European protestors, the group Femen take their protests to an effective extreme – at least I think so – certainly noticeable and passionately expressive. This makes American protests in the vein of Code Pink and GetEQUAL seem tame. I say ‘way to go and thank you FEMEN!
By Melanie Nathan, April 10, 2013.
A must watch video shows the passion of the TOPLESS protesters, who disrupted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tour of an industrial fair in Germany yesterday as he and Chancellor Angela Merkel clashed over Moscow’s recent NGO crackdown.
Mr Putin and Ms Merkel were taking in a presentation of a new car model at the Volkswagen stand by the company’s chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, when the four bare-breasted women started chanting “f’ING dictator”.
At least one of the women had the same words painted in black ink across her torso and “Go F yourself, Putin” in Russian on her back. The demonstrators were eventually overpowered by security personnel.
Ms Merkel and Mr Putin were attending the Hanover Messe in northern Germany where Russia is this year’s guest country.
At a press conference later the two leaders, whose personal rapport is notoriously strained, crossed swords over recent Russian probes of a number of international NGOs including German think tanks.
From this report at Putin can be seen “perving the women in a picture” :
He brushed off the topless protest, saying with a wolfish grin that he had “liked it” but remarked: “But it’s better not to upset the order. If someone wants to have a discussion on some political issues then it’s better to do it while you are dressed, and not take your clothes off.” He added: “You should take your clothes off in other places like nude beaches.”
He also reportedly said: “”Regarding this performance, I liked it,” grinned Putin at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that it had helped to promote the trade fair though he suggested that the security men could have been “gentler”. I did not catch what they were shouting, I did not even see if they were blondes, brunettes or chestnut-haired … I don’t see anything terrible in (the protest), though I think … it is better to be dressed if one wants to discuss political matters.”
Last Thursday bare-breasted activists from the Ukrainian women’s power group Femen staged rallies in front of mosques and Tunisian embassies across Europe against what they called Islamist attacks on Arab women’s rights.
Who are FEMEN:
“You can hear us shouting “Fuck off, dictator!”, “I’m not your sex toy!”, or “Religion is slavery!” You can see our half-naked bodies facing Berlusconi, Putin or the Pope. You can feel how deep our anger is by looking in our eyes. We are feminism’s shock troops, a spearhead unit of militants, a modern incarnation of the word fearless.
We are Femen. Our nakedness attacks the raw nerve of the historic conflict between women and “the system”. We are nothing less than its most visual and fitting embodiment. Our activists’ bodies represent undisguised hatred for the patriarchal order, and display the new aesthetics of a rejuvenated woman’s revolution.”