NUDITY BAN PROTEST TURNS INTO BODY FREEDOM CELEBRATION – JULY 20, 2013
We had another protest against the nudity ban and a body freedom parade in the Castro on Saturday, July 20th. We had applied for a parade permit and the city did not get back to us, neither did they respond to our phone calls regarding the permit. According to the nudity ban itself we are allowed to have nudity at city permitted parades. But that was just a smoke screen, as it turns out. The city never intended to give us permits for parades. Instead, they put Gay Pride parade under pressure to ban nudity at their event, they caused Bay to Breakers to lose their sponsor. I personally don’t think it’s a coincidence that those strange things happened after the nudity ban was implemented. The way we were treated when we applied for parade permits only confirms my suspicions that the city authorities who were determined to force the ban down our throats were dishonest with us from the beginning. Their intention was not to restrict nudity to parades but to criminalize and eliminate it completely. Their promise to keep nudity legal at permitted parades was basically a dirty lie intended to make the ban look less draconian than it really is.
When I applied for a parade permit for the June 20 protest/parade in front of the City Hall I was told by Captain McEachern who is in charge of permits that our permit was denied because our parade is not safe for cars. I asked him to give me a written statement why he denied us the permit. He refused and got really rude. The second time we applied (for the July 20 parade ) we were not contacted back and our phone calls were not returned.
We did have a very fun protest and parade regardless. There were about 20 people attending the protest. Rusty Mills, Gameli Anumu, George Davis and Ray Barkowski and I made speeches. I really enjoyed everyone’s speeches. I am posting the text of my speech and Rusty’s speech (unfortunately, I don’t have the other ones transcribed). I am posting a full version of the protest on www.MyNakedTruth.TV here: http://www.mynakedtruth.tv/2013/07/nudity-ban-protest-turns-into-body-freedom-celebration-july-20-2013/
We were a little worried about getting fully undressed because we didn’t have a parade permit for our event. However, there was only one very friendly female police officer present. She came up to Frank McGinness and asked him about the route of our parade. He told her he wasn’t sure what the route was. The officer said that she was there to facilitate our event, that they understood that it was a 1st Amendment event. She said she was going to be around in case we needed her help and then she politely disappeared never to be seen again. Most of the body freedom activists undressed completely at one point or another. I enjoyed Rusty’s outfit. He had shorts on with a rubber dick hanging out past the shorts. The rubber dick looked very real – it was similar color to Rusty’s skin.
Gameli got naked for his speech. I got naked at the beginning of my speech and stayed naked till the end of the day. George and Ray got fully nude for a moment too. (George at the end of his speech)
At the end of the rally a young woman joined us. She took her top off. She said she was on the bus going somewhere and happened to notice us. She got off the bus and joined us. She walked in our parade topless along with George Davis (who was wearing his cock sock), Gameli Anumu (nude), me (nude)and Frank McGuinness, photographer Bill and David dePape who were dressed.
The parade was fun. We got a lot of encouraging comments, cheers, honks, handshakes. I can only remember one person flying off the handle about our nudity. It is interesting that every time someone expresses anger at the nudists they always act totally psychotic, in ways that would make you want to call psychiatric emergency. This is another blatant sign of how pathologically psychotic body shames makes people.
The highlight of our walk was a woman who got out of her car and got naked with us. She said she was planning to get naked in the Mission that morning but was worried about it being illegal. She did however get fully naked and posed for photos and videos with us.
At the end of our parade we went to Jane Warner Plaza and saw a very entertaining singer/song writer Suzanne Ramsey Kitten on the Keys. She was singing Burlesque. Suzanne sang some very naughty songs. (She wrote some of them herself). I can’t begin to express how much I enjoyed her music and her playful liberating presence. We put up our body freedom signs all over the Plaza. Our signs read: “C-occupy Castro”, “My Bush Doesn’t Steal Elections”, “My Bush Doesn’t Wage War”, “Body Freedom”, etc…
George and I spent almost 2 hours dancing in the center of the Plaza. I was nude the whole time and George got nude after a while. The Plaza was filled with people. The crowd was loving it. Suzanne thanked us for dancing after every song. She said she had been a nude model in the past. She was one smoking hot woman! To me it felt like the nudity ban had already been defeated. I was in heaven.
