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#1 Edited by Kill (298 posts) -

If you've been following the news lately, you've probably heard of this already. If not, the short of it is that an all-female Russian radical feminist political punk band named Pussy Riot performed a concert in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow which included a 'punk prayer' containing anti-Putin sentiments. Three of the band members have now been arrested and detained for 'hooliganism' with a possible sentence of seven years.

Since that time, Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys has put on a benefit gig, Californian legends Faith No More allowed a Pussy Riot mini-protest during a recent Moscow concert, and the detained band members are now in the middle of a hunger strike due to an unfairly immediate trial before an adequate defence can be prepared.

As I understand it, Russian society is split down the middle over this issue (or not according to but he's refused to clarify) and I've seen plenty of conflicting opinions from the West as well. How does Giant Bomb feel about this? Did Pussy Riot go too far or is this an unfair shutting down of free speech? Would this fly in your country? Debate away!

#2 Posted by Zaccheus (1806 posts) -

Arrested for blasphemy? That's still a thing? Fuck.

#3 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

Why can't the good old Soviet Union of 1945-1952 be back? This shit wouldn't have even happened.

#4 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

It's fucked up. You can't speak bad about your leader in public? What is this, North Korea? Russia is fucked.

#5 Posted by MeierTheRed (4941 posts) -

Their country their laws, not something i would like to meddle with.

#6 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

@Zaccheus said:

Arrested for blasphemy? That's still a thing? Fuck.

My thoughts exactly. It's even more shocking that this is coming out of Russia, a country that once swore off religion. It's funny how nations that should be more secular, like the U.S. and Russia, aren't. I think that religion has less influence on politics in the UK, and yet they have an official religion. What a funny world we live in.

#7 Edited by Kill (298 posts) -
@Zaccheus said:

Arrested for blasphemy? That's still a thing? Fuck.

My source was incorrect, the official charge is 'hooliganism'. Edited for truth! 
 
Although Wikipedia has this little addition: 

Speaking at a liturgy in Moscow’s Deposition of the Robe Cathedral on  March 21, 2012 , the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill I of Moscow  condemned Pussy Riot’s actions at Christ the Savior Cathedral as “blasphemous” saying that the “Devil has laughed at all of us.”  

Must be where the blasphemy misunderstanding comes from.
#8 Posted by Gabriel (4082 posts) -

@Kill said:

punk band named Pussy Riot performed a concert in the main cathedral of Moscow

Wat.

#9 Posted by Kill (298 posts) -
@Gabriel said:

@Kill said:

punk band named Pussy Riot performed a concert in the main cathedral of Moscow

Wat.

Haha, sorry, I didn't know the original name of the cathedral. Updated now..
#10 Posted by Nottle (1915 posts) -

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

#11 Posted by Spoonman671 (4777 posts) -

I'm having a hard time taking any of this seriously.

#12 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8607 posts) -

Art saves.

#13 Posted by Harkat (1122 posts) -

In soviet russia, pussy riots you!

#14 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

Kind of blown away that most people here don't realise that Russia's not a democracy...

#15 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

The pussy riot was started by the infamous Camel Toe Shock Troops.

#16 Posted by Kill (298 posts) -
@Inkerman said:

Kind of blown away that most people here don't realise that Russia's not a democracy...

I know that, especially after last year's blatant election rigging. I just dont want to outright condemn what is going on here (even if I want to) and open it up to discussion instead.
#17 Posted by alternate (2720 posts) -

@Nottle said:

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

Not even. You might be surprised to find that most countries outside of the states do not have "free speech" enshrined in law. Most democratic countries practice it but it is not an inherent right.

#18 Posted by YI_Orange (1172 posts) -

I have nothing of value to add to this thread, but hooliganism is a hilarious charge.

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@No0b0rAmA said:

Why can't the good old Soviet Union of 1945-1952 be back? This shit wouldn't have even happened.

I can't tell if that's sarcastic or serious, mainly because of the whole Stalin thing.

#20 Posted by Karkarov (3291 posts) -

Yeah here is the thing, they would have been arrested in America too.

It wasn't what they were saying that is the problem from where I stand, I don't give a crap about their political comments or how they feel about religion they have every right to say what they want as far as I am concerned. The problem was that they were doing it in the middle of a church, while church goers were there, while the church officials clearly didn't want them to be there and were trying to conduct their own business. Even in America freedom of speech doesn't protect you from encroaching on other peoples rights to gather for their own purposes and that is exactly what they were doing. They were interfering in a church gathering and disrupting the Church's ability to hold their own event.

