Before I begin this rant, let me say that I’m aware of the level of outrage at the sentencing of “Pussy Riot” to two years in jail for performing their “punk prayer” at the altar of the Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. However, I have also become acutely aware in the past couple of days of the level of apologies and rationalisation of their actions that has taken place on the internet. Forget about the right-wing reactions – “Let Pussy Riot and all their supporters burn in hell” – there has also been a liberal guilt reaction: “Couldn’t they have performed it anywhere but a church!?” “Didn’t they know what they were bringing down on their heads!?”
Let’s examine this for a moment. They were three young women (and their various entourage) who entered a church with musical equipment. Not guns. Musical equipment. They proceeded to sing a song. Not gun down innocent children. SING A SONG. You know the kind of thing you might engage in yourself, after a few pints at the pub. I don’t know … maybe one of the Wolfe Tone’s finest, such as,
“May the Seagulls rise and pluck your eyes
And the water crush your shell
And the natural gas will burn your ass
And blow you all to hell”
That was in reference to English people in case you missed it and, yes, of course, we all know it’s satirical, blah, blah, blah. I know, I could have found much worse anti-English lyrics if I was bothered, but we all know they’re out there. Let’s face it, if three Irish women got up on an altar in a church in Ireland and sang, “Get Enda out!” we’d all probably have a good laugh about it. There might possibly be an arrest and a caution. Can you imagine if they got TWO YEARS in prison for it?
I have listened to Pussy Riot’s song. I don’t care for it. That matters not a jot. As Voltaire said, “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. In the West, we condemn and isolate Bashar al-Assad and North Korea, yet the man who handed down this two year sentence to the women shares the global stage with world leaders. And, have no doubt; it was Putin who handed down this sentence. That is not internet conspiracy theories. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny himself said: “They are in jail because it is Putin’s personal revenge. This verdict was written by Vladimir Putin.”
Freedom of Speech is paramount. Race, religion or creed comes after that. The Russian Orthodox Church is free to practice its beliefs just as much as these women are.
End. Of. Story.
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