Police Violence in February 1, 2014 Nudity Ban Protest

Gypsy Taub organized a February 1, 2014 non-violent (as always) protest at the Plaza in the Castro District.  We were attacked by the San Francisco Police.  The content of my speech was pretty much the same as the prior post on the campaign strategy.  The upside of the police attack is it demonstrates the seriousness of the Body Freedom movement to the state.  The attack also adds legitimacy to my claims that after 8 years, I can no longer publically speak in San Francisco and it’s not oversensitivity that makes me speak in other cities in exile.

Below are reports of the protest from Rusty Mills and Tortuga Bi-Liberty (SUN):

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……………………….
SF, Feb 1, Sat.: nudist rally attacked by SF cops in Castro
by SUN + Rusty ( nakity-owner [at] yahoogroups.com )
Monday Feb 3rd, 2014 1:40 PM

The hybrid city-county of San Francisco saw many body-freedom rallies during 2012-2013.
These protests have not previously provoked SF police to violence.
But the first rally of 2014, held on Saturday, February First, at Jane Warner Plaza,
was different….
……………………………..

SF: Feb. 1 bodyfreedom rally attacked by SF cops
……………………

[....]


[Saturday's]
anti-Wienerite rally
attacked by police

…………..
[ posted in a Yahoogroup on] Sun Feb 2, 2014 1:10 pm (PST) .

Posted by:
“Rusty Mills” rusty94114
……….

Yesterday’s rally in San Francisco
against “Wiener’s Law”
was halted midway
by a police attack on several of the participants.

The event was a rally to protest San Francisco’ s law against public nudity
– a law now in place for one year.
There have been a number of such rallies during this past year, many of them punctuated by illegal police actions and violations of the U.S. Constitution by city authorities.
But yesterday’ s event was the first in which police officers began acting like thugs and violently assaulted a participant.

The rally took place in Jane Warner Plaza
in the Castro District.
It began with a political speech by George Davis, who provided the crowd with some interesting information about how Supervisor Scott Wiener (the author of the anti-nudity law) was elected in 2010 with the help of a $200,000 political donation by a Southern California real estate tycoon,
and how Wiener, after being elected, began pushing legislation to overturn rent control laws and environmental restrictions affecting real estate developments.

During his speech George removed his cover-up garment to assert his Constitutional right to freedom of political expression — i.e., nudity as part of a political campaign centered on the issue of nudity itself. Several other participants did the same.
The police then interrupted the rally to say that the activists had five minutes to cover up.

The next speech was mine.
(I’ve posted the text of this speech in the Files section of this group. It’s called “Why freedom?” .)

In the middle of my speech the police strong-armed their way through the crowd
and violently wrestled one of the nude participants, Gamelia Numu, to the ground.
Two officers kneed him in the back while two others held him down.
Yelling in pain, Numu was handcuffed, pulled to his feet and marched to a waiting police van. George Davis was also handcuffed and led away.
[ I was told that Gypsy Taub and Jaymz Smith were also arrested.]

This shocking display of violence and illegal police behavior ended the rally.

One observer told me that Numu had resisted arrest,
and that the police were therefore justified in assaulting him.
This viewpoint ignores the fact that Wiener’s Law does not permit an arrest
– a violation [ "infraction"] has the same status as a parking violation,
not a criminal offense.
The police do not have the authority to make an arrest, only to issue a citation.
Therefore, Numu was not resisting arrest,
and the police had no basis even for touching him, let alone assaulting him.

If there is a silver lining to this disgusting incident, it is that the corrupt thugs who currently dominate the San Francisco’ s city government have just supplied us
with the strongest ammunition yet to use against them in federal court
when our lawsuit to overturn Wiener’s Law comes to trial.

……………..

[ Notes by SUN:

[A] Violating THIS particular
city-county ordinance
is an INFRACTION;
not even a misdemeanor.
Thus, technically, not a “crime”.
….
[B] In California,
an infraction can be punished by a fine,
but NOT by a jail sentence.
….
[C] This particular infraction carries a [relatively] low fine
– one hundred dollars.
Many common infractions have higher fines.
…………………
[D] MOST infractions, in SF, are about over-parking,
failing to pay bus fare, etc..
Most ticketed [ "cited"] persons merely mail a check
to the clerk of the
TRAFFIC court.
If a person wants to protest her ticket,
she must get onto the calendar of the traffic court,
to be arraigned, tried, diverted, whatever.
– NOT the criminal court,
Below is a text of Rusty Mills’ speech that was interrupted and unable to be fully presented because of SFPD raid and arrest of nudist activists at the political protest at JWP.

 ============TEXT OF RUSTY’S SPEECH BELOW================

I’m always amazed when people ask me “Why are you doing
this?”  In other words, “Why do you want the freedom to
be naked in public?” Or sometimes they are more
confrontational and they ask “Why are you openly
displaying your body?” or “Why should society allow you
to be a nudist?” or “What’s wrong with having a law
that forces you to wear clothes?”

I’m amazed that they don’t understand that the freedom
to engage in a harmless activity is a fundamental
freedom. The freedom to choose one’s mode of dress is just
as fundamental as the other freedoms that they take for
granted.

For someone to ask me “Why should you be allowed to be a
nudist?” is like asking a gay couple “Why do you
want the freedom to hold hands in public?” or asking
someone wearing a yarmulke “Why are you openly displaying
your jewishness?” or asking a marijuana user “Why should
society allow you to smoke pot?” or asking a christian
“What’s wrong with having a law that forces you to be a
moslem?”

Such questions reveal a lack of understanding of the concept
of personal freedom. But then, few people ever critically
examine their own views on freedom or fully support the
principles they claim to believe in. If they did, our
society would experience a flowering of freedom and
happiness the like of which has never been seen.

So, when it comes to freedom, most individuals in our
society talk the talk… but fail to walk the walk. The same
is true of our nation as a whole. America has never actually
abided by the principles of personal freedom that play such
a major role in American political rhetoric; we don’t even
fully abide by the rules stated in our official laws and
Constitution.

But America is not alone — no other society that I’ve
ever heard of has done so either. In fact, I think the
U.S.A. has done better than most countries. However, the
U.S., like many other nations, has started to backslide. The
forces of totalitarianism are making headway all over the
world — just think of the NSA, or Russia’s slide into
medievalism, or Africa’s descent into religious insanity,
as a few examples.

This is why the nudism issue is particularly important right
here and now. San Francisco has long enjoyed a reputation
for having a rational approach toward personal freedom. Now
we are seeing that reputation being
eroded by an influx of thoughtless social-climbers and their
lackeys in the city government.

Think of the nudity issue as a bellwether for San
Francisco’s future with regard to personal freedom and
appreciation for the off-beat and avant garde. If the
supporters of liberty are to vanquish the prudes, bigots,
and strait-laced money-grubbers in the larger scheme of
things, then we need to vanquish them here and now in this
smaller arena of clothing freedom!

I say: SUPPORT FREEDOM! Defeat the prudes and their lackeys
in City Hall!

or the civil court.

 

 

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2014 SF Supervisor Election Campaign Strategy

George Davis Campaign Strategy for November 4, 2014 Election to San Francisco Board of Supervisors District 8

 

District 8 in San Francisco is Harvey Milk’s district, which includes Castro Street, Upper Market, Noe Valley, and Glenn Park.  Harvey Milk was the first openly Gay elected official in the United States.  As far as I know, I am the first “out” Body Freedom Activist to run for political office.  The key to my win, or at least Scott Wiener’s loss, is to get the electorate to ask the question: “Who would Harvey Milk vote for?” and the realization “With a young MBA and an energetic  lawyer on my office staff, I, George Davis, can provide good constituent service.”

 

Many forget that Harvey Milk had run for office and lost several times before succeeding.  I too have run for office before on a Body Freedom Platform.  (I prefer the “Body Freedom” label  over “nudist” label, because it makes clear that it’s a matter of clothing optional choice.  Body Freedom nudity is both the ultimate fashion statement and ultimate lack of fashion statement.)

 

By the way, Body Freedom is only the third or 3 key points to show that Scott Wiener is a tool of developers and corporate interests and out of touch with the super majority

San Francisco electorate.

 

  1. Wiener has attempted to take away the citizens’ vote.  He sponsored in November 2011 City Proposition E which would allow the Board of Supervisors to amend or repeal! Initiatives that have been passed by the voting electorate.  2/3 of the electorate voted against Proposition E, but it’s scary that he even proposed this.

