24-Aug-2014,
in Misc

Tags: None

Wrongful arrest in Craiova, Romania during GoTopless Day Aug 24, 14

Below is the recount by Toma Cristian Marinescu, GoTopless leader for Romania of the wrongful arrest of GoTopless Day participants in Craiova.

We went at the Mayor of Craiova on Wednesday, to ask for the authorization to demonstrate for GoTopless Day. On Thursday they said they would call me Friday to let me know their decision.

I made sure to also ask them what alternative they offered in the case that our request was turned down. Their answers was : "if we don’t receive the authorization to demonstrate, you can still hold up banners in our hands, but YOU CAN NOT give flyers to the people; except if people come to you to ask for more information"

It is exactly what we did, respecting the authorities demand. We showed up and no one gave out any flyer and in fact, the police was already there, waiting to stop us before we could do anything.

On Friday I didn’t receive any answer but the Mayor's office had sent notice to the police saying that they didn’t approve of the protest. The police showed us the notice as soon as we arrived in the park. They explained that we did not have the right to protest because another activity was already taking place there. (which was not true!)

The police spoke about Law Statue 61 which bans obscene behavior in public and that is what they used to arrest us though we were NOT going topless. They said this law was applicable because the boys (including myself) were wearing bras to support women's topless cause and the girls were wearing see-through shirts.

Anyway, the Police force present was actually the Local Police (they are paid by the Mayor), and they were waiting for us with 2 police cars sent there especially for us, of course!

After speaking with them for a few minutes and trying to explain to them that we were not doing anything illegal, they decided to take us to the Local Police Station, where they kept us for about 2 hours, and gave us each a $130 ticket……one of the girls signed the citation….the rest of us did not.

The citation stated that we were topless while none of us was. They also wrote that we had a protest, which we did not. One of the girls was French and doesn't understand Romanian. So, when she refused to sign the citation in an unknown language and asked to be put in touch with the French embassy, the police officer took me aside in the hallway and said to keep it simple and not to mention the French girl in the arrest. The French girl refused. The confirmation of the citation with the fine should arrive in 2 weeks they said.
We have pictures taken in the park to prove we were not topless as well as a video from when we arrived showing the police was there and we did not even had time to do any protest!
printer friendly pdf

24-Aug-2014,
in Misc

Tags: None

Madame Minister of Women's rights, will your gender equality bill of Aug 4, 14 include equal topless rights?

Letter to Ms. Najat VALLAUD-BELKACEM, French Minister of Women's Rights

Paris, August 21 2014

Dear Madame Minister,

As Minister of Women's Rights, you crafted the bill on equality between women/men that just passed this past August 4. Your goal was to establish real equality between the two genders. This reason is why I felt compelled to write you this letter.

My name is Maryline Canin and I am France’s representative for the activist and non-violent organization, "GoTopless."

Gotopless, an independent non-profit organization based in the United States, was established in 2007 under the guidance of spiritual leader, Rael, in order to promote gender equality. It is based on a simple premise: Wherever men are granted the right to be shirtless, women should have the same right to be topless, in the name of equality among all human beings. The Topless protests and demonstrations organized on International GoTopless Day that have taken place over the years have quickly gained a lot of support and, today, the event draws thousands of people each year on the Sunday closest to August 26. In fact, this year we will celebrate the 7th year anniversary of the event and "GoTopless Pride" parades are organized in over 60 cities worldwide.

GoTopless seeks to eliminate the double standard that currently exists everywhere around the world. For instance, our very first protest was in Paris in 2011 and on that day something very unexpected happened. Only women from our organization were arrested and taken to the police station even though they still had their clothes on. They were held at the police station for two long hours and after being released, the police continued to harass them and prevented them from joining the march. Men, on the other hand, were able to freely enjoy the event in their red bras as a show of support for our cause.

We wrote to you at the time to ask for advice and support. For your information, a complaint has been filed since then for wrongful arrest and discrimination. The investigation is underway.

Gotopless activists don’t show their bare breasts as a sexual act or in order to attract attention. Rather, it is a political demand for the liberation of women. A woman showing her breasts should be natural and part of life. It should be a non-event.

I would add that the right to be topless gives women a commanding sense of empowerment after centuries of subjection to Puritan Judeo Christian values and macho laws. Such constraints weaken women’s self-esteem and how they view their bodies.

Your concern to make France less sexist and less violent toward women touches us and we would like to support your work by suggesting that you take a fresh look at this path of sexual equality that calls for toplessness for all.

The "topless" theme about equality between women/men is everything but trivial: it is one of the most sensitive themes because it triggers a reaction in people’s consciences, religions and governments.

This change is unavoidable. We need only look at fashion shows that highlight women's breasts, or at women who protest topless to seek gender equality around the world (I’m thinking about China!), or at women who travel around the world topless and post photos of their bare back on social networks to elude censorship (see attached photos).
And for those who fear that such an event might be an opportunity for men to show up in large groups, rest reassured. Less than one hundred years ago, when men were allowed to go shirtless in public did women rush to see them? Not so. Then why should we assume that men would not be equally reasonable?

And even if there was an influx of men, all we need to do is remind ourselves of how Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, reacted after a wave of rape incidents stormed her country. While the popular demand was to impose a curfew on women, her response was: "This is a problem that involves men, therefore, men are the ones who should be locked up."

