Russian Female Punk Rockers Sentenced for Hooliganism

The three female members of the Russian punk rock group "Pussy Riot" were sentenced to two years in prison today following Judge Marina Syrova's 3 hour reading of the verdict, finding them guilty of "hooliganism." What is hooliganism? From the verdict: [More...]


An act of hooliganism can be understood as being driven by acts of hatred or degradation of any given social or national or religious group.

Therefore the charge of hooliganism can be sustained when a defendant has expressed open disrespect and defiance against the communally expected norms and the tastes of others.

What did they do?

The offence was performed by way of an action driven by the will of the culprits to show their disrespect of the others. It was identified that on Feb 21 2012, Tolokonnikova, Samutsevich and Alekhina unlawfully entered a sealed part of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral reserved for a religious ceremonies and hoist themselves in front of the altar which is reserved specifically for clergy members occupied the cathedral,and [started] reading prayers and other religious texts and inserted dancing and chanting which were insulting for religious believers.

As they danced they swung they hands and imitated punching unseen enemies...

(Air-punching is a crime in Russia?)

What did they do that was so terrible?

Violations of rules and policies of the cathedral was only one of the ways of expressing disrespect towards the society and religious hatred, towards a social group by the defendants.

The court find the actions by the defendants has indeed degraded and insulted an large part of citizens, in this case religious citizens and fueled hatred and hostility from them and was therefore in violation of the Russian constitution.

More Verdict: Feminism creates religious hatred

The court does find a religious hatred motive in the actions of the defendants by way of them being feminists who consider men and women to be equal.

Now gender equally is asserted, maintained by the Russian constitution where all people are proclaimed equal irrespective of their gender, race, nationality political affiliation and so on.

Any form of limiting rights of citizens based on their gender and so on are banned by the Russian constitution. Men and women have equal opportunities in Russia.

People who consider themselves feminists presently struggle for actual equality [for women]. These activities are not considered criminal in accordance with the Russian law.

At the same time, Orthodox Christianity, and Catholic Christianity and other denominations do not agree with feminism and their own values are not inline with feminists.

In a modern society relations between various nationalities and between religious denominations must be based on mutual respect and equality and idea that one political movement can be superior to another gives root to perspective hatred between various opinions.

What does Putin have to do with it? The lyrics to one of their songs, Put Putin Away, blasted the church's support of him.

Why prison? The judge said a prison sentence is necessary "to restore social justices."

Two the three women have children, and none had a prior record.

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    In 1983, we were on the Moscow subway (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:11:20 AM EST
    trying to jump off at each station and then get back on the train b/4 it moved.  Why?  Because the stations are each different and quite interesting in decor.  But we made the mistake of laughing when we got back on the train.  A very dour woman cautioned us and uttered the word "hooliganism."  We stopped ASAP.  

    I will add henceforth... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:14:16 AM EST
    add laughter to the list of things that brought down the wall...rock-n-roll, blue jeans, and laughter.

    Lots of work left to do dismantling the joyless humorless totalitarianism though, as we can see..


    Here's the video that got them the 3 years... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by redwolf on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:29:48 PM EST
    in jail:

    Originally they were only going to be given a fine but when p*ssy riot released this video it caused a lot of outrage with the average Russian. That's when the charges were increased.

    Watch the video and ask if it would acceptable to do something like this to at a mosque or synagog by people who hate those religions.

    Looks like punk rock... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:12:17 PM EST
    protest theater to me...beautiful sh*t.  I'd have no problem with it in an American mosque, church, synagogue, temple, or assembly of atheists.  I'd expect the protesters to get thrown outta the joint, and at most a minor trespassing charge.

    The "god hates f&gs" Phelps crew does far worse, and I respect their right to do it even if I despise their message.  

    If you're not getting offended on the regular, you don't live in a free society.  Getting offended is a good sign, if frail sensibilities
    can't handle it they deserve totalitarianism, and better pray they never end up with a minority view.


    Yes, I'm offended (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:50:14 PM EST
    by the jack-boots who want to shut down protesters.  But unfortunately, Russia is not now, and never has been , a "free society."   :-(

    Has there ever been a true... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:16:19 PM EST
    free and open society in the modern world?  Not that I'm aware of...and many societies are moving in the wrong direction.  One step forward, two steps back.

