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    A Topless, Chainsaw-Wielding Ukrainian Woman Chopped Down A Crucifix To Protest Pussy Riot, Or Something

    Written by

    Derek Mead

    Editor-In-Chief

    For all the good parts of the Occupy movement — raising awareness about shady banking practices, freeing the internet, etc. — so much of the actual on-the-ground protesting seemed to boil down to unemployed MFA dropouts practicing for tryouts to join cut-rate improv groups and a messy melange of actual and ironic hoboism. Unless you were in Oaktown, where shit got (and gets) real, the state of protests in 2011-2012 seems to be more revolved around stunting for pageviews than really trying to develop a ground game, like the oh-so-easily co-opted Tea Party movement sorta did for a bit. (But what do I know? I’m just a guy in a basement blogging in his underpants.)

    That in mind, I have no idea what to think about this particular performance. According to Radio Free Europe, the women in question are members of Femen, a feminist protest group based in Kiev, where the cross-chopping took place. They decided to 86 the crucifix because Pussy Riot was convicted on charges of religious hooliganism, as explained in a statement:

    On the day of the sentencing, the Femen women’s movement expresses its support and respect for its Russian colleagues from the group Pussy Riot. … By this act, Femen calls on all healthy forces of society to mercilessly saw out of their heads all the rotten religious prejudice that serves as a foundation for dictatorship and prevents the development of democracy and women’s freedom.

    But then again, it’s unclear if Femen was really protesting Pussy Riot, and if they were, what it even meant. The cross in question is apparently rather well-known in Kiev, and was erected during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution to honor those killed by the former Communist regime. (And, as noted by the Economist, the cross didn’t even represent the right Christian sect.)

    So, yes, while Pussy Riot was protesting the church’s and government’s cronyism and overbearing power in Russia, Femen managed to cut down a symbol dedicated to the very people who suffered at the hands of an oppressive state. Pussy Riot has since condemned the act, and Ukrainians aren’t exactly amused, but hey, it’s a topless blonde with a chainsaw, so it’s guaranteed to get attention — like I’m mildly-ashamedly doing right now — whether or not it has a coherent message.

    (It should be obvious, but the video is NSFW)

    Follow Derek Mead on Twitter: @derektmead.

    Topics: occupy, protest, pussy riot, myths-and-weirdos

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