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Pussy Riot courthouse protest verges on theater of the absurd (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Published time: August 03, 2012 15:30
Edited time: August 04, 2012 12:19
Download video (9.62 MB)

Tensions over the controversial Pussy Riot trial in Moscow have been nearing a boiling point this week. Today mayhem spilled onto the streets, with a spontaneous protest outside the court.

­Three masked men climbed the scaffolds just outside the courthouse, and started shouting “Free Pussy Riot.”

At one point, police were at a loss about what to do with the protest gone wild, RT producer Lydia Vasilevskaya tweeted from the scene.

Officers climbed up to get the demonstrators down, but when they tried to do so, demonstrator exclaimed that they had broken his legs.

“Free political prisoners!” “Girls, everyone loves you! And those who don’t are witch hunters!” the masked men ranted.

“Leave them alone. They’ll shout for a while and will go away,” said somebody in the crowd. But it didn't come to pass.

Eventually one of the protesters declared he was going on a hunger strike until the court released Pussy Riot, and all three demonstrators began singing.

Police once again climbed up to detain the activists, only to tie them to the metal grating in case they fell off the scaffolds – a measure the men suddenly didn’t mind.

Then, out of the blue, a man in the crowd said he was going up to give water to the protesters.

“We’ll do that ourselves,” officers reassured him, but still had to stop the man from climbing up the scaffolding.

The protest run amok could have carried on for hours, but security forces finally decided to end the show.

A crane was brought in to retrieve the protesters, one way or another.

As the show seemed to be cooling down, one of the policemen involved had an epileptic seizure – and one can hardly blame the heat.

RT photo (by RT news producer Lida Vasilevskaya)
RT photo (by RT news producer Lida Vasilevskaya)
RT photo (by RT news producer Lida Vasilevskaya)
RT photo (by RT news producer Lida Vasilevskaya)
RT photo (by RT news producer Lida Vasilevskaya)
RT photo (by RT news producer Lida Vasilevskaya)

­The spectacle came as the fifth day of hearings in the controversial case drew to a close, with tempers going high inside the court as well.

The defense tried to recuse the judge – the sixth such attempt in five days, with Judge Syrova refusing the motion to recuse herself once again, after considering the motion and deciding that she was unbiased.

That decision came as the court dismissed almost every defense witness, as well as motions to call in experts to assess the controversial punk prayer and its impact.

The trial process has been marked by some strong words coming from every side.

Only today, defense lawyer Violetta Volkova asked the judge, “Aren’t you interested? Are you looking at me?” Judge Syrova answered, “Should I necessarily be looking you straight in the eye?” To which the defense lawyer retorted, “The prosecution is drawing – he’s not interested either.”

The trial will pick up again on August 6.

Three members of the Pussy Riot punk band – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich – are charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and could face up to seven years in prison for their controversial masked guerrilla performance on the altar of Russia’s main cathedral in February.

Their “punk prayer” used profane language to criticize President Vladimir Putin, while at the same time alleging corruption within the Orthodox Church.

The action outraged Orthodox believers across the country, with many demanding severe punishment for what they saw as an act of “blasphemy.”

On the other hand, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sting and Hollywood actor Danny DeVito are only a few of the celebrities who support Pussy Riot, urging authorities to free them.

Comments (4)

Anonymous user 27.04.2013 07:41

Kasparov/NED tried to hold Anti-Putin march in St. Petersburg and less than 400 people turned up!!!

Anonymous user 27.04.2013 07:39

Kasparov's so-called "political party" has only got a few hundred card-holders Nationwide!!!

Anonymous user 27.04.2013 07:36

"western" corporate scoundrel mass-media keeps the abysmally "educated" Sheeples of usa Brain-Dead.

View all comments (4)
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