Pussy Riot Trial

AP

Hardly The First Victims Of Crackdown

On Friday, after something of a show trial, three young women in a Russian punk band were found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison for an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral ear...
REUTERS

Artists of the World Unite -- For Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot's trial and conviction for hooliganism and "religious hatred" has been a travesty from start to finish. And yet the poise with which these young artists have faced down the Russian court has revealed to the world the real face of the anti-democratic government of Vladimir Putin. Pussy Riot's 30-second poem has been a wake up call that political music and dissent can still affect change. They remind us that the artist plays a unique role in society. And they are just the latest in a long stream of artists who have been persecuted for threatening to the established order. Sure they entertain us, but the also have the role of serving as a cultural mirror and conscience.