Body freedom activist and housing advocate Tommi Avicolli Mecca who briefly stopped by commented that our celebration reminded him of the good old days and the true spirit of the Castro.
I feel that our victory over the nudity ban needs to begin with the victory of our spirits over fear and body shame, with the victory of love over fear.
SPEECH BY GYPSY TAUB:
Dear friends, dear body freedom supporters, dear journalists,
My name is Gypsy Taub. If you want to watch my TV series called “The Naked Truth” it airs on Saturdays at 10 PM on channel 29. You can find it online at www.MyNakedTruth.TV
As the City continues to violate our constitutional rights we continue to protest against this illegal, illegitimate self-proclaimed shadow government. As we all know the nudity ban was forced on the people of San Francisco despite the fact that the majority of the public was against it, despite the fact that it goes against the state law of California and despite the fact that it violates our constitutional rights such as the 1 st Amendment (our right to freedom of speech and self-expression), the 14th Amendment (that gives us equal protection rights) and the Declaration of Independence that protects our right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
As we all know we were all born naked. As we all know, there are numerous cultures around the world that live nude every day of their lives. Yet we go around pretending that the human body is obscene and that it hurts children. Our society feeds children graphic violence and poisonous processed food that is known to cause cancer and diabetes.
Let’s face it, it has nothing to do with protecting children. In this city it is perfectly legal to beat your child as long as you don’t use objects like a belt. Even though you can kill a child just using your hands, it is perfectly legal to beat them with your hands.
I was shopping at Berkeley Bowl one day and I saw a father hit his young son in the head in front of everybody. I called the police. The police arrived but they did absolutely nothing. They don’t even report this kind of abuse to the child protective services. Yet if someone stripped naked in front of that child they would be facing jail time and become registered as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.
According to the nudity ban public nudity is punishable by a citation, not an arrest. Yet at every protest we have had since February 1st illegal arrests were made.
We were arrested 3 times while clearly exercising our 1st Amendment rights, once while engaging in a dance performance and twice while making political speeches in front of the City Hall. Our nudity was political without a doubt.
We went to court to fight our citations. Media was denied access to our trials. ABC news applied for a permit to film and was denied. So was the Norwegian documentary film maker Jan Dalchow. The City obviously has something to hide.
At the first 2 trials our charges were nearly dismissed due to the absence of the arresting officers but the City attorney’s lawyers pressured the judges to uphold the charges.
Both judges also said that they had no authority to deal with constitutional issues. Here is the text of the oath that judges take before taking office:
“I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California.” According to this text Scott Wiener and the City attorney Dennis Herrera are domestic enemies of the Constitution and our judges swore to protect us from them. But apparently corporate power brokers are above the law.
We are the people of San Francisco. It is up to us and not up to a handful of corrupt bureaucrats to decide what our city stands for.
Does anybody here remember why San Francisco was named “San Francisco”?
San Francisco was named after Saint Francis of Assisi.
Saint Francis was an Italian Catholic preacher.
Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most respected religious figures in history. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, and is one of the two patron saints of Italy.
Saint Francis served lepers, preached to many people, and even to animals. He renounced possessions, and rebuilt small churches.
“I shall go naked to meet my naked Lord.”
These were the words St Francis of Assisi addressed to his father in one of the most well-known scenes from his life.
Francis had taken some of his merchant father’s finest materials to raise funds to rebuild the Church of St Damian. For this act his father brought him before the court on charges of theft and of rebellion against parental authority. And so the famous scene unfolded. The trial took place before the bishop and his court in the presence of Francis’ father and other merchants and townspeople.
In response to the charges laid against him, Francis proclaimed: “I return not only my money, but also my clothes. I shall go naked to meet my naked Lord.” At which he stripped off all his clothes, threw them to his father and walked off naked.
