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Punk Musicians Picket Russian Embassy

10:06 PM, Jul 27, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Demonstrators from Washington's punk and arts communities demonstrated outside Russia's Wisconsin Avenue embassy Friday evening, protesting the detainment of three members of the punk band Pussy Riot, following their protest performance at a Moscow cathedral in February.

Asking the Virgin Mary to protect Russia from Russian President Vladimer Putin, the band members recited what they called a punk prayer in the church, leading to their arrest days later.

They have been in custody ever since, and face seven years in prison.

Washington's demonstrators on Friday also faced armed men and women in uniform telling them where they could and couldn't picket and what they could and couldn't do.

And Washington's demonstrators Friday also had to deal with government functionaries who issued, and then revoked, a permit that would have allowed punk music performances at a small park across the street from the Russian embassy.

But Washington's demonstrators were not arrested and detained for airing their views.

"We have the freedom to express ourselves, to play music out here in the street, to play music in venues and Pussy Riot doesn't have that same privilege. That's why we're here," said Leah Gage, a drummer in the DC band Brenda, as she beat a snare drum during the demonstration.

The group Amnesty International is urging supporters of the band to write Russian officials, urging them to release the women.

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