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Pussy Riot Shuts Down Trump Tower During Protests

The “Pussy Riot” band stormed Trump Tower in New York City Monday, wearing balaclavas and calling for President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to release “political prisoners.”

Police reportedly shut down the tower for more than 30 minutes after the protest, during which time members of the Russian feminist band unfurled a banner calling for the liberation of a Ukrainian film director, the Independent reported Tuesday. The band argued that talking about supposed political prisoners was more important than the “sexist bullshit” on which America is currently focused, presumably referring to the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

“Defending political prisoners is an issue that transcends borders. We are acting in solidarity against leaders like Putin, who has exercised authoritarian force and Trump, who is displaying authoritarian tendencies — because we all need to be fighting together on behalf of dissidents everywhere,” the group wrote on Facebook.

WATCH:

Russia sentenced Ukranian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov to 20 years in prison for fighting the Russian annexation of Crimea. Three members of the punk rock band were also sentenced to two years in a Russian prison in 2012 on charges of hooliganism.

The three women were arrested months prior after a guerrilla performance in Moscow’s main cathedral where they high-kicked and danced while singing a “punk prayer,” pleading with the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a third term as Russia’s president two weeks later.

Judge Marina Syrova said in her verdict that the band members “committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred.” She rejected the women’s arguments that they were protesting the Orthodox Church’s support for Putin and didn’t intend to offend religious believers.

No members of the band appear to have been arrested in connection with their Trump Tower protest.

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