Posted tagged ‘repression’

The History of Punk, Class #10

2012/09/27

The Edmonton Free School
Sunday September 30 3:00PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Punks in Plight”

Pussy Riot in Russia. Punks in Indonesia. Goths in Uzbekistan. Emos in Iraq. In many countries, members of subcultures are finding themselves in trouble with authorities. Some are activists, some are not. But they are all facing repression for dissenting from traditional societal norms.

In this seminar, we’ll examine how punks are facing jail time, Orwellian reeducation, or even death – in some cases for speaking out, and other times just for dressing differently. We’ll look at the response by the wider music community, the media, and, because they hate being left out, celebrities.

Readings:
“Self-Expression meets Repression: Pussy Riot’s plight is only one example of mistreatment by authorities”
“After Pussy Riot, artists everywhere must stand up for each other”
“Young Persons Called to Private Grand Jury for Owning Books”

Playlist: 
Rites of Spring – “For Want Of” (live 1985)
Embrace – “Dance of Days”
Warsaw – “Warsaw”
Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Arabian Knights”
The Cure – “Killing an Arab”
Why Indonesian Kids are Crazy for Punk”
Marjinal – “Hukum Rimba”
“Report on Emo Killings in Iraq”
“Pussy Riot Grrrl Protest”
Tobi Vail & The Pussy Riot Olympia Solidarity band – “Free Pussy Riot”

Personal Expression vs. the Powerful’s Repression

2012/03/12

Personal expression takes on many forms. Got something to say? Write a song. Draw a picture. Compose a poem. Do a dance. Heck, you can even express yourself by going for a run – as proved by Kevin Bacon in the film Footloose. As everyone knows, Bacon used running and dancing to not only express himself, but to help solve his problems and save the youth in his town from the repression of Jon Lithgow. Oh, and I guess he used gymnastics too.

pick up your Sunday shoes, Kevin.

Lithgow thought he was keeping kids safe from the dangers of rock ‘n’ roll. He decided that music and dancing threatened youth, and used his authority on the Town Council to get them banned. He connected personal expression with societal ills that were a blight on respectable values, and kids’ safety. Dancing was a gateway drug to trouble.

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They were different times, and good riddance

2011/04/26

March on Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, summer of '64

A spy force specializing in repression. Police beatings. Documents hidden away for decades. Wild accusations with no merit leading to harsh crackdowns.

In a land where individual freedom is supposed to be so important, it’s hard to believe that less than 50 years ago, state-sponsored activity like the above took place. Against people that simply wanted to live the American dream.

In files found in the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office just recently, that’s exactly the story that they tell. Fearful of integration and spurred on by Edgar J. Hoover’s nutball theory that the members of the Civil Rights movement were raging communists, Alabama Governor George Wallace created “the Commission to Preserve the Peace.” Robespierre would have been proud. When it came to fighting integration, the commission could basically do whatever they wanted…And they didn’t want to hand out candy.

Here’s an article from the Tuscaloosa News on the release of the documents, and what that information does to fill in some important holes in the Civil Rights Era:

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