Monday, 20 August 2012

Would Pussy Riot have broken English law?


Pussy Riot member sporting communist t-shirt
I'm not sure what to think about the whole Pussy Riot furore. On the one hand I am all for freedom of speech and association. On the other hand I am very much an advocate of civility and law and order and find I find all forms of yobbery and anti-social behaviour thoroughly unpalatable.
An interesting question to ask is would Pussy Riot's little act of rebellion be illegal under English law?

The barrister  Neil Addison, who writes the Religion Law blog, argues that the act in question would indeed have broken a number of English laws, including section 2 of the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860, section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, probably either s5 or s4A of the Public Order Act 1986, and would perhaps have constituted the offence of Aggravated Trespass under section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
The barrister goes on to explain that whilst he finds the sentence imposed excessive,
there is one aspect to the incident which has not been commented on in the British media and may explain why Orthodox believers in Russia were quite so outraged.  The Cathedral of Christ ...is a reconstruction of a Cathedral which was deliberately destroyed in 1931 as part of the persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union... 
In the West we seem to have almost forgotten Communism and the evils it brought but people in Russia have not.  I notice that in Court one of the Pussy Riot demonstrators wore a R Shirt bearing a clenched fist and the words "No Pasaran" which was a slogan of the Spanish Communist Party during the Spanish Civil War.  It was a bit like appearing in a German Court wearing a T Shirt with a Nazi Slogan.  In those circumstances perhaps it is not surprising if Russians have taken a rather less rosy eyed view of the incident than that of the Western media.
It's a fascinating point.

Read the full article on the Religion Law blog here:

Religion Law Blog: Pussy Riot in a British Church

See also:

Russia Today: Pussy Riot copycats booted from German cathedral (VIDEO)

Russia Today: Pussy Riot on the run: Criminal case launched against other 'punk prayer' participants


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, so successful has been the Marxists' aim, as outlined by the 1928 Frankfut School, of emptying Europe's churches and to ridicule anybody who cries blasphemy here that we now have to rely on those larger countries outside or on the fringes of Europe to defend Christianity. In those countries, Russia and the USA, Christianity was often rendered more extreme and fundamental by the harshness of the climate. Extreme Christianity in Russia hails from the wastes of Siberia and in the USA from the deserts of Utah. The Democrat administration in Washington has already been infiltrated by the muslim brotherhood. It is almost certain that Obama is a closet muslim as he was brought up as such and would have been murdered as an apostate had he relinquished Islam. Hilary Clinton has a muslim lady friend, less kind folk might call her a girlfriend. Hence, although we might not like the prospect of a Mormon Republican president, it will be the Christian fundamentalists in the USA who will fight the imposition of Islam on North America. Here in Europe we must look to the east. We may not like Putin but his Christian Orthodox credentials are second to none and that is why he has reacted so strongly to what he sees as the desecration of a cathedral which rose from the ashes to re-assert the triumph of European Christendom over Marxism and probably over Islam, too. Some say that European Christian Civilisation is already lost to Marx and to Mohammed. But just as they are extreme so Christianity must cease being the lilly livered shadow of its former self that these people have made it if it is to survive. When you are supping with the devil you need a long spoon and unfortunately Holy Russia and Fundamentalist America seem to be the only ones to possess one.

Sophie said...

"no pasaran" was the slogan of all anti-fascist fighters. It is actually most associated with the Anarchists, who initiated the first, highly successful libertarian communist society in the world during that time. This phrase is seen as a symbol of hope by leftists the world over who know that communism can mean something much more than totalitarian dictatorship.