Go Topless Asheville: Sunday's rally and what the online world had to say
A local couple organized an event for this past Sunday, protesting women's lack of a right to go topless. When they found out above-the-waist nudity is actually legal in Asheville, they turned the event into a rally to educate local women on a right they probably didn't know they had. The rally became large enough to cause downtown traffic problems, made the AP and drew a crowd of thousands.
The Facebook event that started it all: GoTopless Asheville
The Citizen-Times carried a John Boyle cover story last Wednesday. The link to the article appeared on Twitter, and Twitter went wild. A new local hashtag was born: #avlboobs.
The story was picked up by the AP and went nationwide.
According to local media, thousands showed up, mostly to watch, with around 50 women baring their breasts. Crowds and gawkers caused a downtown traffic jam; downtown businesses saw a surge in traffic.
A local tweeter said people stood on garbage cans to catch the action. A WLOS employee tweeted that CNN wanted footage.
(Barely) WORKSAFE photoset from John Haldane. Men at the rally were encouraged to wear a bra or bikini top: if women could uncover during the event, men who supported acceptance of toplessness would cover their chest to emphasize the lack of equality in how toplessness is viewed.
- Another worksafe photoset from the Citizen-Times.
- The excellent local photoblog Image Asheville was there. Link NSWF and contains breasts.
- Of course it made the WLOS evening news. According to WLOS, a few dozen women were there to actually take part, while hundreds showed up "to watch and take pictures."
People took video as well as pics: The Mountain Xpress video. NSFW.
But was the whole thing a publicity stunt for the Raelian Church, a religion that teaches that human beings were created by aliens? This SF Weekly blog post alleges that the whole series of nationwide protests that happened Sunday are Raelism publicity stunts.
- Wikipedia entry: Raelism.
Aliens. Boobs. Drums. Welcome to Asheville. What'd you think about Sunday's protest?
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