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Free the Pussy Riot Three

ChrisJBrady 15 Aug 12 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,999 15 Aug 12 - 01:55 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 12 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,999 15 Aug 12 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Mrr 15 Aug 12 - 05:35 PM
bobad 15 Aug 12 - 05:46 PM
gnu 15 Aug 12 - 08:29 PM
Little Hawk 15 Aug 12 - 09:05 PM
frogprince 15 Aug 12 - 09:13 PM
Joe Offer 15 Aug 12 - 09:55 PM
Beer 15 Aug 12 - 10:11 PM
Rob Naylor 15 Aug 12 - 10:14 PM
Beer 15 Aug 12 - 10:21 PM
Little Hawk 16 Aug 12 - 01:13 AM
Joe Offer 16 Aug 12 - 01:25 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Aug 12 - 01:56 AM
ChrisJBrady 16 Aug 12 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,999 16 Aug 12 - 11:16 AM
Little Hawk 16 Aug 12 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,999 16 Aug 12 - 11:42 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 12 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Dr Price, Cookie-less 16 Aug 12 - 11:48 AM
Mrrzy 17 Aug 12 - 01:18 AM
bobad 17 Aug 12 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,999 17 Aug 12 - 09:56 AM
Little Hawk 17 Aug 12 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,999 17 Aug 12 - 12:23 PM
Dave Hanson 17 Aug 12 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,999 17 Aug 12 - 10:15 PM
Dave Hanson 18 Aug 12 - 02:37 AM
Rob Naylor 18 Aug 12 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Stim 19 Aug 12 - 12:47 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Aug 12 - 01:51 AM
GUEST 19 Aug 12 - 03:35 AM
Amos 19 Aug 12 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Tony 19 Aug 12 - 10:13 AM
Bonzo3legs 19 Aug 12 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Tony 19 Aug 12 - 11:11 AM
CET 19 Aug 12 - 12:18 PM
Allan Conn 20 Aug 12 - 11:56 AM
oldhippie 20 Aug 12 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Aug 12 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,999 22 Aug 12 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Tony 22 Aug 12 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Tony 22 Aug 12 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Tony 22 Aug 12 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,CS 22 Aug 12 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,CS 22 Aug 12 - 05:13 PM
ChrisJBrady 24 Aug 12 - 07:06 AM
Bonzo3legs 26 Aug 12 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,999 26 Aug 12 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Tony 26 Aug 12 - 01:30 PM
Brian May 26 Aug 12 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,DDT 26 Aug 12 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Tony 26 Aug 12 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Stim 26 Aug 12 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Tony 26 Aug 12 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Stim 26 Aug 12 - 08:12 PM
gnu 26 Aug 12 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,Tony 26 Aug 12 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Stim 27 Aug 12 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Tony 27 Aug 12 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Stim 27 Aug 12 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Tony 27 Aug 12 - 05:07 PM
CET 27 Aug 12 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,Stim 27 Aug 12 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,Tony 27 Aug 12 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Stim 28 Aug 12 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,Tony 28 Aug 12 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,999 28 Aug 12 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Stim 29 Aug 12 - 12:37 AM
GUEST,Tony 29 Aug 12 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Tony 29 Aug 12 - 12:48 AM
GUEST,Stim 29 Aug 12 - 02:23 AM
GUEST,999 29 Aug 12 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Tony 29 Aug 12 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,999 29 Aug 12 - 01:53 PM
gnu 05 Sep 12 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,999 05 Sep 12 - 11:43 PM
theleveller 06 Sep 12 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Tony 06 Sep 12 - 08:03 AM
Spleen Cringe 06 Sep 12 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Tony 06 Sep 12 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Sep 12 - 11:23 AM
Spleen Cringe 06 Sep 12 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Sep 12 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Tony 06 Sep 12 - 02:51 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Sep 12 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,DDT 06 Sep 12 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Tony 06 Sep 12 - 10:24 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 Sep 12 - 03:12 AM
theleveller 07 Sep 12 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,CS 07 Sep 12 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,999 07 Sep 12 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,Tony 08 Sep 12 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,DDT 03 Feb 13 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,Tony 03 Feb 13 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,DDT 03 Feb 13 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Tony 03 Feb 13 - 12:01 PM
Megan L 03 Feb 13 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,DDT 03 Feb 13 - 12:57 PM
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Subject: Free the Pussy Three
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 01:42 PM

Please use Twitter and/or Facebook etc. to spread the appeal to release the Pussy Riot Three.

http://webmail.amnesty.org.uk/interface/external_view_email.php?J91452707407538061034746302315

Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot are facing years in jail after performing a protest gig in a church. The verdict in their trial is due this Friday 17 August, so we urgently need your help.

So what was their 'crime'?

The three young women were arrested in March for performing a song in Moscow's Christ the Saviour cathedral calling on the Virgin Mary to 'redeem us of [Russian President] Putin' and cut ties between Church and State. They have been in detention ever since, denied access to their families – including their young children.

The women's choice of venue and anarchist lyrics may not be to everyone's taste. But the Russian authorities' response is completely unjustified and intended to silence their criticism of the government. We're calling on officials in Moscow to release them immediately and drop all charges.

Thank you,
Champa Patel
Head of Casework and Activism


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 01:55 PM

CJB: Do you know if an on-line petition is available? I'd like to add my name to the petition but I have neither Facebook nor Twitter. Nor do I have a phone.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 02:18 PM

Free Pussy Riot petition here:


http://www.change.org/petitions/free-pussy-riot?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9452&alert_id=CyJeomrrYS_F


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 02:24 PM

Thanks, Richard. I signed.


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Subject: Pussyriot
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 05:35 PM

Why isnt' there already a thread about this musical group and their politics?


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Subject: RE: Pussyriot
From: bobad
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 05:46 PM

There is here

    Threads and thread titles merged. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: gnu
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 08:29 PM

May be jailed for music and videos? What a sick bunch a fucks! Protest in art form is illegal "somewhere"? Really????? In this world? TODAY???


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 09:05 PM

I presume those girls named the band "Pussy Riot" because...

1. They figured it was way cool to have a somewhat rude-sounding English language name for the group.

And..

2. They figured it would get them a lot of attention.

Well, they have more attention now than they could ever have dreamed of! ;-) In the West, this would be a very good career move for a musical group. In Russia or China...perhaps not.

Putin is way overreacting. He must feel a bit vulnerable to be acting that way. He'd have been better off to just ignore the incident or laugh it off.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: frogprince
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 09:13 PM

So, 999 and I have signed, however a futile gesture it might be. How about some of the rest of you. I've been trying to think of a new thread title that would serve this better.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 09:55 PM

I presume those girls named the band "Pussy Riot" because...

because they're a punk band.

Change the thread title? Aw, c'mon. Well....I merged it with the title of the other thread. Is that OK?

-Joe Offer, whose son wrote a minor punk hit titled "The Fuck of Love"-


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: Beer
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 10:11 PM

I think Joe if you drop the "Three" it may work.

