Patti Smith Dedicates Song To Edward Snowden And Pussy Riot

In a New York City show on Monday night, the punk legend praised the former National Security Agency employee for his activism and the Russian artists for continuing their protests after being released from prison in Siberia.

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Patti Smith celebrated her 67th birthday with a concert in New York City, but had her eyes trained on the political drama unfolding in Russia.

The “Godmother of Punk” spent the latter parts of her two-hour performance, which took place at the East Village’s Webster Hall, saluting the protests of the Russian art collective Pussy Riot and former NSA employee turned activist Edward Snowden.

Smith said that she was so happy that the anti-Putin group, which saw two of its members released last Monday after serving more than half of their two-year sentences for “hooliganism,” would “continue to use their voice, because it’s very dangerous for them to do so.” The singer implored the audience to “not underestimate the danger those girls face by speaking their mind.”

“Edward Snowden, Pussy Riot, these people speak for us all,” she continued, “all of us who are no longer numb, all of us who are no longer dumb.”

From there, Smith launched into a new song that, following a first verse about Rihanna (the woman has range), served as a shot at the NSA.

“All of our phone numbers, all of our personal business, the business of our government, Edward let it snow, Edward let it snow,” she sang, in a droning and defiant voice.

Later, the singer added Pussy Riot and Snowden to the lyrics of one of her most famous songs, “Rock n Roll Nigger.”

Smith has long been outspoken on behalf of both parties. She signed a letter alongside Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen that called for Pussy Riot members to be released from jail, and saluted them from on stage; she also wrote a song for Snowden that she performed this summer in Europe.

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