Performance artists do a lot of wild, crazy, bold things to get attention and make a statement, but this story might take the case. On Sunday, Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky stripped naked in the middle of Moscow’s Red Square and nailed his scrotum to the cobblestone street. He explained — in between wailing in pain, I imagine — that the protest was his response to Russia’s descent into a “police state.” Sunday was Police Day in Russia, which celebrates the country’s law enforcement. Clearly, Pavlensky is not a fan of the holiday. He went on in a statement: Keep reading »
Sometimes to get the public’s attention, you have to go to pretty extreme lengths. Which is why six female Greenpeace activists are in the midst of a 1000-foot climb up the side of London’s Shard building, in order to protest arctic drilling.
The Shard was chosen for its proximity to Shell Oil’s building. “They don’t want us talking about their plan to drill in the Arctic. We’re here to shout about it from the rooftops,” wrote the women in a statement pre-climb. The climbers hope to hang a huge piece of art on the peak of the building, which will highlight the beauty of the arctic. You can watch a livestream of their ascent — shot from helmet cams – here. Keep reading »
This weekend in San Francisco, the organization About-Face hosted a protest where participants shed their clothing in front of Victoria’s Secret as a statement against the company’s exclusive use of unrealistic body images. In just bras and underwear, the protesters bared their real human bodies proudly to the world while holding signs with phrases like “I pledge to love my body.”
About-Face is a San Francisco-based organization that works to “equip women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image.” This particular demonstration, which was mostly planned over Facebook, sought to inspire women and girls everywhere to be proud of their real bodies and not to be affected by unrealistically flawless body images that Victoria’s Secret sets as the expectation. [Huffington Post; Policy Mic]
The Supreme Court will hear two landmark gay rights cases today: they’re hearing arguments on Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Court critics say the cases could go a number of ways, and despite the fact that both cases will get relatively little time in front of the judges (just 60 minutes and 110 minutes, respectively), gay marriage advocates have turned out in droves to show support. Of course, there are anti-gay protestors, too — the most hilarious sign from the other side reads “God Hates Your Feelings.” We’ll keep you updated on any court decisions. [Photo: Getty Images]
Topless nuns were seen hosing down anti-gay marriage demonstrators with “holy sperm” last Sunday in Paris.
Go ahead. Read that sentence again.
Of course, these weren’t real nuns! FEMEN, the breast-baring Ukrainian women’s movement, is famous for spreading awareness about a cause through nudity. When FEMEN found out that more than 100,000 Catholics would be protesting against France’s legislation to allow gay marriage and adoption, they got their weapons ready. With various slogans written across their chests, including “In Gay We Trust” and “Fuck God,” Femen members got creative with baby powder, spraying the mist on protesters, calling it “Jesus Sperm.” Keep reading »
When the women of the small African country of Togo want something, they truly take one for the team: in order to urge the president of Togo to resign, the women are holding a sex strike. A civil rights group called Let’s Save Togo is encouraging women to withhold sex from their husbands for one week in hopes it will push men to oust the current president. (At least one man already has suggested a shorter time period — two days — instead.) I confess to not understanding much about the culture of Togo but it seems that even withholding sex as part of a political protest might not be easy for wives: One woman told the AP it will be “easy for me to observe it” but she is “not sure” her husband would “accept” the strike; another woman told the AP that “I know my husband will not let me complete it … He likes that too much.” Sex strikes have had successes before, however: The leader of the women’s wing of Let’s Save Togo said the group is taking their cue from Liberian women, whose 2003 sex strike helped bring peace to the country. And of course there is the famous Greek play “Lysistrata.” Good luck, ladies. [San Francisco State]
Most people would agree that going through airport security is annoying, and thanks to x-ray machines and frequent pat-downs, the process has become more and more invasive. This week, at the Portland airport, 50-year-old John E. Brennan decided he’d had enough, so when it came time to remove his shoes, he removed all of his clothes. Unfortunately no one else joined in the naked protest, and two security screening lanes were closed as TSA agents tried to convince Brennan to cover up. He was eventually arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. The best part of this whole story might be a quote from Brennan’s father, responding to questions from reporters: “He’s never really under any stress. He works for a computer company in California. He does something with the Internet, which is just kind of mystical to me. This is quite a surprise.” [KATU]
Dear anonymous guy who was arrested for playing too much cowbell during this week’s demonstrations against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker,
The cowbell, she is a seductive beast, isn’t she? The lure of her timber can prove too strong for some, and nay, you found yourself driven to her lusty charms over and over again. Actually, it came to the point where police were moved to arrest you during a protest against Scott Walker because you refused to silence your beloved cowbell. In fact, your cowbell love so enraged one of your fellow protesters that she hit you on the back with her picket sign. The both of you were arrested, but I hope that hasn’t allowed your cowbell dedication to wane. It is, as you, Christopher Walken, and I know, what we all need more of. [AP]
In Barcelona, 200 gays and lesbians gathered at the Sagrada Familia church this past weekend to do lots of kissing. Why? To make a statement to Pope Benedict XVI who just happened to be passing through for mass. The “kiss-in” was a peaceful protest against the Catholic Church’s stance against divorce, abortion, same-sex marriage, and condom use and a comment made by the Pope that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” That’s right, people, lock lips. Make love not hate. [L.A. Times] Keep reading »