I singed in with a false name and my work address and it was accepted.
Not disagreeing in what is taking pace, but i don't agree with what is being asked in singing in.
Paranoid i guess. the just let me out of the physic. hosp.
and this is true. Well not really but 11 years ago.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 10:14 PM

I'm in Russia at the moment so I think paranoid pragmatism wins out over signing for me.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Three
From: Beer
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 10:21 PM

Understood.
All the best to you Rob.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 01:13 AM

Yeah, Joe. European punk bands often pick somewhat rude names that sound cool (to them) because they're in English...and they hope it will get them a lot of attention. ;-)

I'm mentioning it mainly because it seems utterly incongruous to me to have a Russian girl band call themselves "Pussy Riot". It's downright ridiculous as far as I'm concerned...but you don't forget it once you've heard it...so it definitely works.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 01:25 AM

Hmmmm. My son's punk band, Out Hud, named an album after me - they called it Street Dad. The "hit" single on it was titled, Dad There's a Little Phrase Called Too Much Information.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 01:56 AM

It seems a very good band name to me, evocative of the Clash's first hit, and of the name of the support band on the Clash's tour on the back of that single. I don't see what the sniffiness here is about. More power to Pussy Riot.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 10:59 AM

The link is at:

http://tinyurl.com/pussyriot3


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 11:16 AM

"Protest in art form is illegal "somewhere"? Really????? In this world? TODAY???"

'China jails writer for 10 years on 'subversion' charge
Li Tie found guilty of 'subverting state power' after writing online essays that urged people to defend their rights, relative says

A Chinese court has sentenced a writer to 10 years in prison on subversion charges for writing essays that urged people to defend their rights, according to a relative of the man.

Li Tie was found guilty of the "subversion of state power" at a court in Wuhan, central China, on Tuesday, said the relative, who declined to be named for fear of retribution.

Li is the third person to be sentenced on such charges in the last month. The charge is more serious than the one of incitement, often used against critics of the ruling Communist Party.

The relative said Li told the court: 'I'm not guilty. When have I subverted state power?'

"The state has made this conclusion against him," the relative said. "You can't understand it. Under these circumstances, you're helpless. But this is our reality. He sat in front of the computer 'subverting state power'."

Rights activists say the harsh sentences are worrying signs that the government's crackdown on dissidents is intensifying, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Arab-inspired 'Jasmine Revolution' rallies. There is also a tricky leadership transition later in the year.

During the past decade, Li has written many online articles promoting democracy, constitutional government, and direct local elections, according to the Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

Chinese authorities indicted veteran dissident Zhu Yufu on subversion charges for writing a poem urging people to gather to defend their freedoms, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

"What the activists have in common is their long-term unwavered commitment to democracy," said Songlian Wang, research co-ordinator for the rights group.

"By doling harsh sentences against them, the Chinese government is sending a clear message in response to the Arab spring, it is drawing a red line – advocate democratisation and you'll be given a decade in prison."'


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 11:28 AM

Yes, China is a powerful example of this sort of thing, Bruce. What worries me is that it may happen here someday too. There has already been legislation passed in the USA (first by Bush and then considerably further by Obama) which gives the government the power and legal authority to arrest anyone they simply don't like for some reason...hold them indefinitely without trial...and even assassinate American citizens (and other nationals) if they want to.

Merely if they want to! Without the person having committed any crime. And Congress passed those laws.

All it will require is some kind of state of emergency to be declared and then the government to act on what they have already said they can do. Actually, they could do it right now, quietly, without even declaring any state of emergency.

It happens elsewhere. It can happen here too.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 11:42 AM

I hear ya, LH.

The faces of revolutionaries. Look like bad-asses to me.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 11:46 AM

I've signed. Today, Russia and China; tomorrow, Cameron's "free" British state?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Dr Price, Cookie-less
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 11:48 AM

Apologies - that was me...


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 01:18 AM

I'm SO glad I just missed the thread. I was really worried that y'all had managed to miss this one.


Did you hear NPRs audio montage of BBC people trying to say Pussy Riot with a straight face/voice?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: bobad
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 08:34 AM

Surprise, surprise:
Russian court finds Pussy Riot members guilty

Al Jazeera


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 09:56 AM

"It was not immediately clear how long the three women will stay in jail but prosecutors are pressing for a three-year jail sentence for the convicts."

The sentence will tell the tale. Putin has asked they be given a lenient sentence, but lenient in Russia could mean anything from 'counting trees in Siberia' to time served. Pussy Riot wasn't "fighting for democracy" so much as drawing attention to the seeming love affair between the Church and the State as embodied in Putin. Places like the US and Canada would likely go with time served, but the gals ain't in the US or Canada. Something that is encouraging is the fact we have heard about the trial. Wouldn't have happened two decades ago.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 11:39 AM

Yes, Russia is a bit freer now in terms of getting access to news about such events.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 12:23 PM

Just read that the gals were given a two-year sentence. I don't know if that means 1 1/2 years with time served or in addition to time served. Also, Garry Kasparov was arrested for protesting. (Major chess player in the USSR/Russia. Retired now I think.)

Does anyone know whether the right to appeal exists in Russia?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 02:38 PM

A clearly political verdict as expected, the judge just doing what he's told.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 10:15 PM

No offense in pointing out the typo, Dave, but it should read "the judge just doing what she's told." Unfortunately, it looks like you are right.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 02:37 AM

None taken 999, I must pay attention more.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:45 PM

Well I'm over here in Sakhalin (Russian Far East) at the moment, working. The trial and outcome have been debated in the news here, at least, and locals are not averse to giving an opinion (I've had all sorts, from condemnation of the sentences to "stupid girls, what did they expect?"). There was a robust debate yesterday among a group of mainly Russian acquaintances in Gagarin Park, including a local member of the FSB (successor of KGB!). That's a huge difference from when I was first in the Soviet Union back in 1984, where as independent travellers our hotel room was bugged, we were followed everywhere we went and kept away as much as possible from locals.

Not saying it's perfect here, by any means, and my daughter almost got beaten up by a member of OMON in St Petersburg a few months ago, just for *watching* a demo....but it's a lot freer here than it was, and a lot freer than many people think it is. I hear Putin being slagged off all the time by locals, with no apparent fear of being overheard, or carted off somewhere.

Now the bureaucracy....that's something else: Take the worst part of French government tape, ally it to British civil service inefficiency of execution and multiply it by a factor of 10, and your somewhere close.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 12:47 AM

Rob, thanks for your observations. You perspective gives some much needed insight in to what's going on there.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 01:51 AM

Hope that universal condemnation of this absurd error on the part of the Russian authorities

[to which I have just added my minute contribution by signing petition belatedly (have been taking a bit of a rest from the forum)]

will have some effect, and that the three young women will soon be back with their loved ones.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 03:35 AM

Well there's another venue WOOD PUSSY can strike from their world tour.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Amos
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 10:10 AM

When in doubt, PROTEST... with a chainsaw.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 10:13 AM

There's a YouTube video of the protest they were arrested for. The guards' handling of it seems pretty restrained to me, as compared with treatment of anti-war and WTO protesters in the US, or the threat to storm the Ecuadoran embassy to extradite Julian Assange.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 10:31 AM

Seems to me that they are very stupid girls, who were well aware of what they were doing and the the consequences. No sympathy from me.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 11:11 AM

There are two parts to this thing. There's the anti-Putin aspect (which I assume is legitimate but I can't find any information about it); and then there's the fact that the specific way in which the anti-Putin protest was done means that its primary effect is to polarize people, since some people see it as an unwarranted desecration of their holy place, while others see it as shoving it up the self-righteous aforementioned's collective arse.

