As an American, I'm actually required by law to blame everything on Communism. I'm pretty sure that's in the Declaration of Emancipation or something.
The first panel refers to an event that occured a few months ago in Boston. Javier Reyes, the rhythm guitarist from the band Animals As Leaders, was unjustly assaulted by a police officer (according to the eyewitness account) and arrested. Pretty much just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it seems like. Reyes faces assault charges, despite never assaulting or threatening the officer, and so a petition has been started to ask the Massachusettes state Governor to exonerate Reyes of all charges. You can read the eyewitness account and sign the petition from this website. As far as I know, there are no other accounts of the story, so this one is all we really have to go off of, but it sounds pretty convincing. I'd like to thank Dani from Spain for telling me about the story.
The second panel refers to a recent story from Russia, where an all-female punk band called Pussy Riot was arrested for staging a political protest inside a church. Several months ago, the feminist punk band staged an impromptu performance at Moscow's Christ The Savior Cathedral, where they sang what they called a "punk prayer" right on the altar, a song directed as a political protest against President Vladimir Putin's re-election. The Orthodox Christians inside the church were horrified and called it blasphemy, and the band was arrested for "hooliganism." Their trial just ended last week, with a guilty verdict given for three members of the band, giving them each two years in prison. Many people believe that the whole trial process for the band was corrupt, being influenced by Putin and not giving the women a fair chance to defend themselves in court. You can watch some footage of the punk prayer in this music video that was made from it, and you can read some more on the story in these two Rolling Stone articles here and here.
After following this story and finding out the verdict, I knew there was just one way that I wanted to show my support, and that was to try to buy as much of Pussy Riot's music as I could. But too bad for me and for everybody else, I CAN'T FIND A SINGLE PLACE TO BUY THEIR SONGS ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET, and I even tried searching with Google Russia, too. There are a few poorly-recorded older songs on their myspace page, and a couple random sites in Russian that you can find downloads on, but I really want to BUY them. If any of my Russian readers or someone who speaks Russian know a place where I can buy their music from, please email me the links! Long live punk.