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Darrell Cody

Pussy Riot - Putin/Russia's Breach Of Justice

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the Church supports the suppression of peaceful political protest by force.

Evidence, please. In what specific ways is the Church responsible for the suppression of peaceful protests?

And if you're gonna respond that the Church supports this by supporting Putin's election bid, then it follows that the Church supports everything Putin does, including political assassinations. Then your call for a "mild response" to this support doesn't make sense.

Edited by Nicky

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The church could easily have redeemed itself after this incident by saying that the protest does not deserve prison time, but only a slap on the wrist. The fact that it did not do this is enough to show that the church deserved this mild protest.

Where do you draw the line between what's deserved and what's not? Would it be deserved if I gave a slap across the face to one of the priest who supports Putin? What if I keyed his car?

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Where do you draw the line between what's deserved and what's not? Would it be deserved if I gave a slap across the face to one of the priest who supports Putin? What if I keyed his car?
Reports are that the primate of the orthodox church is an ex-KGB officer whose business got government-granted monopolies that have made him a billionaire. If true, he has no leg to stand on if someone abridges his "rights". Not that I would see any point in keying his car. Much worse would be justified, but it would probably be silly to do so... pussy riot landed in jail for a trivial act... imagine the consequences if someone tried to mess with the primate's car (or his $30,000 watch).

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Hello there. As some replies are recent, I thought that this topic is still of interest for someone and that my input would be useful.

I'm a Russian, a lawyer and an Ayn Rand admirer and I followed this case closely. I think, this facts allow me to speak about this case with authority.

I was really frustrated to learn that even on an Objectivist forum (!) there are some people who don't consider this case "black and white". It looks like, we should congratulate Putin's propagandists for their success in spinning international opinion in their favor.

I would say that this case is emphatically not about a property rights violation because of the following:

1. The cathedral isn't a property of an orthodox church, it is actually state-owned and open to public most of time. And hence, it is almost as good a place for a political protest as an open street.

2. It was open to public when perfomance happened, no kind of private ceremony were held.

3. Pussies didn't violate any kind of religious ceremony, actually, as none were held. Actually, there were very few people in the church at that moment, most of them were church employees (and journalists who were alerted about the perfomance beforehand).

4. There was (and isn't) no public document which described the rules of conduct in the church. And during several months of pre-trial procedures and litigations prosecution failed to produce any kind of clear description of what kind of actions are exactly forbidden. I still don't know, what I can or can't do in a church, I only know that I can get two years jail-term for this undefined action.

5. No music was played, of course, no material damage was done, church wasn't desecrated. Video, posted earlier in this thread, is a videoclip, issued by the group, not a true video of what actually happened. Original video of their actions can be seen here:

And I say that if you think that it worth TWO YEARS of imprisonment, I just don't know what's going on in your head. What they actually do can be described as praying in unusual way (they present their actions as a "punk-prayer"). And there are no official rules about the way in which orthodox christian are allowed to play in a public church.

Overall, if a property owner opens his building to a public and doesn't explicitly states conditions on which he allows people inside - how can you objectively determine that his property rights were violated provided that no material damage was done? The thing they did is like starting singing aloud and dancing in a supermarket - I think that would be an identical case. Of course, it would be OK if guards asked you to go out for disturbing other customers. But imprisoning you for two years wouldn't be OK.

A suble argument based on some conception of "implied rules" can be made here, and I would even agree that there were a property right violation - but an extremely minor one. I simply don't see how a punishment more severe than a small fine can be justified.

On the other hand, girls were arrested in March - and the trial started only in July. What about sitting under arrest (yes, they were ARRESTED like they were some kind of murderers or professioan criminals) and waiting for a trial for more than three months in a case where all relevant facts are videotaped (and be aware that under Russian law such kind of cases don't require a jury, hence no additional time to assemble it were needed)? What about the fact that they didn't have A SINGLE confidential meeting with their lawyers? There were countless of other violations of their procedural rights which are much more serious than what they did in the church.

I think that my government owes them an apology and a compensation. Painting this case as "not black and white" is simply immoral.

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Reports are that the primate of the orthodox church is an ex-KGB officer whose business got government-granted monopolies that have made him a billionaire. If true, he has no leg to stand on if someone abridges his "rights".

I confirm that this is factually correct.

Edited by Gavagai

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I confirm that this is factually correct.
I appreciate it. You do realize though that the testimony of a stranger on the internet still means this is "rumor". My point of bringing that up was to say that if it were true, far worse would be justified. However, even if all we have is the public record, Pussy riot's actions were well within the limits of a measured response.

Thanks for the information about the event itself.

Given that the primate is a vocal supporter of Emperor Putin it was reasonable for Pussy Riot to target the cathedral, rather than some arbitrary church. In addition, they were right not to do anything that caused people bodily harm, nor to cause any type of serious property damage (except some type of clean up). The other points you make -- e.g. no private ceremony was in progress -- make clear that their action was very mild and measured.

If the reaction of the church had been to be annoyed but to call for a slap-on-wrist type of punishment, they would have vindicated themselves.

A few days ago, in Egypt, two boys came outside a mosque, tore up a Koran and unrinated on it. A crowd caught them and took them to the mullah. He scolded them and let them go. The crowd -- not satisfied -- took the boys to the cops, and they will probably face charges. If the Russian primate had the sense of proportion demonstrated by that mullah, he would have vindicated himself.

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This situation seems a very similar to the case Oberwetter v. Hilliard, 680 F. Supp. 2d 152 (D.D.C. 2010) which (edit: almost) went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Except, if Gavagai is correct, the conspicuous lack of an objectively written law.

That case was discussed in the thread Silent Dancers Violently Arrested (at the) Jefferson Memorial.

Edited by Grames

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Two members seem to be going to the gulag. I remember Ayn Rand citing Victor Hugo on disproportionate punishment.

http://www.brisbanet...1023-283lg.html

As a side note, we can see the girls wearing full leg cover and skirt, and head cover, as demanded by tradition and good manners (and didn't take anything off), and even knelt. It shouldn't count legally, but it goes to demonstrate that they probably didn't intend to offer the Church and its followers.

Even the lyrics sound like neo Protestantism (Raskolniki), rather than un-Christian:

Patriarch Gundy believes in Putin.

Better believe in God, you vermin!

Fight for rights, forget the rite –

Join our protest, Holy Virgin.

Edited by volco

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Russia has introduced mandatory religious education in their schools. The Orthodox Church had been pushing for classes in Russian Orthodox Christianity, but there are still old commie bureaucrats for whom that's a leap. Instead, students can choose from one of five religions, with "secular ethics" being a sixth option.

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