Pussy Riot Among Amnesty International Concert Acts

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were among the Amnesty International concert performers on Feb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were among the Amnesty International concert performers on Feb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Thurs. Feb. 6, 2014: The first Amnesty International concert for the cause in 16 years took place last night, Feb. 5, 2014 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and featured among the acts, newbies, Cold War Kids, Tegan & Sara and formerly imprisoned Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina.

The two told the New York Times Editorial Board this week that their 21-month incarceration in Russia’s penal system for having staged a political protest in a Moscow cathedral had emboldened them to speak out more forcefully against President Vladimir V. Putin, partly because of the global support they received.

“Amnesty’s past concerts have featured some of the greatest artists of our generation and have been catalysts for real, measurable change,” said Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Grammy Award-nominated rock band Imagine Dragons. “It’s an honor to perform as part of this event and continue the cause of championing human rights around the world.”

The fight for global human rights begins at home,” said Steven W. Hawkins, Executive Director for Amnesty International USA.

“This concert is part of an evolving conversation about human rights that grounds the universal struggle for dignity and freedom in the injustices we see every day in our own backyard in the United States. We’re bringing back the concerts to show a new generation of activists how to stand up for justice at home and abroad–whether it is fighting for the right to voice dissent peacefully on social networks or in the streets, protecting the rights of women and girls, or standing in solidarity with individuals persecuted for who they are or what they believe.”

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.

Susan Surandan and Imagine Dragons at the Amnesty International Concert on Feb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)
Susan Surandan and Imagine Dragons at the Amnesty International Concert on Feb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Director of Amnesty International, Steven W. Hawkins Nadezhda and Maria Alyokhina before the concert kick-off on Feb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)
Executive Director of Amnesty International, Steven W. Hawkins Nadezhda and Maria Alyokhina before the concert kick-off on Feb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

 

Bob Geldof and Wayne Coyne at an Amnesty International press conference on FEb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)
Bob Geldof and Wayne Coyne at an Amnesty International press conference on Feb. 5, 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)
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