Oh, and there's a third aspect, which is that they're a rock group, and they stand to get famous from this, and make a lot of money eventually.

But does anyone else benefit from polarizing people in this way? So that people on opposite sides of an issue can't even discuss the issue with each other but can only huddle together with people they agree with and chant "hooray for our side;" and exult either in indignant rage as directed by Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly or in condescending sarcasm as directed by Bill Maher and John Stewart.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: CET
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 12:18 PM

"May be jailed for music and videos? What a sick bunch a fucks! Protest in art form is illegal "somewhere"? Really????? In this world? TODAY???"

Well, not exactly. They gave the government a good excuse by committing a genuine offense, something they could expect to be charged for in any Western democracy. It wasn't just singing a protest song on a video. I don't have much sympathy for them being arrested.

HOWEVER, the hand of Putin's government in all of this is just too evident. Five months without bail! In a Russian prison! On top of that, a two year prison sentence. Even with two for one credit for pre-trial incarceration, they will be doing about 14 months. I have no idea if Russian law has any kind of early release provisions. That's obscene.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Allan Conn
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 11:56 AM

One can see that an impromptu performance like this in a major place of worship would have some consequence for the band members. I'm sure it would do here too. But the prison sentences, and the length of them, seem to be totally out of proportion. Still maybe some time in the future when Putin is celebrating his 40 years or so as President he'll have a concert to celebrate and this video will have a spot - just like the Sex Pistols track had at the Queen's Jubilee :-)


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: oldhippie
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 08:20 PM

Amos, I now know who to call next time I need a cross chainsawed. Free the Pussy Riot three !!!!


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 11:46 AM

English - Pravda Monday August 20, 2012

Rest of the Story (and questioning if the US Ambasador had properly briefed Obama - before letting him stick his Nike in his oral orafice) "Miserable Mewing of Pussy".... english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/20-08-2012/121929-pussy_riot-0/   

1. Noted for staging a porn orgy in the Biological Museum in Moscow in broad daylight. Naked, the members of the group began to copulate in front of astonished visitors. The "artists" did not stop their action in spite of the fact that there were small children watching them.

2. As part of another "performance," the members of the group spray-painted the graphic image of male genitals (read article about it) on one of the bascule bridges in St. Petersburg. The white-paint image, 65 by 27 meters in size, shocked a lot more people, including tourists.

3. Another act helped the would-be Pussy Riot choose the name and the concept for the music collective. At that time, with a small child among them, they decided to take a creative approach to the issue of shoplifting poultry from supermarkets. A female member of the group buried a frozen chicken in her crotch, and then left the store to the cheering of her comrades. The latter were holding posters with abusive words, smeared with human excrement. The action led to the appearance of the expression designating the uprising of female genitals........

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Do some of you go no furthur than the DailyMirror - how wretchedly small and sallow.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 12:21 PM

'Pravda, which means "Truth", was the official voice of the Communist Party and Izvestia, which means "News", was the Official voice of the Soviet Government.'

And as the old joke used to go, 'There is no Truth in the News and no News in the Truth.'


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 12:28 PM

Link to the Pravda article


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 01:14 PM

All in all, the Russian government's response seems pretty mild, even without the priors mentioned in the Pravda article. We have to consider what other governments would have done in response to a desecration of their country's holiest sites. What would have happened if a Saudi Arabian rock band, in a protest against the monarchy, had staged a similar event inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca? Or if an American rock band had done it on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange to protest against imperialism? Maybe a better example would be Wikileaks' more effective and courageous form of protest, staged on the internet, for which several members of Congress have called for Julian Assange's execution.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 04:58 PM

quote: And as the old joke used to go, 'There is no Truth in the News and no News in the Truth.'

That shows the superiority of our system, where most people believe the lies handed out by the supposedly independent news media and wouldn't even understand a joke like that.

After all the lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, obvious at the time to anyone who questioned authority and exposed afterward so thoroughly that even the dumbest sheep could understand, most Americans now think Iran's got them.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:10 PM

Tony, lay off the thing eh?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:13 PM

Sorry, my fault, misread a comment.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 24 Aug 12 - 07:06 AM

Please sign the latest petition:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/free_pussy_riot_free_russia_a/?bgLAibb&v=17300


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 11:34 AM

pussy riot are where they belong


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 12:27 PM

I signed, CJB.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 01:30 PM

Here's a link to their Chicken Snatch video.
There's some more traditional pornography that appears on the screen briefly, and then the page for their video loads, and the video starts automatically after a short delay but you have to scroll down a bit to see it.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Brian May
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 02:45 PM

Well . . . they were provocative in a paranoid society.
   
They got a reaction.
   
Big surprise

So where does the responsibility lie?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 03:49 PM

A bunch of Pete Seeger-worshipping folkies cheering on the Russian govt. Folk music is dead and high time too.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 03:49 PM

There's no need to assign blame. Everyone wins. The girls will serve 2 years in a penal colony and then go on world tours with Madonna and Paul McCartney and become millionaires. Plus it will be a triumph for freedom in a country where not long ago they wouldn't have gotten away with that, in a world where some countries would still kill them for it. At the same time, Russian society is protected against a flood of similar exhibitions, because if someone else tries the same thing they'll only get the two years and not the fame. The fame only goes to the creative artist, the person who first thought of something so outrageous that no one had ever done it before. The next person will have to think of something new, perhaps spitting in the faces of people wearing fur or leather shoes or coming out of restaurants where meat is served, as a protest against mistreatment of animals.

You might as well ask who bears the responsibility for the looting of our economy. Ronald Reagan, for starting the trend of deregulation? All the presidents since then, who continued it? Mitt Romney and his ilk, who took advantage of that freedom to make billions destroying what others had built? But they're all winners. As in the Russian case, the only loser is the common man or woman who's bewildered by it all and has to earn a living one dollar at a time in a world where honest work is regarded with contempt. They lose no matter what happens, so you certainly can't blame anyone for that.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 05:49 PM

Tony, though you obviously don't realize it, there has been a brutal and systematic crackdown on freedom of expression under Putin. Civil Society is Kremlin's Worst Nightmare This is what Pussy Riot was trying to draw attention to.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 07:53 PM

Stim: As I said in my second post, I assume there are legitimate issues to protest, but what I'm not getting is how desecrating a church draws attention to those issues. If anything, it contributes to the appearance of freedom that Kramer says is undeserved, by the relative leniency with which it was addressed. Where in the world can a woman put a chicken in her vagina at the supermarket and not be locked up in a nut house or prosecuted for shoplifting?

