Pussy Riot’s First English Single, ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ is Inspired by Eric Garner

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PussyRiot400The Russian punk protest band, Pussy Riot, has just released their first English-language Track, titled “I Can’t Breathe,” a reference to Eric Garner, the man who infamously died after a confrontational arrest by officers of the New York Police Department.

Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina achieved worldwide fame and support from musicians all over the globe after being arrested and jailed in 2012, for staging a punk protest in a Moscow cathedral, criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ever since, they have become symbols of freedom and anti-establishment struggle.

The song was directly inspired by Garner’s death and the popular protests which took place in New York and around the US in its aftermath, the group told The Guardian. In addition, it’s dedicated to people “around the globe who suffer from state terror – killed, choked, perished because of war and state-sponsored violence of all kinds,” Pussy Riot wrote on YouTube.

In case you don’t remember, the United States was electrified with protests at the end of 2014, after juries in New York and Missouri acquitted police officers who were accused of causing the wrongful deaths of black victims. The cases caused a nation-wide debate about race and police brutality.

Eric Garner’s arrest was caught on video. In it, he is heard repeating “I can’t breathe,” as he is held in a choke-hold by an officer. “Those words are his, but we hope they can also stand for us and for many around the world, for all who can’t breathe because authorities act with impunity and feel invincible and above the law in using power to humiliate, intimidate, hurt, kill and oppress,” the musicians remarked.

The music video for the new single involves the performers wearing Russian police uniforms and being buried alive – a political comment about repression in Russia. “We were realizing that Russia is burying itself alive in terms of the rest of the world. Committing suicide. Daily,” Pussy Riot told BuzzFeed.com.

Watch the music video below:

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