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Naked activists arrested protest­ing nudity ban

Three nude activists were arrested Saturday afternoon during a rally in Jane Warner Plaza while protesting the one-year anniversary of the nudity ban in San Francisco.

Calling themselves body freedom activists, protest organizer Gypsy Taub compared San Francisco’s ban on total nudity to gentrification, saying the law curtailed their freedom of speech:

“This city has been taken over by people who don’t respect our rights. Most people in the city aren’t against nudity.”

Protesters were in different stages of undress Saturday: Some women were topless, others were nude except for strap-on dildos while the men covered their genitals with socks.

The activists removed their coverings during a brief speech made by organizers only to receive a warning from police officers. After a five minute warning, officers moved in to make arrests.

The first activist to be taken into custody was Gamelia Numu, a figure model working with the Bay Area Models Guild, who was tackled to the ground during the arrest:

“I get paid to be naked in a more socially acceptable setting.”

Also arrested were Gypsy Taub and Jaymz Smith, who were married in front of City Hall in a nude wedding.

Among the protesters was George Davis, who is running to unseat the nudity ban’s author Scott Weiner as the District 8 supervisor.

The bill, authored by Weiner in 2012, outlawed public nudity in San Francisco except for permitted parades and protests. The bill took effect February 2013.

Because of the threat of arrest, Davis said he is unable to make nude campaign speeches. He has, though, promised to speak nude from other cities including London’s Trafalgar Square:

“Who would Harvey Milk vote for?”

The group plans to protest again March 8 during International Women’s Day, according to Taub, who said she moved from Russia to enjoy freedoms not available in that country:

“It’s about freedom. If they told me I had to be naked I would put clothes on.”

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