Assuming the picture that former US Assistant Secretary of State Kramer paints of Russia is accurate, there have been many other protesters (who may have marched with placards not smeared with feces), and, quoting him, they've been beaten by police and their homes raided. If true, that's something we should be hearing about and signing petitions in support of, and this rock band publicity stunt is an insult to them.

But really we shouldn't even have time for that. We should be too busy protesting our own government, that taxes the poor to give welfare to the obscenely rich, and sends its youth to kill and die in order to get control of Caspian Sea oil trade. If the Russians are protesting, they're one step ahead of us.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 08:12 PM

In other words, you are the one who decides what should be protested and how it should be protested? How Puntinesque.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: gnu
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 08:21 PM

Aside.... gee, this discussion has just become very "interesting". Excellent and educational points. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 08:39 PM

Stim: I have an opinion on the subject, as do you and everyone else here. But, unlike Putin, none of us have control over what other people do.

My opinion is certainly articulated more clearly than yours. Is that why you call it Putinesque? Do you really feel that personal insult is a better way to debate an issue? Why not think about the things I wrote, and tell me where you find fault with them?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 01:06 PM

Tony, Tony, Tony!!! You are not expressing your opinion so much as proscribing how others should express their dissent, and what issues they should be concerned about. This is what Putin is doing.

As for my opinions, I haven't really expressed any. The link above is to a political commentary that presents a lot factual evidence that supports the idea that there is a systematic crackdown on freedom of expression in Russia right now.

If you'd like to know my opinions , here are a few:

Powerful Religious Institutions are as much a threat to individual liberty as Powerful Political Instutions.

If you stand up and cry out when powerful institutions threaten individual liberties, you are doing a great service to humankind.

If you don't, you aren't.

And finally, for those that don't get it, it not the silly dance or the other stuff that is being punished, its the political statement.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 03:35 PM

quote... for those that don't get it, it's not the silly dance or the other stuff that is being punished, it's the political statement.

That's the premise on which this thread was started. It's unlikely that anyone could have failed to get it.

But no one has given any evidence for that premise; it's just accepted a priori by most of the people who've posted here. My posts have pointed out reasons for thinking that it may not be true, and you haven't addressed any of those reasons or even shown that you've read and understood them.

The other two opinions you gave are ones that I agree with, but no one has given any evidence that they apply to this case. Can you give any? So far you've only cited a general condemnation of the state of freedom in Russia, written by a former US official and a Carnegie employee, and it didn't even mention the case being discussed here.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 04:24 PM

Well, actually, I heard Pyotr Verzilov, who is Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's husband, talk about this on NPR, a few days before the verdict was handed down. I even tried to find the interview, for you, but there is a lot of stuff on this, even on NPR.

Those who are a position to know about these things tend to agree with him, though I know you don't.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 05:07 PM

So your argument is that some smart people say it's true? But you can't even tell me which smart people, or what they said? Was it Madonna?

As far as the defendant's husband's opinion that you heard on NPR, have you considered the possibility that he might be prejudiced about the case?

Well, you've made it clear that you're not going to read what I wrote and contribute anything beyond "aw, c'mon, the cool kids all think this way." So why not just ignore me and go on your merry way? I'm not going to send KGB agents after you, however much you think your argument gains by implying I could.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: CET
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 06:49 PM

This thread has been of great spiritual value to me. I resolve to live a good life from now on because if I don't I am afraid that I will have to spend eternity trying to have a rational conversation with Gest Stim.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 07:18 PM

I see that I've really annoyed two people here. That's a good day.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 09:28 PM

Stim: I'm not annoyed. I'm just trying to get you to work harder.

I'm glad you're willing to talk to someone you disagree with. That's rare today in the US, which is a bad omen for democracy.

If you come up with some good reasons for what you believe, I may learn something. I've just been saying what seems likely based on the evidence I've found so far.

And I think you're sincere in your belief that the girls were striking a blow for justice and freedom and were persecuted because of that. Some Mudcatters would support anyone who deserates a church, even if it was only to sell Amway.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 03:05 AM

People have been trying to get me to work harder for years, Tony, but I still only do what I want, when I want. Thanks for trying, though.

I was going to go down to the Russian Embassy to protest myself, because I'd read that there would be rallies at Russian Embassies all over the world in the hour before the verdict was handed down. Not here, though. It would have been at 6am, and, apparently, the people that do the protesting here do not get up early.

I did not have one of those bright colored balaclavas, and I found out later that they are actually made by cutting up stretch pants. I think that they are the best part of the protest, and I particularly like the way that they look on statues.

Pyotr Verzilov said that it was very difficult for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to be away from their child, and that she believed before they did their "performance" that they would be arrested and sentenced to prison. I think that speaks to intent.

I have sympathy for them for another reason, and that is that in the dim past, I too was in an anarchist rock band that was arrested for protesting an abuse of power. Granted, we did not desecrate a religious shrine (we sang sacrilegious and offensive songs, though), but there were police, and an actual trial, where we were defended by a famous civil rights attorney.

I use "we" advisedly. I was running late the day of our "protest" and by the time I got there, the band had already been arrested. I was allowed to sit at the defendent's table in court, though, and I got to make victory signs when the charges were dismissed.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:32 AM

So what were your bandmates arrested for? I mean, if they weren't trespassing and desecrating a shrine? Just for protesting? And foul language? Where's the equivalence to the PR stunt? Were those girls given a two-year sentence for protesting in a public place and breaking no laws except use of foul language?

The part about the girl expecting to be arrested tells us nothing new. It's obvious that the series of events they staged were intended to push the tolerance of the government until they were arrested. To me, that suggests that it's pretty hard to get arrested for protesting. They should come here. You can be arrested just for being on the sidewalk near a WTO meeting.

The question of why she was willing to make that sacrifice is unanswered. It could be that she thought her event would save Russia, but it could also be that she saw the financial advantage.

Based on what I saw in the video and what I know about the etiquette of Orthodox churches and what I've heard about Russian religious fervor these days, I'm guessing that if they had done the same thing, said all the same things, sang a parody of the liturgy substituting "shit" for "holy," called the patriarch a "bitch," etc, but with the one difference that they hadn't said "Drive Putin away," then they would have gotten a longer sentence. I think that if they had said they were just doing it as a prank or to promote themselves commercially it would have been more outrageous than it was when presented as a political protest. I think the political protest angle must have justified it to some degree.

By contrast, if someone went into the visitors' gallery of the US Senate and threw feces down on the Senators, I don't think his prison term would be any be shorter if he said "Down with Obama" while doing it. The protest angle doesn't justify anything to us, because we have such a perfect government and complete freedom.

And what makes this PR event a protest anyway? The event itself only tells us that the girls were foul-mouthed hooligans. It doesn't tell us any more about Putin than that they want him to go away. At least 45% of any country feel that way about their leader. They didn't say why they want him to go away, nor associate the event with any other protest, and the event only involved 6 people, not a newsworthy event except for the trespassing and desecration.

The only thing it accomplished was to make an international reputation for the rock band, and to polarize Russian society around questions of religion and politics; in other words to make it more like the US, where people are so polarized that they're more likely to shoot each other than talk. That's nice for the folks in control. They can pursue their consolidation of power agenda of wealth concentration and imperialist war because the people are too busy fighting each other to notice what the government is doing. It's the modern, democratic version of "divide and conquer." And these girls have helped that along, whether knowingly or not.

