In one of the most extravagant displays, Reykjavik Mayor Jon Gnarr rode through the streets of the Icelandic capital in a gay-pride parade last weekend dressed like a band member - wearing a bright-pink dress and matching balaclava - while lip-synching to one of Pussy Riot's songs.
Although the band members and their lawyers are convinced that the verdict depends entirely on the will of President Vladimir V. Putin, and prosecutors have asked for a three-year sentence, activists hope their pressure will ease punishment or even free the women.
Putin has said the women should not be judged too harshly, but he risks appearing weak if they walk free.
Amnesty International has declared the women prisoners of conscience and collected tens of thousands of petitions to be sent to the Russian government. So far, the human-rights group says it has been blocked from delivering them. Two boxes containing 70,000 petitions were taken to the Russian Embassy in Washington on Tuesday, but a Russian diplomat carried them outside and dumped them on the sidewalk, Amnesty International spokeswoman Sharon Singh said.
"He did not want them anywhere on Russian soil," she said Wednesday.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were little known before their brief impromptu performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral in February. Dancing and high-kicking, they shouted the words of a "punk prayer" asking the Virgin Mary to deliver Russia from Putin, who was set to win a third term in a March presidential election.
They were arrested on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years. Since then, they have been vilified by the state media, while winning over hearts at home and abroad.
On Friday, activists in more than a dozen cities are expected to take to the streets an hour before the judge is to issue the verdict. The protests are being coordinated by the defense lawyers.