Naked Bike Ride Probably Won’t Be Naked

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – The San Diego Naked Bicycle Ride to protest petroleum-based technology may be naked in name only this afternoon (Saturday), after a federal judge on Friday dismissed the organizer’s bid to enjoin police from ticketing protesters for violating the city’s nudity law. “It seems obvious that nudity isn’t so much the message that plaintiff wants to convey as it is a means of amplifying (her) primary message, which seems to be, ‘America is too dependent on oil, to our great ecological detriment,'” U.S. District Court Judge Larry Alan Burns wrote in denying Sarah Bush’s request for an emergency order.

      “Nudity has the potential to amplify that message only because it naturally amplifies any message by attracting attention and publicity. Plaintiff’s message is otherwise old hat,” Burns wrote. “Plaintiff isn’t likely to prevail on her claim that the ordinance violates her rights under the First Amendment.”
     Earlier Friday, Bush’s attorney, Mitch Wallis, said the ride was still on.
     Bush sued the city and its police department on June 2, to protect the rights of protesters to ride in the event scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.
     According to her plan, adults will “strip naked, paint slogans on their bodies, and ride bicycles along a 10-mile route between Hillcrest and Downtown San Diego to protest petroleum-based transportation systems and technology.”
     In her federal complaint, Bush said the city’s “threats and admonishments” threatened protesters’ First Amendment rights.
     “The protest does not contain any violence, sexual activity, or pose any danger to anyone whatsoever,” Bush claimed.
     A federal judge, however, said Bush and her fellows did not have the right ride naked, because San Diego prohibits public nudity.
     Wallis appealed to the 9th Circuit, and the protestors and police are awaiting the outcome of that appeal.
     “If the court rules for us, then the riders will be nude as planned,” Wallis said. “But if they rule against us then everyone will probably have to wear G-strings and pasties.”
     Bush’s original complaint stated that “Defendant’s threats and admonishments to prosecute plaintiff and other protesters are a clear violation of both federal and state constitutional protections and violate the Civil Rights Act of 1871.”
     In a telephone interview, San Diego Police Capt. Mark Jones said, “Either way, we will be prepared to handle whatever occurs. We are waiting for the 9th Circuit’s decision and we will enforce whatever laws are in place. We want to be fair.”
     Temperatures in San Diego are expected to be in mid-60s on Saturday.

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