Gotopless day Aug 23 08 Miami Newstimes article
Topless Protesters on South Beach
Well, they drew lots of onlookers.
By Natalie O'Neill
Published on September 03, 2008 at 8:31am
A couple of Saturdays ago, Donna Newman was walking the Miami Beach shoreline when she noticed a pretty ponytailed gal in a tight bikini and waved at her.
South Beach"Free yourself, lady!" the tan, middle-age Newman hollered into a microphone.
On cue, a troupe of topless female protesters behind her added, "Free your breasts! Free your mind!"
As the young woman reached to untie her suit, a T-shirted boyfriend grabbed her hand.
This is just the attitude Newman hopes to fix. She is a member of a cult called the Raelians, which follows a French prophet and former racecar driver who preaches that scientists from another planet created human life. (Riptide gives him creativity points.) The group boasts about 80,000 members in more than 150 countries.
In June 2007, the Raelians founded a group called GoTopless.org — a nude advocacy group. Newman, who's the regional president, describes the injustice this way: Men in Miami can go shirtless on the street but women can't. "Men have two breasts just like we do," she says. "Some have bigger ones than me."
So, on the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment (women's right to vote), she led her group onto the beach around noon on a sunny day. There was a fiery Venezuelan, a masseuse, a flower-child-type, and a few lucky men. At its peak, the march — or shall we say the frolic? — drew about 50 onlookers.
One of the activists held a photo of a tubby, pale gentleman going shirtless in public. Underneath his man-boobs, it read, "Allowed?" Others wore sets of butterfly wings and explained to passersby "a woman's constitutional right to be bare-chested."
On Miami Beach, topless sunbathing is socially acceptable but not technically legal. "We basically look the other way," says city public information officer Nanette Rodriguez.
Says Miami Internet personality Glenn61, who was at the demonstration: "Tits on SoBe are like squirrels in the park: fun to look at but no big deal."
Gotopless Day Aug 23 08 NYC Gothamist article and many pix
August 25, 2008
Topless Day in Central Park
National Go Topless Day was held over the weekend, and protesters were out in full force in and around Central Park to fight for their rights to be topless in public. Of course, in New York it is legal--in 1992 the NY State Appeals Court ruled that women have the right to go topless, just like men. The Empire State ladies were merely marching in support of the women who get fined, humiliated and arrested around the nation. Some of the picket signs read: "Shame is Lethal, Go Top Free & Be Healthy," "Breasts Are No Longer Indecent in NY," and of course the 'ol standy, "Free Your Breasts, Free Your Mind."
As the founder of GoTopless.org, Rael, put it: "as long as men can be topless, constitutionally women should have the same right, or men should also be forced to wear something hiding their chest." Amen, sister. (You've been warned: these images are NSFW!)
Gotopless day Aug 23 08 Los Angeles LAist article
August 26, 2008
Shirts Off! Equal Rights for Topless Women Demanded
This past weekend, women took to Venice Beach to protest their right to to be topless in public. "As long as men can be topless, constitutionally women should have the same right, or men should also be forced to wear something hiding their chest," says Founder of GoTopless.org, Rael. In the state of New York, it is legal to go topless on those very same grounds.
"This is quite a contradiction to the gospel concert taking place just a few yards away," someone was overheard humorously saying. Other people were heard saying things like "get over the nipplephobia," "yeah, equal rights for everyone," and "this is the best day LA has ever seen." Well, maybe not the best day, but definitely the one of the more interesting ones. LAist Photographer Tom Andrews was out there to check it out -- here's some of what he saw.