I, too, have a personal bias here. I've taken part in a lot of anti-war protests, but of a more traditional form, with thousands of people picketing and listening to speeches, and permits and staying inside the yellow tape and holding the placards up on paper tubes so the police wouldn't feel threatened by us carrying wooden sticks. I marched to the Pentagon with 20,000 people and not a single network or major newspaper covering it or reporting later that it had occurred (this was before YouTube and all that, when that was the only way the general public could have found out about it). And I hate to see real, meaningful protests getting so much less attention than these self-promoting and divisive stunts.

That's not to say that I want them to be punished for it, any more than I want Glenn Beck and Bill Maher punished for similarly cashing in on a system that glorifies the opportunist and social divider. If it were up to me, I would maybe ban those girls from church and from the supermarket unless they apologize and promise not to do it again. The best response is to ignore them. But governments take a different view, particularly when you show by a series of events that you're going to be more and more offensive until they do something about it. The Russian government's response was relatively moderate, and the international reaction to it is inappropriate.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 06:23 PM

I said all I had to say when I signed the petition on Pussy Riot's behalf.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 12:37 AM

I think the charges against our band were for trespassing, disturbing the peace, creating a public nuisance, unlawful assembly and conspiracy to riot. They threw the book at us (since the band was actually named in the citations, and I was a member of the band, they threw the book at me, too)

You are obviously still angry that your march was overlook by the media. Marches are just PR stunts, nothing more. And, as with all publicity stunts, They are useless if the media isn't present. You should have been angry at the organizers--all it takes is a few phone calls to get camera crews to come out . Trust me, I even know who to call.

I


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 12:46 AM

Stim: The march was organized by a coalition of very experienced groups, including media specialists. All the networks were invited. They didn't want to cover it.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 12:48 AM

quote: I said all I had to say when I signed the petition on Pussy Riot's behalf.

999, you're too modest. You've aleady said more than that, and I'll bet you still have a lot more to say.

You told us about Li Tie, which sounds like a genuine case of political suppression, not just someone shoplifting a chicken in her vagina.

And you mentioned chess player Garry Kasparov; but not Bobby Fischer, whom Iceland saved from extradition to the US (much like what Ecuador is trying to do now for Julian Assange), where he faced 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and $4 million in penalties, all for playing a chess match in Yugoslavia.

And you said "the US and Canada would likely go with time served," presumably in equivalent circumstances. But what is equivalent? For one thing, we really don't have that kind of religious community to offend in that way. Maybe if someone took control of a broadcast of the 700 Club and aired a parody of Pat Robertson, with a smiling preacher named Bitch Robertson who answers people's phone calls with a string of obscenities. But you'd never get past their security. It's hard to think of a parallel event in the US. It would have to involve something that we hold sacred, i.e. money, so there'll always be lots of security guards to prevent it. Maybe the Bobby Fischer case is the best example.

And there'd have to be some priors, like the chicken snatch, and copulating in front of the biology museum. What was political about that biology gig, anyway? Were they saying that this is real biology, and those non-mating stuffed animals inside are just what the government wants us to think biology is? And what about the chicken snatch – was she sticking it to the man by sticking the chicken in and walking out of the store? And the shit-smeared placards in the supermarket – was that a political statement? You might run into a problem there with your equivalent scenario. I hate to think of what would happen to someone who brought excrement into a supermarket in the US. They'd probably end up in Guantanamo.

I'm sure you have information about all this. Don't hoard your knowledge. Be open and democratic with it.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 02:23 AM

I am curious now, Tony, so I am going to have to ask you for the details on your march. Date, time, the name of, etc. I will then make an effort to determine if what you say is actually true.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 04:50 AM

"and I'll bet you still have a lot more to say."

No, not really. I mentioned Kasparov and not Fischer because an article I read concerning protest over the arrest of the three gals mentioned that Kasparov had been arrested while protesting on behalf of Pussy Riot. As for Fischer, I think he was one of the great chess players of all time; however, Yugoslavia and the UN declaration in the early 1990s kinda threw the US into a situation when Fischer and Spassky ignored the admonition and played there. Fischer was a bad boy. (I found his political views abhorrent, but that's another set of issues.)

The politicization of sport seemed to start with the Black Power salutes from the winner's podium in the 1968 Olympics, thus showing that what we hold sacred is determined for us by other people, especially people working at the behest of the state.

The US-led boycott of the 1980 Olympics to protest, ironically as it has turned out, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan--was a further continuance of the pissing match between the USSR and the USA. IMO, it was not philosophy or the "we're more righteous than you because we are democratic and free" stuff from Washington that ended the Soviet Union. The USSR simply got out-spent by their world rivals. So I do fail to see the cogency of Fischer to the Pussy Riot gals unless you mean that both Fischer and they paid for questioning the authority, both written and unwritten, of the state, whether that state be the USA or Russia.

I think the method of protest that Pussy Riot used was certainly unwise and ill-considered. That aside, their actions have certainly drawn world attention to Russia and some human rights issues that need attention. The protest will not in and of itself cause change in Russia, but word got out and the world knows. And it's quite peculiar, really, because while the gals and the chess master have gone against the state with protest over the five month detention without trial, the USA has signed away their citizens' rights to habeas corpus--but then that isn't spoken of in polite company.

So, as I said, everything I had to say got said when I signed the petition. The rest is merely commentary.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 10:56 AM

999: It turns out we agree on most things. I don't like Fischer's views either, but his case shows how harshly governments in general deal with dissent, and I think it says something about how a case like Pussy Riot would be handled in the US or Canada, if we could ever have an equivalent case.

The main problem with that is that people here just won't protest, though we have as much reason to as the Russians. And I believe it's because we're so polarized on less critical issues that we've really stopped functioning as a democracy. We vote for whichever imperialist plutocrat says he agrees with us about gay marriage and abortion.

Good point about the Olympics boycott over the invasion of Afghanistan by its next-door neighbor. The Russians didn't boycott the games when the US went halfway around the world to invade. But I guess we're almost partners this time.

The only thing I disagree with is that "the protest will not in and of itself cause change in Russia." As I've said before, I think the way they did it changes things greatly and irrevocably for the worse.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 01:53 PM

Tony, you might well be right about that. Recall that the June Fourth Incident (Tiananmen Square) was heroic but futile. And that itself is 23 years in the past now and China ain't changed. (The June Fourth Incident as it is called by the PRC: now, isn't that a nice clean name?)

You and I are very much in tune with this. I felt much the same way when some folks asked me to go perform in Chicago in 1968. I said basically, "Nice, but what for? Can't ya get your head split open here in New York? At least that'll save the cost of going to The Windy City."

I don't think protest is dead, but I do think older people who learned to keep their cool back in the day are fearful of reprisals and much less inclined to get out there. Younger people have to get educated, pissed off and motivated. Then maybe.

