Opponents are ignored, dismissed, or when they dare to demonstrate, beaten up or arrested. Some find a different way of drawing attention to this unacceptable situation, which is largely ignored by the rest of the world. The all-girl punk band “Pussy Riot” found such a way. In February, shortly before the presidential elections, they performed a so-called ‘punk prayer’ in a church, in which they vented their anger and frustration at the way Putin rules Russia. Among other things they questioned his relationship with the Russian orthodox church. Apparently they struck a raw nerve, because the three young women were arrested en put on trial.In the courts too Putin seems to have limitless power because “Pussy Riot” was found guilty and the three singers were sentenced to three years in prison. During their act they did not call for riots to break out in the streets, they did not threaten anyone and they did not wave guns about. But for Putin en his cronies the fact they dared to speak out was enough. The case has drawn international attention and many artists from around the world have protested against the draconian sentences.
The final outcome of the case will be known later this month. But the case has drawn attention to the dictatorial powers which Putin uses en puts on display with pride. His relationship with the orthodox church is indeed a curious one. There is a clear connection between the activities of the church and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the early 90ties the church has taken back all its original reactionary powers, and Putin has jumped on the bandwagon without difficulties. When it comes down to it Putin is the spokesman for the two most powerful institutions in the country; the casino capitalists and the church leaders. Between them they control everything.While the people starve and suffer these fat cats grow fatter every single day. Often the Soviet Union was criticised for keeping the church in its place and limiting its power. The current situation shows how right this policy was. Give the church leaders one finger and they take your complete hand and more. “Pussy Riot” is the victim of this unholy alliance. The girls have said in a reaction that they believe that the political system will soon collapse. We can only hope that they are right. The day can’t come quick enough that the power goes back into the hands where it belongs; the hands of the people.