Pussy Riot’s first English song ‘I Can’t Breathe’ pays tribute to Eric Garner

Russian punk band Pussy Riot have released their first song in English, “I Can’t Breathe,” which were the last words of Eric Garner when he died at the hands of police officers in Staten Island, NY.

The group, made famous worldwide after being jailed for two years after protesting against Russian President Vladmir Putin, released two videos for the song.

According to the notes on one of the videos, the band wrote and filmed “I Can’t Breathe” in New York City in December during protests against police brutality, just after a grand jury decided to not indict the officer involved in the Garner case.

An unarmed Garner died last July after a chokehold by police officers, the New York Medical Examiner ruled, after he had been accused of selling cigarettes illegally.

It was a cold and militarized winter, a time of grief and outrage,” the band writes.

The December decision in the Garner’s death followed on the heels of protests of a grand jury ruling to not indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

Pussy Riot collaborated with punk pioneer Richard Hell, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Russian bands the Jack Wood and Scofferlane, and others on the song, which was written and recorded in one night, according to an article in Pitchfork.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing those powerful video clips. “I can’t breathe is also something that Ukrainians and some Russians feel these days.”

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