    Too true, kdog (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:53:33 PM EST
    But, unfortunately, Russia is much, much worse than we are.  And they're not the worst in the world, by far.  Sadly.    :-(

    Although, before the disintegration (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:09:08 PM EST
    of the U.S.S.R., religion was verboten.  Ironic.  

    Yes, if you will look at (none / 0) (#40)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:32:09 PM EST
    my comment #19 at 2:46:43 PM EDT, you will see that I addressed this.  It's Russia.  Whatever suits the purposes of those who are in charge is what will happen in Russia.

    Yes My comment reveals my (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:58:26 PM EST
    failure to read all the comments b/4 commenting!  

    Perfectly understandable, oculus (none / 0) (#43)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:33:02 PM EST
    Who has the time to read every single comment on every single thread, after all?     ;-)

    So, I am absolved? (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 01:23:14 AM EST
    Russia is a Mafiatocracy (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:42:41 PM EST
    Putin is just a gangster.

    And we are a smidgen "better."

    Progress is illusion.

    There's no question (5.00 / 6) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:44:29 PM EST
     the sentences are outrageous. But, after water-boarding one inmate 150+ times, killing countless hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and bestowing "kill American citizens on my command" authority upon our Leader, just for starters, I feel just a little bit dirty, if not hypocritical, pointing fingers in moral indignation.

    But, be that as it may, my brother and I, (my "bro" speaks Russian fluently) are getting together next week, and we're going to write Vladimir a letter (in Russian) appealing for their release. As native born Russians we hope to utilize our comradeship in furthering this effort. I've mentioned here before that my mother's entire family was killed by the Nazis in WW2, as were all her brothers who were soldiers in the Russian Army.

    Who knows? Maybe we can the touch the heart of the old KGB Chief. Oh, one other thing. We're going to relay the story of how my mother was briefly jailed during The War (she played the guitar and sang for the Russian Troops in return for food & protection.) It seems the war weary soldiers particularly enjoyed the bawdy versions of some Russian folk songs. But, my father, carrying his two baby boys in his arms, appealed to a certain Russian Colonel, and she was released post haste.

    Worth a try.

    The American version... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by mcl on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:34:06 PM EST
    ..of getting charged with "hooliganism" is "material support for terrorism" or being declared an enemy combatant.

    But lately President Obama has decided to go President Bush one better and strip out the annoying legal stuff and cut to the chase. Now America simply murders U.S. citizens without even accusing them of having committed a crime. So America remains in the vanguard of the judicial system worldwide. The Russians still putter around with vague charges like "hooliganism" whereas America now just murders its own citizens with drones whenever it feels like it.

    Democracy and the rule of law. I remember what that was like, once upon a time...

    There may be American equivalents, ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Gandydancer on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 05:26:33 PM EST
    ...but those aren't them.

    closing statements by Pussy Riot defendants (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:17:59 PM EST
    are here. Those are three extremely brave women.

    Translators' statements are also worth a read here.

    Oh my God (none / 0) (#47)
    by sj on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:54:23 PM EST
    I am overwhelmed.  Exceedingly brave women.

    What a bunch of ballsy broads! (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by NYShooter on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 02:39:50 AM EST
    I wonder how much it would take to bring them over here to show our wimps how its done. Can you imagine? Voter suppression?
    "I got your voter suppression.....Right Here!"

    This seems a bit extreme (1.33 / 3) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:56:26 AM EST
    for a punishment, but then again, we are looking at it through the lens of living in America.

    But, as for this:

    Two the three women have children, and none had a prior record.

    So what?  Yes, it's sad - for the children - that they will lose their mothers for a while.  But these women did this as a form of protest and they had to know what the potential consequences could be, right?

    so what? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:04:56 AM EST
    the court did consider the interests of the children, it's a permissible factor, as is their lack of prior record. It's that the sentence is contrary to the best interests of the children. (Regardless of what the women should have expected.)

    The women have been in jail since March. The children need their mother more than society needs the mothers in prison. The state should have put the interests of the children ahead of the amorphous mass of people deemed to be the  religious citizenry.


