Pussy Riot members to appear at Barclays for Amnesty human rights concert

Recently Freed Activists to Join The Flaming Lips, Ms. Lauryn Hill and More

January 22, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Members of the Russian art collective Pussy Riot, who were recently freed from prison after 21 months, will participate in Amnesty International’s landmark “Bringing Human Rights Home” concert at Barclays Center on Feb. 5, Amnesty International announced this week.

“We are happy to support Amnesty International’s work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners,” said Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, whose imprisonment was the subject of hundreds of thousands of online actions by Amnesty activists after they were jailed for publicly criticizing Putin in a church. “We, more than anyone, understand how important Amnesty’s work is in connecting activists to prisoners. A month ago we were freed from Russian prison camps. We will never forget what it’s like to be in prison after a political conviction. We have vowed to continue helping those who remain behind bars and we hope to see you all at the Amnesty International concert on February 5th in Brooklyn!”

Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova and Maria “Masha” Alekhina, who are now working to improve conditions for prisoners in the Russian penal colony system, will address attendees at the concert to raise awareness about prisoners of conscience—people who have chosen a non-violent path yet are jailed for their beliefs, color of skin, gender, or sexual orientation, and whose rights Amnesty has championed throughout its 50-year history. The star-studded lineup includes The Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragons, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat, Cake and more yet to be announced.

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“Today, as we work to improve human rights conditions in the United States, we can’t abandon the fight for the rights of imperiled individuals around the world,” said Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins. “When we come together on Feb. 5 in Brooklyn, our voices will be amplified by the presence of Pussy Riot, who continue to demonstrate the power we share when we take a stand against injustice. Join us next month and become a part of the next wave of the human rights movement.”

Twenty-five years after its initial concert series, which featured U2, Sting, Lou Reed and others, Amnesty International’s new concert aims to raise awareness about human rights to a new generation. It will use technology to connect the music and message in real time from the stage to activists across the globe.

Amnesty International USA Board Chair Ann Burroughs, a former prisoner of conscience in South Africa, said, “I remember how student activism opened the eyes of the world to the injustices of apartheid in South Africa. Pussy Riot’s song of protest mobilized a new generation of activists to stand together in solidarity for freedom of expression. It is that power of music and solidarity that we are reigniting with the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert.”

Between 1986 and 1998, Amnesty International held 28 concerts around the world with over 1.25 million attendees. The most high-profile component of the concert series was the six-week, five-continent, 20-concert “Human Rights Now!” world tour in 1988 — headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour. Those concerts directly helped triple the movement’s worldwide membership and mobilize a generation of human rights activists.

More information on the upcoming concert can be found at http://www.amnestyusa.org/Feb5concert, and tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Follow #AmnestyConcert for live updates.


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