Later, Tony.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: gnu
Date: 05 Sep 12 - 05:03 PM

I just watched a You Tube (BBC?) news report about the Pussies... masturbating with a dead, plucked chicken is protest?

Seems just unsanitary to me. Well, insane, really.

I also saw a snippet of the video in the church. WTF? I get the idea that the whole story eludes me.

Protest is good. Fucking yerself with a slimey dead chicken for shock video and desecrating a church... not so much.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Sep 12 - 11:43 PM

"Protest is good. Fucking yerself with a slimey dead chicken for shock video and desecrating a church... not so much."

I agree also with you, Gnu, in that the type of protest--that is, the manifestation it took--was not really the way to go. HOWever, as I look back to the time protest in my life was dangerous, I realize that cultures have to protest as they think effective. Please let me explain.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: theleveller
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 03:37 AM

"Protest is good. Fucking yerself with a slimey dead chicken for shock video and desecrating a church... not so much."

Well, I suppose it takes all sorts. Perhaps this would be more acceptable:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=280470438724731&set=a.124695450968898.19183.124563204315456&type=1&theater


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 08:03 AM

quote: ...cultures have to protest as they think effective.

Effectiveness is the issue here. Their stunts are not effective at promoting or even calling attention to a political view.

No one can even figure out what view is expressed by the chicken snatch. Watching that video suggests that there is an extreme tolerance of protest in Russia, that as long as you say you're protesting you can get away with anything.

And the Christ the Savior burlesque show just tells us that six women, out of a nation of 140 million, have some sort of complaint against the church. Their complaint appears to be that the church doesn't allow women to sing the liturgy while dancing Rockette style and substituting the word "shit" for the word "holy."

The only thing they're effective at is getting international publicity for a new and otherwise unknown rock band. And, very unfortunately for all of us, polarizing the public to opposite extremes, which weakens the democratic process and strengthens government power.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 09:14 AM

Pussy Riot are only a rock band in the sense that Crass were a rock band, where the music is primarily a medium for the message. To suggest that this is a publicity stunt created to launch a career is way off the mark - any cursory examination of the band members' history shows that the political activism and art-stunts predate the formation of the band (in fact it could be argued that the band itself only exists as a political platform).

And anarchists have always polarised debate. It's not their job to seek the middle ground or the lower common denominator or any kind of stitched together consensus - we have liberals for that! Suggesting that protest should not stretch the boundaries of percieved good taste or go beyond the limit of what is permitted by the state, strikes me as an internalisation of the logic of state power and control and a form of self-censhorship. That sits very uneasily with notions of artistic freedom.

There's some suspect logic at work here, too. Six women were responsible for the church protest, but it doesn't automatically follow that every single other Russian supports the Orthodox Church's relationship with Putin's regime.

I remember a Polish anarchist saying many years ago, after the end of the Stalinist regime: "the transition from communism to catholicism will be easy for the Polish people - they won't even need to get up off their knees."

That quote can be extrapolated to many situations.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 10:29 AM

Good points, SC. And thank you for reading what I wrote and showing that you'd done so and thought about it.

I didn't mean to say that anarchists haven't polarized debate before. In fact the term "anarchist" to me suggests someone who blows up buildings, which is very polarizing. I didn't even think of them as anarchists. Perhaps they are. I assumed they would call themselves liberals. But whatever label you put on the person who causes it, my point is that polarization doesn't help anything except consolidation of government power. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

And I'm sure there must be millions of other people who agree with them about the church, but unfortunately what they did in the cathedral doesn't suggest that to someone who sees the video, and it doesn't do credit to the views of most such people. If they had done their "shit" liturgy for a large crowd standing outside the cathedral it would have had a very different effect. And if they had performed in a way that wasn't intended to offend the faithful they might have increased opposition to the Putin/church relationship instead of strengthening support for it.

You said the actions weren't intended as publicity stunts to launch a career. That may be; I don't see how anyone can say for sure. But do you think it won't have that effect? With that name, and with all the publicity and the link with Madonna, and with them looking like martyrs to the anti-church crowd? The intent may not be with the individual, who takes advantage of opportunity, moving in the direction that the system pushes. The intent may be with the system that rewards the divisive attention-getter and ignores anyone who advocates unity and understanding.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 11:23 AM

so ok, the Russian have now had 20 years of 'liberty'
to catch up with the late 60's early 70's
Western European extreme performance art 'happenings'
that involved plentiful gratuitous nudity and bodily fluids & waste..

Shame the internet wasn't around back then when us impressionable
repressed provincial British teenagers
were desperate for any glimpse
of sexy female German art student minge..

Just a few miserly black & white photos late night on BBC2
and that's all we had to keep us envying the progressive raunchy European arty farties from afar....

Shame we all have to grow up;
I'm middle aged now and just think they're a bunch of immature pretentious self-indulgent unhygienic pillocks...


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 11:31 AM

Interesting points, Tony.

I don't know for sure that they are anarchists - I assume they are from their methodology and some of their statements... at the very least, some of what they've said and written demonstrates a keen countercultural/opposition intelligence (which some might argue is at odds with the punk/situationist shock tactics of their happenings).

Luckily most anarchists don't blow up buildings. The nihilist/terrorist strain of anarchism was mainly a 19th century phenomenon and even back then there were heated debates about both the ethics and effectiveness of such an approach. They are and were probably far more non-violent anarchists and anarchist pacifists than blowers up of buildings. Even most anarchists who aren't pacifists are opposed to that sort of thing (There was a wonderfully-titled pamphet issued in the 70s called 'You Can't Blow Up a Social Relationship'). There has been a fine tradition, however, of anarchist pranksters and I suspect Pussy Riot fit more neatly into this category.

I think polarising activity can lead to a consolidation of state power - especially where that will and tendency already exists on the part of that state (Putin's Russian being a case in point - Guardian journalist Luke Harding's Mafia State makes very intersting reading on this subject). I think the problem for me is that if we draw a line in the sand, where do we draw it? Or - one person's perfectly valid and mainstream protest is another person's polarising and therefore problematic stepping beyond the pail. It's obviously far easier for there to be a consensus of condemnation where the act of protest is something like the chicken incident (it was a pretty obscure and odd way of making a perfectly valid point) - but there again dadaists and pranksters rarely conform to expected norms! Or to put it another way, if signing petitions and writing to your MP isn't enough, what are the rules about what you do next? I imagine that unless one is profiting from the current regime, Putin's Russia can be a pretty desperate place to live: and desperate situations lead to desperate responses. One problem is, of course, that people in oppositon can sometimes naievely underestimate how far the state will go to maintain the status quo - but unless these boundaries are tested, suggesting that the state will clamp down invites accusations of paranoia.

As far as the career-launching thing goes, I'd say that being taken out of circulation as a gigging musician for two years is a pretty rubbish career move, especially in an era where the media and the music industry suffers from collective attention deficit disorder. But then, I don't regard PR as gigging musicians but political activists who use music as a medium. It's not like they were doing all the usual things musicians do to get a foothold on the industry treadmill. I've no doubt that there are industry people who'd like to market them as a real band - if they can make their rebellion safe and manageable and neatly packaged enough to sell it back to us as just another commodity. I hope this won't happen, but who knows?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 12:20 PM

pssssttt... btw, anyone know a link to leaked out-takes from the photo sessions
for "The Slits" "Cut" LP cover...???

errmm.. just for ahem... cultural contextual reasons...