This is who San Francisco was named after.
Scott Wiener, Mayor Lee and the City Attorney Dennis Herrera have made a 180 degree turn away from what Saint Francis represented. They are trying to destroy our history, our heritage, our culture. They are trying to destroy the honesty, dignity, freedom and compassion that San Francisco stands for.
What are they going to do next? Rename San Francisco into Wiener-town? Will San Francisco be declared a “constitution free zone”? It already is.
Our government is continuously flushing the constitution down the toilet. They are hoping that with time we will forget all about it. They are hoping that with time we will forget about our history, about our values, about our dignity. They are hoping that with time we will forget about freedom. They are hoping that we will forget who we are.
The power brokers are drunk on stolen power. They may not realize that it is up to the people and not up to them to decide what’s right and what’s wrong in this city. But it is very important that we realize that it is all up to us. The power brokers can only rule us against our will if we let them. We need to stand up for what we believe in, for our rights, for body freedom, for freedom of choice.
Let’s lead the way. Let’s start practicing more body freedom in our lives and let’s start openly talking about it everywhere we go, at home, at work, with our friends, our co-workers, wherever possible.
Let’s all come out of the closet. Let’s make a commitment to become free from body shame. I encourage you to start talking about body shame and body freedom to more and more people in your lives. With time the difference will become huge in your personal lives and in our life as a society. Let’s reclaim our personal freedom and then our collective freedom! Let’s remember that we create our own reality and that the future of our city is entirely up to us.
Our recent victory, the legalization of gay marriage, proves just that – it is all up to us. There was a time when it was illegal to be gay in San Francisco. There was a time when the same exact accusations were made against gay people as are made against nudists today –prudes were saying that it hurts children to see 2 gay men holding hands. Today gay people can adopt children and are now able to legally marry. Progress has won. The same way progress will win on issues of body freedom. Body freedom is our birth right, just as is our freedom to love regardless of gender preferences. Body freedom lies at the core of personal freedom and sexual freedom. Until we are free of body shame we are not free. As we grow, heal and evolve together progress results. The future is about progress. Progress will prevail. We are going to win!
Our Federal lawsuit against the City of San Francisco is moving forward. A few changes happened recently. Some of the plaintiffs left the case. We now have George Davis and me, Gypsy Taub, left on the case. Due to our financial difficulties our lawyer Christina DiEdoardo withdrew from representing us. I love her dearly and am grateful for everything she has done for us in the past. We are now looking for new legal representation. We are prepared to represent ourselves if need be. In any event, we are confident that we will be able to get everything we need to win this case.
At this point we are in the discovery stage where we are required to present our evidence and our videos and writings about the nudity ban to the court within the next 30 days. At that point our materials will be reviewed and the first trial date will be set. We are very optimistic about the lawsuit.
Our dear friend and body freedom activist Mitch Hightower will have a booth set up at the Folsom Street Fair and at Up Your Alley Fair to do fundraising for the nudity ban legal fund. Please join us! Up Your Alley is on Sunday, July 28th at Folsom and 10th St.
Thank you so much for coming to the protest!
Please join us for the body freedom parade. We welcome both naked and dressed people at the parade, please join us! Thank you!
SPEECH BY RUSTY MILLS:
THE NEW PURITANISM
An epidemic of Puritanism is making our civilization mentally ill and we need to do something about it.
This New Puritanism is affecting the behavior of people both young and old. It is affecting our laws. It is affecting the way we do business, especially here in the United States.
* For example, at the gym I go to — a mostly gay gym here in San Francisco — many of the men are now so prudish that they can’t even walk a few feet from the locker room to the shower without wrapping a towel around themselves. Some of these silly twerps even dress and undress with a towel covering their midsection, and some wear a pair of shorts while showering. It was not like this ten or fifteen years ago — this is a recent phenomenon. These men have been infected with the New Puritanism.
Here are some more examples:
* Disparaging terms are creeping into usage in sexual contexts. The word “junk” is being used to refer to a man’s genitals.
