Public Nudity - the Lobbyists
In many countries it is against the law to
be naked in public. Even if the legal system doesn't expressly
forbid it, other laws such as "breaching the peace"
are used against those who go nude in public.
There are a number of organizations who are lobbying governments
to change the law about nudity and who work to raise awareness
that "nude isn't rude."
One of these is the Body
Freedom Collaborative. They advocate nudity as a basic human
right and push for "the ethical treatment of humans in
their natural state." One of the ways they raise consciousness
about the issue is to conduct "nude stunts" in public
places. One of the well reported stunts involved a group of
body activists getting naked in front of London's Law Courts.
Well known activist Vincent Bethell scaled a lamppost and removed
his clothes. It took police several hours to get him down and
Experience Nakedness Project encourages people to get nude
in everyday situations. They call it "civil nudification".
It also arranges recreational nudity in non-nude areas.
Bodies is an Australian group who advocate a change in law.
Interestingly, they tell the story of a nude picnic and protest
was disrupted violently by ex-Italian army soldiers and ended
in assault. When the now-clothed protesters called the Melbourne
police, the officers were more interested in arresting the men
for obscene exposure than dealing with the violent offenders.
Often the media treat these protests as quirky items for everyone
to laugh about, but those involved are very serious. At present
it seems unlikely that any laws will change in the near future.
time for us to calm down about nudity - Opinion piece
to lose but our clothes - Guardian piece on Vincent Bethell
Bethell - Naked Men News article