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The Freedom to be Yourself

Activists Terri Sue Webb and Daniel Johnson are being handcuffed and led away by police after a protest in Bend, Oregon on 2 May 2002.

The Freedom to be Yourself campaign (TFTBY or FTBY) was founded in 1999 by Vincent Bethell. The group, according to Vincent Bethell is about "the right to be naked in public". The campaign is about non-sexual public nakedness. Supporters of the TFTBY organized several grassroots naked protests in public in London; there have also been protests in Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Coventry, and some in the United States.

10 January 2001: Vincent Bethell made legal history[1][2] by being the first defendant to stand trial naked in a UK court. The trial was at Southwark Crown Court London. Vincent was charged with the crime of "Public Nuisance",[3] which carries a maximum sentence of Life imprisonment.[4] Vincent was naked throughout this court case, furthermore he was found unanimously not guilty by the jury.[5][6] Prior to Vincent's historic court case he spent 5 months naked in solitary confinement (Segregation Unit) at Brixton Prison (London).[7] In December 2000, fellow activist Russell Shaw Higgs joined Vincent naked in Brixton prison. Russell had a letter about his imprisonment published[8] shortly before being released when all charges were dropped after Vincent's acquittal.

In 2003 TFTBY was renamed Stop Racist Human Skin Phobia (SRHSP)[9] because according to Vincent: "...this clearly highlights the irrational prejudice towards the unclothed human body."

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Related topics in the Connexions Subject Index

Alternatives  –  Left History  –  Libraries & Archives  –  Social Change  – 


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