That said the penalty for it in the US would likely be a whole lot less stringent.

#21 Edited by Kill (298 posts) -
@Karkarov said:

Yeah here is the thing, they would have been arrested in America too.

It wasn't what they were saying that is the problem from where I stand, I don't give a crap about their political comments or how they feel about religion they have every right to say what they want as far as I am concerned. The problem was that they were doing it in the middle of a church, while church goers were there, while the church officials clearly didn't want them to be there and were trying to conduct their own business. Even in America freedom of speech doesn't protect you from encroaching on other peoples rights to gather for their own purposes and that is exactly what they were doing. They were interfering in a church gathering and disrupting the Church's ability to hold their own event.

That said the penalty for it in the US would likely be a whole lot less stringent.

My understanding was that the detained members of the band were chased down at their homes a few weeks after the gig in the church. Obviously your point stands, the live video shows that church goers were not happy with Pussy Riot being there, but it seems strange that the Russian government would charge them so long after they had caused the disturbance, if people were so offended.
#22 Posted by Nottle (1915 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

Kind of blown away that most people here don't realise that Russia's not a democracy...

@alternate said:

@Nottle said:

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

Not even. You might be surprised to find that most countries outside of the states do not have "free speech" enshrined in law. Most democratic countries practice it but it is not an inherent right.

They have a president and prime minister but I don't know how anything is run there. I know they aren't a democracy but other than that.

#23 Posted by spartanlolz92 (511 posts) -

@Nottle said:

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

well considering that putin extended his term limits idk if their laws for free speech are gonna hold up so well.

#24 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@alternate said:

@Nottle said:

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

Not even. You might be surprised to find that most countries outside of the states do not have "free speech" enshrined in law. Most democratic countries practice it but it is not an inherent right.

Because it doesn't need to be. You're free to say whatever you like in the UK, Australia, France, Italy, etc. You're just not going to get the crazy "freedom of speech, man, freedom of speech!" type hippies elsewhere.

It doesn't help that the Russian government is incredibly corrupt, but I'm fairly sure they'd have put a stop to this in any country, especially the US.

#25 Edited by johnbakosh (114 posts) -

@alternate said:

@Nottle said:

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

Not even. You might be surprised to find that most countries outside of the states do not have "free speech" enshrined in law. Most democratic countries practice it but it is not an inherent right.

Because it doesn't need to be. You're free to say whatever you like in the UK, Australia, France, Italy, etc

Absolutely untrue!

Please do not post these kinds of things on your assumptions, you do all of us a disservice with your misinformation.

Freedom of speech is in no way guaranteed to their citizens, and major popular culture figures have been arrested for things as trivial as putting racially based remarks on twitter.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/18/arrest-racist-remarks-twitter-fabrice-muamba

In France wearing certain hats can get you arrested.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/19/battle-for-the-burqa

So my response is that yes, it does NEED to be. Without our constitution, minority voices and opinions would have been trampled over a long time ago in this country, as they are done consistently everywhere else in the globe.

Thank god for the Bill of Rights.

#26 Posted by dudeglove (8308 posts) -

@Kill said:

As I understand it, Russian society is split down the middle over this issue

They're really not.

Also, none of you know anything about Russia, but I'll happily sit here with some popcorn and watch you all chatter away.

#27 Edited by Kill (298 posts) -

@dudeglove said:

@Kill said:

As I understand it, Russian society is split down the middle over this issue

They're really not.

Also, none of you know anything about Russia, but I'll happily sit here with some popcorn and watch you all chatter away.

Which is why I prefixed that statement with 'as I understand it'. I'm happy to be proven wrong if you have any insights into the opinion on Pussy Riot within Russia. This is a topic I'm quite interested in personally and I'd like to learn more.

Or you can sit back being a smug prick about how much knowledge you're sitting on and how little the rest of us know. That's okay, too!

#28 Posted by dr_mantas (2082 posts) -

It's fucking Russia, I ain't even surprised.

Of course they shouldn't be punished, how is it even a question. Seriously.

#29 Posted by Example1013 (4807 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@No0b0rAmA said:

Why can't the good old Soviet Union of 1945-1952 be back? This shit wouldn't have even happened.

I can't tell if that's sarcastic or serious, mainly because of the whole Stalin thing.

Well first that's a very popular sentiment among the Russian people, and 2nd it's completely serious. In Stalin's day there would be no protests over trials, because they'd have been either immediately executed or shipped off to a Siberian labor camp for a lot less than what they're accused of here.

