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June 11, 2013

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Forked Tongue

"I think Bronwyn's point is a valid one: that when people rely on the activist approach of civil disobedience they should be ready to make substantial sacrifices."

Is anyone disputing this? The appalling thing about this post is the condescending arrogance with which she seems to think she understands this better than those "apologetic little girls" who've put their asses on the line in a way few can imagine.

"Civil disobedience only works by bringing a ruling regime's moral authority into question."

Yeah, but once that's done I don't think the best response is "Oh. OK, well, they're in jail. Good, that's where they belong. Don't free them." How is that different from accepting the regime's moral authority?

Am

White liberals. What can you expect? The overwhelming majority have never been very good allies in the struggle against white supremacy, and with attitudes like those of the writer, they never will.

Acapulco Rodriguez

A law that criminalizes the disruption of a religious service or the desecration of a place of worship is not a "repressive law." There are such laws on the books in most countries, including the United States. Pussy Riot weren't prosecuted for merely protesting against Russia's repressive policies, they were prosecuted for doing so in the middle of a religious service. They would have been arrested in any city in the world. Should they have been? I don't know. One is against imprisoning non-violent offenders of any kind, and there is a valid argument to be made that imprisoning people for any reason is immoral and unethical. But men and women are unjustly sent to prison every day in this country and all over the world for a thousand different reasons. Why ought Pussy Riot go free while a woman in Manhattan goes to jail for prostitution, or possession of narcotics, or any number of other reasons? I agree, too, that part of the activist's lot is to suffer the penal consequences of their actions. Pussy Riot are NOT Jazz Hayden, who committed no crime at all. Pussy Riot, like it or not, committed a crime, and they live in a country where that crime carries a term of imprisonment. I ask of Pussy Riot's supporters: when was the last time you thought about Russia's penal system for even a minute? Bronwyn: well said.

Acapulco Rodriguez

It should also be said that Pussy Riot were not arrested for any law that relates specifically to women or gays. In fact, the most visible member of the group participated in public sex actions and wasn't arrested for that either. It seems to me that Pussy Riot's campaign was/is directed primarily toward the English-speaking world, and the event that got them arrested attracted attention from the English-speaking world, which forced the court's hand in such a way that NOT imprisoning them would have been a capitulation to the sort of people who get Free Pussy Riot tattoos. Also, please, let's not compare Pussy Riot to Mandela; it's a disservice to both.

Acapulco Rodriguez

Also, apologies for that "offenders" link. I didn't put it there. Some bullshit software installed itself on this computer and now it does that.

Acapulco Rodriguez

Bronwyn, I respectfully disagree with your addendum to the original post. It was Pussy Riot's arrest that attracted international attention in the first place, not the sentence, which I agree is outrageous by most standards but is actually less than some offenders get in New York for selling a single baggie of cocaine.

Second, the ACT-UP protest at St. Patrick's is categorically different from Pussy Riot's so-called "punk prayer." (BTW, there's nothing remotely "punk" about P.R. and the way they've conducted themselves, for better or worse.) The ACT-UP protests took place OUTSIDE the cathedral, on a public sidewalk; they did not walk up to the altar and deliver a blasphemous "prayer" before the congregation. There's a huge difference between a group of over a thousand people gathering to exercise their right to free speech, and four individuals entering a not-quite-public space and doing the same. The rules are different. And although no one went to prison in that case, over 100 people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and many of them had to complete community service, which means picking up garbage on the street.

Be punk! Don't backpedal.

Love,
AR

Acapulco Rodriguez

Also, in re. a morsel in SPB's histrionic first comment, I would add that in the U.S. religious organizations and clergymen are virtually tax-exempt and are therefore subsidized by all taxpayers, so the difference between "there" and "here" is a question of degree. (And what a disgraceful first post it was, by the way. There's nothing particularly "rational" about SPB's discourse; it comes from an emotional place, which is why s/he resorts to cheap insults.)

Paulie

Crap "band" that got way more attention than they deserve. Movement,shmoovement..

Funtcase

Poor rah, just give up, there is no point to this article. It's a load of daft old bollocks built to pad Bronnie's ego.

Paulie

"Pad Bronnie's ego...."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow......That was a good one...

-Bronwyn C.

Thanks, Acapulco. Point of fact: A number (30? 40?) of the ACT UP protesters at the "Stop the Church" demonstration DID enter St. Pat's, interrupted the mass, chanted, and lay down on the floor. One of them broke a communion wafer and threw it. These acts were, as you say, criminal, and those protesters were arrested and charged. Even the ones who eventually went to trial did not get jail sentences, though. Some ACT UP protesters disavowed the actions of the ones who entered the church, and there was a lot of media condemnation; it was extremely controversial. But in the end it was effective.

Zak G

If he didn't make the film we wouldn't know how their right to free speech is being violated. He portrays them as objectively as possible while still establishing an emotional connection. They are people behind the masks too who are frightened at the prospect of spending another two years in jail. You wouldn't compromise some form of apology at a hughly publized trail!? And I'm sure they knew they were going to offend people, but I doubt they thought their families were going to receive death threats over a sponteneous protest. I'd like to see you do one day in a Russian prison for your beliefs. You ignorant mysogonistic fuck.

SPB

"they were prosecuted for doing so in the middle of a religious service."

No that is a lie. You have lied. THERE WAS NO RELIGIOUS SERVICE HAPPENING. Look at the darn video.

The church basically functions as a museum most of the time.

You accuse me of 'histrionics' and yet you lie. I suspect like most of the people on the internet trolling Pussy Riot stories that you are connected to or in the employ of the Russian government/church.