     

  2. Wiener has attempted to undermine San Francisco resident economic interests.  He was bankrolled in his first run for Supervisor by Thomas Coates, a Southern California real estate mogul, who put a defeated anti-rent control initiative on the California ballot. Remember, San Francisco is over 60% renter.  Also, most home and condo owners are not landlords.  They are former renters and are sympathetic to the plight of renters.  . . . He has offered no help in  preventing Ellis Act evictions.  . . . He voted against a passed Board of Supervisors plan to protect rental housing stock by allowing condo conversions of existing tenency-in-common ownerships, but place a ten year moratorium on future conversions.  . . . He has worked with big developers to dismantle the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) with its public protections of environmental reviews of large projects.  . . .  He fought for 8 Washington, a multi-millionaire waterfront condo project, which was opposed by the local district  supervisors and local citizen’s groups.  The project was voted down by initiative by 2/3 of the electorate.

 

  1. Wiener has attempted to take away the freedom of political and artistic expression that has made San Francisco a light beacon to other places in America and the World. On a 6-5 vote of the Board of Supervisors, he got a nudity ordinance passed in San Francisco. . . . I find it ironic that many people see me on a one dimensional plane only interested in public nudism and body freedom of choice. The truth is that if there was a list of people that didn’t think that public nudity was a big deal, I could be put at the top of the list.  However, mainstream media censorship, nudity bans, and police repression show that public nudity really is a big deal. . . . Public nudity is, at best, a demonstration that the nude human body is natural, normal, and one less thing to worry about.    At worst, public nudity is harmless and silly.  According to a recent scientific poll, 62% of San Franciscans have no problem with non-sexual public nudity.  (The figure is 60% approval for Californians.  San Franciscans are not much more liberal than other Americans.)  The figure of acceptance rises to about 80% in most of Europe where the population tends to be more mature, secular, and tolerant.  We know that with proper state approval, removal of mainstream media censorship, and positive body freedom education the figure rises to at least 93% approval.

 

I have run education campaigns for public office before.  I ran for Mayor of San Francisco in 2007 against a popular incumbent.  Even though I got less than 1% of the vote and few people remembered by name (George Davis), after the incumbent, I was the most remembered candidate.  Everyone remembers that a naked guy ran for mayor of San Francisco.  I was free to make speeches and debate other candidates in the nude.  Also, another political irony, everyone knows that if the tourists could vote, I could be elected mayor or any other political office that I wanted.

 

Since the nudity ordinance went into effect on February 1, 2013, I was arrested when I made my  traditional nude announcement of candidacy for Board of Supervisors.  I have been threatened with arrest twice more in the midst of making political speeches.  (Gypsy Taub and others were arrested for nudity on those dates.) 

 

Since I, or anyone else which includes you, can no longer have a previously existing freedom of political expression without police intimidation or arrest, I will now need to conduct  my campaign as a political exile from San Francisco.

 

The plan is to seek a high profile American media location to make a nude campaign speech in mid-August 2014 to be video-recorded and placed on the Internet.  Established mainstream media and social networks will be invited to participate.  Gypsy Taub has indicated that she would be willing join me and make a speech if the campaign can pay her expenses and her schedule is free.  . . . . American cities and locations under consideration are Los Angeles at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, Chicago at the front of the Art Institute, New York City in Times Square, and Washington, DC in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  I will need a promise from the mayor’s office or National Park Service in Washington, DC that there would be no police harassment.  I can stay in San Francisco for police harassment. March 1, 2014 is the deadline for an American speech decision.  . . .  Failure to find an American venue means that the speech will be made in Trafalgar Square in London where there are no police or government problems making that kind of speech.  The London Speech would also be part of a forthcoming documentary, “Naked Dream”, by award winning documentarian, Jan Dalchow scheduled for an early 2015 release.

 

Aside from traditional fundraising solicitations, there will be a worldwide www.indiegogo.com campaign for contributions.

 

The second and final campaign event is participation in the politician dunking booth at the Castro Street Fair on Sunday, October 5, 2014. This is the original dunking booth built by Harvey Milk himself where politicians sit on a bench over a large barrel of water.  People throw baseballs at a target.  If they hit the target, the politician falls in the cold water.  Due to local street unpopularity, Scott Wiener will probably not show up.

 

I also plan to work with other candidates who have strong civil liberties outlooks to help us in a ranked choice voting campaign to regain District 8 and Harvey Milk’s dream and a return of the City Government to the people who live here.

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SFPD threatens SF Supervisor Candidate with arrest during a public speech.

SFPD threatens SF Supervisor Candidate with arrest during a public speech.

     In case anyone wants to notice the loss of your civil rights and free political speech in San Francisco; the following speech was presented in front of City Hall, noonish, Friday, March 22.  The Supervisor Candidate, George Davis, was speaking at a permitted gathering, with a professionally printed “George Davis -8th District Supervisor” sign right behind him.  During his speech, a SFPD officer stopped George in the midst of his speech and threatened him with arrest.  Prior to February 1, 2013 the police never would have considered physically interrupting a speech and threatening an arrest.  Is this how the SFPD should treat political speech in San Francisco?  Would the SFPD consider interrupting any other seeker for public office in San Francisco?  A few minutes after George Davis completed his speech, the SFPD arrested Gypsy Taub while making her speech.

Text of the censored speech, not approved by the Mayor’s office, SFPD, Scott Wiener et al.:

Hi!  My name is George Davis.

I am running for Supervisor San Francisco District 8.   (Castro, Noe Valley, Glen Park)

I am running against a Supervisor who opposes freedom of expression, freedom from censorship, and supports the economic policies of the 1% against the rest of us.  This Supervisor was only elected by 40% of the 1st choice votes.  So, he is not a clear favorite to win again.  The nudity ban only passed the Board of Supervisors by one vote.  It’s fitting and justice that we take back this vote and use it for repeal of the nudity ban.

 

In case anyone out there thinks this Body Freedom stuff is frivolous or ridiculous.  Just substitute the concept of nudist with the concepts of being Black, Chinese, Gay, a woman, a Jew, or even a Christian (Christians are persecuted in many places of the world like Iran, Iraq, and Egypt.) and you get the problem of discriminatory and intolerant bans.  This ban attacks everyone’s rights and freedoms, whether you want to practice nudism or not.  Now! If you understand what I just said; Good.  You got it! 

If you don’t understand, your homework assignment is to go to Amazon.com and get this $5 eBook:  Free Your Body, Free Your Mind!  (A hard copy was held up for the assembly.  George Davis is one of the editors and contributors to this book.)

 

In the course of the last 8 years, writing about and practicing Body Freedom, I have given many local and global media interviews.  I’d like to give you my 3 most frequently asked questions and my most frequent answers.

First question: “When did you first become a nudist?”

My answer: This might sound cliché, but it’s true.  I was born that way.  We all were.  Nudity is our birthright and it’s one of the first freedoms taken away from us.  We have a natural right to be nude.

The second question: “Why are you a nudist?” or “Why is nudism important to you?”

My answer: On a nice day, and today is a nice day, nudity is more comfortable, natural and free.  It harms no one.  It expresses who I am.

Finally, what’s supposed to be the hardball question, a reporter/interviewer will ask: “I see how nudity is fine for adults, but what about the children?”

I answer: Intuitively, you would think that children raised around nudity would have better concepts of body consciousness and be better adjusted than other less fortunate children.  Guess What!! There are numerous psychological studies available on the Internet supporting this thesis and none supporting a harm thesis.   . . .   Also, for 5 years, I have publically offered $1000 to anyone that can write an intelligent 500 word essay telling: “What harm would befall a child who sees a nude adult?”  To date, I have received zero essays.  If someone can write this essay, submit the essay to www.urbannudism.com.

 

Now, I’d like to bring-up the question that I’d like to se the media ask nudophobic politicians or politician bought off by nudophobes.  “Why is it important to use the full force of the government to wipe out the Body Freedom movement especially political and artistic expression?”

We’re seeing the loss of freedom here in San Francisco.  It just happened here and now! (Reference to a SFPD officer who just walked up to me, stopped my speech and threatened me with arrest.)  Also, on February 1, five minutes after I announced that I was running for San Francisco Supervisor, I was arrested by at least 18 policemen under the direct presence and command of the Chief of Police.  The Chief of Police certainly took orders from Mayor Lee, Willie Brown, Rose Pak, or whoever is really in charge.  A few weeks later, Gypsy and I were arrested for an artistic dance performance by at least 12 policemen under the command and presence of a police captain.