#30 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5104 posts) -

Pussy Riot... *sigh*

#31 Posted by Jrinswand (1711 posts) -

@BoG: You've gotta remember, though, that religion was banned in Russia because it was seen as a threat to the state.

#32 Posted by dr_mantas (2082 posts) -

@Example1013 said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@No0b0rAmA said:

Why can't the good old Soviet Union of 1945-1952 be back? This shit wouldn't have even happened.

I can't tell if that's sarcastic or serious, mainly because of the whole Stalin thing.

Well first that's a very popular sentiment among the Russian people, and 2nd it's completely serious. In Stalin's day there would be no protests over trials, because they'd have been either immediately executed or shipped off to a Siberian labor camp for a lot less than what they're accused of here.

It's a pretty scary thought that some people view those times with nostalgia, or want things to be like they were.

#33 Posted by dudeglove (8308 posts) -

@dr_mantas said:

@Example1013 said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@No0b0rAmA said:

Why can't the good old Soviet Union of 1945-1952 be back? This shit wouldn't have even happened.

I can't tell if that's sarcastic or serious, mainly because of the whole Stalin thing.

Well first that's a very popular sentiment among the Russian people, and 2nd it's completely serious. In Stalin's day there would be no protests over trials, because they'd have been either immediately executed or shipped off to a Siberian labor camp for a lot less than what they're accused of here.

It's a pretty scary thought that some people view those times with nostalgia, or want things to be like they were.

*cough* Lithuanian revisionism *cough*

#34 Posted by ValiantGrizzly (497 posts) -

@johnbakosh: No more trolling. Please stop.

#35 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@johnbakosh said:

@alternate said:

@Nottle said:

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

Not even. You might be surprised to find that most countries outside of the states do not have "free speech" enshrined in law. Most democratic countries practice it but it is not an inherent right.

Because it doesn't need to be. You're free to say whatever you like in the UK, Australia, France, Italy, etc

Absolutely untrue!

Please do not post these kinds of things on your assumptions, you do all of us a disservice with your misinformation.

Freedom of speech is in no way guaranteed to their citizens, and major popular culture figures have been arrested for things as trivial as putting racially based remarks on twitter.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/18/arrest-racist-remarks-twitter-fabrice-muamba

In France wearing certain hats can get you arrested.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/19/battle-for-the-burqa

So my response is that yes, it does NEED to be. Without our constitution, minority voices and opinions would have been trampled over a long time ago in this country, as they are done consistently everywhere else in the globe.

Thank god for the Bill of Rights.

Both of those examples show people breaking the law, not simply practising free speech. Whether or not you agree with those laws is irrelevant.

I also don't think I need to remind of a certain incident in North America a few months back involving the arrest of people who were doing nothing but protesting.

#36 Posted by ShaggE (6724 posts) -

Hey, if your genitals are going to riot, they might as well do it in a place with great acoustics.

#37 Posted by frankfartmouth (1018 posts) -

I just wish Faith No More would play a fucking US date sometime soon

#38 Posted by kindone (2843 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

Yeah here is the thing, they would have been arrested in America too.

It wasn't what they were saying that is the problem from where I stand, I don't give a crap about their political comments or how they feel about religion they have every right to say what they want as far as I am concerned. The problem was that they were doing it in the middle of a church, while church goers were there, while the church officials clearly didn't want them to be there and were trying to conduct their own business. Even in America freedom of speech doesn't protect you from encroaching on other peoples rights to gather for their own purposes and that is exactly what they were doing. They were interfering in a church gathering and disrupting the Church's ability to hold their own event.

That said the penalty for it in the US would likely be a whole lot less stringent.

#39 Posted by Spoonman671 (4777 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind said:

@johnbakosh said:

@alternate said:

@Nottle said:

I have no concept of Russian law. Is there freedom of speech there?

I know in America you can talk bad as much as you want about the president as long as you don't infringe on their rights or threaten them.

Not even. You might be surprised to find that most countries outside of the states do not have "free speech" enshrined in law. Most democratic countries practice it but it is not an inherent right.

Because it doesn't need to be. You're free to say whatever you like in the UK, Australia, France, Italy, etc

Absolutely untrue!

Please do not post these kinds of things on your assumptions, you do all of us a disservice with your misinformation.

Freedom of speech is in no way guaranteed to their citizens, and major popular culture figures have been arrested for things as trivial as putting racially based remarks on twitter.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/18/arrest-racist-remarks-twitter-fabrice-muamba

In France wearing certain hats can get you arrested.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/19/battle-for-the-burqa

So my response is that yes, it does NEED to be. Without our constitution, minority voices and opinions would have been trampled over a long time ago in this country, as they are done consistently everywhere else in the globe.