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 02:51 PM

quote: I think polarising activity can lead to a consolidation of state power...

What about the reverse? Can it lead to anything else? Anything we would want to see? Examples of when it has done that?

You said that's just how dadaists and pranksters are and we can't help it. But the issue isn't whether we should try to stop them. I certainly wouldn't. This thread is about supporting that divisiveness by signing a petition. My choice is not to support it, but instead to ignore it and look for something more positive to support.

You asked what can people do when they've tried normal methods but that doesn't work. Is your answer that they should contribute to the system that makes normal methods not work? That's all that polarizing and dividing the population accomplishes.

My answer is to try to avoid that pitfall, not to participate in things that divide us, and to try to see the other side's point of view and find some common ground on which we can all agree.

Of course, that involves concessions by both sides. And rational dialogue with people whom we disagree with. No one wants to do that. Everyone wants to huddle up with their allies and trash the other side, spewing venomous rage about them like Glenn Beck or ridiculing all that they hold sacred like Bill Maher.

So we keep debating the same issues over and over with no progress, and people who could care less about whether gays marry or whether women abort their own fetuses take advantage of that division to continue rigging the economy and waging wars to consolidate wealth and power.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 07:42 PM

Of course, that involves concessions by both sides. And rational dialogue with people whom we disagree with. No one wants to do that. Everyone wants to huddle up with their allies and trash the other side, spewing venomous rage about them

Which implies that both sides have an equally valid point and rational dialogue can be had... and meaningful outcomes can be achieved. But, but... where is the middle ground between the gay man who wants to get on with his life and those who would beat and imprison him for who he is? Where's the common ground between the perpetrator and victim of an honour killing? The torturer and the political prisoner? The victim of domestic violence and the man who beats her senseless?

Objectivity, in these and many other circumstances, is a myth.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 08:24 PM

>>>>>My answer is to try to avoid that pitfall, not to participate in things that divide us, and to try to see the other side's point of view and find some common ground on which we can all agree.

Of course, that involves concessions by both sides. And rational dialogue with people whom we disagree with. No one wants to do that.<<<<

Oh, I know!!! Let's all bake each other cookies!!!!


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 10:24 PM

SC, I suggested dialogue and compromise on issues that shape elections. I mentioned two such issues specifically, gay marriage and abortion. A large number of voters in the US decide which imperialist plutocrat to support on the basis of the candidate's alleged position for or against gay marriage and/or abortion.

I said nothing about seeking common ground with advocates of gay beating and imprisonment, honor killing, or wife beating. As far as I know, there are no candidates in the US who openly support any of those positions, and I'm surprised that you extended what I said to include them. Or, since you did include them, why you didn't also include abusing puppies and kittens.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Sep 12 - 03:12 AM

Misunderstood you. Thought you meant dialogue and compromise as a general principle.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: theleveller
Date: 07 Sep 12 - 09:01 AM

"In fact the term "anarchist" to me suggests someone who blows up buildings, which is very polarizing."

Those were just a tiny part of the anarchist movement over the years. For the full story may I suggest you read Peter Marshall's 'Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism'?

"normal methods"

Normal by whose definition?


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 07 Sep 12 - 09:40 AM

Blowing up things? Blimey someone's been reading "The Secret Agent"!

Mind you, I always get confused about women using sex and nudity for political ends. I know it's supposed to be 'subversive' somehow or maybe reclaiming female sexual autonomy, but to me at least shoving a chicken in your fanny seems not a lot more 'subversive' than Rihanna getting her tits and arse out in the Daily Mail, or indeed any other similar use of sex and nudity, IF used in order to to *gain publicity*

That said, I'd still rather see a woman shoving a chicken in her fanny for some political purpose that Rihanna posing in stilletoes and a thong as promotion for her pap in the smutty little DM.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Sep 12 - 08:45 PM

"Oh, I know!!! Let's all bake each other cookies!!!!"

Count me in. However, if I have to mail them it will inhibit my recipe, if ya know what I mean. The parcel will not have my return address on it.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 08 Sep 12 - 07:54 AM

quote: ...women using sex and nudity for political ends.

That surprised me at first, since the only nudity I saw was very un-sexy. But then I remembered the Biology Museum orgy. Has anyone found a video of that?

In news reports they're usually described as "feminist," but we haven't said much about their feminism. It's not like the feminism I'm used to; is that my age showing? Are feminists now rallying around the word "pussy"? There was a time when female persons of my generation told me it was demeaning to call them "girls," and that I should say "women" instead. And later they didn't like that so much and wanted me to say "ladies." Now they seem to prefer "girls." But "pussy"? I feel really old.

Maybe women would know more about this aspect. Have any women even joined the discussion? I don't think so, based on the list of names, but you never know.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 02:17 AM

One of the ladies is in the hospital now from overwork. She says she doesn't expect the state to show leniency. In praise of her, I will post this along with the wish that she regain her health. This is the state people like Tony, CET and bonzo3legs are supporting. If you watch the video that Tony was so kind to post, you see that they really did nothing except climb the altar steps in balaclavas before church security was all over them. Now what kind of church has its own police force? That's the very thing the ladies were protesting--that church and state are too cozy in Russia under Putin who uses it as a smokescreen to hide his actions. But then it's so un-American to protest the joining of church and state, isn't it, guys?

bonzo3legs called them stupid because they protested fully knowing what the consequences are. Care to explain that bonzo? Stupid to me is protesting NOT knowing what the consequences are. On second thought, don't bother yourself. I don't want to trudge through anymore of your nonsense.

Artistic expression and politics go together even when that art is anti-political. Actually even more so in the latter case because when your art is anti-political, the state starts watching everything you do and wants to shut you up. Control the art and the state controls the people. Hitler and the Nazis knew this. That's why they cleared out the "degenerate art" from their galleries and threw the biggest violators in the camps--guys like Max Ernst.

What art did Hitler approve? Neo-classicist art that was a rehash of ancient Roman and Greek art except he wanted it to express the Nazi ideal of order and cleanliness as well as the proper role of male and female. The Nazis had no political vision to speak of. They had an aesthetic vision. Everything was about taste. Whatever did not fit their view of what is aesthetic, they got rid of--things like the mad, the retarded, the handicapped, the Jews, the Gypsies, the Slavs, the Poles, jazz music, race-mixing, modern art, etc. Read Speer's memoirs sometime, they are quite eye-opening.

And America wasn't immune to it either. By the 30s, there were two main forms of art in America--regionalism and social realism. Grant Wood was the foremost regional artist. Diego Riviera was the foremost social realist. Most Americans disliked social realism because it showed them how well off they weren't. Regionalism expressed something like the Nazi ideal only it was agrarian and showed the men out in the fields working and the women in the kitchen cooking dinner.

