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Protest band Pussy Riot releases song, video tribute to Eric Garner

A new music video depicts Pussy Riot membersMashaAlyokhinaandNadezhdaTolokonnikovabeiYouTube

The feminist punk band jailed for protesting Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2012 dove into American politics on Wednesday releasing a music video that includes the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner.

"I Can't Breathe" is a haunting track that takes its name from Garner's last words after he was arrested and died from an alleged chokehold at the hands of an NYPD officer in July 2014.

The video depicts band members Masha Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova being buried in a shallow grave and images of cigarettes on the ground. Garner was arrested for reportedly selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner.

"He's become his death, the spark of the riots. That's the way he's blessed to stay alive," the duo sings in English.

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"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 the YouTube video description.

Garner's death and a grand jury's decision not to indict his arresting officer led to weeks of protests across New York City calling for police reform.

The Pussy riot singers came to New York in early 2014, meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio to discuss prison systems outside Russia, and performed at Brooklyn Barclays Center.

The song also features retired punk legend Richard Hell reading a transcript of Garner's final conversation, which was caught on cell phone video during his arrest in July 2014. Hell closes out the song by repeating "I can't breathe" nine times.

The video had just under 70,000 views by Wednesday evening.

 
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