 

Folks!  The police did not just arrest Gypsy and me.  They arrested any one of you who believes in non-violent freedom of expression, especially political and artistic expression.

San Francisco is not supposed to be a boring homogenized American City like everywhere else.  San Francisco is supposed to be cutting edge, experimenting with new ideas and freedom of expression.  Does anyone really hope that intolerant, repressive, distortions of reality like nudity bans are the wave of the future?  Or should nudity bans be the vestige of a reactionary, neurotic, nudophobic past?

I urge everyone here to support Body Freedom.

I urge you to add Body Freedom to your list of recognized human rights.

I urge you to examine the human rights records and attitudes of your elected representatives.

Finally, I urge you to honor your divine and natural being.  Free your body and free your mind.

 

                                       Thank you.

 

George Davis (415) 722-2968

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George Davis Announcement for SF Supervisor and Arrest

Announcement for Supervisor District 8 and arrest

(Five minutes after making this announcement, Mr. Davis and 3 associates were swarmed by a police squad.  At the exact moment of arrest, Mr. Davis was holding a professionally made campaign sign and holding a copy of Free Your Body, Free Your Mind!, a highly political book that he co-edited.  Gypsy Taub, who was standing next to him wearing a hat saying “Recall Wiener”, was comparing the nudity bans to Moslem women wearing veils and burkas.  The four were handcuffed, put in a paddy wagon, detained at a police station for an hour, cited, and the police said that if they engaged in political activity in the next 24 hours they would be arrested.  The incident was widely photographed, videotaped, and written about in the media and is easily viewable on Internet sites.)

February 1, 2013 

My name is George Davis. I am announcing my candidacy for San Francisco Supervisor of District 8.

Today, February 1, besides being Groundhog Day, is the first day that the San Francisco nudity ordinance is potentially enforceable. As far as I can tell, the law means, pardon my poetry . . . “A sock on the cock is legal, as long as one doesn’t spread-eagle.” Isn’t that ridiculous?

One of Sigmund Freud’s oft-quoted remarks is “Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar.” And by extension, “Sometimes a cock is just a cock.” It’s no big deal.

Many of you are aware of my work on Body Freedom issues.  have written 2 books — NAKED YOGA and WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION — now out-of-print. (hold up copies of books) I have helped edit the new book, Free Your Body, Free Your Mind! and have contributed 3 articles to it: articles on Free Body Culture Movements in Europe and America, the demonstrations against the San Francisco nudity ban, and the current status of public nudity around the globe.  The book is written by 21 San Francisco Body Freedom Activists with over a hundred uncensored photo-images. Free Your Body, Free Your Mind! The book is available on Kindle at Amazon.com in eBook format for $5. We will soon have a print-on-demand version. All monies raised will go to body freedom legal fees and political action.

Many of you are also aware that I have, in the past, run for San Francisco political office on themes like freedom of expression, freedom from censorship, and opening parks for nude recreation. These are themes that are just as valid today as then. I ran for mayor of San Francisco in 2007 with a dozen candidates against Gavin Newsom. I frequently campaigned and debated candidates in the nude. Even though I got less than 1% of the vote and nobody remembered the name “George Davis”, the “naked guy” was the most remembered candidate except for the incumbent mayor. In 2010, I ran for Supervisor in District 6. (Due to redistricting, I now live in District 8 – the Castro, Noe Valley, Glen Park, and Valencia Street environs.) In that year 2010 the San Francisco Police Department issued directives to leave peaceful nudists alone— thanks to my campaigning, the work of other nudist activists, and letters from the Office of Citizens Complaints finding police harassment of nudists.

Previously, although public nudity was never illegal, the police tactic was to hope that nobody would fight for their rights. I have been cited 22 times, arrested 15 times, and never, ever tried and convicted for anything.

Today, I risk a citation again. By the way, this little freedom to express your real being through nudism belongs to everyone who can hear me right now, whether or nor you want to exercise it now or not. Six supervisors and a mayor just took away one of your freedoms — a simple freedom that on a nice day, some day in the future, you could relax and be clothes free in a public park or on a public thoroughfare if you wanted to.  . . . Catch this: They took away your freedom on a Big Lie! The state is telling you that there is something wrong and unnatural with you and your body. They just legislated away your right to be yourself.

This is the kind of thinking that led to earlier discriminatory laws in San Francisco like the “Ugly Laws”. You were not allowed to be ugly in public until 1963. It’s true. Look it up. There were racially restrictive covenants on property sales, bans on interracial marriage, suppression of gays, and the sending of Japanese to concentration camps. These laws sound outrageous today, but they existed within the living memory of current San Franciscans. Someday, nudity bans are going to seem just as anachronistic and outrageous.

If you don’t think nudity laws are discriminatory, compare the concepts in these nudity laws with the concepts found in former discriminatory laws regarding early Christian martyrs, Jews, Gays, Blacks, Chinese, and women. You will then begin to understand our outrage. You should be outraged too, because each of you is fully qualified to be a nudist if you wanted to make that choice. Are you really willing to havethat choice taken away from you?!

Let me lighten up and tell you a funny story. Can you believe who asked me to run for Supervisor of District 8? I normally don’t believe in Karma and Cosmic Justice, but in this case, I can suspend disbelief. Are you ready? Supervisor Wiener, himself. In September, the nudist activists: Woody Miller, Mitch Hightower, Rusty Mills and I met Mr. Wiener at City Hall over this legislation. We’ve always suspected that Mr. Wiener is under the marching orders of his big donors. Mr. Wiener arbitrarily rejected our suggestion that San Francisco adopt the European solution to the so-called “problem” of nudists congregating at the Castro Plaza — namely, to designate clothing-optional areas in city parks. I told Mr. Wiener that if he went through with the nudity ban legislation, I would run against him for Supervisor. Are you ready for this!? In front of 5 witnesses in his best George W. Bush imitation, Mr. Wiener snorted, “Bring it on!” OK. What’s the old saying? “Be careful of what you wish for. You might get it.”

We only need one vote to reverse this nudity ban legislation. How appropriate that it should be the District 8 vote.

Now, let’s talk about how Mr. Wiener operates and you can start thinking about if you want to keep him in office. I’ll start with the nudity ban legislation and then go into some other issues.

The nudity ban had little community support and was opposed by 5 of the 11 San Francisco Supervisors. Objective scientific data — a 2009 Zogby poll of San Franciscans — found that 63% of San Franciscans have no problem with nonsexual public nudity. The figure would probably be even higher today.

To push his nudity ban through the Board of Supervisors Mr. Wiener manipulated the supervisors and the public in a Machiavellian manner. He put out a statistic that 85% of the Castro Merchants say that nudists harmed their business. What a big lie!! Mr. Wiener called a meeting of the Upper Market Merchants association with about 250 members about the local public nudity. About 30 showed up, a few walked out in disgust at Wiener’s tactics, and a vote was then taken of the remaining merchants who were predisposed to favor the ban. From a street perspective, I guarantee you that nudists are a tourist draw and are good for business. If nudists harm the Castro business community, then why are commercial real estate prices and rents the highest in history now?

Mr. Wiener turned down proposals for citywide town meetings to “air” the subject. Public comment was called for on the nudity ban legislation in a City Hall hearing chaired by Mr. Wiener and 2 of his close cronies on the committee. 2/3 of the public spoke out against the ban. Yet, the committee voted a recommendation for passage. That was the only public input on the nudity ban.

Prior to Wiener’s drafting of the legislation, feminist-leaning activists got “breasts” dropped from the legislation. After the 1st draft: the “leather” community, who have worn “assless chaps” and leather jock straps on the street for decades, got “buttocks” removed from the legislation. Is this how sane people determine which parts of the body are natural and which aren’t?

At least 15 demonstrations were held against the nudity ban. Zero were held for the ban.

I guess this is how democracy works in Mr. Wiener’s World.

Now, on to other actions and inactions by Mr. Wiener:

Mr. Wiener voted down previously dedicated money for free bus rides for poor San Francisco youths.

Mr. Wiener has done nothing to provide affordable housing for the teachers, bartenders, policemen, clerks, and waiters who work here. He has worked for the approval of 200 sq. ft walk-in closet-sized apartments with $1600/month rent. I don’t think that’s what grownups are looking for.

