Russian protest band Pussy Riot released its first song in English on Wednesday, dedicating it to Eric Garner who died last year after being put in a chokehold by New York City police.
The song’s title are the words Garner famously used while he lay on the ground with police officers around him: “I can’t breathe.”
“This song is for Eric and for all those from Russia to America and around the globe who suffer from state terror – killed, choked, perished because of war and state sponsored violence of all kinds – for political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change,” the band wrote in a statement on the YouTube video.
“We stand in solidarity.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina told The Guardian that they wrote the song after taking part in protests against police brutality in New York in December. They wrote and recorded the song in one night in a New York studio.
The video is intense, an “industrial ballad,” the women call it. It shows the two of them wearing Russian riot-police uniforms, being buried alive.
The women have been highly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They’ve made headlines around the world by being jailed for their dissent and protests.
While protesting at the Sochi Winter Olympics last year they were attacked with horse whips by Cossack militia.
“We’ve known, on our own skin, what police brutality feels like and we can’t be silent on this issue,” they told The Guardian.
Said the women: “We really could not breathe for this whole last year.”