Hypocritical Pussy Riot ‘support’ by establishment politicians


This music video is called Pussy Riot-Punk Prayer.

By Clara Weiss in Germany:

Why Western politicians support Pussy Riot

25 August 2012

The three singers of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot sentenced last Friday to two years in a penal colony on charges of “hooliganism due to religious hatred” have met with a groundswell of support from Western politicians and media.

The philosophy student Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (22), Greenpeace campaigner Mary Aljochina (24) and the programmer Jelena Samutsewich (30) plus other members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band, had sung a brief “punk prayer” criticizing President Vladimir Putin on February 21 in the Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow.

Their sentencing, months in custody and eventual draconian punishment are part of the Putin regime’s intensifying offensive against the country’s liberal opposition. The affair clearly reveals the authoritarian nature of the Russian state. The prosecution of the group is an attack on basic democratic rights, which must be rejected.

The support given to the three women by leading western imperialist politicians, however, serves a different purpose. Their statements of support are cynical to the core. There is every reason to believe that similar treatment would be meted out to artists who used comparable means to protest Western governments, none of which can speak as principled defenders of democratic rights. They are all quite prepared to ride roughshod over democratic principles when it serves their reactionary policy objectives.

French Minister of Culture Aurélie Filipetti expressed her concern about the state of Russian “artistic freedom”, which is “a feature of the strength of a democracy”. This is from the minister of a government planning to build ghettos for Roma—a measure hardly compatible with the “strength of a democracy.”

On August 17 the French police went so far as to break up a peaceful demonstration against the Pussy Riot judgment in Marseille because the protesters wore colourful masks resembling those worn by the punk band.

The police justified their action by citing the French anti-burqa law, a provision of which forbids not only the burqa, but the wearing of clothing that would mask the face so as to hide someone’s identity. The arrest of pro-Pussy Riot protesters has made clear, however, that this law is not only an attack on the democratic rights of people who want to wear a burqa. It is also a legal tool to crack down on demonstrators and limit political freedom.

The British Foreign Ministry also expressed its “deep concern” about the verdict against Pussy Riot. It forgot to mention that that the British state sent 1,300 people to jail for much lesser offences after the social unrest a year ago. The theft of a water bottle or a comment on an internet platform in support of the street protests was enough to land behind bars. The judgments were made in summary proceedings in violation of due process and were clearly politically motivated.

In Germany support for Pussy Riot from official circles has been especially pronounced. In early July, 120 members of the Bundestag authored a letter to the Russian ambassador in Berlin denouncing the trial. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has repeatedly criticized the trial and sentencing.

Even Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out against “the disproportionately severe sentence”, which “did not accord with the European values ​​of rule of law and democracy”. This comes from a head of government who has not the slightest respect for “the rule of law and democracy” when it comes to implementing austerity measures against the resistance of Greek and Spanish workers.

In reality, behind the campaign against the Putin regime in the name of democracy, Western leaders are expressing their discontent with Russia’s domestic and foreign policy and seeking to put pressure on the regime.

First, Western politicians and businesses want an opening of the Russian market for foreign investors and deeper attacks on the working class. …

Second, there is a growing divergence between the foreign policy interests of the West and the Putin regime. Moscow opposes Western intervention in Syria and Iran. Together with China, it has blocked two UN resolutions which sought to pave the way for military intervention by western powers in Syria. For decades the Kremlin has been closely associated with the Syrian regime, which, together with Iran, Washington now aims to overthrow.

In a SPIEGEL interview, Pussy Riot leader Nadezhda Tolokonnikova discusses her feminist punk group’s political aims, why she believes there are limits to Vladimir Putin’s power and how the “fight for our ideas and values will continue”: here.

Russian parliament expels Putin adversary: here.

11 thoughts on “Hypocritical Pussy Riot ‘support’ by establishment politicians

  1. Spot on. Putin has been taking Russia in the wrong direction ever since the war in Chechenya and he talked the West into thinking it was all part of the ‘War on Terror’. A lot world leaders gave him the benefit of the doubt then along with a decade of subsequent authoritarian policies. Except for the occasional blip such as the war with Georgia or the occasional murder of dissidents and journalists things just keep getting ignored and his policies just keep getting worse. Churchill had a word for this – Appeasement.

