At the end of 2011 I was reading an article about Pussy Riot a protest group in Russia oppossing Vladimir Putinwho had done a nifty deal with the then President to swap offices for a team to get around the constitutional problems of term limitation, to most observers it was a job swap with the President becoming Prime Minister and vice versa for a term. To no-ones surprise the Prime Minister Putin announced his intention to run for the Presidency again.
Protest against Putin in Russia does exist, but it is effectively muffled, and up arose Pussy Riot, a slightly bizarre, but ultimately very effective, band of women flash mob.
The rise of Putin in Russia has seen the gradual repression of the freedom of speech, and more importantly the freedom to protest in Russia. Like so many former Soviet countries the lessons of democracy are not easy, and repression always seem easier than winning an argument. When taking a stand costs it normally means martyrs to the cause, in Russia this took the form of a Punk Band that ‘flash mobbed’ events and subsequently arrested these women, with children, face imprisonment for being ‘hooligans’.
What makes this story even more bizarre that after a flash mob in a Russian Orthodox Church Pussy Riot were caught and imprisoned, the Vselvod Chaplain received a personal revelation from no less than God saying that he does not approve of Pussy Riots and that their sins will be punished in this life and the next – and we think we have problems with the Church of England huffing and puffing over Equal Marriages!
Even though God is obviously mad at Pussy Riot the Russian people are not, over 25,000 people have signed a petition to release Pussy Riots, even former supporters of Putin who do not agree with the methods used are coming out in favour of release, if only because it is the right thing to do.
That is what we do in demecracy, we defend the rights of who we don’t agree with.
But the case of Pussy Riot – yes I am trying to see how many times I can use the name – is not the only case of human rights violations (they are being held indefinitely and Amnesty have labelled them ‘Prisioners of Conscience’) Gay and Lesbians are being targeted for repression under this regime with the Orthodox church giing a helping hand with the repression; it seems as if Russia has returned to its Imperialist past rather than its Communist past, both are wrong
Keep alive the protest to Free Pussy Riot and lets let them be forgotten, they have proved the truism that
it’s dangerous to be right when the Government is wrong