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05-Aug-2013,
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GoTopless activist Phoenix Feeley launches jail sentence with hunger strike

LAS VEGAS, Aug 5 – After five years of fighting for women's topless rights, Phoenix
Feeley of New York City has decided to protest her incarceration with a hunger strike as she begins a jail sentence at the Spring Lakes NJ county jail, imposed for going bare-chested on a New Jersey beach.

"State and local laws are all over the map on the issue of women's topless rights," said Nadine Gary, spokesperson for GoTopless.org, a group founded by international spiritual leader Rael after he heard of Feeley's first arrest in New York City seven years ago. GoTopless claims women's constitutional right to go topless in public on the basis of gender equality.

"Ms. Feeley won a lawsuit against the New York Police Department in 2007 after being wrongfully arrested for going publicly topless there," Gary said. "She won that round, but another round started after that when she went topless on a beach at Spring Lake, N.J. in 2008. She was merely exercising her gender equal rights under the U.S. Constitution. Men throughout the United States have enjoyed going shirtless legally for the last 80 years. That includes all the men around her on the beach that day."

At Spring Lake, Feeley refused to cover up when police told her to. She was subsequently handcuffed and taken to a psychiatric ward, where she was involuntarily confined. On the door of her locked room was this notice: If a patient poses a threat to self or others, he or she must be evaluated by a doctor.

"In this case, a woman's nude torso was somehow deemed to cause a threat to others, but a consultation with a doctor never happened," Gary pointed out. "Nevertheless, she was asked to pay $1,400 for her forced visit to the mental facility. The police were wrong to take her there, because standing up for your constitutional rights doesn't mean you're mentally deranged!
This arrest was in gross violation of a citizen's rights, and the police officers involved should be prosecuted!"

Feeley took her case up through the N.J. courts.

"In the municipal court, the judge said he'd have her thrown in jail if she went topless again in his town," Gary said. "But the superior court judge seemed to uphold her constitutional topless rights, saying she wouldn't 'be made to sit in the back of the bus.' He was referring to Rosa Parks, of course."

The appellate court brought no resolution and the case reached the New Jersey Supreme Court, which refused to hear it.

"At this point, Phoenix has reached out to the U.S. Supreme Court," Gary said. "We're hoping it will rule in favor of a woman's constitutional right to go topless in public on the basis of gender equality. That would settle everything once and for all."

But Gary is aware that the process takes time, and there's no guarantee the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case.

"In the meantime, Phoenix has begun serving her jail sentence after rightfully refusing to pay for her forced stay in the psychiatric ward," Gary said. "As we went to press, she was set to begin a hunger strike the moment she arrived at the jail. She will be supported throughout the United States and throughout the world as GoTopless prepares to launch its 6th annual GoTopless Day protests on August 25 in honor of Women's Equality Day."
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02-Apr-2013,
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GOTOPLESS TO ALAMI ADEL: TUNISIAN WOMEN AND MEN HAVE THE SAME RIGHT TO POST THEIR BARE-CHESTED PHOTOS

On April 4th, there will be GoTopless demonstrations around the world to support Amina in Tunisia.

Tunis, April 2nd, 2013 – GoTopless, an international organization that promotes gender equality and that advocates women's right to go topless wherever this right is granted to men, firmly denounces the comments made by Tunisian Salafist preacher, Alami Adel, leader of the so-called Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, who called for Tunisian citizen Amina to be "stoned" “quarantined,” and to “receive 100 lashes” because she posted a top-free photo of herself on Facebook.

“Mr. Adel’s comments are appalling from the standpoint of their violent overtone and also because they scoff at the notion of equal rights between men and women in Tunisia,” declared Joce Blottière – GoTopless spokesperson in the Middle East. “How can Mr. Adel condemn Amina’s action with such vitriol when thousands of photographs of shirtless Tunisian men are posted every day on Facebook without anyone raising an eyebrow or being offended?”

GoTopless advocates total gender equality and rejects any oppressive and one-sided machismo statements that allege to promote virtue and prevent vice. The activist organization, “GoTopless,” was launched by Rael – spiritual leader of the Raelian Religion (www.rael.org) – and its values are in perfect harmony with the Human Rights Charter, which explicitly includes equal rights between men and women.

“History tells us that it is the repression of nudity that causes mental imbalance and that leads to violence against women, not the other way around. In fact, in many African and South American tribes, where women have a propensity to walk around bare-chested, there are no irrational reactions from men or sanctions against women. And the same argument holds true when it comes to the majority of Mediterranean beaches,” expressed Blottière. “This sexual violence toward women is present in the most repressed countries, such as India for example, where collective rapes make the newspapers’ front page!”

GoTopless encourages all Tunisian women to make their right to go bare-chested known in the same way this right exists for all men, and to make their voices heard by not subjecting themselves to any law that would consider them unequal or inferior to men, whether on issues related to their bodies or others.

Blottiere concludes: “The love for freedom seems to be viewed by Muslim extremists as the most serious psychiatric disease there is, one that requires a radical and forceful treatment similar to a punitive fascist medicine. And GoTopless is firmly opposed to this.”

GoTopless will join “Femen’s Topless Jihad” action on Thursday, April 4th to support Amina and will invite its members to organize topless demonstrations in front of Tunisian embassies around the world.
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08-Mar-2013,
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On Women’s Day, March 8, from Iran to North Carolina, GoTopless calls upon topless women to ‘occupy’ planet Earth

LAS VEGAS, March 8 – Raelian Guides Negar Azizmoradi and Nadine Gary are fighting for women’s equal rights, and they say no day is more appropriate than Women’s Day for women to get active and be heard.

Azizmoradi, head of GoTopless Iran and a female Iranian Raelian Imam, said today that she applauds Iranian female activists in Stockholm, Sweden, for holding a topless demonstration yesterday.

“It was held in protest of women being forced to wear the Hidjab in their home country [Iran] when men aren’t,” Azizmoradi explained, adding that the demonstrators were sported body slogans like “My nudity, my body, my right.” “I admire these women for having the courage to overcome repressive religious education and stand against oppression,” she said. “Too many women activists are imprisoned and tortured in Iran.”

Nadine Gary, president of GoTopless and a U.S. Raelian priestess, said she denounces the actions of politician Tim Moffitt, who recently introduced a bill in North Carolina that would make it a felony for a woman to show her nipples in public.

“This law wouldn’t apply to male nipples,” Gary said. “Iran is often singled out for human rights violations, but similar violations are about to be voted into law in a state that’s part of the leading democracy. Gender inequality is rampant in both societies!”

According to Azizmoradi, more and more Iranian women, including actress Golshifte Farahani and Maryam Namazie, are using nudity and sensuality to emphasize social injustices.

“We notice the same trend in North America and Europe with the Sexextremist group Femen and Slutwalks,”Gary commented.

Azizmoradi and Gary agree that women worldwide have a converging message for Women’s Day 2013.

“They’re emancipating themselves and standing up to use their bodies, sensuality and sexuality as they please,”Gary said. “They’re breaking away from patriarchal societies and religions that controlled their lives, especially their bodies, for centuries.”

“What do men like Moffit and Ahmadinejad do for the world while oppressing women?” Gary asked. “They just spread greed, corruption, suffering and pollution. It’s Earth’s women, empowered by femininity, who need to occupy the planet! As spiritual leader Rael, founder of Gotopless and a fervent defender of women’s rights, said, “Send the men to watch football while women straighten out this mess on Earth before it’s too late.”
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