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Pussy Riot Reminds us that Freedom isn't Free

Would You Risk Imprisonment to Defend the Constitution?

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:04PM

riotWhat would you be willing to do to ensure that no dictatorial government stole your basic Constitutional rights?

Think about that for a moment.

If you felt that any of your Constitutional rights were being violated by the government, what would you do?

Would you comply with the will of the government?

Would you write letters to your elected officials?

Would fight back with passive resistance?

Would you publicly challenge those who threaten those rights? Even if it meant going to jail?

I ask these questions because early this morning I got a not-so-subtle reminder as to what some folks are willing to go through to demand the basic rights and freedoms many of us take for granted in this country.

Time to Riot!

You may have heard of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

This is actually a punk rock protest band based out of Moscow.

Last year, five members of this band were arrested after protesting the policies of Vladimir Putin.

Two of the band members were sent to some pretty brutal prisons after Putin stated that the group had undermined moral foundations.

Those that did go to prison were eventually released. And you would think, after such an ordeal, they would've fled the country. But not only did the stay, they continued to rail against the policies of Putin, risking imprisonment again. Here's what happened, according to a BBC report . . .

New footage shows Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who both served prison sentences for their Moscow church performance, being attacked along with other band members.

A Cossack appears to spray a substance in the face of one of the band members, who were wearing ski-masks.

An officer with a whip then proceeds to attack the band members along with a man with a camera.

Other Cossacks then jump in, punching the band members and throwing them to the floor.

The group has been fiercely critical of President Putin, who has been the main driving force behind the Sochi Games.

One band member said on Tuesday that the Sochi Games were a political event.

"Now there is an occupation of this territory, because the city is under total police and security control," Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said on Tuesday.

"We have arrived here on Sunday [and] we are being detained all the time. Even when we were driving our car and walking in the street. So they are looking for any reasons to arrest us."

I've included footage of the beating below.

Before you view it, however, consider the kind of strength, determination and passion these women have. Think about how much they value liberty and freedom. As a nation, do we have that same strength, determination and passion? Do we value liberty and freedom just as much.

I believe many of us do. But not nearly enough.

Unfortunately, few will see this footage. But it sure would be a great reminder to many Americans that freedom isn't free, and it's definitely worth fighting for.

Check it out. . .

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