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Monday, March 18, 2013

Nudists Sue SFPD Over Arrests

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 7:32 AM

This is still happening whether you like it or not - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • This is still happening whether you like it or not

As promised, San Francisco's prolific public nudists resubmitted their claim against the city -- and this time the Police Department, too -- claiming their freedom to express themselves (aka be naked in public) was violated last month when they were arrested.

On Friday, after a brief and naked protest, their attorney Christina DiEdoardo filed the complaint in federal court, basing it on illegal arrests the SFPD made on Feb 1 (the first day of the nudity ban) and Feb. 27 when nudist activists were peacefully protesting, which included a ("respectful") dance performance.

"Those were blatant violations of the 1st Amendment right to free speech (both the political and the artistic expression) as well as of the 14th Amendment equal protection rights," the nudists claim.

See Also: Here's How S.F. Nudists Would Dress, If They Did Wear Clothes

It's especially unfair, they say, since on February 17, Naked Sword filmed a scene for its parody porn titled The Cover Up which included a staged nudity ban protest for the film. Nobody was arrested then, despite the fact that there was plenty of nudity and plenty of police there to view it. In that case, however, the filmmakers got a permit from the city to shoot the film; naturists say this permitted nudity is clearly discrimination.

Again on March 9, nudists watched the World Naked Bike Ride pedal through San Francisco without a hitch. Police were present, but nobody was arrested or cited for being naked, even though ride was not a permitted parade, according to the claim.

Per the naked people:

Apparently, SFPD is specifically targeting events organized by the core body freedom activists who are Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against the City and arresting the organizers. Besides the 1st Amendment violations this constitutes violations of equal protection rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The arrests were illegal even according to the nudity ban itself. SFPD has the authority to issue citations and not to arrest people for public nudity.

As readers recall, public nudists sued the city -- and lost -- after the Board of Supervisors enacted a new law criminalizing public nudity in most places. Of course, if you are 5 years old or younger, you can still run around the city in just a diaper or less.

In any event, these nudists aren't letting up -- consider yourself invited to the next au natural event on March 22 at 12 p.m., when "body freedom activists" will stage a yet another protest against the San Francisco nudity ban on the steps of the City Hall.

"Please join us in this historic battle against tyranny and oppression!" the invite says.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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