Kissing The Riot Police

Here’s a technique of non-violent resistance that I think could combine quite handily with the tactics of naked protesters:

protester kisses a riot cop

Photo credit: AFP.

Arrested For Naked Legs

arrested for bare legs

Supposedly, this photo dates from 1922 Chicago and presents the arrest of women at the beach whose demonstrative crime was to wear one-piece bathing suits that bared and exposed their legs. It’s Naked Protesters material because the scene is clearly a media circus; it seems at least possible that the ladies in question were flouting the contemporary sartorial regulations with intent to protest them and make a scene.

However, the explanation opens with “supposedly” because this picture is all over the internet under similar captions, none of which offer an authoritative source of the captioning information. The most commonly cited modern appearance of this photo is a Reddit thread from October 2011 with the caption “Women in Chicago being arrested for wearing one piece bathing suits, without the required leg coverings. 1922.” Most other web appearances cite the Reddit thread or lightly rephrase the Reddit caption, but the photo can also be found on a other websites with similar captions dated to the few months prior to the Reddit thread. Not found were any older appearances on the web, nor any authoritative sources for the photo that might be used to confirm the many similar captions.

Dressing Down The Dress Code

dress code naked protest

This is from a student protest in Hungary after narrow-minded administrators tried to make the students dress more conservatively:

Students at a university in Hungary have turned up to class in only their underwear, in protest at conservative new clothing rules banning miniskirts, flip-flops and low cut dresses.

Around 10 students and a professor at Kaposvar University in southwest Hungary attended classes on Thursday clad only in pants, or, in some cases, nothing more than strategically placed textbooks, in protest at the draconian new rules.

The naked protest is in response to a letter written by the university’s rector to students imposing a conservative dress code, meaning dark suits and shoes for men, and jackets, blouses and trousers or long skirts for women.

“From October 1, there is also no place in the university for mini-skirts, flip-flops, heavy make-up, inappropriate fashion accessories, or unkempt fingernails and hair,” the letter read.

Burning For Justice

At an anti-prostitution rally, FEMEN activists pretend to be setting themselves up for a topless self-immolation. Considering that they subsequently light up some cans of hair spray without themselves vanishing in an agonized ball of fire, I think we can safely assume the gasoline can does not actually contain gasoline:

FEMEN activists pretend to splash gasoline on themselves

It’s been hard not to make Naked Protesters an all-FEMEN, all-the-time show since FEMEN appeared topless on the world stage…

Justice Gets Her Ass Beat

Street artist ADW attempted to install this piece at a Kings of Concrete event in Dublin, but it so offended the local cops they made him paint it over before it was done. It’s about “the increasing militarisation of these forces employed to uphold the law” and was inspired by “the worldwide Occupy movements and the savage handling of the protesters”:

The Lady Of Justice gets her ass beaten by a riot policeman street art graffiti

Via Spanking Blog.

Punished By The Bishop For Naked Pope Costume

naked protester with pubic hair shaved like a cross and wearing a pope hat

Here at Naked Protesters we are really troubled by the power implications of this story — I did not realize that we still live in a world that lets bishops demand (and get) criminal charges for mocking the pope:

Carnegie Mellon University’s review of two students’ public nudity at an on-campus parade last month came to this conclusion Friday by the university president: Students have the right to express controversial views, but not to break the law.

In a letter sent to the university community, President Jared L. Cohon wrote that campus police had filed misdemeanor charges for indecent exposure against two students, identified in court records as Katherine B. O’Connor, 19, and Robb S. Godshaw, 22.

The parade, a College of Fine Arts tradition known as the “Annual Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby,” took place April 18 on the area of CMU’s campus known as the “cut” as part of the university’s spring carnival. That afternoon, campus police were notified that a naked woman was on campus, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman, later identified as Ms. O’Connor, was wearing a pope costume, but had no clothing below her waist, and on her pubic area was the shape of a cross.

The nudity incidents, noted by campus police on the day of the event, became more high profile after Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik expressed concern about Ms. O’Connor’s display, saying it was offensive. CMU officials investigated following Bishop Zubik’s complaint, and on May 1, Mr. Cohon wrote a letter to the community apologizing to those who were offended.

