Naked Protester Explains Decision

Sitting down in the line of fire was calm and terrifying, woman says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2020 4:57 PM CDT
Naked Protester Explains Decision
A bloodied demonstrator raises his hand after clashing with federal officers during a Black Lives Matter protest Monday in Portland, Oregon.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The woman who took her clothes off and placed herself between police and protesters in Portland didn't plan it. She made the decision when she saw officers lined up "like they’re warriors, and they're not," she said in a podcast interview, the New York Post reports. "I said I want to be naked, I want to confront them," the woman said. "I'm a sex worker. My nakedness is political, and it is my expression." She said she wanted to show vulnerability and that the protesters facing the officers didn't have weapons. "I just wanted them to see what they’re shooting at." She left her mask and hat on because of the weather, she said. Except for being cold, she said being naked doesn't bother her. "I am notoriously naked," she said.

The protester didn't give her name, but said she doesn't mind being called "Naked Athena," which began after her protest earlier this month. "It's catchy," she said. She discussed her protest and the reaction to it in a two-hour interview on a local podcast, Unrefined Sophisticates, per Willamette Week. The poses she struck, which some thought were yoga or ballet, were partly because she'd been hit in the foot by something fired by police, she said. Sitting down in the street, in the line of fire, was "really calm and terrifying at the same time," she said. "It's like being in the eye of the storm." Her partner, who was with her, had a supportive reaction when she made her decision, saying, "I'll hold your clothes." (Read more Portland, Oregon stories.)

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