Support The Moscow Times!

Reykjavik Mayor Dons Dress, Balaclava to Support Pussy Riot

Reykjavik Mayor Jon Gnarr atop a van decorated with the words "Free Pussy Riot" during the city's yearly gay-pride festival.

Reykjavik Mayor Jon Gnarr rode through the streets of the Icelandic capital in a bright pink dress and matching balaclava to add his voice to calls to free three Pussy Riot rockers facing seven years in a Russian jail for an anti-government performance.

In a brief video posted on YouTube, Gnarr is seen waving his arms atop a van decorated with the words "Free Pussy Riot." One of the group's songs, "Clear the Cobblestones," a likely reference to Red Square, can be heard playing from speakers mounted on the van.

Gnarr, formerly an actor and comedian, made the gesture Saturday during Rekyavik's yearly gay-pride festival, which ran Aug. 7 to 12.

The Reykjavik mayor's colorful protest came the same day as Icelandic musician Bjork published a statement expressing sympathy for Pussy Riot on her site, saying she understood the defendants "as a musician and a mother."

In the statement, Bjork invited the three band members — who could be sentenced Aug. 17 at Moscow's Khamovnichesky District Court — to join her on stage to perform a song calling for greater justice.

Russian authorities' attempts to prosecute Pussy Riot rockers for a song criticizing President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral have drawn a stinging response from Russian cultural figures, international rights activists and politicians.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.