CNN producer note
Pixel said editing this story was a challenge, for reasons that should be pretty obvious when you watch the video. We think she did a great job of capturing the story and keeping it PG.
- davidw, CNN iReport producer
In Venice Beach, California, over 200 women & over 50 men gathered to celebrate the 3rd Annual National Topless Day. They marched from Navy St. down the Venice boardwalk, where surprised onlookers, many tourists, got an eye full. Camera's quickly came out and cheers of encouragement were heard from the crowds that began to form.
The attention they received however, was not with out opposition. A few Christian men gathered to protest against the women's display of indecency. A heated argument ensued.. and the age old debate over "what is moral and perverse" didn't even come close to being resolved.
The group marched for gender equality... freedom for women to "Go Topless." The women want to be able to bare their breasts in the same public places as men; including, and especially at the beaches. In 1975 Venice beach was the most popular "Bare it all Beaches" in Los Angeles County. Now Public nudity is illegal at all Los Angeles county beaches.
Permits were obtained by the protesters to hold this demonstration,although the law still dictates they must cover their nipples. The women placed red tape over their nipples in an X and the men wore bikini tops to symbolize their recognition of the gender inequality.
I covered, or uncovered, this demonstration last year. I asked one of the demonstrators from last year what had changed during the course of the year. According to Nadine Gary, a couple of things she noted were the Christian groups protesting, and many other cities getting involved to stage their own demonstrations. 11 total throughout the U.S.
They were a happy group of topless protestors, chanting as they continued down the boardwalk.. maybe feeling a little of the freedom they so desired.