Friday Night Fun and Culture: Talking Heads

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Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in prison colony for hooliganism

From The Guardian UK:

Punk band members Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich jailed amid global protests

in Moscow and agencies, Friday 17 August 2012

Three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in a prison colony.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were handed the sentence by a judge in Moscow amid a wave of protests around the world.

The three stared ahead defiantly from inside a glass cage, their wrists shackled in handcuffs, as the verdict was read. Supporters and opposition activists blamed the case against the women – and the tough sentence – on Vladimir Putin.

“Whatever Putin wants, Putin gets. That is the only thing to say,” Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov, said on leaving the court.

Hundreds of people, many wearing Pussy Riot T-shirts, gathered outside the court to protest against the verdict. “We’re trying to remain peaceful,” said Maya Trapeznikova, 25. “But many are reaching their limits and waiting for the order to fight,” she said of the growing movement against Putin.

The judge said in the verdict that the three band members “committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred” and offended religious believers.

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See Also:

Pussy Riot prove the only professionals in sight

From their perfectly pitched band name to their academic court statements, these women know exactly what they’re doing

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Ahead of Pussy Riot Verdict, Supporters Ready Protests

From Moscow Times:

By Natalya Krainova
17 August 2012

As a Moscow court is set to deliver a highly anticipated verdict Friday in the trial against members of female punk band Pussy Riot, street protests in support of the group are planned in at least 54 cities worldwide.

On Thursday, the judge who is set to deliver the verdict in the case, Marina Syrova, asked Moscow City Court chairwoman Olga Yegorova to provide her with bodyguards due to the “incessant threats” she has been receiving, court spokeswoman Anna Usachyova told Interfax.

Meanwhile, former Beatles singer Paul McCartney voiced hope that authorities will pardon the defendants — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22; Maria Alyokhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30 — who have been detained since March and face up to seven years in prison on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

The charges stem from their alleged participation in a February performance at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral that denounced President Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill using obscene language.

McCartney, who joins such prominent musicians as Madonna and Bjork in voicing support for the women, posted a short open letter addressed to the defendants on his website Thursday.

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Trans Teen Murdered in Chicago

From The Advocate:

One 19-year-old’s life ends just blocks from the April’s trans murder.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
August 16 2012

A gender variant teen has been murdered in Chicago a mere three blocks from where Paige Clay, another trans women, was found murdered in April.

Tiffany Gooden, 19, was found in an abandoned building on the city’s West Side, according to Windy City Times. Reporter Kate Sosin says that Gooden had sufferered multiple stab wounds and incised wounds and the death has been ruled a homicide.

Brian Turner, an outreach coordinator at Taskforce Prevention and Community Services on the West Side, told Sosin that he wasn’t sure if Gooden identified as transgender or used a female name and pronouns exclusively.

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Men Throw “Flaming Projectiles” At Utah Gay Club

From The Advocate:

BY Daniel Reynolds
August 16 2012

A group of men launched several “flaming projectiles” into the patio area of a Salt Lake City gay bar Wednesday night, according to ABC 4 News, before fleeing the scene. There were no injuries, and police are currently investigating.

The incident occurred at approximately 12:30 a.m. during the nightclub JAM’s popular karaoke night. Witness Fernando Noriega estimated that between 30-40 people filled the outdoor space when the flares were thrown, and stated that it was “a miracle” no one was injured.

“At first I assumed someone on the patio was setting off fireworks for some reason and thought who would be crazy enough to do that in such a crowded area?” stated Noriega to local news blog “Then as soon as I realized it wasn’t and I could see them falling from above us, I knew what was happening.”

Reagan Mower, a neighbor whose apartment faces the bar, stated to police that he observed a group of men loitering by the parking lot prior to the incident. “Two or three of them then walked back behind a dumpster in the alley and that’s when I saw them throw the flares,” he said.

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Ultra Right Wing Hate Group FRC Blames SPLC for Wednesday Shooting

From Metro Weekly:

Southern Poverty Law Center counters that ”hate group” label fully warranted

By Justin Snow
Published on August 16, 2012

At a press conference today, the Family Research Council laid blame for yesterday’s shooting of a security guard directly with the rhetoric of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to FRC President Tony Perkins, suspected shooter Floyd Lee Corkins II was given a ”license” to fire by the charged rhetoric of the SPLC, which has labeled the FRC a ”hate group” for their opposition to gay rights.

It was a dramatic declaration from Perkins, who had been relatively silent about the shooting that occurred in the lobby of the FRC on Wednesday morning, Aug. 15. The FRC security guard was struck in the arm before subduing the suspect, but is in stable condition.

Although Perkins thanked LGBT organizations that have condemned the act of violence, including the more that 25 group leaders who signed a statement on Wednesday, he asked them to go a step further and condemn the SPLC.

Speaking outside FRC headquarters in downtown Washington with the words ”Faith, Family, Freedom” etched into the wall of the building behind him, Perkins said the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for its ”reckless use of terminology.”

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Watchdog agency approves $49,000 fine against Prop. 8 campaign

From The LA Times:

August 16, 2012

The state’s campaign watchdog agency gave final approval Thursday to $49,000 in fines against the campaign committee for Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot measure banning gay marriage in California.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission determined that the campaign committee—Yes on 8 failed to properly file public reports disclosing late contributions and political checks over $5,000, as well as failing to properly dispose of an anonymous $10,000 contribution. An investigation concluded that more than $1 million in contributions was not properly reported.

The campaign committee admitted to the violations and agreed to pay the fines.

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