Mr. Wiener organized approval for a millionaire’s condo project on Telegraph Hill with a variance for extra stories contrary to the City Planning Code and against the wishes of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers Association, the local Supervisor David Chiu, and the past local Supervisor Aaron Peskin. These are all people who live and work in the area and are directly affected by this project.

Mr. Wiener has failed to coordinate Public Works repairs of streets in his district, inconviencing many of the residents.

Mr. Wiener has worked to bypass the “condo” lottery policy which will ultimately remove many rental units from the rental marketplace.

I’d love to see an investigation of the Walter Shorenstein purchase of the Furniture Mart for the Internet company “Twitter”, with special tax breaks thrown in.

Mr. Wiener is working on legislation to fast-track building developments, bypassing neighborhood concerns and environmental reviews.

The rich must be very very happy with Mr. Wiener.

I personally hate and distrust politicians and their followers who take away the civil liberties of non-violent minorities. My European friends call people like that “fascists”, but this is America. No matter how true, we don’t use disturbing, inflammatory words like “fascist”.

So, as to not attack Mr. Wiener personally, let me tell you what other people say about him.

Aaron Peskin, former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors says, “Mr. Wiener is intent on turning the clock back on San Francisco’s decades-long legacy of cutting edge legislation to protect consumers and the environment. He’s fundamentally a very conservative person.”

Susan Vaughn of the Sierra Club and community activist says, “It seems like everything he focuses on disempowers the voters and empowers the wealthiest 1%.” On the issue of trusting Mr. Wiener on his legislation, “We feel like we have to watch what he is doing very carefully.”

Ted Gullicksen of the San Francisco Tenants Union says, “Mr. Wiener made the decision that he was not going to be with the progressives and to ally himself with the conservatives and real estate people.”

Folks; your choice is clear.

If you want a secret, manipulative, treacherous Supervisor that represents the rich and not you – who is willing to trample civil liberties – who wants to make San Francisco boring and homogeneous like everywhere else. Then, you have your man.

If you want someone who represents the 99% of the people who live and work in San Francisco, if you want someone who believes in open and transparent government, if you want someone who values freedom of expression and diversity and all the elements that make San Francisco a beacon of light, creativity, and promise to the world — if that’s what you want, you now have a solid choice with me.

Vote for George Davis, Supervisor District 8

I approve of this message.

Thank you.

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$1000 essay contest + Current Urban Nudism + History of Free Body Culture Movements in Europe and America

Still offering $1000 to anyone who can write an intelligent 500 word essay explaining “What harm would befall a child who sees a nude adult?”  Submit to this blog in comment field.

After 6 years,  please be the first to submit.

Naturally, George Davis

Urban Nudism
by George Davis

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1762

Among a small circle of people, I am a well-known public urban nudist in San Francisco. I have, with the help of friends, worked to make San Francisco the most urban nudist accepting city in America and on par with much of urban Europe. For more details, go to http://www.wikipedia.org and search for “social nudity in San Francisco”. In 2011, I was appointed by the San Francisco Free University to teach a course, “The History of Free Body Culture Movements in Europe and America.” I also have been keeping track of the current status of urban nudism all over the globe.

The premise of urban nudism is that people do not have to travel to the “closet” destinations of special segregated nudist beaches or resorts to express their free and natural self. We all have a right to be nude and an equal right to wear clothes. Just like ancient Greece and Rome, society should be clothing optional. Prior to theocratic Christian influence, on nice days, people only wore comfortable clothing like togas to hierarchic functions like government and religious functions, but generally went nude at home, the public baths, parks, and athletic recreation. Going to the market or taking a walk was a clothing optional experience.

On a conceptual level, most people in Europe and America have little problem with urban nudism. Most Europeans and Americans at a minimum are very live-and-let-live in attitude.People with problems with urban nudity include:

1: Persons who are angry
2. Persons who are excessively authoritarian
3. Religious nut cases
4. People with unrealistic body image or shame issues.

These are the “squeaky wheels” that seek and all too frequently get political power. They stifle freedom of expression and promote censorship. These are not exactly “fun” people.

I find that I have a surplus of “not that easy” to find information on contemporary global urban nudism and the history of free body culture movements that I wish to make available to everyone. I recognize that although I like to think of myself as a cold-hearted intellectual, I have some bias. I also have some hearsay observations from conversations with people from all over the world that I am not in a position to verify. Please feel free to contact me with any corrections and additions to these essays. I will reedit these essays with your input. Also, consider these essays as open source material to use as you please.

2012 – Contemporary Global Public Nudity

Assuming you sleep in the nude (If you don’t, why not?), for most of us, the first takeaway of your freedom all over the world is a requirement to put on textiles to cover up genitals and breasts (females) before you can present yourself to other people. In a good percentage of cultures, this includes members of your own household.

Considering urban nudism is harmless and natural. Also, free thinking people have little problem with it. You would think that urban nudism would be fairly common in Europe, America, and maybe a few supposedly cutting edge cultures like Japan. Think again. The widespread contemporary practice and acceptance of public nudity is pathetically sub-minimal.

Let’s start with Germany where the modern Free Body Culture movements began. Nudity is pretty well accepted at parks, beaches, and hiking trails. If one started walking around nude on the streets of Berlin or Munich, one would likely be instructed by a police officer to leave the street and head to a park under threats of legal sanctions. However, there is supposed to be a man who goes all over Frankfurt nude 24/7 and claims to be allergic to clothes. Germany has the powerful Freikorperkultur (FKK) organization that lobbies for nude recreation. The FKK initials all over Europe indicate a nudist area is present or nearby. The FKK also runs a few brothel/saunas where consenting adults can meet nude in a pool/sauna area to engage in consenting safe sex activities in private rooms. The Netherlands and Scandinavia are pretty much a similar permissive situation to Germany. Finland and Russian former Finnish areas also have a long, long tradition of nude saunas and running outside nude.

France is kind of schizoid on the issue of urban nudism. France has the largest nudist city in the world, Cap d’Agde, which has up to 50,000 people in high season (August). There are nude restaurants, shops, banks, and cafes. A good percentage of nude visitors are from Germany, UK, and America. Interestingly, at Cap d’Agde, there is a big conflict between the puritan nudists, i.e. those that believe there is a firewall between sexuality and nudism and the libertines who are into wide open sexuality practices. Surprisingly, Paris does not tolerate urban nudism at all. Rather aggressively, Paris police shut down the Parisian World Naked Bike Ride in 2010 and would not allow the WNBR in 2011. In 2011, a male/female Danish couple went for a nude walk in Paris and were fined 1000 Euros. In terms of freedom of expression, France also outlawed all 200 French-Arab women who do so from wearing a veil. From a clothing optional perspective, as long the woman knows that she has a right to be nude and is not coerced, she should have every right to dress as a nun.

Until recently, Spain had no laws against public nudity. As of now, 2012, all of the beaches in Spain are clothing optional. Until last year, Barcelona was perhaps the most open of all European cities. Some credit this attitude with a long Catalan history of anarchism and art. Jacint Ribas has ridden his bicycle nude all over the city and the Catalan area. In 2004, the Barcelona City Council subsidized a brochure with the title, “Expressing Yourself in Nudity.” illustrated with photos of ordinary citizens naked on the street, in the subway and in the city’s parks. The brochure affirmed categorically that the law “does not contain any article for sanctions against public nudity.” On any particular day, it was rare to have more than a dozen public nudists in urban Barcelona. In 2011, the Barcelona City Council passed legislation empowering the police to stop people on the street who were naked or improperly dressed (including bikinis and standard beach wear) and to require them to cover themselves or face fines. Some people have said that law was a result of the Spanish economy going into a depression and the Barcelona Mayor and City Council moving to the political right to retain office and has nothing to do with public attitudes. Interestingly, Barcelona also recently passed legislation banning all 10 Arab women who might want to in Barcelona from wearing the veil.