Wood's pamphlet, Revolt Against the City, published in Iowa City in 1935 laid the Regionalist claim to define American art by stating that American artists should not be looking to Paris for their inspiration (Paris was considered the world's art center at that time) but to their own hometowns — to present the descriptions of its natural features and phenomena, its industry, its way of thinking both psychologically and philosophically. It is the interplay and competition between these elements, said Wood, that defines
American culture. Cities, he said, quoting Jefferson, are "ulcers on the body politic," by which he meant a geographical area and associated government, i.e. America and its traditional government as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, the American Republic.
Cities with their crime, disease, poverty, pollution, wage slavery, corrupt politics and vice erase American culture rather than enhance it. Wood felt cities had lost their allure and the people would be indemnified by a return to the soil, the farm and the small town.

But if Regionalism preached a return to traditional values of earning an honest living through old-fashioned hard work, Social Realists criticized it as unrealistic. Cities would not lose their allure but that the family farm would fall by the wayside. Regionalism,
they said, preached values no longer acceptable—the man out plowing the fields while the wife cooks dinner. With the onset of World War II, men were conscripted in such numbers that women were needed to fill jobs back home once the domain exclusively of men. And the field hands in the rural areas are predominantly black or Mexican—where
are they in Regionalist art? Regionalism could not maintain its hold on the American psyche. The Great Depression now long behind, the comfort that Regionalism offered in that time was now forgotten. The Social Realists were right. The fields began to empty of hands that streamed to the cities for factory jobs. This was due in large part to the plantation owners who bought the reapers and tractors and combines and the harvesters made in the cities and field hands watched their jobs go away. The mass exodus to the cities was all but assured. Regionalism simply had no place in the modern world. But neither did Social Realism triumph. It was too political for the public's tastes. When World War II began to heat up, portraying America's inequalities and inner city squalor was seen as unpatriotic and subversive and began to be censored and quite heavily.

So you see that the McCarthy era didn't come out of nowhere, it was already in the air. Social realism went underground in an unusual way--abstract expressionism. Max Ernst had fled to the US after he left the camps and was arrested once again by the Gestapo from whom he escaped. He joined up with other surrealists and dadaists as Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp in New York (dada was explicitly antiwar). They founded abstract expressionism and social realism retreated to this bastion. Now its message was hidden in the random shapes and colors on the canvas. When McCarthy went after the communists he targeted Hollywood (once again, we see artistic expression is what the despots and tyrants go after) and left abstract expressionism alone because as a typical anti-intellectual, he didn't understand it and so it was therefore harmless.

Jackson Pollack, who like Wood wanted to overthrow Paris as the artistic capital of the world, painted the way he did precisely because other forms of artistic expression were suppressed. He had actually learned under a regionalist master named Thomas Hart Benton but greatly admired the works of Ernst. The innovations of the abstract expressionists caught fire in Europe and overthrew Paris as the artistic capital of the world and brought that title to New York City--the home of abstract expressionism.

What the state wants to stamp out is the truth. What art seeks to express is also the truth and so they are at odds. The state's solution is to ban certain art and replace it with state-approved art (or publish its own newspaper and call it "TRUTH"). And you see this in the Muslim countries as well.

So when you speak in favor the Russian govt clamping down on artistic expression, you speak in favor of every dictatorship and autocracy that wants to suppress the truth. You speak in favor of the Bush administration's successful attempts to block images of flag-draped coffins arriving daily from Iraq from being shown on the nightly news.    You speak in favor of the Obama administration's suppression of the second round of torture photos taken by soldiers in American-operated prisons (said to be far, far worse than the first round but I guess we'll never know and I also guess that that satisfies you). You speak in favor of the tobacco giants successful push to make publishing the full list of the poisons they sell to Americans in the form of cigarettes a felony punishable by major prison time.

And I have to say this: I VERY STRONGLY believe you have sided with the Russian govt against the women in Pussy Riot precisely because they are women. I don't believe for a second you would criticize them if they were men.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 07:34 AM

DDT, your insightful and comprehensive essay has changed my thinking on this subject. I can see now that any society which keeps unarmed security guards in its national cathedral must be rotten to the core. The only way to respond to such a government is to undermine the moral basis of society and try to bring about collapse and chaos.

I'm embarassed that I didn't see the connection between Diego Rivera's painting and a woman going into a supermarket and putting a chicken in her vagina. His 1924 Woman Grinding Maize should have made that clear to me. Thank you for pointing it out.

When you say that I support Russian suppression of the arts and US imperialist wars and the torture and degradation of Iraqis by US soldiers, as well as Big Tobacco's inalienable right to poison us, you're only saying what's obvious to anyone who's read my posts. But, as with Spleen Cringe's comment above, you've left out my support for killing cute little puppies.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:14 AM

Retreating to the emotional appeal of "look what they do to poor, little animals" is an ad hominem attack. If we assume they actually do any of that stuff (when you NEVER used it as justification for the Russian govt's clampdown, you used "desecration of a church" which never happened), that's between them groups as PETA and, strangely, PETA has been supporting Pussy Riot if you care to google it by demanding that the ladies be served vegan diets (at least one of them is a vegan) and Alicia Silverstone has also expressed her support for them and she too is a vegan. Read her letter, it's online, she claims that they don't harm animals.

Pussy Riot was killing puppies the same way they were desecrating a church. They never actually said anything against the Christian religion in their protest. They criticized the church for not living up to its religious ideals and criticized the church-goers for accepting the situation. Someone earlier said they replaced the word "holy" with "shit". They did not. They used the phrase "holy shit" to describe the joining of church and state (the phrase they used literally translates as "shit of god" which is the equivalent of out holy shit expression and which I'm sure was eagerly used in an attempt to turn people against them).

As for the church security being unarmed, does it make a difference? Ask Woody Guthrie what it's like to protest conditions and being met by unarmed security. A church should not have its own police force. Once again, that goes against the very ideals the Church itself claims to uphold. Quite simply, they serve to intimidate church members into conformity and it works.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 12:01 PM

DDT, I looked up ad hominem and found that it means a personal attack on an opponent instead of arguing against what the opponent said. I shouldn't have used that type of argument against you, since you stuck very closely to my point about the various atrocities that I support and my prejudice against women. I apologize.

I couldn't follow what you said about "them groups as PETA" in re the killing of puppies. My own comment on that subject was intended as hyperbole. If puppies are in fact somehow involved in this story I'm not aware of it. And my hyperbolic puppicide slander was directed against myself rather than against whatever hominem or homines your "they" refers to.

Thank you for clarifying that replacing the word "holy" with the term "shit of god" in a mock liturgy in front of the altar doesn't constitute desecration of a chuch as I formerly thought.

I invite anyone else reading this thread to watch the video and pay close attention to the level of brutality exercised by the people you described as the church's own police force. And I invite anyone familiar with the church in Russia to comment on the use of that "police force" to "intimidate church members into conformity."


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: Megan L
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 12:19 PM

They should think themselves lucky if it had been scotland and they had tried that in Glasgow cathedral the only need for security would have been to protect them from wee Glasgow wifies like me who wid hiv skelped them aboot the lugs wie ma walkin stick.


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Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 12:57 PM

Thank you, Tony. I've proved my point.


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