The Freedom to be Yourself

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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 for "the right to be naked in public". The campaign is about non-sexual public nakedness. Supporters organised naked protests in public in London; there have also been protests in Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Coventry and in the United States.

On 10 January 2001 Bethell was[1][2] the first defendant to stand trial naked in a UK court. The trial was at Southwark Crown Court London. Vincent was charged with public nuisance,[2] which carries a maximum of life imprisonment.[3] He was found not guilty.[4][5] Vincent once spent five months naked in solitary confinement (Segregation Unit) at Brixton Prison (London).[6] In December 2000, fellow activist Russell Shaw Higgs joined Vincent naked in Brixton prison. Russell had a letter about his imprisonment published[7] shortly before being released when charges were dropped after Vincent's acquittal.

In 2003 TFTBY was renamed Stop Racist Human Skin Phobia (SRHSP)[8] because according to Vincent "...this clearly highlights the irrational prejudice towards the unclothed human body."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Millward, David (11 January 2001). "Buff justice as naked artist is cleared by jury". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Nudist campaigner walks from court a free and naked-man The Independent
  3. ^ "cps.gov.uk". cps.gov.uk. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Nudist 'not a public nuisance'". BBC News. 10 January 2001. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Tania Branigan (11 January 2001). "Injustice laid bare by naked campaigner". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "unite-you-have-nothing-to-lose-but-your-clothes". The Independent
  7. ^ "Naked truth". The Guardian (UK). 5 January 2001. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "stop-racist-human-skin-phobia.org". stop-racist-human-skin-phobia.org. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 

Filmography[edit]

  • Naked Protest Documentary by Nick Hillel, 1999. Aired on Channel 4 (UK) as part of "The Other Side" series
  • Being Human A film by Lisa Seidenberg, 31 minutes, 2003 Metro Video

Further reading[edit]

  • Nude and Natural 20.4 Summer 2001. Article by Jim Meyer on TFTBY titled Vincent's Vision: Is Vincent Bethell a menace to decent society? Or the best thing to happen to naturism in years?. Includes an interview with Vincent Bethell. Seven pages with ten pictures.
  • Nude and Natural 21.2 Winter 2002. The Bethell Approach: A Protest Colloquy/The Bethell Approach: Is the Time for Mass Nude Protests Upon Us? Includes statements by Vincent Bethell, Mark Nisbet, Cec Cinder, Paul Rapoport, Les Rootsey, Morley Shloss, T.A. Wyner, and Mark Storey. Eight Pages, four pictures. Briefly Noted Vincent Victorious.
  • Nude and Natural Vol 21.3: 24–28, Spring 2002.Terri Sue Webb: An American Bethell/Beyond Safe Havens: Oregon's Terri Sue Webb (written by Daniel Johnson).

External links[edit]