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    • Hi, the word “appeasement” would imply that Putin is the new Hitler. I would not go that far. Neither were the successive this week’s enemies of NATO in its so-called “humanitarian” wars, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia “new Hitlers”, as the war propaganda implied. Hitler was the worst criminal in history. He headed the second biggest imperial power in the world., trying hard (like Avis) to becoome first, with horrible violence.

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      • Hi there, yes you’re right of course. I just don’t like hypocrisy of the western powers who it seems are only now slowly coming to realise that Putin isn’t very big on democracy and human rights and only now because of the inconvenience he is causing them over Syria and that Pussy Riot have become a cause celebre outside of Russia. Many people have highlighted his policies for many years but the West has largely supported him or kept quiet on his policies as it suits other policy goals they have.

        Putin for his part has been consistent and not given anyone outside Russia any reason to believe he is something is he is not.

        What happened to Pussy Riot is a tragedy and if someone did a similar protest in Western states against the head of state it would be laughed out of town. Here in the U.K. you can’t watch television for very long at all before anyone from the Queen to the Prime Minister is either made fun of or criticised.

        Having said that I worry that since 9/11 so many so-called democratic countries have been curtailing freedoms in the name of security.

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        • About your point of curtailing freedoms, an example from the USA:

          “The Chief of Police Stepped On Me and Then He Charged Me With Rioting”: Activists Face Jail Time for Defending Homes

          Fifteen Occupy Homes Minnesota organizers face up to two years in jail for peacefully linking arms outside a house when the police came to enforce a foreclosure.

          August 21, 2012 |

          The police came at four in the morning with a battering ram to the Cruz home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And that was only one of the five eviction attempts required to finally claim the home for the banks.

          “After we had been peacefully occupying this house for over a month without any incidents, then they come in with a battering ram and blame us for disturbing the peace,” said Nick Espinosa, one of the organizers with Occupy Homes Minnesota, which has taken the lead in saving local families from being put out on the street.

          The battering ram was just adding insult to injury—the Cruz family was being evicted through no fault of their own, because PNC bank had made a mistake in processing their payments. The Occupy Homes crew moved into the house to try and defend it while the sheriff’s department came once and then twice to evict.

          “We had people who were locking down to concrete barrels and other devices to prevent them from evicting the house and we were mobilizing people to come and defend the house,” Espinosa said. Over the course of the five eviction attempts there were 26 arrests. The last time Espinosa was arrested along with 14 others and charged with rioting in the third degree, defined as “Violence or the threat of violence to people or property when more than three are gathered.”

          They face up to two years in prison. Espinosa noted, “There are 15 people now facing riot charges who were arrested doing nonviolent civil disobedience, basically sitting down and linking arms on the front steps of a house.”

          “The chief of police was there the night I was arrested. Four other officers stepped over us as we were sitting in front of the door,” he continued. “He stepped directly on top of us, on our shoulders and necks, to come into the house.” The previous day police had grabbed protesters by the neck to move them out of the way, and women activists complained of feeling sexually assaulted, having been groped by the police. “Somebody’s hand went up one of my friends’ shirts,” Espinosa said. One of the Cruzes’ neighbors was arrested while standing on the sidewalk outside her house holding up a sign in support of Occupy Homes.

          The battle to save the Cruz home is just one of many being fought by organizers around the country to stop the epidemic of foreclosures, many rooted in fraud or bank error – foreclosures that continue to shake the economy four years after the housing bubble burst. No high-level bankers, of course, have been charged with any crime for the systemic fraud and misconduct that led to the economy’s near collapse; but peaceful community activists standing up for their neighbors face serious jail time.

          “The city has the option to use their discretion about how they react to situations like this,” Espinosa said. “There are plenty of other crimes that they could be pursuing. They don’t have to come and respond to that issue of people being in this house, that’s technically trespassing.”

          Evicted by Bank Error

          “We had made the sheriffs very aware of the situation and said don’t get involved in this, just let it be, we’re working out a solution,” Espinosa explained.

          PNC Bank, the mortgage lender, failed to process an online payment made by the Cruz family—and then demanded two months’ worth to make up for it. The family couldn’t come up with the money, and the bank moved to foreclose.

          Continued at

          http://www.alternet.org/chief-police-stepped-me-and-then-he-charged-me-rioting-activists-face-jail-time-defending-homes?page=0%2C0

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  2. Pingback: Pussy Riot-supporting Russian cleric defrocked | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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