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Pussy Riot member warns every country will feel effect of U.S. election

Members of Russia's famed political punk band Pussy Riot are appearing at a Q&A panel tonight in Vancouver.

Members of Russia's famed political punk band Pussy Riot are speaking tonight in Vancouver

Masha Alyokhina undergoing trial at the Moscow Tagansky District Court in 2012. Alyokhina spent two years in a penal colony, convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. (Denis Bochkarev)

On the day of the U.S. election Pussy Riot member Masha Alyokhina was in a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles.

"A Mexican place full of Trump supporters actually," she told host Rick Cluff of CBC's The Early Edition. "That was quite absurd."

"But," she continued, "I live in the country full of 'absurd' so I was not 100 per cent surprised."

We have two crazy guys ruling the biggest countries.- Pussy Riot member Masha Alyokhina

Pussy Riot, a Russian feminist punk rock protest band, gained international notoriety when Alyokhina and two other band members were arrested after a 2012 performance at an Orthodox church in Moscow.

Their performance criticized the church's role and relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The members were put on trial and eventually convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

Alyokhina spent two years on a penal colony.

She said the performance and trial had a huge impact on Russia.

"During my time in prison, I received hundreds of letters from [people all over] Russia. They were writing that we changed their life because yes, we went to prison, but we somehow showed the situation about the church and current Russian politics."

Masha Alyokhina of Pussy Riot says artists should care about politics. (CBC News)

With the election of Donald Trump — "we have two crazy guys ruling the biggest countries", she exclaimed — Alyokhina said artists need to care about politics.

"People do not trust politicians anymore because politics are full of hypocrisy. Artists, when they care about the political situation and doing political art, have a voice to speak with people," she said.

Alyokhina added a final message to the young people protesting the Trump election.

"First thing, riot," she said.

"Second thing, it is important to say that we are living in one world. ... People in every country will feel the results of this election."

Alyokhina and fellow Pussy Riot member Sasha Bogino are speaking tonight at the Rickshaw Theatre at 7:30 p.m. PT.

With files from The Early Edition


To listen to the interview, click on the link labelled Pussy Riot member Masha Alyokhina

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