Pussy Riot release first English song about Eric Garner and are buried alive in music video

The Russian punk duo want to protest for 'those who are silent' worldwide

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The Independent Culture

Pussy Riot have released a protest song dedicated to Eric Garner, with an accompanying video showing the activists being buried alive in Russian riot police uniforms.

“I Can’t Breathe” is Maria Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova’s first English Language record and features Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner on bass guitar.

Garner died in New York last summer after being put in a chokehold by a police officer, sparking widespread anger over racial injusice in the US. Now, the words he repeated eleven times before his death have inspired Pussy Riot’s ballad.

The last line of “I Can’t Breathe” is “Some fairness might be found/From ashes of his death”, before Garner’s harrowing conversation with NYPD officers is read by punk innovator Richard Hell.

“To Eric Garner and to all who suffer from state terror – killed, choked, perished because of war and police violence – to political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change,” they told NME.

“We all have to protest for those who are silent and we have to protest for each other, no matter the geography, no matter the borders.

“‘I can’t breathe’ are the last words of Eric Garner. 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.

“We’ve known, on our own skin, what police brutality feels like and we can’t be silent on this issue.”

Pussy Riot were jailed for 16 months in their home country of Russia after performing anti-Vladmir Putin punk song “Mother of God, Drive Putin Away” in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

They recorded “I Can’t Breathe” in New York in December and have since been working with Le Tigre’s JD Samson on new musical material. 

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