comScore Pussy Riot Speaks at Amnesty Int'l Brooklyn Concert VIDEO
VIDEO

Pussy Riot Delivers Powerful Speech at Human Rights Concert in NYC

Following their widely-hailed appearance on The Colbert Report Tuesday evening, two members of the Russian punk band-turned-activist movement Pussy Riot appeared on stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Wednesday night for Amnesty International’s Bringing Human Rights Home concert. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were introduced by Madonna, who spoke out on their behalf from Moscow during the 2012 trial that landed them in prison for two years for performing an anti-Vladimir Putin song.

Speaking through a translator, the two women drew large cheers from the Brooklyn crowd when they thanked those who wrote them letters while they were imprisoned. “Those letters helped us stay alive,” Alyokhina said.

“We have to remember that freedom is not a given. It is something we have to fight for and we have to stand for every day,” Tolokonnikova told the crowd. “When we were behind bars, you gave us the voice that was taken away from us. Now that we are here, it is our duty to speak for those who are still behind bars.”

The concert also featured performances by Yoko Ono, Lauryn Hill and the Flaming Lips, who closed out the night with a sing-a-long version of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”

Watch their full (NSFW) speech below, via YouTube:

[photo via screengrab]

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