Jabber the Gutt

UPDATE: Sorry, your article is still very poor. If your intent is unclear from your writing, then your skills as a journalist are limited at best. Attitude over clarity isn't an approach that's geared towards producing intelligent work.

As another commentator said, "arrogant, glib and self-involved" is the keynote here and having to shout out your "friends" who got in trouble for protesting is just embarrassing.

Just to reiterate: If an article requires an apologetic footnote explaining what it really meant, it was never a well-written article in the first place. Skill up or step off.

Rich

Pussy riot are about as punk as madona.They should of been shot for the bad performance in that church.Its all about selling records and it badly backfired for them.
Punk bands dont need rubbish like this coming on to the scene.Its an embarrassment.
Why are people jumping to put the Russian law down?Here in the UK we have a recent history of the government clamping down on alternative lifestyles such as the free festival scene that was brutally suppressed.Why is the uk defending this badly produced,talentless rot?
Unbelievable!

Scrubby

Whoa! Hip, mean, AND uninformed? Sounds like WFMU.

Rich

Thats 3 things that the punk movement isnt about.Punk has moved on since the pistols pulled stunts to sell records and they were good at it.Pussy riot fall short of pulling off the same thing.Lets face it,it was about selling records and then with the arrests it got publicity.So they added a bit of feminist,gay,antireligious boredom that went out with the beatles to be fair.
Punk is about well produced music now.Would you honestly say that pussy riot is well produced?I defy you to say that it is.
Punk has moved with the times and now its able to deliver its message with impact,not jumping about in a church.Its laughable really.
Lets face it.I can choose lots of to the point punk bands that will put their point across with crushing decent about bonafide ideals that really do affect everybody such as weather modification,warmongering,drugs and corruption.Not about crap like your feelings.Thats for pap bands like maddona and U2.
Im sure you will bleat about my comments and how misinformed I am.But Im a veteran of counter culture and we have more pressing matters to push across rather some old school dross such as feminism and religion.Get real,this isnt 1977,this is 2013 and our governments have got some unhappy surprises lined up for you all and we aren't getting anywhere analysing this unremarkable group.

Acapulco Rodriguez

SPB, you sound like a reasonable, balanced person who has his priorities in order.. Let me be clear: I've never been to Russia, I don't speak or read the Russian language, my family isn't Russian, and I couldn't care less if Putin's gov't is less than respectful of its people's right to free speech. I suspect the same is true of you, but it stokes your vanity to support a cause celebre like P.R. because your identity is all wrapped up in the armchair activism you practice over there on your poo-blog. All that being said, you are correct in that I am actually on Russia's payroll, because Putin realized years ago that he needs the support of U.S. freeform radio to maintain his government's hegemony.

Szandal Kordt

I viewed the video and I wonder of WFMU listeners and staff, is it not shitt? I do not think it is shitt because the meaning is balsphemous of the church and pope of the christian God (I am not a christian), but because the performance is simply shitt. The women of the band look so silly doing aerobic exercises and saying "the lord is shit" in their colourful outfits. Four men doing this performance would be laughed and pointed at because it is so ridiculous. THe guitarist is not even plug in to an amplifyer, how can they play the music like this? I do not wish Pussy Riot the band go to jail because of the outrage they cause, but because their music is shitt. Let us laugh at Pussy Riot together.

Diam's_fan

Rich said "Im a veteran of counter culture and we have more pressing matters to push across rather some old school dross such as feminism..."

Obviously a male veteran. And an obnoxious one at that. Do women in your "counter culture" have to be good at housework, then?

When Americans (usually men, but women too) say "The world has moved on from feminism..." they neglect to add that "the world" to them means "the American mainstream".

You understand this, right? In the world of "Not America" we don't have the same states, laws, history, government or political parties as you lot do. We don't have the same current issues, the same news media (well...), the same slang words, the same accent and/or language and (just to make it ever more confusing) we're often rather different from each other, too.

To me it seems that this article and some of the commentators are more into being part of a snide backlash against something than they are about actually giving a shit or knowing what they're talking about.

PS, "bleating" and/or "dismissing you as a mouthy idiot"... whatevs, blood. ^_^

Rich

I think szandal got it right.
Lets imagine going to a pussy riot gig?Lots of radical types debating cynically about how hard done by they are and the washing up hasn't been done.Then Pussy Riot take to the stage.They wear colourful socks over their heads and try to piece together a couple of songs.The sound is poor and the light show is a few candles on an imitation alter.A man stagedives and is told to stop it as only women are allowed to do that.The show is over and the audience are spellbound and leave with a feeling over historic importance and return home to talk about who should do the washing up and soya and lentils.
Not my idea of a good time Im afraid.
I would rather see a group like madball where there is 3 hours of full on hardcore madness.You leave the gig with ringing ears and feeling like you can change the world today with a full scale riot.
When are pussy riot doing a tour?

Doug Meet

dear comrade,

i've got friends who work at krispy kreme but that doesn't make me a baker.

Rich

Then you must be a right banker.

Concerned Citizen

Rich, Pussy Riot is not a band. Everybody knows that.

Rich

At last.Now we are getting to the point.We have established they arent a band.As activits they are fairly rubbish as well.So all they are,are a bunch of naive,misguided young women who pranced about in a church saying god is shit?Not exactly groundbreaking but stupid enough to get thrown in prison.Maybe if they had played some good music in that church,they would of been let off.
If they arent a band then they night as well give up now.Unbelievable!

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