The United Kingdom has moved from a level of American Puritanism to something comparable to a mainstream European level. A few years ago, pro-urban nudists placed nude, life-sized, anatomically correct statues on sidewalks all over downtown London, which forced Londoners to get used to the idea of urban nudism. In 2011, the London World Naked Bike Ride had about 2000 riders which, excluding Portland, Oregon’s 15,000 party-centric ride, was the largest in the world. London has a nudist dance club, Starkers. Vincent Bethel has walked around London nude for years. Nudists have performed at Trafalgar Square. A TV show was made about a London nudist office with video shot all over London and the Underground. Public nudity is still not common in London but it exists and there is a very activist group, the “Naturist Action Group” that is very aggressively working for nudist rights and recreational activities. The UK has its share of clothing optional beaches and nude resorts. There are a few UK rural areas and inner city areas where nudity is problematic to practice. There is a now internationally famous nudist, Stephen Gough, who has been locked up in Scotland for six years (mostly for repeated contempt of court charges for refusing to wear clothes) while attempting to walk accross the UK.   In January 2013, Mr. Gough received a human rights award.  In February 2013, Stephen Gough was released from prison, but faces more trials.  Some nudists question his almost messianic zeal to get nudism accepted, but none question the truth of his quest.

Italy has several clothing optional beaches but no reported urban nudist movement. The Balkan countries also have many clothing optional beaches that, besides having a local following, are especially popular with German tourists who like the convenient location, beauty, and inexpensiveness of the region.

Poland and Russia has some clothing optional beaches and resorts and naturist organization. Russian nudists have come down to the Crimea resorts, now the Ukraine, for generations.

The Moslem world is not only exceptionally nudophobic/gymnophobic, but appears to be the most resistant to change. There are gymnophobic prohibitions in the Koran. The few exceptions are a nudist resort in Turkey that caters to Europeans and a few nudist Sufis that are into ecstatic experiences. In 2011 Egypt, Aliaa Almahdy, a blogger, posted an “arty” nude photo of herself and was condemned by both the conservative religious factions (expected) and the social democratic liberal (?) factions who don’t want to distance themselves from moderate(?) Egyptian Moslems.  In December 2012, Aliaa Almahdy joined members of the Ukranian feminist group, FEMENS nude in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Stockholm to protest the start of theocratic Sharia (Law) in Egypt.  Even culturally liberal Balinese Hindus who cater to many Australian, European and American tourists are under the Puritanical thumb of the Indonesian government. However, there are some clothing optional beaches and resorts in Bali.

Japan has many mixed gender clothing optional spas and resorts. Until recent post-World War II decades when private baths were installed in housing units, Japanese routinely went to mixed gender public baths. There are a few left, but they are no longer common. On the Internet, there are Japanese images of nude female bands playing concerts, a nude telephone booth stuffing record, the male masturbation (time) record, and a DVD of 500 couples having sex in one location.

Australia is the United Kingdom attitude with more clothing optional beaches and outback areas. There is some public nudity in the Sidney Gay Pride celebration. In December 2012 in New Zealand, an appellate court ruled that a jogger had a right to jog nude, but it was in a semi-rural area. Also, in New Zealand a serious challenge to the Welsh record of 413 skinny dippers was attempted in December 2012.

China will eventually move to whatever the world standard of urban nudism is or becomes. Some nudist resorts and areas have opened in recent years. In 2011, Ai Wei Wei, perhaps the most famous artist in the world posed nude with four nude women. The image was totally tame by European/American standards. The Chinese government threatened to charge him for pornography. This triggered dozens of different Chinese citizens to post nude photos of themselves. The pornography charge threatened a Victorian styled disconnect between the Chinese government and their modern evolving Chinese society.

India has a somewhat gymnophobic and censored mainstream cultural society. Goa, which has an international ambiance, has a few clothing optional beaches. Interestingly, India has tens of thousands of nude “sahdi” holy men (no women), who are nude for spiritual and ascetic reasons. Many get together for religious festivals. Some just live as beggars in small villages. Like China, the mainstream society of India should eventually move to the world standard of urban nudism. Maybe not. Bollywood movie censors still do not allow romantic couples to kiss on screen.

Other than nude resorts and clothing optional beaches, there is not much going on with urban nudism in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Carnival in Rio prides itself on the world’s smallest women’s bikini bottom, but that’s still not nudism.

Surprisingly, Mexico may have a larger mainstream nudist movement than the United States. This may be a result of the influence of modern Spanish urban nudist culture and a strong history of secularism and anti-clericalism. Several nudist beaches and resorts exist. Spencer Tunnicks’s largest nude photo shoot in the world was in the Zocolo (public square) in Mexico City with 19,000 fully nude participants. Many labor union members and indigenous peoples have protested their cause nude in the Zocolo. One of the four largest World Naked Bike Rides is in Mexico City.

Canada and the United States have a long history of many clothing optional beaches and resorts. Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, and Chicago have well attended World Naked Bike Rides. In 2011, New York City allowed nudity at the Occupy Wall Street event and is allowing nude body painting in Times Square in the evening. Before 2011, New York City was out of the urban nudist picture. In fact, the 2009 and 2010 NYC World Naked Bike Rides did not have any fully nude riders. Key West, Florida has a clothing optional bar and a Fantasy Fest painted body celebration. In terms of urban nudism, most of the happenings are in the West. Seattle besides the WNBR has a Solstice Parade with body painted nude cyclists. The Seattle region has several clothing optional public parks. Portland, Oregon has 15,000 participants in the party portion of their World Naked Bike Ride. There is a recent 2102 report of a couple of urban nudists who walk around Vancouver with no problems.

Northern California is in the avante garde of urban nudism. The only limitations to urban nudism in San Francisco are lewd (sexual) conduct, sitting on public furniture without a barrier, and dining in the public area of a restaurant. Even in SF, there are some other pragmatic limitations on going nude, like into ghetto neighborhoods with angry and drugged-up people on the street. The Burning Man art festival started at a clothing optional beach in San Francisco before it became too big and grew into a 50,000 person clothing optional city for one week in Nevada. Burning Man operates by creating extreme separate realities for attendees to experience. In fact, the so-called real world outside of Burning Man is called the “default world”. For many years, San Francisco has had many clothing optional events like the Bay-to-Breakers race (55,000 official + 30,000 unofficial participants), Gay Pride parade and festival (500,000), Folsom Street Fair (400,000), Pink Saturday Party (80,00), and Halloween. On a nice day, urban nudism is very common in the Castro District. Nudism has been accepted for generations in backpacking rural areas in Northern California. More than half of the Pacific coast line beachfront is clothing optional. On December 4, 2012, a nudity ban except for “permitted” special events, fairs, and festivals was passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (=’s City Council) on a 6 to 5 vote and will probably be approved by the mayor. There is a Federal Court challenge to the ordinane.

Nothing special is happening with urban nudism in Southern California. There is a large population of nudists in Palm Springs/Cathedral City, California, but whether there is a critical mass large enough to make real urban nudism happen is questionable.

One of the big growth fields in world tourism is the naked vacation aka nakation which is now a well over a billion dollar industry with nudist/clothing optional resorts, cruises, and events. In America, nakations are now more popular than golf or bike touring vacations. In fact, there are now nudist golf and bike touring options.

Considering urban nudism really shouldn’t be that big of a deal, it’s kind of amazing that it is really such a big deal.

 

 

History Of Free Body Culture Movements In Europe And America
by George Davis

(In 2011, I was selected by the San Francisco Free University, because of my urban nudism activism, to teach a course titled: History of Free Body Culture Movements in Europe and America. The class was going to be clothing optional and I was going to teach the course nude. The San Francisco Free University, possibly because of the “free” economics, seems to have ceased operating. However, I still prepared to teach the course and have uncovered enough material to deliver new information to most people.)

My name is George Davis. The Free University selected me to teach this course: History of Free Body Culture Movements in Europe and America because I had written the book, Naked Yoga and many articles on urban nudism. I also have been an activist, among others, to get public nudity recognized as a legal right in San Francisco. In the last 7 years, I have been cited 23 times and arrested 17 times on nudist related charges. Of all the arrests, I was tried zero times and convicted zero times. The police watchdog agency, Office of Citizens Complaints, found the police guilty of harassment 15 times. The police administration, or their risk management people, finally got the message. In the last two years, I have not been arrested and no other “orderly” nudist has been arrested in San Francisco.

San Francisco is a clothing optional city. You have a right to be nude. The only limitations on urban nudism are lewd (sexual) conduct, placing a barrier between your butt and public furniture, and remaining in the public area of a restaurant. For more details on San Francisco urban nudism, you can go to www.wikipedia.org and search for “social nudity in San Francisco”.

As you read in the description of this course, this class is clothing optional. As a matter of nudist etiquette, you should place a cloth or paper barrier between your butt and your seat.

The concentration of this course will be on more modern 20th and 21st Century movements.

Let’s start this class off with a list of people.

