The two-year prison sentences handed down to Pussy Riot supposedly revealed how oppressive and backwards Putin’s Russia is, in contrast to our Western democracies. But now three colorfully ski-masked Germans who tried to stir a commotion at the historic Cologne Cathedral earlier this week are staring at the possibility of three years behind bars. Any guesses on what would happen to a U.S. Pussy Riot, assuming some sort of terrorism charges would be thrown at them?

Abby Martin of Media Roots was on the front lines of the war in the streets of Oakland during the aftermath of the Occupy Oakland general strike and shutdown of the port on November 2, 2011. Over 10,000 peaceful protesters successfully shut down the Port of Oakland, the fifth largest port in the country at 8 p.m. earlier that night. About two hours later, the anarchist “Black Bloc” came to downtown, smashing windows of banks and setting trash cans on fire. The Oakland PD in full riot gear lined up and marched toward the now out of control rally. They started firing smoke grenades and tear gas into the crowd of people, to which people starting throwing bottles and other objects back to the police. After the crowd scattered, the police lined up and starting to close in and arrest the remaining protesters at the Occupy Oakland camp:

Saturday, around 50 people held a demonstration through dance at the Jefferson Memorial in southern Washington, D.C., which overlooks the Potomac River. Over 2,000 people had testified on Facebook that they would…

Jefferson Memorial DancerI wonder how Thomas Jefferson would have felt about this. Via the Huffington Post:

The dancers were protesting an appeals court ruling handed down last week that the national monuments are places for reflection and contemplation — and that dancing distracted from such an experience.

In 2008, Mary Brooke Oberwetter and a group of friends went to the Jefferson to commemorate the president’s 265th birthday by dancing silently, while listening to music on headphones. Park Police ordered the revelers to disperse and arrested them when they did not.

Oberwetter sued on free speech grounds, but the appeals court ruled last week that her conduct was indeed prohibited “because it stands out as a type of performance, creating its own center of attention and distracting from the atmosphere of solemn commemoration” that Park Service regulations are designed to preserve.

Saturday’s protest was staged during the day, on Memorial Day weekend, in order to draw maximum attention: