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You're reading: Global activists gear up for Pussy Riot rallies
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Friday’s rallies will ride a wave of support for the three women who have been in jail for more than five months because of an anti-Putin prank in Moscow’s main cathedral. Calls for them to be freed have come from a long list of celebrities such as Madonna and Bjork. Protests have been held in a number of Western capitals, including Berlin, where last week about 400 people joined Canadian electro-pop performance artist Peaches to support the band.

In one of the most extravagant displays, Reykjavik Mayor Jon Gnarr rode through the streets of the Icelandic capital in a Gay Pride parade this weekend dressed like a band member — wearing a bright pink dress and matching balaclava — while lip-synching to one of Pussy Riot’s songs.

Amnesty International has called the women prisoners of conscience and begun collecting signatures by text message for a petition to be sent to the Russian government, while the U.S. State Department has repeatedly expressed its concern.

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