Prominent Russian Environmentalist Sentanced in Pussy Riot Trial

via Earth First! Newswire

One member of the punk trio, Maria Alekhina, has a history of involvement with environmental , working with Greenpeace Russia, and animal liberation activism (she has a support page demanding vegan food in prison).

During trial, prosecutors reportedly tried to humiliate her for her ecological activism. Meanwhile the Russian Orthodox church is building on more than 500 acres of parks and other green spaces in Moscow.

The group was found guilty of “hooliganism” two days ago and sentenced each to two years in prison.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Maria Alekhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow’s main cathedral, high-kicking and dancing while singing a “punk prayer” pleading the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a third new term as Russia’s president two weeks later.

Solidarity protests have occurred world wide. Including in New York City, where a group marched to Times Square and held a rally in support of the singers, saying artists have the right and the need to express themselves.

Six people were arrested there. Three are facing charges of loitering and wearing masks; the others face charges of blocking traffic on Fifth Avenue.

Among them was Rebekah Schiller. “The mask is a form of free speech,” Schiller said, adding that she was seeking to emulate the members of Pussy Riot. “I can show solidarity with that band.”

In New York City, it is illegal for more than three people to wear masks without a permit.

You can send solidarity messages to the Pussy Riot 3 by emailing pussriotsolidarity [at] gmail.com – someone will print them and take them to the prison.

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