OK – A Russian court sentenced Pussy Riot to 2 years in jail yesterday for their little stunt in a Russian Orthodox Cathedral. To the very liberal thinkers, maybe that is absolutely fine. For the broadminded, maybe somewhat obnoxious but nevertheless freedom of speech and expression is fundamental, albeit somewhat distasteful in the chosen location. For the Russian Orthodox faithful who may have no interest whatsoever in the politics that came to follow the incident, the act was indeed an outrage and sacrilege.
We should also remember that despite the torrents of western press condemnation over the repression of freedom of expression this sentence will be interpreted as, not to mention the political condemnation of disproportionate sentencing that this will inevitably be called, that the UK sentenced Charlie Gilmore, son of a very famous Pink Floyd father, to 18 months in a UK jail for swinging on a Union Jack hung on a cenotaph in 2010 – without any such condemnation and very little defence espoused by the media over freedom of expression.
In short, Russian musicians can desecrate their cathedrals and when sentenced to 2 years in jail it is an outrage demanding an international response – but the son of a rock star swinging on the national flag on a monument to the national dead getting 18 months in jail is absolutely fine and a matter for the UK justice system requiring no comment. Hmmmm!
Anyway, that has nothing to do with Ukraine thus far until the antics of FEMEN are highlighted in support of Pussy Riot and are taken into consideration.
Yes indeed! The FEMEN support for Pussy Riot involves getting their tits out whilst chainsawing down a massive public Christian monument in Ukraine.
Now if young Charlie Gilmore can get 18 months in a UK jail for dangling from a Union Jack on a war memorial, Pussy Riot get 24 months for what many Russian believers will consider desecration of a major religious site, (regardless of the politics), what pray tell (no pun intended) should Ukraine now do with the FEMEN activists who feel it necessary to wave their tits in a camera whilst permanently hacking down a public Christian monument? One has to suspect more than the 15 days they usually get for their antics.
Without doubt they would be jailed in the UK for the criminal damage alone (not to mention the nudity and undoubtedly obscure religious offences that will still be sat on the statute books somewhere that could be invoked ) as they have done far more than Charlie Gilmore did to earn his 18 month stretch!
Indeed, given the permanent damage they have caused, they have exceeded the Pussy Riot girls for many one has to suspect. One wonders whether Pussy Riot would even appreciate such support via the FEMEN tactics displayed in the above video.
So FEMEN, to use a well known abbreviation, WTF?