Thursday is the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington and his landmark “I have a dream” speech. Yesterday, thousands of people descended to Washington to commemorate the historic event and celebrate the progress we have made toward racial equality.
Tomorrow is the 42nd annual Women’s Equality Day, a designation created by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1971 at the behest of Congresswoman Bella Abzug of New York to commemorate the ratification of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.
GoTopless.org seeks to make a woman’s right to go topless part of the American Dream. Since 2007, when their spiritual leader Rael founded the organization, GoTopless has held an International GoTopless Day on the Sunday closest to August 26. That’s today this year. GoTopless is holding rallies in 51 cities around the world. In many of those cities, and in most states in the United States, going topless is already legal, according to the organization’s own map.
Today in New York City, where the right to go topless was degreed by a Court decision in 1996 and reaffirmed in 2007 when Phoenix Feeley won a $29,000 Judgment against the City for her wrongful 2005 arrest for going topless, Go Topless advocates are marching from Bryant Park to Times Square and back. Street vendors should stock up on sunscreen and hydrocortisone.
Here in New Jersey, Feeley’s recent efforts fell, umm, flat. She got herself arrested for going topless, twice in the same day, in Spring Lake in 2008, fought her conviction of violating Spring Lake’s anti-nudity ordinance up to the NJ Supreme Court and lost. Rather than pay her $816 fine, Feeley went to Monmouth County Jail and staged a hunger strike. A GoTopless organized protest drew two fully clothed women. Feeley was released early and healthy.
At the March on Washington celebration yesterday, women kept their tops on.Art Gallagher | Filed under: Equal Protection Clause, U.S. Constitution | Tags: American Dream, Anastacia Maness, Bella Abzug, Bobbi Bennett, Elizabeth Wells Hutchison, GoTopless.org, I Have a Dream, March on Washington, Martin Luther King JR, Phoenix Feeley, Sylvia Jones, Women's Equality Day | 4 Comments »