Nude Bicyclists protest War in Style by Mitch E. Perry

03/13/06

This coming Sunday will mark the 3rd anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, and a protests are being planned for around the world – including in Tampa, at Joe Chillura Park at 11AM.

Yesterday, there was a more unconventional protest against the war – and against oil dependency – in the form of the World Naked Bike Ride, which was being held simultaneously in cities across the world.

Participants, and those who just wanted to see naked bodies, came to the corner of Bayshore and Bay to Bay Boulevard around 11 AM yesterday…

Anti-War activist Jay Alexander was part of the majority of the crowd who was not about to strip for peace (roll tape#1 o.q.�that’s it�….laughing)

Alexander was there in support of the effort….Many others just seemed to want to see something they normally would never see – naked people on bikes.

But the Tampa Police Department quashed that idea on Friday, when a City Attorney ruled that the City would NOT allow them to go au natural, but would have to wear some type of clothing on certain body parts – instructions that were delivered by Tampa Police Department Lieutenant Geri McNamara just as the ride was to begin (roll tape#2 o.q.�disorderly conduct�)

Nobody ultimately was, as 6 TPD officers escorted the riders on their way to McDill Air Force Base.

Luis Boccardi was one of the dozen or so participants, though unlike most of the others, he did NOT discard any clothes from his somewhat corpulent physique (roll tape#3 o.q.�laughing�)

But on a more serious note, Boccardi said any opportunity to show his dissent against the war in Iraq was something that he felt he had to be a part of (roll tape#4 o.q.�anything out of them�)

The organizer of the local ride is John Palm, who acknowledged that riding in the nude to protest America’s dependence on oil and its involvement in Iraq was not for everybody (roll tape#5 o.q.�which has been proven�)

Palm with the group Tampa Area Naturists, who have been working on trying to get a clothing option beach open for naturists in the Tampa Bay Area(roll tape#6 o.q.�offend anyone�)

WMNF observed 10 men on bikes, but apparently 2 women later joined them en route to McDill. One of those men, Yuri Ilan , said he previously had participated in events for “body Freedom� when he lived in Israel. (rolltape#7 o.q.�this is nature�)

Another participant, a man who only gave his first name of Bruce, who lives in the Westshore part of Tampa, said he was in to protest , in President Bush’s phrase, America’s to oil (roll tape#8 o.q.�of course, too�)

Russ from Riverview said he read about the protest in the paper, and supported the cause (roll tape#9 o.q.�dependence on oil�)

Many others at the event refused to go on tape for their opinions, although they were equipped with Cameras… There only appeared to be a few who were disgusted with the event, like this Gulf War Vet who gave WMNF his first name of Michael only (roll tape#10 o.q.�not San Francisco�)

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