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Rick Moran

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August 20, 2012 - 5:01 pm

In November of 1862, Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, went to the White House for a visit with the president. Upon meeting her, Abraham Lincoln is said to have remarked, “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

The Russian punk band Pussy Riot probably has Vladmir Putin thinking something similar. The band’s music is horrible, but subversive, and the band members are heroically unafraid of authorities. At a time when the rest of Russia’s opposition seems if not cowed, then certainly subdued, Pussy Riot is rocking the boat and spitting in the face of its authoritarian president.

The band’s trial and 2 year sentence for “hooliganism” — a catch-all charge from the days of the KGB for political dissent — has electrified the opposition in Russia and breathed new life into a movement whose members suffer constant harassment and are subject to arrest at any given moment.

But Pussy Riot just keeps on truckin’:

If anyone thought the members of incarcerated Russian punk band Pussy Riot would be cowed by the two-year prison sentence handed down last week, all they need do is check out the lyrics to the group’s latest song, “Putin Lights Up the Fires.”

A video for the song created by London’s Guardian newspaper was released Friday:




“The country is going into the streets boldly… the country is going to bid farewell to the regime,” the band’s singers blare over a suitably thrashy guitar-bass-drums track built on a descending chord progression.

The trio of women were arrested after a February guerrilla performance protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral. Last week, the three were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism.”

The government’s response to the group’s protest has sparked reactions around the world, with serious messages of solidarity from superstars such as Paul McCartney and Madonna to “Family Guy” creator and “Ted” director Seth McFarlane, who tweeted last week: “Russian Punk Band Sentenced … For Hooliganism (Plus 8 counts of shenanigans, tomfoolery, hijinks, jibber-jabber, and razzmatazz).”

Here’s the full text of “Putin Lights Up the Fires”:

This state may be stronger than time in jail.

The more arrests, the happier it is.
Every arrest is carried out with love for the sexist
Who botoxed his cheeks and pumped his chest and abs.

But you can’t nail us in the coffin.
Throw off the yoke of former KGB!

Putin is lighting the fires of revolution
He’s bored and scared of sharing silence with the people
With every execution: the stench of rotten ash
With every long sentence: a wet dream

The country is going, the country is going into the streets boldly
The country is going, the country is going to bid farewell to the regime
The country is going, the country is going, like a feminist wedge
And Putin is going, Putin is going to say goodbye like a sheep

Arrest the whole city for May 6th
Seven years isn’t enough, give us 18!
Forbid us to scream, walk and curse!
Go and marry Father Lukashenko

Like Lech Walesa and Solidarity in Poland, an opposition under siege needs a symbol of resistance to brave the oppression from authorities. While there have been several courageous leaders of the loosely organized movement opposing Putin, like recently arrested Gary Kasparov, there has been no overarching personality or symbol around which the Russian opposition could unite and rally. Pussy Riot may not want the job but their actions have inspired and heartened a heretofore despondent movement.

An internet vote is scheduled for October 7 with all of the fragmented opposition invited to participate. They are to elect a coordinating council in advance of big demonstrations planned for later this year. If Pussy Riot does nothing else except inspire people to participate in this online event, they will have served their country well.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.
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