    The court considered the interests of the kids? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Mitch Guthman on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:06:35 PM EST
    Surely you jest.  I seriously doubt whether the court considered anything more than its marching orders from the Kremlin.   Putin evidently decided that this two year sentence was enough of a message to send to the political opposition (assuming that he actually lets these women survive their time in prison, which I'm sure he will make as miserable as possible in any event.  I'm actually surprised he was so lenient.

    but he will not do us the favor (none / 0) (#34)
    by LeaNder on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 05:25:02 PM EST
    he will in fact argue that he didn't demand such a harsh sentece, if he comments on the trial at all,that is.

    Yes (2.83 / 6) (#7)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:20:09 AM EST
    As I said - we are looking at this through the eyes of those living in America, where many people do not proscribe to a religious faith, and in fact, mock those who do, so it doesn't surprise me that some can't understand how these women's actions could be offensive.  Also, since we have a First Amendment here in the US, it's hard to grasp how this punishment fits the crime of expressing oneself (albeit while doing it while trespassing, it seems).

    I agree - children do need their mothers.  But doesn't part of that responsibility actually fall on the shoulders of their mothers? Hey - they should protest all they want. Go for it. Show the children that they need to stand up for what they believe in.  But don't they owe it to their children to teach them that along with the right to protest and to stand for their principles, there comes the responsibility of accepting the consequences of their actions?

    Or should we not care about the other side of that equation and instead act outraged when we find that actions have consequences?

    And as you said - the court DID consider the interests of the children.  You obviously don't agree.


    Yeah, all those civil disobedience folks .... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by magster on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:58:43 PM EST
    fighting for their rights in the south in the 60s had it coming when they were beaten, arrested and/or killed. Just like you said "we are looking at this through the eyes of those living in America" we could have looked at the civil rights struggle "through the eyes" who didn't live in the south back then.

    These ladies are political prisoners.


    Oh my god...all I can say is that I hope (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:00:45 PM EST
    you never find yourself needing a break, because the law-and-order, take-no-prisoners, Nurse Ratchet/Miss Hannigan rigid-to-the-point-of-unhealthy judgment karma you've accumulated will not be kind to you.

    I'd guess that no one here is applauding these women for mocking religion - nor do I imagine they mock fellow Americans who practice their religion - unless those Americans are working overtime to use the government to make the rest of us live according to the precepts they believe in.

    No one gets a break from you, do they?  I'd ask what in your past has made you so rigid, but I don't think I really want to know.


    Those hooligan mothers!! (none / 0) (#8)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:01:33 PM EST
    How dare they express their displeasure in a country that only pretends to be a democracy? They don't have a first amendment like America. Where did they ever get the idea they had the right to protest against the autoritarian regimes of Putin and the church? They should have thought this through logically beforehand, like good little peons. With behavior like that, they deserve to lose their children forever. Hooligans, I say!!

    Stop... (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:30:09 PM EST
    ...I am positive non of them imagined nearly 3 years in prison. Surely they knew there would be consequences, but really, you are going to defend three years for disrespecting anything, anywhere ?

    And it's not American eyes, many Russians with their Russian eyes are expressing the outrage, as is most of civilized society.

    My prediction, Putin comes in to save the day and does whatever Russians do to commute their sentences to time served.  I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't planned out so he can be the hero even to people who disagree with him.  Way to good of a international press op to pass up.


    I think there's a slightly greater than not (none / 0) (#17)
    by brodie on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:05:09 PM EST
    chance Putin will do just that, perhaps later in the year.

    If not, if he doesn't give signals that he's so inclined, it would seem the next step is for major western musical artists to keep raising the issue of the unjust verdict and lack of freedom in Russia and then talk about organizing a boycott against concert appearances in Putin's Russia.


    offensive (none / 0) (#33)
    by LeaNder on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 05:19:26 PM EST
    There are things promoted and supported by the Russian Orthodox Church that I consider much more offensive than anything these women did or ever could do. But strictly I am not even sure if the religious offense is only a smokescreen for their Putin critique. Besides, this case has all the ingredients of leading to a world wide puzzy riot till the three women are released.

    personally, I consider this much more offensive:

    With the end of the Soviet regime, Nilus and his writings have been rediscovered in Russia, Nilus is a virtual cult-figure in ecclesiastical and nationalist circles, and his grave has become a place of pilgrimage. His books-- especially those that contain The Protocols--are continually republished and can be found in Christian bookshops in even the most distant provinces. Congresses and lectures and the establishment of an annual Sergei Nilus Prize by the St. Petersburg organization Orthodox St. Petersburg ... testify to the high honour he is granted, as does his presence in the press and on the Internet.