* Laws are being passed against nudity, even in cities that once took pride in being oases of liberty and free expression.
* A few years ago the showing of a woman’s breast on TV created an uproar and resulted in huge fines against the TV network.
* A fundamentalist Attorney General in the Bush Administration attempted to destroy the pornography industry with harsh regulations. The rules he instituted are still in place.
* Most large U.S. companies that provide services and products on the Internet have Terms of Service that ban nude images.
Those are just a few examples of how the New Puritanism has infected and damaged our society’s attitudes toward freedom.
The New Puritans are doing great harm to our civilization:
* They are diverting people’s attention away from solving critical problems, such as poverty, overpopulation, religion, resource depletion, and environmental damage.
* They are maiming the minds of their own children by brainwashing them with puritanical attitudes.
* The children of puritanical parents have a high risk of becoming neurotic, untrustworthy adults. Many of these children manage to shake off their puritanical upbringing. But those who are unable to do so become our society’s criminals and psychopaths — and they create havoc for all of us.
We need to do something to cure this sociological infection — this New Puritanism. What can we do?
We can go on the offensive. It is not enough to merely defend ourselves against the attacks of the New Puritans. We must attack their values and assumptions. We must put THEM on the defensive.
* We can ridicule them and make them feel foolish.
* We can accuse them of undermining liberty and supporting totalitarianism.
* We can revile them for being selfish and intolerant, of placing their narrow personal preferences above the basic rights of everyone else.
* We can lambast them for harming their children psychologically. They are “child abusers” because they brainwash their children with body shame and turn them into neurotic failures and criminals.
* We can ridicule their assumptions. They believe that children get brain damage from the sight of the human body.
What could be more ridiculous than that?
We can defeat the New Puritans because on our side we have intelligence, facts, science, and understanding. The New
Puritans have nothing on their side except ignorance, lies, faith, and mean-spiritedness.
We are proponents of liberty and social progress. The New Puritans are proponents of repression and medievalism.
The tides of history work in our favor.”
SPEECH BY GEORGE DAVIS:
Hi. My name is George Davis. For those of you that don’t know me, I am a writer and educator. (Holding up books)
I have written 2 books on Body Freedom: Naked Yoga and Weapons of Mass Deception. I am an editor and contributor to this book, Free Your Body, Free Your Mind! The book is available as a $5 eBook at Amazon.com.
Next year, I will run for Supervisor of District 8 against the incumbent Scott Wiener, the lead legislator of this nudity ban legislation taking away body freedoms on a weird principle that there is something wrong with parts of our body. This is an important issue. Forget that most of the people here will never practice public nudity. He just took away your freedom of choice to do so some day in the future if you should desire to do so.
Conventional wisdom is that I am an underfunded outlier and I am conducting a fantasy campaign. So far, in my 1st speech in front of San Francisco City Hall, I was arrested a few minutes after announcing that I was running. In my 2nd speech, a police officer interrupted my speech to threaten me with arrest. How many politicians get threatened with arrest for speaking the truth? Even though it’s all on video, the police and media pretend these things never happened. Who then is living in a fantasy world?
For those holding the conventional wisdom that this is not a serious campaign. Let me paraphrase a quote from the movie, “Princess Bride”, a metaphorical quote which has been highly criticized by my hippie pacifist friends:
My name is George Davis.
You killed my freedom.
Prepare to die!!!!
My victory in this campaign is not necessarily to win. It’s to see that Scott Wiener loses.
I’ll try not to rant on too much about public nudity. If you want to understand nudist outrage at the nudity ban, think of nudists as a political/cultural class like previously discriminated groups like Christians, Jews, Blacks, Chinese, Gays. Could you imagine Wiener introducing a law against Gays expressing themselves by holding hands in public? Christians wearing a crucifix? Chinese owning real estate and marrying outside their race? (By the way, this was San Francisco Asian law well into the 20th century.) Now you understand the nudist outrage in this neo-Nuremberg Law.
