for a healthy society?  The flow of ideas and creativity improves humanity.  That is the type of world I want to live in…

The links:

http://freepussyriot.org/

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/2-Pussy-Riot-members-flee-Russia-to-escape-arrest-3815994.php

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-03/orthodox-priest-speaks-out-over-pussy-riot/4239330

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19297373

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/pussy-riot-rallies-supporters-mobilize_n_1778220.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/after-pussy-riot-arrest-madonna-tells-us-fans-at-phila-show-to-appreciate-their-freedom/2012/08/29/fd92758a-f19f-11e1-b74c-84ed55e0300b_story.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/27/world/europe/russia-pussy-riot/

One thought on “Pussy Riot

  1. The majority of the population in Russia feels Putin is a dictator or self-appointed Tsar. They are totally discouraged to vote, they feel it is a waste of their time. I think what Putin doesn’t take into account is how much more attention he draws to these comments about him by putting these women in jail. The Russian people have lived under oppression since the beginning of time. Perhaps social media will help in some way. Westerns who visit Russia often say – its better now than what their parents had to endure, but still a long way to go.

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