Question: What do the following people have in common?

Historic individuals: Alexander Graham Bell, John F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis-Kennedy, Norman Rockwell, Lyndon Johnson, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Buddha (arguably, but probably), Jesus Christ (arguably, but probably), Alfred Hitchcock, John D. MacArthur, Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Geisal (Dr. Seuss), George Orwell, John Lennon, Groucho Marx and the Marx Brothers, (Mr.) Fred Rogers, Rod Serling, Winston Churchill, Janet Joplin, Henry David Thoreau, John and John Quincy Adams, Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker, Benjamin Franklin, Tallula Bankhead, Allen Ginsberg, George Bernard Shaw, Marilyn Monroe, (King) Edward and Wallace Simpson, Edna Vincent Millay

Contemporary individuals: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angela Merkel, Ai WeiWei, Yoko Ono, Madonna, Britney Spears, Emma Thompson, Bruce Willis, Flea of “Red Hot Chili Peppers”, Sacha Baron Cohen, Nadia Comaneche, Alan Dershowitz, Goldie Hawn, Barry Manilow, Tom Hanks, Daryl Hanna, Kate Hudson, Sir Ian McKellon, Helen Mirren, Jerry Seinfeld, Jack Nicholson, Suzanne Summers, Bridget Bardot, Lady GaGa

Answer: They all practiced nudism.

Let’s move onto definitions of common urban nudist/free body culture terms:

Freikörperkultur (FKK) is the German movement whose name translates to Free Body Culture. It endorses a naturistic healthy approach to sports and community living. Behind that is the joy of the experience of nature or also of being nude itself, without direct relationship to sexuality. As a modern historical movement, FKK began in 1898 in Essen. The followers of this culture are called traditional naturists, FKK’er, or nudists. There has been an extensive removal of restrictions on public nudity in Germany since about the 1960s.

Nudism and naturism are the practice of going without clothes, generally for reasons of health or comfort. Nudism is a social practice in which the sexes interact freely but commonly without engaging in sexual activity. Formerly, naturism also involved nudity in association with an appreciation and transcendental union with the beauty and benefits of nature. Today, terms nudism and naturism are interchangeable.

Vestism and textilism are the philosophical beliefs that wearing clothes is necessary.

Gymnophobia is a fear ( phobia) of nudity. Gymnophobics experience anxiety from nudity, even if they realize their fear is irrational. They may worry about seeing others naked or being seen naked, or both. Their fear may stem from a general anxiety about sexuality, from a fear that they are physically inferior, or from a fear that their nakedness leaves them exposed and unprotected.

Clothing optional is an individual decision to wear clothing or not.

Nudism prior to the 20th Century

Prior to settled farming, animal husbandry, and loom technology, except for living in extremely cold climatic conditions where animal skins were worn; our hunter/gatherer ancestors went nude 24/7.

Even about 10,000 years ago, with the invention of the loom over Eurasia, some societies became textile and others remained clothing optional. Few ancient societies, if any, had female breast taboos. In fact, in America and Europe, open breastfeeding was common until the development of evaporated milk formulas in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Now, about 50% of women breastfeed their infants. In this course, we will not pay too much attention to the issue of top-free equality for women, because that’s just a subset of the concept of total body freedom for everyone.

China developed a big silk and textile trade and became the oldest continuous textilist culture in the world. Before the coming of monotheistic/theocratic religions, most of the rest of the world was more clothing optional or nudist in outlook. Most island cultures Hawaii, East Indies, Australia were nudist or nudist friendly. Some areas of pre-Mogul India were textilist and others were nudist friendly and quite libertine. In the pre-Columbian Americas, the Caribbean island natives and pre-literate non-pastoral tribes on the continents were nude. Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas did wear loin clothes which covered but did not conceal genitalia. (I have never understood the function of loin clothes or bathing suits.) Africa was generally nudist friendly. North Africa went whatever direction the dominant Mediterranean culture was going. Northern Europeans, Russians, people of the Steppes, generally went nude, except as protection against harsh weather.

Ancient Egyptians were very minimalists in clothing. Some periods of Egyptian history were more nudist friendly than others depending on who were Pharaoh’s court and religious advisers.

Greco-Roman Societies, which many consider the cultural foundation of the contemporary world, were textilist in public and religious life and clothing optional at home, public baths, and recreation. We conclusively know this from period writings, frescoes, mosaics, and especially from illustrated vases. Athletes competed in the nude, especially the ancient Olympics (776 BC to 393 AD). Some historians date the Fall of the Western Roman Empire at the year 393 AD when the Christian Emperor Theodosius cancelled the Olympic Games for being “too pagan”.

Vestism became more prevalent with the expansion of Christianity throughout the old Roman Empire and into Russia, and Northern Europe. Then came Christianity 2.0, otherwise known as Islam, which carved off a big chunk of the Old Roman Empire and eventually spread into Persia, India, and the East Indies. Islam had numerous passages in the Koran about body shame and modesty, which made Moslems very gymnophobic.

Prior to the Enlightenment Period (1650-1800 AD), Catholic and Reformation Europe was theocratic and sometimes rather Puritan in outlook. Other than a few nudist revivals like the Adamists, or pagan revivals like the Wicca, or some quaint local customs; there was not too much nudity.

The Age of Enlightenment sought to mobilize the power of reason, in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted science and intellectual interchange and opposed superstition, intolerance and abuses in church and state.There was some nudism among the educated and upper classes, still nudism was still not widespread.

Europe

The first modern nudist movement were in Germany in the late nineteenth century. Nudists, along with the modern gay rights, vegetarian, animal protection, and natural healing movements began gathering adherents among the 85 million European Germans. In 1898 the first FKK club was founded in Essen. There were nude parks in Hamburg. By 1900, more and more Swedish baths arose in rooms in Berlin and on the North and Baltic seas. The German nudist movement started growing strong in 1906 with the publication of the three-volume Nachtkultur by Heinrich Pudor which established a link between nudism, vegetarianism, social reform, and racial hygiene (including antisemitism). A large part of the popularity of the German nudist movement (nachtkultur) were the successes in light and air therapy in curing German urban dwellers of ailments like tuberculosis and asthma.

The biggest growth of German nudist culture was after World War I during the Weimar Republic. A strong argument can be made that urban Germany, very especially Berlin, in the 1920′s was the most culturally progressive area/time in the world, maybe in all of world history. German literature entered a phase of great creativity with the works of Bertold Brecht, Kurt Weill, Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, and Erich Maria Remarque. Arthur Koestler lived in Berlin during this period. Innovative street theater brought plays to the public, the cabaret scene and jazz band became very popular. In Berlin, the cabaret scene included sex cult clubs that catered to homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites, bisexuals, sadomasochists, fetishists of all sorts, pedophiles, female mud wrestlers, and other exotic entertainments. A new type of architecture taught at “Bauhaus” schools, and Art reflected the new ideas of the time. German cinema had worldwide respect rivaling Hollywood with films like Fritz Lang’s, Metropolis and Faust and F.W. Murnau’s vampire horror film, Noseferatu. Joseph Pilates developed his Pilates physical training/rehabilitation. In science, Albert Einstein, Max Planck and Heisenberg revolutionized atomic physics. Martin Heidegger wrote Being and Time, which many view as the most influential philosophy book of the 20th century. The new field of psychoanalysis was started by Sigmund Freud, and further explored by C.G.Jung, and Wilhelm Reich. In fine arts, German Expressionism and Dadaism were highly respected.

Nacktkultur became popular in northern Germany Resorts. Naturist areas were established at a rapid pace along the northern coast of Germany. By 1931, Berlin itself had 40 naturalists’ societies and clubs. A variety of periodicals on the nudism were also regularly published, in fact, the topic ranked just below sports for media coverage. Hans Suren wrote the book, Der Mensch und die Sonne(1924), which ran through 68 editions (250,000 copies) in its first year. There were numerous photos in the book and expressed the theme that nudism was a sign of health, strength and beauty. Suren became a Nazi in 1931 and made changes to accommodate Nazi ideology and the book remained in print until the end of World War II.

Adolf Koch and others opened nudist schools throughout Germany during this period stressing co-ed physical and mental training. By 1930, Koch’s schools had an enrollment of 60,000. Naked students participated in gymnastics, theatrical productions, group exercise, and outdoor activities. Koch had socialist leanings. He recruited proletarian men and women into nudism. He charged 5 percent of their income. If they were unemployed, the school carried them until they could find a job. Koch claimed that the total enrollment in all German nudists organizations was more than 3 million in 1930. In 1929, Koch’s Berlin school hosted the first International Congress on Nudity, with participants from 23 countries. The Nazis shut down Koch’s schools in 1933.