We know from scientific polling that 63% of San Franciscans have no problem with nonsexual public nudity. Similar polls in places like Germany, Scandinavia, The Netherlands show that 93% of the population have no problem with public nudity. The reasons for the differences are that the Europeans are more secular, better educated, have stronger naturist movements, and have way less media censorship. . . . Another indisputable poll, if taken, would show that San Francisco tourists love the nudists. If tourists could vote, I would overwhelmingly be elected to any office that I could want to run for . . . Mayor, Supervisor, or House Representative.
Body Freedom involves fundamental issues of Freedom of Expression, Freedom to be our natural selves, and Freedom from Censorship. These are ideas that are shared by traditional cutting edge San Francisco values and the more libertarian minded, new money people moving to and working in San Francisco. If you understand these things that I’ve just spoken about, then you’ve got it. If not, you need to study more, if only to understand why 5 out of 11 Supervisors voted against this nudity ban. What cosmic karmic justice to overturn the nudity ban by replacing Scott Wiener!
As an aside, who would have thought that I would be the conservative traditionalist and Scott Wiener is the reactionary radical in a political contest. Please note, how polite I am. I called Wiener a reactionary radical and not a Fascist like my European friends do. You know Scott Wiener alleges himself to be Jewish and Gay. You would think that he would care more about civil liberties, freedom of expression, and human rights. But, then again, J. Edgar Hoover was Gay and he had no problem outing and persecuting Gays. Roy Cohn was Jewish and Gay. He had no problem working with Joe McCarthy and dying in denial of having AIDS.
For this speech, I won’t go into local issues in District 8 about what some locals consider too many nudists showing up on warm days, Gay Pride Week, and Folsom Street Fair in the Castro. That’s best addressed in a question and answer format. But, I want it noted that Scott Wiener absolutely refused to consider suggestions like the European solution to too many nudists by opening up more parks and public spaces for nudist use or suggestions to hold Town Hall meetings between nudists and questioning neighbors, before resorting to fascist legislation.
Scott Wiener may give an image of the tall, lanky amateur politician like Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Forget it! He’s a hard-hearted highly manipulative bully with no compassion or belief in democracy. As an example, during the one day of public comment on the nudity legislation 2/3 of the public spoke against the nudity ban, the same percentage of belief as the general public. The publics’ message was ignored. Public comment in City Hall? What a travesty of democracy.
Before I get off the subject of nudity, let me let you know a little irony. If there was a list of people in San Francisco who thought that public nudity was not a big deal, I could be put on the top of the list. However, my arrests, Gypsy’s possible imprisonment, and this nudity ordinance, undemocratically pushed through by Supervisor Wiener, prove that nudity really is a big deal and a civil liberties issue.
If taking away your civil liberties isn’t enough, I’d like to remind you that Scott Wiener attempted to take away your voting rights. In November 2011, 2/3 of San Francisco voters rejected a Wiener sponsored Proposition E to allow the Board of Supervisors to amend or repeal initiative ordinances that have been passed by the voting electorate. Isn’t that scary? He’s trying to take away you vote?
In terms of compassion, and I don’t know how I could make this up, last cold and wet December, Scott Wiener pulls out the benches in the Castro used by the homeless. This is just before Christmas. Many called him, “The Grinch who stole the bench.”
Now, some of what Scott Wiener is doing becomes more understandable when you start thinking of him representing big developers and the 1% elite. Just look around. The City is in a big building, wealth, and capital influx boom. We are seeing that “independent” papers like the “Bay Guardian”, “SF Weekly”, “San Francisco Examiner”, and the Castro paper of record “Bay Area Reporter” have been captured by a corporate conglomerate. Many of these forces are trying to homogenize San Francisco and turn it into, as a friend expresses it, into Milwaukee, but with better weather.