    In this predominantly religious environment, the Protocols are read and understood--quite as Nilus intended--apocalyptically, as the unveiling of the hidden struggle, the hidden onslaught of anti-Christian forces.

    From Michael Hagemeister; The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Myth of a Jewish Conspiracy in Post-Soviet Russia, pdf file here.


    Oh, don't even get me started about Nilus (none / 0) (#36)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:27:47 PM EST
    and the "Protocols."  Disgusting.  There was a huge anti-Semitic feeling in Russia (just Google "Russian pogroms").  Unfortunately, Russia wasn't the only European country that was rife with anti-Semitism.  As we well know.

    Zorba (none / 0) (#50)
    by LeaNder on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 07:25:41 AM EST
    it wasn't my intention to categorically stigmatize the Russian people to distract from my country's much bigger guilt in this context, and that is what your response suggests to me.

    But Nilus, this is a very interesting story on its own, mainly because he is mainly shrouded in myth. I hope that Michael Hagemeister one of these days or years finishes his project of letting us see through the many myth hyped on the man among others by Umberto Eco. He is a careful and slow worker covering much ground.

    I haven't read Eco's latest go at the subject yet, although I can assure you, while the Protocols themselves were not printed anymore after a certain time by the Nazis--they may well have feared thinking people could discover that it mirrored their own mindset--one of it's sources a chapter from a German 19th adventure novel was: The Jewish Cementery in Prague. There are a multitude of different editions. The most vicious edition that I ever held in my hands contained extensive photos of the real Prague Jewish elementary. The photos served the task to make the novel chapter feel real, the photos were added after the chapters end.

    I am not sure what to think of this, but haven't read it yet. But then, I am highly hesitant about this approach too. And was very, very glad, admittedly, that Hagemeister agrees with me. Ben Itto seems to be feeding the myth instead of deconstructing it. But that would be a much longer story.


    the religious offense (none / 0) (#42)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:18:56 PM EST
    is a smokescreen--this prosecution would never have happened if they weren't part of the political opposition. Vladimir Putin is a KGB creep, and the Russian Orthodox Church leadership are happy to be his useful tools.

    our very own (none / 0) (#53)
    by CST on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:33:05 AM EST
    British loyalist!

    Suppose these young ladies were part of an (1.00 / 2) (#54)
    by lousy1 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:51:51 PM EST
    a splinter American dissent movement and had trespassed into the Martin Luther King memorial with white hoods.
    If they then sang about burning crosses - what would be the appropriate sentence?

    Would their children be a factor?

    Another ridiculous analogy from you (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:42:51 PM EST
    Now, see, I thought you had outdone yourself with your ridiculous analogy in the anti-gay baker thread. Turns out you've got all kinds of silly going on.

    It may be silly from (1.00 / 1) (#56)
    by lousy1 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:58:50 PM EST
    your perspective. It might seem appropriate from the perspective of a member of the Russian Orthodox church.

    However both raise free speech and trespassing issues.

    Hard to think out of the box?


    Well, let's see...how to extend your silly analogy (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 06:26:35 PM EST
    I guess if Martin Luther King Jr. had actually been the preeminent religious leader of the United States of America while he lived (except he wasn't, Billy Graham was), and had famously railed against Islam (except he didn't) and now, 45 years later, the largest Christian church in the United States publicly aligns itself with a former torturing, murdering director of the CIA, and supports that person's ascendance to the White House...

    You see, it just doesn't work. You can "think out of the box" all you like, but a certain semblance of sanity and a connection to reality is required to make analogies relevant. The very notion that you can come up with a comparable U.S. analogy to the Russian situation is preposterous. Just like every single comment you've ever written on this blog. Preposterous.

    Keep your day job.


    Actually the protest was primarily focused on (1.00 / 1) (#58)
    by lousy1 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 06:36:47 PM EST
    Putin and the (traditional) Russian oligarchy that supports him.

    The venue of the church was both an attack upon a prop of that power and simultaneously meant to shock and outrage.

    I am assuming that the actually target of the white power trespass would be the current administration and the MLK momument an analogous venue for the protest.

    I am trying to keep this simple for you. If you wasted less time on ad hominen attacks you might notice your concentration improving.


    Ad hominems? (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:55:37 PM EST
    Pot calling kettle black.

    You really do bore me.


    I suspect (1.00 / 1) (#60)
    by lousy1 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:09:14 PM EST
    that you can't respond to the questions poised because you are an energetic supporter of free speech when and only when you happen to agree with the opinions expressed. It's not that unusual. There are totalitarians of many stripes

    You were asked about a specific incident where you would find trespass included as an element of civil disobedience when the thrust of the speech is repugnant.

    Your first and each subsequent response contains an unwarranted personal contains no substantive response ( except one tangential attempt). They all contain personal attacks. If you can't respond like an adult why don't you try silence. It is less telling.


    for what it's worth (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by CST on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:23:15 PM EST
    the members of this site have routinely stated that while the Phelps "God Hates F@gs" protests at military funerals are an abomination, they support his freedom of speech to make such protests.

    That I think is a good enough analogy, and there is your answer.


    devilish dances... (none / 0) (#1)
    by DFLer on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:49:40 AM EST
    more from Billboard

    The three women stood in handcuffs in a glass cage in the courtroom for three hours as the judge read the verdict. They smiled sadly at the testimony of prosecution witnesses accusing them of sacrilege and "devilish dances" in church.

    The three women remained calm after the judge announced the sentence. Someone in the courtroom shouted "Shame!"


    Rallies supporting the women have been held far and wide with support coming from across the globe from organizations like Amnesty International to 121 members of the German Bundestag to such prominent musicians as Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna, Bjork, The Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock and many others.

    Hooligans.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:10:00 AM EST
    only hooligans here are Putin and Russian "justice".

    Two years...it's just insane, anyway you slice it.

    J...isn't P*ssy Riot gonna jam you up with the web filters?  

    Re: (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:06:22 PM EST
    In a modern society relations between various nationalities and between religious denominations must be based on mutual respect and equality and idea that one political movement can be superior to another gives root to perspective hatred between various opinions.

    I guess the arc of the moral universe doesn't bend toward justice in Russia...

    Specious argument (none / 0) (#14)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:45:42 PM EST
    Neither Islam nor Judaism is the dominant religion in Russia. They are very much int the minority. Neither Muslims nor Jews get any real power or respect in Russia. (see: Chechnya). The church is not only aligned with Putin's authoritarian regime, it publicly came out in support of his election.

    Try again.

    The Russian Orthodox Church (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:46:43 PM EST
    is most definitely aligned with Putin, sort of harking back to the days when it was aligned with the Czars.  The Russian Orthodox Church was persecuted and suffered mightily under Communism, it is true, and many priests and others of the faithful were killed or imprisoned.  But the church has regained its cozy relationship with the current government in Russia.
    The whole history of the church in Russia is incredibly complex, and in a sense, the church almost had to have a relationship with the government.  
    In Eastern Orthodoxy, the Patriarchs must be approved by the secular governments of the country in which their Patriarchate resides.  Which, as you can imagine, leads to all kinds of complex problems and often political machinations.
    It led to the schism between the "regular"  Russian Orthodox Church and the "Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia" when the Communists were in control (this schism has since been resolved).
    Oh, I'm getting way off topic here, although I could write a book about this.   ;-)
    Suffice it to say, you are correct that the church supports Putin, and Putin supports the church.  (And, if the church didn't, the current Russian government would not have approved the appointment of the current Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill I, who was appointed by the Synod of Bishops in 1999, but approved by the government of then-President, and now Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who, let's face it, is basically on the same page as Vladimir Putin.)

    In response to redwolf (none / 0) (#15)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:46:38 PM EST
    Wait a minute here (none / 0) (#21)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:52:31 PM EST
    We've known for at least 15 years if not longer that Russia is run by the Russian mob, some of the former intelligence people, and some corrupt politicians. How many people do you think have ended up in prison there or worse over the past decade and a half? Some for little or no reason related to criminal laws. What's so special about these 3 women, who seem to have openly done the crime they were accused of?

    2 years? Yeah, they got off very leniently.

