Pussy Riot, Tegan and Sara, Madonna team up for Amnesty International concert in NYC

 
 

The first Amnesty International concert in 16 years took place in Brooklyn last night at the brand spankin’ new Barclays Center. The special guests of the evening were two members of Pussy RiotNadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova and Maria “Masha” Alyokhina who were imprisoned for two years in the Russian prison system for “hooliganism.” While they did not perform, they spoke about human rights abuses in Russia to a receptive audience, which joined them in shouting, “Russia will be free!”

LGBT rights in Russia were highlighted in the speeches between acts. Madonna, who introduced Pussy Riot, spoke about the Russian government’s increasing intolerance for LGBT citizens. She said that she was sued by Russian anti-gay activists for promoting a pro-LGBT message and that 83 people were arrested at one of her shows in Russia during the MDNA tour. Pussy Riot has also been vocal about their support for the LGBT community in Russia.

Performances from several bands and artists stretched into the wee hours in the morning. Tegan and Sara took the stage after midnight, much to the delight of the troopers who stayed. Other performers included Colbie Caillat, Lauryn Hill, Blondie, Yoko Ono, The Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragon, Cold War Kids, Cake, and The Fray.

Photos from the red carpet and the show are below.

All photos by Grace Chu

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