Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band of radical artists have been found guilty of “hooliganism with intent to incite religious hatred.”  After a tyrannical circus of a trial and transparent abuses of power, it seems that the Kremlin powers that be have avenged the three girls for threatening Putin and challenging the corruption of incestuous church and state.

“For some reason, the girls are not only in a bullet proof aquarium, surrounded by cops, but also in handcuffs. Dangerous criminals,” Julia Ioffe reports from the inside.

The judge reads the persecutor’s side’s statement, attempting again to establish malicious intent and how their protest shocked the religious staff. Yes, we’re still talking about 40 seconds of dancing around. The prosecutor says that watching the YouTube video and being aware of the lyrics had inflicted all believers of Russia moral pain with their “gross violations of social order” and “offensive clothing.” The guards have tackled the girls and took of their balaclavas, that’s how they were identified and apprehended. Also, “moral dammage” was sustained by having forbidden musical instruments and bright clothing. The judge quotes an insulted witness that said he had no political context for the protest when he saw it in the church, that he only saw insulting blasphemy — he includes the chorus “Mother Mary become a feminist!” as insulting blasphemy. Other witness said that upper thighs showing when they’re dancing was also “deeply insulting” as them not acting like “proper girls should” in church, by showing their hair, their dress and being loud — “deliberate blasphemy,” obviously.

Characterizations of victims always started with “good Christian” and “obeys all Orthodox laws.” Now, one Pussy Riot girl activist is characterized as a vegetarian who writes poetry and good with kids. One of them was virtually disowned by her dad for being in a “cult” because “feminism doesn’t align with Russian principles.”

The prosecution continued to pitch this as a deliberate act attacking the church, the traditions of the church, the feelings of Christians who witnessed, watched on YouTube or even heard about it mentioned in the news.  They’d have you think it’s not about Putin at all. The court is not accepting their apologies for offending, they keep pitching this as a hate crime.

After much deliberate convoluted repetitions that went on and on, finally the verdict is delivered. Because the defendants have small children and haven’t been arrested before, they are receiving “a softened” sentence of two years in a prison colony. “Softened.” You heard right. The court room erupts in shouts “for shame!” and “it’s an inquisition!”

There have been protests worldwide and more protests are planned for today, with one in New York, from the Lower East Side to Times Square. As the verdict was being prepared, there were a couple of thousand people gathering outside the courthouse in Moscow, key leftist leaders already snagged out by cops and arrested – including Gary Kasparov – as well as other protestors. Putin’s main opposition, Navalny and notable lawyers were in the crowd. Anti-Pussy Riot protestors shouted “burn the witches,” reportedly.

Meanwhile, Russia Today — an English-speaking media powerhouse, controlled by Kremlin —  has been trivializing the trial and there are rumors that internet activists have shut down their website in protest.

This has snowballed to a media frenzy that Putin and Kirill never predicted. From to Slavoj Žižek condemning Pussy Riot’s persecution as the true blasphemy to just recently, FEMEN, who sawed down a cross in Kiev with a power saw to every other major music celebrity ever, a massive list of Russian intellectuals and public personas and international attention the likes a Russian case has never seen before. But mostly, Pussy Riot have become revolutionary mascots for the hordes of protestors in the streets of Russia, expats abroad and all dissidence within the oppressive system. Free Pussy Riot!