The decision today, to file charges, was greeted positively by Catholic officials.

Bishop Zubik, in a statement Friday, acknowledged that CMU “has taken the time to treat this unfortunate incident in a serious manner.

“Once again, and as I have said over these last few weeks, this is an opportunity for all of us to be reminded that freedom of speech and freedom of expression do not constitute a freedom to dismiss or disrespect the beauty of anyone’s race, the sacredness of anyone’s religious belief or the uniqueness of anyone’s nationality.”

First of all, Bishop Zubik is an idiot and an asshole. Freedom of speech does indeed mean precisely the freedom to disrespect the sacredness of religious belief! And he’s an educated man, so he knows that — which makes him a lying idiot and asshole, to boot.

Just to be clear, let’s recaps the sequence of events, shall we?

  1. Girl wears a pope hat and no pants. In a parade. With creative pubic topiary.
  2. Campus police note the incident, but don’t otherwise give a shit.
  3. Bishop Zubik gets his robes knotted around his genitals and starts complaining.
  4. CMU investigates, having not been interested previously.
  5. To placate the bishop, the CMU administration instructs the campus police to file indecent exposure charges.

In 21st-century America, can you believe it?

Naked Protesters On Twitter

Progress comes to Naked Protesters. Slowly, but it comes. Grabbed the @NakedProtesters twitter account years ago, but didn’t really know what to do with it. Still don’t, not in the proper twitter spirit of short frequent communications, which don’t happen here — but a few days ago I did tart up the twitter page with Lady Godiva background art and an avatar cribbed from this book cover (which we first saw back in 2005):

lady godiva book cover

There’s also now a loyal software robot who is supposed to automagically send out a tweet every time there’s a new post here. Trumpets may or may not play when that happens. Probably not:

Naked Protests Against Materialism

nude protesters against materialism in Saskatchewan in 1903

Although naked protesters often seem like a modern phenomenon, they are not just a product of the hippie 1960s. One chilly example comes from the Doukhobor splinter sect in Canada known as the Freedomites (also also called Svobodniki or Sons of Freedom). Originally refugees from religious persecution in czarist Russia, the Doukhobors settled in Canada in the late 1800s and lived somewhat communally, but they differed among themselves as to how much communalism was appropriate. Inspired by Tolstoy, who wrote from Russia that whether it was defended by the state or the individual, private property went hand in hand with violence, the Freedomite contingent renounced all property, which they attempted to symbolize by marching nude. On one such occasion in the winter of 1903,

The Freedomites decided to demonstrate their beliefs to the other Doukhobors and stripped naked, as free from possessions as Adam and Eve, and marched through the villages. They ate leaves and grass like their animal brothers and begged others to follow them.

This being Canada in winter, it was chilly:

nude religious protesters in canada in the early 1900s

Thus it seemed a miracle when they did not freeze to death:

There were fifty-two of the marchers when they ran into Peter Verigin who was driving his carriage. The Freedomites demanded that Verigin free his horse. Peter the Lordly refused. The Freedomites, of course, thought he meant the opposite so they unharnessed the animal and set it loose. They marched on down the road while Verigin sent word to the next village to stop them. There the naked marchers were whipped with willow switches until their legs bled. Women and children were removed from the march but the men continued on.

That night, as the temperature dropped, the Freedomite men huddled together for warmth. Other Doukhobors, clad in sheepskin coats, gathered around and embraced them to keep the men from freezing. The next morning, when no one was found frozen, a miracle was proclaimed and the Freedomites marched on.

The Mounties had been tracking the progress of the march. The Freedomites were left alone while on the Doukhobor lands but as they approached Yorkton, the marchers were stopped. A crowd of about a hundred people swarmed out of Yorkton and forcibly clothed the Freedomites. The Doukhobors who were used to the communal nudity of the steam baths were surprised by the prudish reaction of the townspeople, but it was something they did not forget.

forcibly clothing the Freedomite naked protesters