In yet another display of solidarity and gusto during the Olympic Games in London, members of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen staged a protest in London near Tower Bridge. The four women walked along the Thames topless with words such as “Shame” painted across their backs, arms and chests. They shouted “Kill the generations!” over and over again as police tried to catch them.
One Femen protester looked straight at the camera filming her and said, “I fight for women around the world. They are not free. We are not free.” The protest lasted for minutes on end after many attempts by police to cover the women’s torsos with jackets before handcuffing them and escorting them from the area. The video below gives some idea of how the women prepare and put on a topless protest (obviously, the below video contains partial nudity):
The protest was staged against the IOC because Femen claims officials collaborate with Islamic regimes which suppress women’s rights and cause strife for women the world over. They want the IOC to bar countries with strict Islamic regimes from participating at the Olympics.
The Daily Mail quotes Femen’s goals for this protest from their Facebook page:
Femen requires the states that apply the laws of sharia be shut out of the Olympic games, because of the inhumanity of these laws, which are in total contradiction with Olympic principles that are peace and philanthropy.
Femen accuses these states of simulating democratic changes regarding the position of women.
The activist group has staged protests throughout Europe in recent months. Just last week, a young woman greeted Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill in Ukraine as he stepped off the plane. Another protest occurred in Istanbul in which the bare-breasted women spoke out against domestic violence. Another protest was staged when a young woman stole the Euro Football Cup in May.
Femen makes their platform clear. They aim to represent women’s rights and issues on the global scale. Like Pussy Riot, of which three members are in the throes of a heated and slanted criminal case in Russia, Femen activists attempt to highlight issues such as domestic violence, sex trafficking and suppression of women’s rights. They always use the trademark topless protest as a way to draw attention to these issues.
Photo Credit: Joseph Paris