Gary said said GoTopless is inviting the women of Femen, an Ukranian women’s rights organization, to take part in a GoTopless demonstration in Paris on August 26, anniversary of the original Declaration of Human Rights (Aug. 26, 1789).
“By criminalizing female top-lessness, the city of Paris is clearly violating the principles of gender equality laid out in that historical document,” Gary said in a statement released by GoTopless this morning. “In Paris, it’s against the law for a woman to bare her breasts in public. Yet this is a simple matter of gender equality guaranteed by the French Constitution.”
Gary said the founder of GoTopless has made his position clear.
“If men expose their bare chests in public, then, constitutionally speaking, women should have that same right,” said Rael, founder of GoTopless and leader of the International Raelian Movement, in a recent statement based on one of his speeches. “If women don’t have that right, then we must also force men to cover their chests in public.”
Accordingly, Maryline Canin, Gotopless coordinator for France, is asking Femen members to support GoTopless by joining in the Paris demonstration on August 26.
“The courage and indignation shown by Femen in the face of injustice against women is an example for us!” Canin said. We invite Femen to take part in our Paris demonstration to denounce discriminatory acts committed by the French capital, just as they helped demand the right to abortion from the top of the cathedral in Kiev!”
Canin said French GoTopless women were victims of abuse by the authorities during the peaceful GoTopless demonstration held in Paris last year.“Parisian police officers surrounded them while they were still fully clothed and hadn’t even arrived at the place where the demonstration was to start,” Canin explained. “They were then taken to the police station and detained there for hours on no grounds at all. As a result, they were effectively kept from taking part in the demonstration. Meanwhile, the men who were present when the women were arrested were free to continue the march.”
[See: http://www.gotopless.org/news.php?extend.58 ]
Canin said complaints for illegal detention, discrimination and failing to respect the freedom to demonstrate have been filed against the city and are currently under review.
“The real reason for these random arrests, which was not revealed at the outset, was certainly the programmed route’s proximity to Notre Dame Cathedral,” Canin said.
”Under no circumstances should the French Constitution be swayed by subjective morality, much less by religion! Therefore, the police authorities have no right to abide by such a decree and we will make sure they know about it when they surround us again this year!”
Canin said French authorities have lost sight of the principles on which their iconic documents were based.
“Marianne, the symbolic figure associated to the French republican motto “liberty, equality, fraternity,” is often shown bare-breasted,” Canin pointed out. “Her nudity is the very expression of liberty and equality, so will they soon cover Marianne as well?”
She said the time to emphasize gender equality rights for women is long overdue.
“The tribute to August 26, 1789, is an ideal opportunity to finally liberate female bodies and minds from Catholic indoctrination and affirm equal rights,” Canin said. “A woman who is proud of her body and her nudity is a free woman.”
Canin said August 26 GoTopless Day events are also planned for London, Geneva, Amsterdam and Bucarest.