During the 1920′s there were hundreds of nude dance schools in Germany. Most of the attendees were female. Some schools trained for solo performances, others for group. They danced a wide range of styles. Besides more “artistic” dancing performances, erotic nude dancing was a mainstay for cabaret shows during the period.

There was never a unified German nudist movement in the 1920′s. The movement fragmented into a vast subculture with great individuality. Some in the movement advocated libertarian positions, others eugenic standards of health, fitness,and beauty, and others social democratization. To some nudism represented modernism, to others tribalism. To some nudism represented a puritanism, to others an eroticism. These are positions that have always existed and exist today. The only common belief is that nudity is comfortable and natural.

The end of of this intellectual “golden age” was the censorship and barbarism in the rise to power of the Nazi movement. Nazis banned ideas, burned books and caused the emigration of most of Germany’s leading intellectuals to America, England, and Switzerland.

Although a certain percentage of nudists were sympathetic to Nazism and vice-versa, a political decision for autocratic control, probably with military and church complicity, was made to ban nudist activities. Below is the famous Goring decree on the subject:

One of the greatest dangers for German culture and morality is the so-called nudity movement. Greatly as it is to be welcomed in the interest of the public health, that ever wider circles, especially of the metropolitan population, are striving to make the healing power of sun and air and water serviceable to their body, as greatly must the so-called nudity movement be disapproved of as a cultural error. Among women the nudity kills natural modesty; it takes from men their respect for women, and thereby destroys the prerequisite for any genuine culture. It is therefore expected of all police authorities that, in support of the spiritual powers developed through the national movement, they take all police measures to destroy the so-called nude culture. Herman Goring, 1933 Nazi edict

During the Nazi period, the edict was never too heavily enforced in rural and countryside areas. Himmler and the SS practice nudism in their mystical belief practices to create a new German Superman. During the later years of World War II, to lighten-up from wartime deprivations and harsh living, sanctions against nudism were somewhat lifted for the general public.

After World War II, the German nudist movements went into two directions, the West German and the East German models.

The German Democratic Republic (GDR)/East Germany (1949-1990) has the distinction of being the first country in the modern world where the principles of the Free Body Culture Movement were officially government sanctioned. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a poll was made among East Germans about their support for Nude Culture. 71% supported it, 32% didn’t care either way, and 7% opposed it.

After World War II, many East Germans spent their vacations at the North Sea beaches. To protect themselves from the cold, they would build windbreak “forts”. For reasons of comfort and cold, slow drying bathing suits, many chose the nude beach option. During the early 1950’s, there were confrontations between the beach goers and the local police who were sent to suppress them. As we noted earlier in this lecture, during Weimar Germany, there were all kind of ideologies in the nudist movement: socialist, communist, anarchist, religious, health, fascist, puritan, and, as some East German officials held, bourgeois. The situation got so tense that East German border guards with machine guns patrolled the beaches to the derision of the nude beach goers. The government was finding that most of those they were harassing were good East German workers and intelligentsia, including many Communist Party members and government officials. Some of these government officials were bringing up the point that the East German government was supposed to be an improvement to Hitler and the Nazi party which suppressed nudism.

During the later 1950’s, nude beach going became more popular and clothing optional sections were permitted. There were some sensational press exposures of the Cameroon parties where party-goers would dance ecstatically to African rhythms. However, most German nudists were more sedate, non-erotic, and family oriented. Several remote beach and lake areas were eventually made available to nudists. By the 1960’s, the nude beaches became so popular that there ceased to be a distinction and all beaches became shared and clothing optional. By the 1970’s nude bathing was so common that a popular TV show watched by 50% of East German households sent its naked reporter-in-chief to a nudist beach to answer a reader’s inquiry about how first-timers should behave. A poll of young workers showed that 81% had swum in the nude and a poll of students showed 87% had swum nude. In turn, nudist home-life became very common.

Speculation that part of the cultural changes was a need to make the East German lifestyle after building the Berlin Wall more desirable than the West German. The GDR could not do it by providing money for consumer goods and freedom to travel. Besides the official sanctioning of nudism, in 1972, the GDR liberalized the abortion laws, made the birth control pill freely available, accepted homosexuality, and abolished the distinction between illegitimate and legitimate children.

This all took place in the context of a very Stalinist state. With 500,000 Russian troops with nuclear weapons on their soil, the East Germans had no choice but Stalinism and joining the Warsaw Pact. The all-pervasive East German STASI (secret police) employed thousands of bureaucrats, agents, and informers to keep track of everyone. Non-state organizations were illegal, including the FKK and other nudist organizations. One period joke was: “What do you call a gathering of two or more East German Citizens? An illegal meeting. Or a nudist beach.” Still non-conformity and freedom of expression was not tolerated. A youth adopting a Western rock-n-roll hairstyle or clothing likely risked being kicked out of school or work or enjoying an extended period in the army or being sent to a the Stalinist equivalent of a “boot camp”.

After the 1990 integration with West Germany, two changes took place in East Germany. West German capital bought and privatized many of the North Sea and other resort properties. West Germany also introduced a greater supply and saturation of pornography and commercial sexual imagery into the society which some East German women say caused them to opt out of nudist culture because of the sexual objectification.

Post-war West Germany didn’t rule by edicts. They had to deal with a more transparent society. So, the squeaky wheel of textilists attitudes got recognition. So, although the FKK movement was widely popular, beaches and resorts tended to be segregated instead of clothing optional. Still, relative to most of Europe and America, West Germany was relatively accepting to nudism. In the 1960′s Schoenfeld Meadow in Englischer Garten Munich the largest European urban park became clothing optional and most other large parks and beaches.

After the Russian Revolution, the new USSR practiced new cultural freedoms. In 1917, Allexandra Kollontai, a close friend of Lenin, became the People’s Commissar for Social Welfare. Allexandra was noted for her feminist equality positions on free love, access to abortion, and family planning. Marriage and divorce became a matter of registration and non-registration at the local governmental records facility. Homosexuality was decriminalized. Many people were practicing “free love” and there were free love leagues. In 1922, there was a “down with shame” nudist march with several hundred participants in Petrograd (later Leningrad) to dispel earlier “bourgeois” morality. Lenin, himself, was a little stand-offish and intellectual in outlook on these cultural changes. By the 1930′s, Stalin had reversed all of these reforms and movements.

America

At the turn of the 20th Century, much of the US and Canada in the cities and small towns were more Victorian than England. A lot of the rural areas remained more “natural”, especially in areas like Appalachia and “hillbilly” country with very early incestuous marriages/relationships, nude swimming holes, and relaxed lifestyles. In the 19th century, Christian missionaries clothed the nude Hawaiian natives. The Hawaiian lament was, “When the missionaries firsts came, we had the land and they had the Bibles. Now, we have the Bibles and they have the land.” As late as 1874, native Hawaiians were surfing nude.

In 1927, The New Gymnosophy by Dr. Maurice Parmlee was first published and in 1930 the nudist Rock Ridge Lodge Club was opened in Stockholm, New Jersey. Through the years, many other nudist clubs opened in America.

One of my favorite stories of nudism was the men’s top-free movement because it illustrates how easy it is to change a cultural perspective. Due to Victorian influence men had to wear swimwear tops and were expected to wear undershirts with their regular wardrobe. Europe had largely moved toward men’s bare chest acceptance. In early 1934, the popular Academy Award winning movie, “It happened One Night” directed and produced by Frank Capra was released. In a, for the time, sexually tense scene, mega-star Clark Gable takes off his shirt and he is bare chested. T-shirt sale in America collapsed. That summer, on a Long Island Beach, a dozen men were cited for being bare chested. A judge immediately dismissed the charges. Thus, the ending of the bare chest taboo in America.

Until the 1960′s, America had more publishing censorship than Europe and nudist resort magazines were not allowed distribution until 1958. About the same time as the more sexual and socially impactful “Playboy” magazine and philosophy.

For a brief period of American liberalism in the late-1960′s and early 1970′s, American culture and sexual attitudes rivaled Europe. Nude beaches became common, especially on the Pacific West Coast. Due to the “pill”, sexuality became common and widespread. Also, films of the era, like Easy Rider, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, The Graduate, MASH, Animal House, reflected that trend. In 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono release the record album, Two Virgins, with a nude cover. Many people of that historical period thought that with all the sexuality, urban nudism would be a natural follow through.

