facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Pussy Riot protesters run afoul of ban

Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Women in solidarity with the Russian Pussy Riot protesters are the latest to challenge an arcane New York law banning masks in political demonstrations.

Three women were arrested outside the Russian Consulate in New York while protesting the prison sentences levied against Pussy Riot members who staged a punk music protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Three women in the New York protest wore identical brightly colored balaclavas -- the same kind the women in the band wore. The outfits obscured the women's faces, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Those outfits ran afoul of a state law banning masks during protests that dates back to 1845, passed after farmworkers in the Hudson Valley disguised themselves as American Indians when attacking landowners. It includes exceptions for masquerades and other costume-related public events.

Attorney Norman Siegel representing the three New York women, said the law is unconstitutional because it violates his clients' right to free expression.

"We believe this law is overly broad," Siegel said. "Political protest is a quintessential freedom of expression."

Police have used the mask law to break up other protests including a 1999 Ku Klux Klan rally. An appeals judge ultimately upheld the state's enforcement of the mask law and rejected the Klan's argument that their face-obscuring hoods were central to their political statements regarding race.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
France holds up delivery of warships to Russia France holds up delivery of warships to Russia
2
Father upset over Islam history lesson barred from school over threats Father upset over Islam history lesson barred from school over threats
3
Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News
4
North Korea publicly executes 10 people for watching South Korean soap operas North Korea publicly executes 10 people for watching South Korean soap operas
5
Actress Lucy DeCoutere becomes first public accuser of Jian Ghomeshi Actress Lucy DeCoutere becomes first public accuser of Jian Ghomeshi
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback