Credit: Screen grab
Activists Fight for ‘Climate Justice’ by Getting Naked in Front of Lawmakers

Activists Fight for ‘Climate Justice’ by Getting Naked in Front of Lawmakers

“When women decide to remove their shirts, the people who enjoy it most are men.”

A group of semi-nude protesters interrupted lawmakers’ attempts to debate Brexit by storming Britain’s parliament Monday and demanding “climate justice,” Reuters reported.

The band of approximately 12 climate change protesters pressed themselves against the glass screen of a public gallery that sits atop the parliament chamber, giving lawmakers a clear view of their body parts and the slogans (“Climate justice now”) painted on their backs.

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Police eventually removed the activists after nearly 30 minutes. Officials said 12 activists had been arrested for “outraging public decency.”

The stunt certainly captured the attention of the public, but it may not have had its intended effect on British parliament members. Labour lawmaker Peter Kyle made a cheeky dig at the protesters by saying that the “naked truth” compelled the government to hold a confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal.

A group called Extinction Rebellion claimed responsibility for the protest, sending a press release during the incident saying they wanted to “draw politicians’ attention to the Climate and Ecological Crisis.” According to the group’s website, Extinction Rebellion aims to “spark and sustain a spirit of creative rebellion, which will enable much needed changes in our political, economic and social landscape.”

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Liberal activists’ use of nudity to draw attention to their pet causes is nothing new. Femen, a radical feminist movement aimed at fighting the patriarchy, is known for using topless protesters to ignite controversy during protests. Earlier this month, Deadspin reported that a diverse female cast is being assembled for an upcoming movie about a group of former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

The inclusive casting and progressive premise – with female heroes plotting to bilk rich male villains – got liberal media outlets gushing. “So you’re telling me that Cardi B, JLo, and Julia Stiles are teaming up for a movie about strippers getting revenge on the patriarchy?” Gay, and I cannot stress this enough, rights!” Out magazine exclaimed.

But critics argue that while such tactics may attract the eyeballs of spectators lured by the prurience of the spectacle, whether protesters are actually getting their points across and persuading people of the rightness of their viewpoints is questionable.

“When women decide to remove their shirts, the people who enjoy it most are men,” New York Post columnist Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote in a 2017 piece accusing feminists of “confusing nudity with liberation.”

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Cover image: Nude protesters. (Screen grab)



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