In the 1980′s a cultural and economic reaction took place in America. It was kind of slow and I, myself, didn’t recognize the trend until the “push-up bra” was marketed and being worn by old girl friends who used to wear bra-less peasant blouses. To some degree, at least the promiscuous sexuality party had to slow down, if it wasn’t AIDS, some other opportunistic bug like Hepatitis C was sure to come along. Along with the decline of sexuality was a decline of interest in nudism. As an aside, since we are touching the issues of sexuality, I am amazed at the number of sexually active people that I meet that are unaware of the UNESCO and other modern progressive sex educator guidelines for practicing sexuality. Basically, these teachings hold that masturbation should be encouraged from an early age, perhaps with training of proper breathing techniques and the use of peripheral toys and lubes to enhance the pleasure. Hugging, nudism, and cuddling should be more socially prevalent and acceptable. From there, partners can work on massage and mutual masturbation. From that point onward from a fully informed adult consenting perspective, partners could decide if they want to exchange body fluids, use condoms, or birth control. This type of social sexuality would severely decrease sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. This is the type of thinking that got Jocelyn Elders fired as United States Surgeon General, is scorned by many religions, and made to appear ridiculous by some that hold masturbation is only for losers that can’t get a date and perform top/bottom sex roles. But, back to nudism, which may or may not have to do with sex.

My inspiration for nudist activism was a fellow, Andrew Martinez aka “The Naked Guy”, who attended UC Berkeley in 1992. Andrew walked around Berkeley totally nude and attended classes only carrying a backpack and wearing sandals. Andrew organized some nude-ins on campus and worked with the Bay Area nudist street theater group, the X-Plicit Players. Some in the Free Body Culture movement believe that Andrew was a poor representative. Apparently, Andrew had some mental stability issues. According to some people who knew him, at times, he could be very sweet, calm, and articulate. At other times, he could turn into anger. As a consequence of Andrew’s activism, UC Berkeley banned public nudity in December 1992 and the City of Berkeley passed a $100 citation offense municipal nudity ordinance in 1993. Critics hold that Andrew set back urban nudism in Berkeley. I agree with the critical observation that several nudists appearing and speaking at the Berkeley City Council meeting was strategically perhaps a little over the top and alienated whatever moderate nudist legislative support that existed. But, the ordinance was likely to pass anyways. If it wasn’t for Andrew, there would not have been urban nudism in Berkeley. To me and other nudist activists, Andrew is our hero. He proved that urban nudism is a viable concept. On the whole, the people of Berkeley were fine with the urban nudism. If urban nudists don’t assert their rights, they don’t have or deserve any.

A more recent development in cities in America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Latin America is the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). As of 2012, there have been no Asian (WNBR) rides. The original (WNBR) idea is credited to Conrad Schmidt who developed the concept in 2003 while participating in San Francisco’s Critical Mass bicycle rides. The first World Naked Bike Rides were in 2004. In 2012, over 80 cities are committed to ride. The dress code is “bare as you dare”. The purposes of the rides are to demonstrate against oil dependency and the car culture, to normalize nudism, to show the vulnerability of bicyclists, and to have a good time. In a few cities, riders because of police constraints, only wear swimwear and in others, most riders are nude. The larger rides are about 2000 in London, 800 in Mexico City, 800 in Chicago, 500 in Portland, Ore (the environmental ride, but 15,000 in the evening party ride).

Final Thought

I find many people who read my written works think that urban nudism is OK, but ask about about the presence of children. There have been many psychological studies demonstrating that children who are around nudity have better, more realistic body consciousness, are mentally healthier, and have fewer sexual problems (like teenage pregnancies). For five years, I have had and continue to have a standing offer of $1000 to anyone that can write an intelligent 500 word essay telling: “What Harm Would Befall a Child who Sees a Nude Adult?” To date, I have received zero essays. Does that mean that the essay cannot be written? Submit your essay to www.urbannudism.com.

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eBook – Free Your Body, Free Your Mind! now up on Amazon.com for Kindle

Readers:

Due to current negotiations with Amazon and Kindle, I temporarily needed to take down the essays on the Current Global Status of Public Nudity and the History of Free Body Culture Movements in America and Europe.  These essays are now available on the eBook and shortly thereafter on a Print on Demand Basis.  The eBook has over 20 contributors and 100 uncensored photos.

George Davis

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Glossary

Glossary

San Francisco localities mentioned in the book:

Market Street: The major arterial Street in San Francisco starting from the Embarcadero, through the Financial District, the Union Square shopping District, the Tenderloin, ending at the Castro District. BART (a regional transit subway/surface system) and MUNI light rail trains run under Market Street.

Embarcadero: Originally, the waterfront road along where passenger and cargo freight docks and warehouses were located. During World War II, San Francisco was the busiest port in the world. Today, maritime usage is largely ancient history. Today, the Embarcadero is largely a recreational promenade.

Union Square: Shopping area with anchor stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Nordstroms. Somewhat near to the Moscone Convention Center and many major hotels.

The Tenderloin: Currently a depressed downtown area with a wide range of people, many of whom have alcohol, drug, anger management, and mental problems. With a current economic boom in the City, the area is locationally prime for redevelopment.

The Castro: A residential area on “Upper Market (Street)” and Castro Street. The Castro is one of the most famous gay communities in the World. The gays started moving into the formerly German, Scandinavian, Irish family neighborhood in the 1970’s. Harvey Milk, one of the first “out” gay politicians and icons was elected from the Castro. The neighborhood has long been considered a bastion of freedom of thought and freedom of expression. In 2009, a pedestrian-oriented plaza was created with tables and chairs at the corner of 17th/Castro/Market. Since there had been a long history of public nudity in the Castro, the JW/Castro Plaza (aka Jane Warner Plaza and nicknamed “The Buff Stop”) instantly became a popular Urban Nudist meeting and lounging area.

Bay to Breakers: Annual foot-race/street party from the Embarcadero, through the city, to the Pacific Ocean — a distance of 7 miles. The event takes place in May and involves 50,000 to 80,000 participants. Nudity and costumes have been integral parts of the event for decades.

Fisherman’s Wharf: A major tourist destination in San Francisco along the northern waterfront. Noted for Fish Restaurants, souvenir stores, and weekend and seasonal tourist crowds. Aquatic Park is near Fisherman’s Wharf.

Folsom Street: Four blocks South of Market (SOMA). Noted for many gay and leather bars and venues since the 1960’s. Home of the Folsom Street Fair in September.

Haight/Ashbury: Intersection and area of San Francisco near Golden Gate Park. Noted for being a major center for the “hippy” movement in the 1960‘s.

Golden Gate Park: One of the largest urban parks in the world. Home to the DeYoung Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, Academy of Sciences, Conservatory, world class arboretum, Stowe Lake, miles of hiking/biking trails, picnic grounds, and other recreational outlets and facilities.  Many consider Golden Gate Park to be the crown jewel of San Francisco.

Berkeley: City across San Francisco Bay. Home of University of California (UC) Berkeley, one of the most prestigious universities in America. Noted for the 1960’s “Free Speech Movement” and anti-Vietnam war movement. During the 1990’s, there was an Urban Nudist movement with noted participation by Andrew Martinez (”the naked guy”) and the X-Plicit Players (theatrical group). Berkeley’s as a center for Urban Nudism was dampened by a nudity ordinance in the late 1990’s.

Leather/BDSM/Kink/fetishism: Wide-ranging forms of adult play. (BDSM — Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism)  This play can be sexual or non-sexual. The play can include bondage (ropes, handcuffs, and other restraints), whipping & flogging, wax play, golden showers (urinating), strap-on play, dominant and submissive sexual role play (verbal and non-verbal), medical play, suspension, erotic electro-stimulation, spanking, pet role play, and many other “scenes”. Some “kink” people consider exhibitionism (including nudism) and voyeurism as “scenes”. There are “safe words” and other procedures to stop scenes where one of the participants feel it has gone too far. The best guesstimate is that 10% of the people in the San Francisco Bay Area participate in some form of “kink” play. Among subgroups like avant-garde artists, gays, and hedonists the participation percentage is substantially higher. 400,000 people attend the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair in September, the largest “leather” fair in the world.

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