The battle for top-freedom is still going strong in Daytona. Here's the latest story from Liz:
To all My Friends and Supporters of Topfreedom for Women,
My protest on the beach went exceptionally well yesterday. Channel 6 Orlando was there to interview me. I was topless the whole time. A few other topfree women joined me, but refrained from getting on camera. The whole time that they were shooting the interview, the beach patrol units were driving up and down right behind me! It was just so great! It was as if they were saying, "Yes, it is ok for her to be topless on our beach." Even if they knew that I was protected by the Constitution at that time.
I ventured out onto Main Street and the A1A crossing about 11:30. It was the first time I had taken this protest walk since 2004, when Daytona brought in Homeland Security to shut the protest down. Yesterday, there were no signs of law enforcement at all. I was thrilled, but still a little nervous. A few blocks up the street, I said, "Oh, what the heck!" and my top came off. I even stopped in front of one of my favorite supporter's establishments to wave and let them know that I was ok. You should have seen their faces! Little did I know, that the police had been arresting topfree women like gang busters in town for the whole nine days of the event. As that damned bridge came into site, I was overwhelmed with such a great feeling of accomplishment that tears came to my eyes. I was going to make it over that bridge this time. I just knew it. I took pictures the whole way over it. I even stopped at the guard tower for about ten minutes. It wasn't quite high noon. That was when I had proposed to make my speech. So I waited. Topless. The elderly gentleman who was working the bridge just loved having me there. What a turn about. There was a topless woman waving at the boats from the bridge. Instead of the other way around. As I made my way down the bridge to my little protest park on the other side, I could hear American Woman playing loud and clear from the sound system I had rented for the protest. My friends and supporters were waving me on from there. It was so wonderful. I cried. I call her "The Bridge to Freedom" now.
It wasn't until a few hours later, that I was sucker punched by Daytona's law enforcement. Again!
There was a lovely young woman who had come topfree onto the protest site. We took some pictures next to my protest signs. We had our backs to the road when a police officer on a bike pulled right onto the site, on the grass in front of us. Thank God, she managed to get her top up before he approached us. He looked at me and demanded, "You need to pull that f***ing thing up right now!" I looked back at him and said, "You need to call your Sargent right now." He again demanded, "You need to pull that f***ing thing up right now!" and pointed at my black velvet tube top that was around my waist. I again repeated, "You need to call your Sargent. You're making a big mistake!" It was at that point that he said, "Turn around and put your hands behind your back. You are under arrest." He had one cuff on me, when I turned to my friend and said, "Get this camera and start taking pictures, Now, please!"
What this young tough officer had to say, as we waited for his superior officer to come, turned my stomach. He said that he had no idea that we were in a legal protest. They had said nothing at the briefing that morning about it. This is not unusual, as Larry Walters pointed out so poignantly in my previous cases. The city of Daytona Beach has no respect for our civil or equal rights. They do not typically train their officers in this.
This officer told me that he couldn't believe that we were doing this, the protest, while he and the other officers were arresting hundreds of women on Main Street. He told me that they had arrested so may women on Saturday, March 7th, that they had to call in the "Cattle Cars" to haul them away. He referred to American women as cattle. I wanted to throw up, I was so upset by that. He did not handcuff the other woman, but she was obviously terrified, as he told her she had to remain there until he got his orders on what to do with us. After about 20 minutes, a Lieutenant showed up. He told the officer to "cut us loose".Then he grabbed him by the elbow and lead him away from us.
The rest of the day was fantastic. I did notice that they had hidden a police car behind some bushes nearby. But I wasn't afraid of them anymore.
I notified Mark Tietig,the lawyer who is handling my 14th Amendment lawsuit against the city and Larry Walters, the lawyer who handled all of my First Amendment winning cases. I told them what has occurred at the protest. I sent them the pictures to prove it. Mark is going to lodge a suit against them and Larry Walters has graciously agreed to add his name to it.
My God, enough is enough! They have recently built a huge multi million dollar police fortress in Daytona. If they think to pay the bill for that, at the expense of American women's lives and breasts, they had better think again! My friend, Jeddy Tranquil from New York, was in town for the Bikeweek event. On Thursday night, he witnessed a woman being arrested for daring to bare her breasts. He said that the police woman literally beat the crap out of this poor woman. The crowd was almost ready to riot. When my friend stepped up and said, "Don't you think that you have gone far enough?" The police woman threatened him with arrest, too. Just when I thought that maybe they were starting to slack off on this type of arrest, and violent behavior aimed at women, they have come back with a vengeance!
Not on my shift! They have stepped way too far over the line in their zealousness to dominate and intimidate women. I am so glad that Mark Tietig has decided to pick this one up. I am so glad that Larry Walters has let us know that he has our back on this one, too. My heroes to the rescue!
I had almost decided to make this the last of my protests. With the conquering of that bridge, the beach, and Main Street, I thought there might not be a need for more. Plus I have my 14th Amendment Lawsuit against the city to back it all up. Now, I am of a different mind. The look of fear in the Lieutenant's eyes said it all. They do not want to mess with this woman! I need to find a sponsor. Someone of good heart who can help me to promote and orchestrate these protests. I will beef them up, if I can find the help. Instead of doing them twice a year, I will do them more frequently. And possibly, in more anti-topfree locations around the country. The news the other night said that Daytona was trying to present a more family friendly atmosphere. Yeah right, with a serial killer on the loose and strong arm robbery being prevalent the year round, that's not going to happen! Every single one of their events is aimed at an adult crowd. Not my protests, though, it seems. There were so many families who brought there children yesterday that I was amazed. I even got pictures of some of them.
I know my business. I am writing a satire I call "The Protester's Handguide" right now. As long as I follow the basic steps of protecting free speech in protest, they are helpless to do anything about it. Their town and this state will be topfree before you know it. I will do what I can to see it happen. Just watch me!
Taking the Beach and Main Street Topless For The American Women, Liz Book