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Spanish 'sextremists' study topless tactics

Steve Tallantyre · 19 Aug 2013, 12:19

Published: 19 Aug 2013 12:19 GMT+02:00

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September will see the feminist group FEMEN launch a campaign in Spain to "fight patriarchy" and protest against issues including domestic violence and changes to abortion laws.

To get ready for the disrobed demonstrations, activists are undergoing what has been described as a "summer training camp" in techniques of civil disobedience at FEMEN's Paris headquarters, according to Spanish daily 20 Minutos.

The organization was founded by Ukranian Inna Shevchenko, who hit headlines in 2012 after protesting topless in Russia against the imprisonment of the feminist post-punk group 'Pussy Riot'.

Shevchenko fled to France where she became a legal refugee in 2013.

Her group, which has the slogan "Our God is woman, our mission is protest, our weapons are bare breasts", has expanded into a number of other countries, including Spain.

Lara Alcázar, a 21-year-old art student from Gijón who heads the local movement of FEMEN explained: "We defend aggressive nudity."

"Our naked breasts are our instruments of political protest," she added.

Alcazár claims that nudity "can make those in power feel uncomfortable" especially in an "especially sexist" country where "the church is directly connected to the Popular Party".

"We express indignation --  we never smile, we never laugh," she told reporters.

FEMEN protesters have learned in the summer camp to refuse to make individual statements or give personal information.

Story continues below…

Founder Shevchenko lays down rules for new recruits.

"We do not insult, we do not strike out, we do not bite police officers."

"We are not fighting them, we simply offer resistance because we do not agree with being arrested."

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

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