I was kicked out of a festival by six police officers for being topless

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I was kicked out of a festival by six police officers for being topless

Two women were arrested during a peaceful protest for Free the Nipple

Walking performer Carina Fitzpatrick was kicked out of Dublin Festival Knockanstockan by six policemen this weekend – just for not wearing a top.

And when two of her friends went topless in solidarity, they were arrested by police and charged.

She had removed her top to silently protest for Free the Nipple when six police officers, one of whom was a woman, approached her. She tried to explain her moral stance, but they told her to “think of the children.”

Arguments were circled until the officers evicted Carina from the site and cut off her wristband. She said: “It came down to an agreement to disagree. I would be arrested if I did not get dressed, and I felt that that was something I was happy and willing to do.”

They said her point was made, and nothing more could be achieved by her continued disobedience. “It came down to an agreement to disagree. I would be arrested if I did not get dressed, and I felt that was something I was happy and willing to do.”

 

After Carina had left, two women were arrested for going topless in solidarity. They were charged with failure to comply with orders, and taken away in handcuffs in front of a riotous crowd of men demonstrating their bare chests and women calling out the double standard.

After being released from the station, the girls went back into the festival. One of them performed to a crowd with the words “Equal” written across her bare chest. Carina said she was “so proud of them and so grateful for their bravery.”

Men with Carina at the event were topless too, yet none of them were disciplined. They even caused an uproar when she was taken away, and there had been naked performances from men at the festival.

When Carina returned home, hundreds of people who had heard about what happened expressed their anger and solidarity. She said: “People were writing #Free Carina onto their bodies and I spent the next 48 hours hearing tales of the ripples that were sent throughout the festival. Poetry, music and art, dedicated to the cause. Men and women joining the protest. Friends came to me shaking with rage.

“I am accused of causing offence, but, guess what? I’m offended. I’m more than offended, I’m furious. And I have the right to protest.”

A number of people are now in the process of planning organisations, demonstrations and events after what happened to the women at Knockanstockan.

When contacted by The Tab, The Gardai Press Office responded: “Complaints were made by members of the public at approximately 7.30pm on the 23/07/16 concerning an offence under Section 18 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935 as amended by Section 18 of the Criminal Law (Rape)(Amendment) Act, 1990 i.e. committing public indecency.

“The offending female was escorted from the event and her name and address were taken. The matter is under investigation.”

@daisy_bernard