Now, in terms of sleeping with developers, Wiener has advocated the dismantling of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) with its protections of the public by environmental reviews of large building projects. . . . Wiener has vigorously fought for 8 Washington, a condo development for multi-millionaire tenant/owners on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building with major increased height variances. This project is opposed by the local Telegraph Hill Dwellers Association, local Supervisor David Chiu, former local Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Senator/Former Mayor Diane Feinstein, and former Mayor Art Agnos. . . . For the “little” people in San Francisco, he has passed legislation lowering the minimum square footage of apartments to 220 square feet. That is the equivalent of 2 tiny 9X!2 rugs for your kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room, closet, and office areas. Oh, well. Cheap. The rent is only $1600 per month.
I know that San Francisco has more dogs than children. But, shouldn’t we care for the children? Scott Wiener has fought the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency over using dedicated funding to allow free Muni rides to low income youth. He tried to divert the money into other projects. What kind of bully tries to steal kids’ bus money?!! . . . Another poorly thought out Wiener proposal concerns the location of food trucks near schools. For the first time in world history, obesity is a bigger problem than starvation. In the past 30 years, American childhood obesity has increased from 7% to 30% of children. Recently, San Francisco schools switched from importing frozen and processed meals from Illinois to locally produced meals from Revolution Foods with no frozen and highly processed foods, and fresh fruits, salads, and healthy/tasty entrees. The new meals have been popular and student school lunch participation is way up. Currently, Wiener is working with legislation to allow food trucks serving soda and chips to operate within 500 feet (about ½ block) from middle and high schools from a previous 1500 foot limit. What is this guy thinking?!
Folks! Am I Supervisor yet?
If this is not enough to vote out the current Supervisor; more than 60% of the San Francisco electorate are renters. Renters have seen an increase in evictions rivaling the last dot.com era. An Ellis Act eviction was recently issued to 97 year old Mary Phillips by a condo converter realtor. Also, at 1070 Post, a 95 year old 53 year tenant is fighting an eviction. Into this environment, Scott Wiener actively supported a tenancy-in-common to condo owner legislation that would have greatly decreased the rent controlled rental inventory in the City. When a compromise measure was proposed and passed which allowed for the conversions but freezing future conversions, Wiener voted against the measure.
Look! Scott Wiener only got 40% of the first choice votes in a weakly contested field in 2010 before we got to know him.
He’s miscalculated his appeal to the “old time” San Franciscans. He’s even miscalculated his appeal to the new high income, wealthy, and well educated doctors, lawyers, computer, and technical people moving here. These new San Franciscans are buying homes and planning to become “old time” San Franciscans. They’re here because they want the City to be fun, quirky, and culturally cutting edge. They truly believe in freedom of expression and freedom from censorship. They have way more compassion and love for San Francisco than Mr. Weiner gives them credit for.
In conclusion, you will have 3 choices for Supervisor next year. Make me, George Davis, one of your choices. I hope that I will have other suggestions for your other choices later. Make Scott Wiener none of your choices.
I’d like to give you my opinion of the absurdity of body shame and totemizing body parts. I’d like to give you a not quite worth your money shot and a quote from the end of the movie “Boogie Nights” — “I’m a star. I’m a star. I am a big, bright star!”
I also noticed that the topless woman was a dude. When he/she stripped down to shorts and started hugging and posing with the girls he started to get aroused and sported a woody.
Thx for sharing the video and story. Its great that you keep standing up for your freedom. The lady Nicole was fantastic in expressing herself so openly. Its best to undress and show everyone your inhibitions.
In watching your video I saw 6 people, you and five guys. I noticed the people walking by and the people taking your pictures weren’t bothered at all by the nudity. I saw a father and two kids walk by and it’s like a normal scene there. People weren’t batting an eye at your protest or so it seemed.
The gentleman in the blue shorts would have been arrested in the state of Vermont. Nudity is allowed but displaying his penis the way he is would have been considered lewd.
Seems to me you need more people to show support in order to make a difference. I noticed even the crowd was getting bored and walking around like they didn’t notice you guys. I saw the lady cop and thought they were going to haul you guys away for not having a permit. Are you making progress or has the city won?
Nice job on the New Puritanism.