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More Western Rock 'N' Roll Solidarity For Pussy Riot


Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis shows some support for Pussy Riot at a concert in Moscow.

Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis shows some support for Pussy Riot at a concert in Moscow.

Legally speaking, Russian dissident punk collective Pussy Riot has had a rough few months. Some high-profile Western rockers are trying to lend a helping hand.

Three weeks after legendary metal band Faith No More granted Pussy Riot members some free stage time in Moscow, the group got some more public encouragement over the weekend from Franz Ferdinand and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Performing at the Afisha Picnic -- a popular annual outdoor music festival outside of Moscow -- Glasgow-based Franz Ferdinand dedicated their song “This Fire” to jailed Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alyokhina.

“This song is dedicated to all of those musicians that end up in jail for just saying what they think,” frontman Alex Kapranos can be heard telling the crowd in a clip uploaded to YouTube. “This is for the girls in Pussy Riot.”

WATCH: Franz Ferdinand dedicates a song to Pussy Riot


While Franz Ferdinand was getting the outdoor festival crowd riled up, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were spreading the word to Moscow’s arena rock fans. Two days after sporting a T-shirt with "Pussy Riot” scrawled across it for a concert in St. Petersburg, lead singer Anthony Kiedis wore a similar shirt for the Moscow show and met with the group’s lawyer, Nikolai Polozov.

According to Polozov’s Twitter feed, the lawyer was backstage at the Moscow show where he met with Kiedis and bass legend Flea about how the band could continue to support the Pussy Riot cause, with Kiedis apparently telling Polozov that he would "make an effort to change their fates."

Both Kiedis and Flea penned letters of support to the Pussy Riot members that have been shared by the Voina group on Twitter. A picture of Flea writing the letter was posted on Instagram by Dmitriy Kuminov.
The dissident collective needs all the support it can get. Jailed since March, the three members of the group face up to seven years in prison on charges of hooliganism over their “Punk Prayer” performance in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. On July 20th, a Moscow court extended the women’s pretrial detention for a further six months -- the third such extension handed down by the court. Their trial is set to begin on July 30.

-- Zach Peterson

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina in the dock during a court hearing on July 23.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina in the dock during a court hearing on July 23.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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