Russian feminist punk rockers, Pussy Riot, have been sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism inspired by religious hatred”. When you look at the English translation of what they actually said, and why they chose to perform in an Orthodox Cathedral, you realise that the verdict is laughable.
The actual lyrics, as translated by the Free Pussy Riot website;
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist
Become a feminist, become a feminist
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!
Hardly threatening the foundation of Christian faith. What the group were actually protesting against was the cosy relationship between Vladimir Putin and the Russian church. History has shown us that when the church and state are cuddling up in bed together, people tend to be oppressed and the church tends to act a little unchristian. Rather than launching full assault on the faith of the world’s Christians, Pussy Riot were simply calling for an end to the rule of Putin (which it does seem has gone on forever) and for the church to stop trying to be best mates with the government.
Detailed analysis will follow.
In a town in Andalucia, southern Spain, the mayor is staging robberies of supermarkets (all proceeds go to the poor) and marching across the desert trying to convince other local government officials to ignore central government demands for austerity. The Guardian paints him as a slightly eccentric folk hero and Spanish newspaper El Pais seems to be filing him in the “Dangerous Revolutionary” drawer.
So far, so heart-warming. It’s a guy angry at the way [insert country here]’s government have been punishing the poor for the greed of the rich, and thinking stealing on their behalf is the best way to prove a point. A modern day Robin Hood to cheer us up amid the rain, post-Olympic blues and recession. The end.
If it were that simple, then the media could portray him as a criminal and move along. However, look a little closer and you will find out that rather than a random act of criminality inspired by righteous anger – Mayor Juan Sanchez Gordillo actually has a working economic plan.
The New York Times reported on the low unemployment and low cost of living in Marinaleda about three years ago. No one is out of work for long, as the local farming co-operative will find work for them. This idea is so attractive, that people are moving from as far as Barcelona in search of work there. High employment, low and comfortable cost of living mean more disposable income floating around.
Imagine that – government creating work for people so they don’t starve during a recession! Why didn’t you think of that, Cameron and Osborne?