Thank god for the Bill of Rights.

Both of those examples show people breaking the law, not simply practising free speech. Whether or not you agree with those laws is irrelevant.

I also don't think I need to remind of a certain incident in North America a few months back involving the arrest of people who were doing nothing but protesting.

Dude, the point is that laws that would allow those things to happen are in opposition to the notion of free speech.
#40 Posted by dr_mantas (2082 posts) -

@dudeglove said:

@dr_mantas said:

@Example1013 said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@No0b0rAmA said:

Why can't the good old Soviet Union of 1945-1952 be back? This shit wouldn't have even happened.

I can't tell if that's sarcastic or serious, mainly because of the whole Stalin thing.

Well first that's a very popular sentiment among the Russian people, and 2nd it's completely serious. In Stalin's day there would be no protests over trials, because they'd have been either immediately executed or shipped off to a Siberian labor camp for a lot less than what they're accused of here.

It's a pretty scary thought that some people view those times with nostalgia, or want things to be like they were.

*cough* Lithuanian revisionism *cough*

I hope you're not serious. It's hard to imagine how deluded one must be to believe a totalitarian communist state is a great place to live. Russia today is a horrible place, sure, but at least it's not invading foreign countries and starving its own people in acts of mass genocide. There is no revisionism in this.

#41 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

@dr_mantas: Where were you in 2008?

#42 Posted by Liquidus (942 posts) -

Haha, I'm sorry, ha, Pussy Riot.....hehehe.

#43 Posted by Drebin_893 (2934 posts) -

@johnbakosh:

What the fuck are you talking about? It sounds almost as though you're trying to say the Bill of Rights is what brought Freedom of Speech to the world, you're a joke.

#44 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@dr_mantas:

I'm not sure you've been paying attention to this thread, since that's kind of what the Russian people want, I guess. Why else would they go back to pretty much that after the collapse of the USSR? Doesn't help that Yeltsin tried to introduce capitalism and failed miserably.

#45 Posted by Example1013 (4807 posts) -

@dr_mantas said:

@dudeglove said:

@dr_mantas said:

@Example1013 said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@No0b0rAmA said:

Why can't the good old Soviet Union of 1945-1952 be back? This shit wouldn't have even happened.

I can't tell if that's sarcastic or serious, mainly because of the whole Stalin thing.

Well first that's a very popular sentiment among the Russian people, and 2nd it's completely serious. In Stalin's day there would be no protests over trials, because they'd have been either immediately executed or shipped off to a Siberian labor camp for a lot less than what they're accused of here.

It's a pretty scary thought that some people view those times with nostalgia, or want things to be like they were.

*cough* Lithuanian revisionism *cough*

I hope you're not serious. It's hard to imagine how deluded one must be to believe a totalitarian communist state is a great place to live. Russia today is a horrible place, sure, but at least it's not invading foreign countries and starving its own people in acts of mass genocide. There is no revisionism in this.

I thought Lithuanian revisionism was a bunch of holocaust-denial stuff?

#46 Posted by FourWude (2245 posts) -

Freedom of speech is inherently extremely vague and subject to interpretation on an individual basis. No one on this earth has the full right to say whatever they want, it just doesn't exist. And no nation gives its citizens the full rights to do so. Most people just never bother to push the boundaries enough to find the limits.

#47 Posted by dr_mantas (2082 posts) -

@No0b0rAmA: Good fucking point. I feel kinda bad I forgot that.

@Example1013: By "revisionism", he probably means Lithuania condemning the USSR, and by extension, Russia. Instead of thanking them for 50 years of wonderful occupation they gave us. Truly a wonderful time for all THAT was.

@Video_Game_King: It has been said that Russians prefer strong leaders. Nothing stronger than a dictator. However, I think the new generation of Russians wants free and open elections, as well as a democracy. At least I hope.

#48 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

I would have arrested them for putting on such a shitty performance. Is that what punk sounds like nowadays?

#49 Edited by Kill (298 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

I would have arrested them for putting on such a shitty performance. Is that what punk sounds like nowadays?

I think they are the most purely 'punk' act to appear in a long time. DIY, anti-establishment, political. Pussy Riot sound more like what I associate with punk than the modern, highly-polished-but-empty pop punk of today. Punk, to me, is supposed to sound dangerous and lo-fi. But that's just my own musical tastes.

#50 Posted by Brodehouse (10138 posts) -

There is no free speech in a dictatorship. There's speech the dictator finds pleasing and then there's crime.