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CHICAGO (CBS) — Supporters of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot will rally outside City Hall in Chicago Friday afternoon, after a Russian court convicted three members of hooliganism and sentenced them to two years in prison.
Even before the verdict and sentence, Friday had been designated “Free Pussy Riot Global Day,” with rallies and protests planned worldwide. The Chicago rally will be held outside City Hall from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Organizers are asking participants to bring a balaclava – the cloth headgear the members of the band wear – to show solidarity.
Three members of the feminist punk rock collective – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30 – were convicted Friday of committing “hooliganism driven by religious hatred,” CBS News reports.
All three women were sentenced to two years in prison.
The women were arrested in March after a Feb. 21 guerrilla performance at the main Orthodox cathedral on Moscow, where they asked the Virgin Mary to protect Russia from President Vladimir Putin in the wake of his election to a new term.
The chantings included the following phrases, in protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist” and “put Putin out,” recalled WZLX Classic Rock radio, Boston.
During the trial, hundreds of Pussy Riot supporters chanted, “Russia without Putin!” Police rounded up a few dozen demonstrators, including chess legend Garry Kasparov, CBS News reported.
Pussy Riot has also won the support of Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Madonna – who wrote the group’s name on her back during a concert last month and gave a speech to the crowd urging free speech around the world, WZLX reported.