Children will not be shocked by it either no matter what people say. Aren’t breasts one of the first things they see, touch and suck in their lives: their mother’s breast? To imagine sexual ideas in the minds of children at the sight of a breast, is this not the result of adults’ brains projecting their own fantasies?

This year, our national event will be held in Lyon, on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 2pm at Bellecourt PLace. In addition to requesting a right, we have added a festive and awareness-raising feature by launching a “GoTopless Pride” parade celebrating the Pride of being a Woman and Pride of our nude breasts, just like the Gay Pride. If you recall, this Gay Pride March was made possible thanks to the relentless efforts of a minority that wanted to defend homosexuals’ rights. It would be my pleasure to welcome you if you were to decide to attend the event in your beautiful city.

I hope my letter will touch a feminine and activist fiber in you, the one about just causes. I would be happy to discuss with you the fruits of our mutual thoughts, those of your research, and of our seven years of experience. I am available to arrange an appointment in a timely manner.

Respectfully yours,

Maryline Canin
GoTopless Representative in France


23-Aug-2014,
in Misc

Tags: None

Letter to Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris: NYC enforces topless equality, why not Paris, France?

Paris, August 18, 2014


Mrs. Hidalgo,

First, allow me to congratulate you on your election as Mayor of the city of Paris. It is with great pleasure and interest that I noted your desire to make your city a "place of freedom, equality and parity."

My name is Maryline Canin and I am France’s representative for the activist and non-violent organization, "GoTopless."
Gotopless, an independent non-profit organization based in the United States, was established in 2007 under the guidance of spiritual leader, Rael, in order to promote gender equality. It is based on a simple premise: Wherever men are granted the right to be shirtless, women should have the same right to be topless, in the name of equality among all human beings. The Topless protests and demonstrations organized on International GoTopless Day that have taken place over the years have quickly gained a lot of support and, today, the event draws thousands of people each year on the Sunday closest to August 26. In fact, this year we will celebrate the 7th year anniversary of the event and "GoTopless Pride" parades are organized in over 60 cities worldwide.

In France, our first event was held in Paris in 2011 and it was obvious then that equality between women and men was nothing but an illusion in the Parisian capital.
That year, even before the approved protest begun, all six of the women who were still wearing their clothes and were getting ready to participate, were arrested, taken to the police station, and their right to freedom of movement and expression was literally taken away from them. Two hours later, they were released from the station and as they tried to reunite with the group they were unexpectedly surrounded once again by a callous police that acted gratuitously and whose sole intent was to prevent them from joining the rest of the group at the end of the march.

During our seven years of peaceful protests around the world, it is in Paris that we had the most misogynistic and disrespectful experience accompanied with unnecessary use of police force. In fact, complaints have been filed for false arrest, discrimination, and for restricting our freedom of movement and expression.

Equality between women and men must be applied in both the private and public sectors. And the projects you have outlined emphasize this. Your political resolve is undeniable and I would like to appeal to your sense of justice and equality by granting Parisian women the freedom to walk around topless in all public places where men are given this right.

It is currently not the case at the beach (Paris Plage) or at municipal pools where many signs warn Parisians to "not forget to wear their top and bottom" (see attached photo). Other municipal instructions threaten women with a fine of 38 euros if they wear anything indecent which includes going topless.

Is it right to invoke indecency simply to avoid addressing the laws that deal with gender equality? Women's legs were once considered indecent in public, as was women’s vote! But gender equality has always prevailed.

We call for a true equality on our rights, one that respects the right for women to expose their breasts as men do. This is a fundamental right and no authority should have the right to dictate how women should behave or decide for them how they should dress, on the pretext that exposing their breasts would be indecent.
This change is unavoidable. We need only look at celebrities such as Miley Cyrus or Rihanna who often expose themselves topless, or at fashion shows that highlight women's breasts, or at women who protest topless and seek gender equality around the world (I’m thinking about China!), or at women who travel around the world topless and post photos of their bare back on social networks to elude censorship (see attached pictures).

The New York community has already figured this out and, for many years now, has authorized women to be topless in public and requested that officers respect this right and not harass topless women on the streets. New York has dared. Why not Paris?

And for those who fear that such an event is an opportunity for men to show up in large groups, one needs not worry. Less than one hundred years ago, when men were allowed to go shirtless in public did women rush to see them? Not so. Then why should we assume that men would not be equally reasonable?
And even if there was an influx of men, all we need to do is remind ourselves of how Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, reacted after a wave of rape incidents stormed her country. While the popular demand was to impose a curfew on women, her response was: "This is a problem that involves men, therefore, men are the ones who should be locked up."

This year, our national event will be held in Lyon, on Sunday, Aug. 24. In addition to requesting a right, we have added a festive and awareness-raising feature by launching a “GoTopless Pride” parade celebrating the Pride of being a Woman and Pride of our nude breasts, just like the Gay Pride. If you recall, this Gay Pride March was made possible thanks to the relentless efforts of a minority that wanted to defend homosexuals’ rights.

In 2015, we plan on organizing a “GoTopless Pride” parade in the capital. With my American experience, I would be happy to discuss the preparations with you and the positive impact that such an event would have on the French capital. Should you agree to meet, I am available at your earliest convenience.

I hope that my letter will have caught your feminine and humanitarian attention as well as your sincere desire to work for the respect of gender equality. This project is everyone's business if we want true female and male equality to finally become a palpable reality.

Respectfully yours,


Maryline Canin
GoTopless representative in France
printer friendly pdf
Go to page first  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  last