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Naked Protestors Nearly Bare All By The Sea

Coventry nudity campaigners avoided arrest in Brighton yesterday when they wore a minimal amount of clothing in a march.

Members of the Freedom To Be Yourself campaign went from the town’s Royal Pavillion to the nudist beach wearing just enough clothes to avoid arrest after police told them to cover up.

About ten members of the group were involved in the protest.

The Freedom To Be Yourself campaign is calling for the legalisation of non-sexual public nakedness.

Group leader Vincent Bethell, who was arrested in the fountain at Trafalgar Square two years ago when he jumped in naked, told a crowd on Brighton pier that the attitude of the police had been one of “prejudice”.

Wearing nothing but a sandwich board he told onlookers that he was “very disappointed” with being told to be clothed.

He said:

“The police victimise and persecute naked and non-sexual humans.

“When the majority of people are aware of the present injustice, the Government will design an 'Act of Parliament for the protection of naked people.'”

A police spokesman said:

"We don't want people walking around the town totally naked. At the end of the day this is a holiday resort and people will find it offensive."

He added:

"They have compromised and are wearing as little as they possibly can. We are satisfied with that. I am sure they will strip off when they reach the nudist beach."

Future protests are planned outside New Scotland Yard, home of the Metropolitan Police on 15 July at 2pm.

There will also be unpublicised protests outside the Houses of Parliament, the Home Office, Downing Street and in various cities around the country including Coventry, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Last June Bethell staged a protest walk in Coventry from the fountain to the statue of Lady Godiva.

The history and details of Bethell’s campaign can be seen in a Channel 4 documentary which will be screened at 3.35am this coming Sunday morning.

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CWN / Community / Organisations / Freedom To Be Yourself Campaign / 12 Oct 99

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