Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Pussy Riot: crossed wires

I’ve been reading many differing opinions about Pussy Riot, the punk rock group whose members are on trial in Moscow after inturrupting a church service in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral with a political song.

Reading different opinions is one thing, but reading different facts is another. For example the US branch of Amnesty International is claiming that it was a case of mistaken identity, and that the three facing trial are not the same people as the ones who sang the song in church. Take Action Now – Amnesty International USA:

Three young women are being detained by Russian authorities for allegedly performing a protest song in a cathedral as part of a feminist punk group “Pussy Riot”.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich were arrested in March 2012 and charged with “hooliganism”. If found guilty, they could be jailed for up to 7 years.

The three women deny any involvement in the protest although even if they took part, the severity of the response of the Russian authorities would not be a justifiable response to the peaceful – if, to many, offensive – expression of their political beliefs.

Tell the Russian authorities to drop all charges and release them!

Where did Amensty International get their information from, or are they deliberately trying to mislead people?

Forty years ago I got thousands of Christmas cards from people all over the world, thanks to Amnesty International. It must have kept the Security Police quite busy back then. But in this case they seem to have come up with “facts” that are known only to them, and that don’t seem to be known even to the defendants in the case.

For instance, according to a report of the trial in Rapsi News:

Defendant in the Pussy Riot case Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has called the “punk prayer” performed in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior an “ethical mistake,” stressing that she had no intention of offending anybody, the Khamovnichesky District Court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).

Tolokonnikova’s defense attorney Violetta Volkova read out her response to the indictment. The defendant noted in her address that her conduct had only political and artistic motives.

How could they have had “no intention of offending anyone” by their conduct, if, as Amnesty International maintains, they weren’t even there in the first place?

There have been wildly conflicting accounts of what they are charged with. According to one news report they are charged with “disorderly conduct”, for which, we are told, they could face up to seven years in prison.

According to another report

On February 21, five girls wearing brightly colored balaclavas stormed the altar of downtown Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral to perform an anti-Putin protest song entitled, “Holy Sh*t.”

Prosecutors have maintained that the Pussy Riot members “inflicted substantial damage to the sacred values of the Christian ministry…infringed upon the sacramental mystery of the Church… [and] humiliated in a blasphemous way the age-old foundations of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Other reports hav said that they sang “Mother Mary, save us from Putin”.

Since the incident has been widely publicised on YouTube, surely there must be some place, somewhere on the web, where what they actually sang is accurately reported?

I asked if anyone knew what they were actually sining, and my daughter found a link that provided a translation:

Punk-Prayer “Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away

(choir)

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

(end chorus)


Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners crawl to bow
The phantom of liberty is in heaven
Gay-pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB, their chief saint,
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend His Holiness
Women must give birth and love

Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!
Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!

(Chorus)

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist
Become a feminist, become a feminist

(end chorus)

The Church’s praise of rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
A teacher-preacher will meet you at school
Go to class – bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, better believe in God instead
The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings
Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!

(Chorus)

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

(end chorus)

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