Top­less pa­rade protest

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

WOMEN op­pos­ing a top­less mo­tor­bike pa­rade say they’ll form a hu­man chain across Queen St in protest.

City coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey says she’s gath­ered a “small group” of women pre­pared to lie down in the path of the Boobs on Bikes pa­rade.

“What stand will the po­lice take if there’s 10 women ly­ing across the road,” Dr Casey asks. “Who’s lib­erty will they up­hold then?”

Dr Casey says she hopes po­lice will put a halt to the event be­fore next Wed­nes­day, but is pre­pared to take ac­tion if they don’t.

“I find it ab­hor­rent,” she says. “It’s not about women with naked breasts on Queen St, it’s about the pur­pose of it, which is to ad­ver­tise his R-18 expo.”

The con­tro­ver­sial pa­rade is or­gan­ised by pornog­ra­pher Steve Crow to pro­mote the Erot­ica Expo.

An ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing of the Auck­land City Coun- cil to­mor­row to de­cide on Mr Crow’s per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion has been can­celled.

In­stead an ur­gent de­ci­sion was to be made by mayor John Banks and deputy mayor David Hay.

A de­ci­sion against the per­mit was ex­pected yes­ter­day.

Mr Banks says call­ing a meet­ing over “this kind of ex­hi­bi­tion­ism” would have been a waste of ratepayer cash.

Mr Banks has re­ceived al­most 1000 emails op­pos­ing the pa­rade and one in sup­port.

He says the coun­cil will look to po­lice to en­force their de­ci­sion.

Mr Crow was not aware the meet­ing was can­celled when con­tacted by the Cen­tral Leader, and had planned to at­tend.

He says he’s not con­cerned about Dr Casey’s planned protest.

“Good luck to them,” he says.

“I don’t have a prob­lem with that. It’s democ­racy at work. We’ll just sit there for as long as it takes for some- one to re­move them.”

Po­lice spokes­woman Noreen Hegarty says po­lice will eval­u­ate their po­si­tion on the pa­rade once a de­ci­sion has been made by the coun­cil.

She can­not re­spond to the protest plans be­cause po­lice don’t com­ment on hy­po­thet­i­cal sit­u­a­tions.

“We’ll deal with sit­u­a­tions as they arise and try to en­able peo­ple to law­fully protest with­out im­pact­ing on the right of oth­ers to go about their busi­ness,” Ms Hegarty says.

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