Poetry for Pussy Riot

Blake Balmer, Loki Freeman, and Saddleback student engage in healthy debate (Don Congjuico)

Don Congjuico

The poetry club is present in the quad today peacefully protesting the plight of a punk rock band named Pussy Riot. The band was incarcerated on violations of civil peace and religious hatred, which could have gotten them seven years in prison but was later reduced to hooliganism and two years in prison. The band was protesting in Christ Savior Church singing a Christian hymn called “Punk Rock Prayer” which had lyrics like “God please rid us of Putin.”

Loki Freeman, president of the poetry club, said, ” Well they got arrested because anybody who was protesting his (Putin) election got rounded up and was arrested.”

He continued, ” All they have really done is put on ridiculous costumes, go into a church and, you know, pray to God. But it was not a serious prayer it was a joke. But they (Pussy Riot) used humor as a political protest, I mean that’s like an American tradition right? Basically exercising their freedom of speech and they get sent to prison.”

Blake Balmer, officer of the poetry club, added, “So the poetry club is here to kind of get this whole thing that happened out there. It’s just another example of the improper use of government power. There is a petition by Amnesty International where you can send them your support of them exercising their free speech to protest.”

The poetry club hopes to appeal more students to go to http://www.amnesty.org.uk/pussyriot and support the band by sending them some support.

Loki said, ” So basically you can send a message to Pussy Riot in jail and send them a message of encouragement. Amnesty International has been very instrumental in getting political prisoners freed for decades now and it puts global pressure on the issue.”

So far the poetry club has had 35 petitioners send a message of encouragement to Pussy Riot in jail.

A student bystander asked, ” Why help Pussy Riot and not help the country?”

Blake responded, “Well it’s not meant to represent something as an entire goal but this is more like a symbol. And it does set a discouraging precedent. Putin can get away with these kind of arrest’s protesting his obviously unfair rule. Thousands came out and protested against this. Russia had one of the largest protest numbers in history. And they brutally suppressed it. He just stomped it down.”

Loki continued, “Pussy Riot is a symbol. On one hand its the government saying if you protest us you’re going to jail for two years in a terrible prison where you may die with no medical attention. So they’re trying to send that message. Well Amnesty International and all of us who are supporting them and their freedom are trying to send the opposite message and say, you know what Putin people are gonna speak out and we’re gonna stand behind them and your not gonna stop us.”

The poetry club holds weekly protest’s on international issues every Wednesday with the situation of Pussy Riot on the spotlight this week.

“We try to use poetry and music to draw focus and attention to issues in all different countries. We are here to educate people. We’re giving people something to do right now and not just bitch about some problem. Here is something you can do that can make a difference.”, Loki said.

The link below is the video of Pussy Riot doing their protest at Christ the Savior Cathedral.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grEBLskpDWQ

This most recent article in Moscow about Pussy Riot comes from the Moscow Times.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/the-pussy-riot-conspiracy/467674.html

Blake Balmer, Loki Freeman and student engage in debate (Don Congjuico)

left to right (Blake Balmer, Loki Freeman, Student, Cole Gillette) (Don Congjuico)

Poetry Club Officer Blake Balmer(L) and Poetry Club President Loki Freeman(R) (Don Congjuico)

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