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August 13, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Pussy Riot

THE PERTINENT POINTS ON PUTIN’S PROBLEM

Three members from Russian Punk band Pussy Riot have been accused of premeditated hooliganism and religious hatred after an impromptu anti-Vladimir Putin performance in a Moscow Cathedral. Premeditated hooliganism is considered by Russian authorities to be far more serious than spontaneous hooliganism and the women face seven years in jail.

Lawyers representing offended churchgoers have accused Pussy Riot of being “dirty” feminists; people the Russian Orthodox Church are not too keen on. They dispute the claim that the “punk prayer” was a political stunt by saying it did not mention any politicians. Evidently they did not hear the band singing the lyrics, “Virgin Mary, drive Putin away.”

Funnily enough, the judge does not appear to be too concerned with justice, but defense lawyers have denounced the corruption of the court and predicted the return of Soviet era sham trials where the government made examples of citizens as a reminder of who held power. In fact, justice doesn’t seem to be much of a concern throughout Russia’s court system, where fewer than one per cent of cases that go to trial end with a not guilty verdict!

Pussy Riot are merely the figureheads of a larger crackdown against anti-Putin protestors. Discontent began brewing in 2011 when Putin was elected to his third term as

President. Massive protests across the country were organized by opponents who thought the electoral system was corrupt, and Putin’s third term in presidency as a step towards dictatorship.

Fellow prisoner of conscience Mikhail Khodorkovsky knows what it feels like to be picked on by Vlad. Once the richest man in Russia, he was arrested in 2003 on fraud charges when he began to pose a political threat. He has likened the Pussy Riot trial to the Spanish Inquisition and accused the court of trying to deliver the verdict during the Olympics to avoid publicity.

The Russian Orthodox Church is in bed with the ruling United Russia party, and tells its flock that it must vote for Putin. Band member Maria Alyokhina said in a written statement read before the court, “I’m Orthodox but hold different political views and my question is: how am I to be? I thought the church loved its children. It turns out the church only loves those children who believe in Putin.”

It is unclear yet whether the Virgin Mary will chase Putin away, but Pussy Riot have the next best thing: Madonna, who has called for them to be released alongside mounting pressure from fellow superstars, Sting, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand. Putin, in the middle of a topless horse riding photo-shoot for his 2013 calendar, has urged the court to be lenient. Thanks Vlad.

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