Planet Set to Rally for Pussy Riot on Friday

Rallies set for one hour before judge sentences band

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2012 6:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – With Russia's punk provocateurs Pussy Riot facing up to three years in prison, supporters around the world will stage rallies for the band in at least a dozen locations on Friday, one hour before the court's judgment comes down, reports the AP. At 2pm Moscow time (6am ET), in an international protest organized by the band's defense lawyers, supporters are to take to the streets in Moscow, Barcelona, London, Paris, New York, Washington, Toronto, and other sites.

Activists hope their pressure will ease punishment or even free the women. But the AP notes that the band's lawyers are convinced that the verdict depends entirely on the will of Vladimir Putin, who risks appearing weak if the women walk free. The band has already received an outpouring of celebrity support following its anti-Putin prank in Moscow's main cathedral in February, with Madonnna, Bjork, Yoko Ono, Pete Townshend, and others clamoring for their release. But the award for most colorful supporter goes to the mayor of Iceland's capital, who dressed like a band member—complete with bright pink dress and matching balaclava—and rode through last weekend's Gay Pride parade while lip-synching to one of Pussy Riot's songs.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, left, a member of feminist punk group Pussy Riot is escorted to a court room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, left, a member of feminist punk group Pussy Riot is escorted to a court room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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