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Pussy Riot supporters protest outside Russian consulate in Toronto

Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Canadian supporters of a provocative punk band that has become a symbol of Russia's intolerance for dissent rallied Friday outside that country's consulate in Toronto.

About 100 people gathered to show solidarity for Pussy Riot after the feminist rockers' conviction and sentencing.

Some protesters turned to music to voice their disapproval for the ruling, brandishing guitars or bagpipes as well as placards.

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Sheila Hart-Owens, a women's studies student, said it's "really important" to stand up for the jailed musicians.

"We're a global community, and if you don't think it's wrong what's happening with them, then you should start thinking," she said.

A protester who helped spread word of the demonstration online said she was upset by the band's plight.

"They did a peaceful performance of a song," Lynn Flatley said. "It was their artistic expression, a political statement."

A Moscow judge Friday found the all-female band guilty of hooliganism and sentenced them to two years in prison.

The trial has sparked a wave of protest around the world to support the group, whose members have been dubbed prisoners of conscience by human rights organizations.

The three were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral, in which they sang a "punk prayer" pleading the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin.

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Mr. Putin was elected to a third new term as Russia's president two weeks later.

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