    Yes, it's stupid and an unjust law , but Russia doesn't have a First Amendment, and many other people have suffered worse, and often for the "crime" of merely having what someone in power there wanted. Then there's the "mothers" thing, as if quite a few "dads" weren't in jail there already. If being a parent was a "get out of jail free" pass, then that wouldn't be the case.

    I suspect part of their support on this site is based on the general hatred of organized religion around this place. But whatever the reason, this seems like a bunch of very selective outrage to me, over a punishment, that (compared to what they could have received and what others have gotten) is pretty light.

    I am quite aware (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:05:31 PM EST
    of the fact that Putin and his mob routinely jail innocent people, and have a funny habit of murdering journalists as well. It is possible to feel outrage over all of that and the trial and conviction of this singing group too.



    Well, that's kind of the point of effective... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by magster on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:18:22 PM EST
    ... civil disobedience. Now a spotlight is shown on Russian society and lack of freedom of speech in the post Soviet era. Change is slow.

    Wonder how Green Day would have fared.... (none / 0) (#27)
    by magster on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:05:24 PM EST
    if they hailed from Moscow and recorded "Russian Idiot".

    x (none / 0) (#28)
    by magster on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:16:13 PM EST
    basically, "hooliganism" (none / 0) (#32)
    by cpinva on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:55:43 PM EST
    is whatever the authorities say it is. much like "disorderly conduct" in the US, it is an ambiguous term, which can be used against anyone the powers that be don't like.

    I'm not sure we're much better. (none / 0) (#38)
    by redwolf on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:12:37 PM EST
    As demonstrated by the Kim.Com case: In  america we steal all your possessions, send men with guns to break in and beat the crap out of you, all without having any actual crimes to charge you with.

    Per Wiki: (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:13:09 PM EST
    Islam is the second most widely professed religion in the Russian Federation. According to a poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 6% of respondents considered themselves Muslims.[1] According to Reuters, Muslim minorities make up a seventh (14%) of Russia's population.[2] Muslims constitute the nationalities in the North Caucasus residing between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: Adyghe, Balkars, Chechens, Circassians, Ingush, Kabardin, Karachay, and numerous Dagestani peoples. Also, in the middle of the Volga Basin reside populations of Tatars and Bashkirs, the vast majority of whom are Muslims. Islam is considered as one of Russia's traditional religions, legally a part of Russian historical heritage.[3]

    Pussy Riot (none / 0) (#44)
    by fishcamp on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:38:37 PM EST
    jumped around on the alter of a church in mock terrorist clothing and revolutionary dances...so what?  You don't have to like it but do you sentence people to jail for that activity?  I guess there's no separation of church and state.  They don't have any money so it must be about power.  What is power over there?  I don't get it...

    People make a big mistake (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:36:24 PM EST
     looking at other countries through an American lense. Russia is more similar to the USA than you might have thought. For starters, they're a big, powerful, militarily & testosterone drenched State. If you thought America is obsessed by Nationalism...USA, USA USA, you don't know national pride till you've been to Russia.

    They may be a little cruder than we are, but all those space revelations and technical prowess displayed in the 50's & 60's was nothing to sneeze at.

    But, you can't think about Russia in any meaningful way unless, and until, you accept the unspeakable tragedy they suffered in WW2....25 million, dead. Transpose that onto the USA and you might begin to understand their often criticized paranoia.  


    And Stalin maybe doubled that himself (none / 0) (#51)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:37:07 AM EST
    Which might also help explain the disturbingly high percentage of Russians relatively comfortable with having a KGB thug for a leader.  Kind of like how far too many of us here are oddly complacent in the ruling face of corporate thuggery.  

    You're right, Dadler (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:27:04 PM EST
    The Russian people weren't blind to some of the in-house killings in Stalin's Russia. But, then the Berlin Butcher unleashed Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion on Mother Russia, with its four million soldiers given only one order: enslave, torture, and/or kill Russia's entire population. With that in mind its not surprising that most of Russia's citizens lived out their lives gratefully, and adoringly, of their favorite "Uncle, Papa Joe."

    Was This a Jury Trial? (none / 0) (#52)
    by RickyJim on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:39:46 AM EST
    I know that jury trials reemerged in Russia after the fall of communism with some judges traveling to the US to observe what goes on here.  I do know the prosecution has the right to appeal a not guilty verdict in Russia.