The PR of Pussy Riot

U.S. State Department officials said that they were concerned about "Pussy". What can we say in response? Only one thing - try to be less concerned, and this too, will pass. The same can be said for the legion of supporters of Pussy Riot. They rave themselves horse claiming that even if the Russian believers were outraged with the "concert" of the band at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, then it is their problem.

Such "cleverness," was blurted out by the chairman of the Bar Association of Russia "For Human Rights" Evgeny Arkhipov, who said in an interview with RBC Daily that the apologies of Pussy Riot became a "fatal legal error." According to the lawyer, as long as the "punk prayer service" was not meant to hurt the feelings of the Orthodox believers, then there was no need for the band to apologize: "If they are offended - it's their problem. I do not understand the words of regret. As a lawyer, I would not allow this position." Well, thank you, Mr. Arkhipov, for not saying that the believers could go to hell. As they say, one does not need prosecutors with lawyers like that.

The defendants, nevertheless, opted for a "legal error", although with reservations. In particular, one of the band members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, put it this way: "We did not say insulting words to church believers and God in the temple. The words that we said and the whole expression of our punk performance had the goal to share our disapproval of a specific political event with audiences. We had no idea that a punk performance could seriously hurt someone. And if anyone was offended with our performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, then I am ready to admit that we made an ethical mistake ... "

Another member of the notorious collective, Maria Alyokhina, shares a similar point of view: "If religious people were offended with the fact that we went behind the enclosure and climbed onto the pulpit, having it in mind as the stage, then I apologize for that..."

Also read: Pussy Riot vs. Orthodox Inquisition

The key word here is "if." It means that they did not even expect that, for example, the chorus of the song with the words "Holy shit," sung in the church, could actually "hurt someone", not to mention a piece of advise for Mother of God to become a "feminist."

It is clear that the grown-up girls were putting the emphasis on "drive Putin away." This is the reason why the girls say that they became victims of their "political bravery." However, they acknowledge: "Since its appearance in October 2011, the band has played concerts in the subway, on the roof of a trolleybus, near the detention center for administrative detainees, at clothing stores and fashion shows and on Red Square ... "

For those who do not know - the girls were singing more expressive songs at those concerts, and "Mother Mary, drive Putin away" can only pale in comparison. However, the "revengeful regime" did not touch the punk band for some reason.

However, advocates of all ranks - from the notorious US Department of State and liberal journalists, such as Vladimir Abarinov of Svoboda radio station - do not even think to call off the dogs: "Many people say that they do not like what the girls from PR did in the temple, that it was really ugly, but let's temper justice with mercy ... Don't you understand, that you thereby support prosecution?" the journalist wrote.

The logic of that is as follows: even if you do not like not the legal but the aesthetic constituent of Pussy Riot's performance (for example, the part where they call the patriarch "bitch"), you still do not dare to object - otherwise you will be removed from the "paranoid progressive society."

The progressive community is paranoid about the totalitarian slogan: who is not with us is against us. They harshly criticized Russian well-known musicians Ilya Lagutenko, Oleg Skripka and Garik Sukachev for their refusal to wear T-shirts in support of Pussy Riot.

Also read: Pussy Riot in the heart of Moscow splits Russia

Other musicians, singers, directors and other professional intellectuals gladly took part in the Russian national pastime of writing collective letters. They signed a petition that said "the girls did not kill or rob anyone, they didn't commit violence, nor did they destroy or stole someone else's property." "Russia is a secular state, and no anti-clerical actions, unless they fall under the Criminal Code, can serve as a cause for prosecution," the petition said.

For signatories' information, "anti-clerical actions" can serve as a "cause." Read the law (signed by Yeltsin), "On Freedom of Conscience, Religion and Religious Associations" Article 3, Paragraph 6: "Holding public events, placing texts and images that offend religious feelings of citizens near the objects of worship is prohibited."

Article 26 of the same law runs: "Violating legislation of the Russian Federation about freedom of conscience, religion and religious associations entails criminal, administrative and other responsibilities." This is for those who may want to repeat the "heroism" of Pussy Riot, so that they do not say "We did not even expect ..." afterwards.

And finally, here is a "parallel", find-differences type of story. In June 1977, British punk rock band Sex Pistols "glorified" the Queen of England (the Queen for Britons is almost like the patriarch and the president combined for Russians).

They "glorified" Queen Elizabeth II with the use of foul language, including these words: "God save the queen / A fascist regime / They made you a moron." They performed the song on board a boat on the Thames. The boat stopped right opposite the Houses of Parliament. Very soon, the police arrested the singers right on that boat.

The story did not lead to considerable legal consequences for the musicians. They were fined, their concerts were banned. There were physical consequences, though. Five band members were severely beaten one by one, during a few days and in different places. One of them had his nose and leg broken, another one was cut with a razor, the third one had his arm crippled for the rest of his life. The fourth had 15 stitches on, and the fifth musician had his face disfigured. The criminals were not found, although a number of British publications received messages saying "Don't you dare to insult our Queen!"

Mikhail Sinelnikov


Read the original in Russian


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov