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Berkeley's X-plicit Players file Civil Rights lawsuit against anti-nudity ordinance

Debbie Moore and Marty Kent, directors of the X-plicit Players, represented by attorney David Beauvais, have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Berkeley, Mayor Shirley Dean, and Chief of Police Dash Butler. The suit, filed in Federal District Court on Wednesday 16 September, will be heard by Judge Claudia Wilkin. The first hearing of the case in open court will be in Oakland, Friday 23 October.

We are seeking an injunction to prohibit enforcement of Berkeley's anti-nudity ordinance, particularly as it effects street performance. We feel that the anti-nudity ordinance in its current form, as recently amended by the Berkeley City Council, is clearly unconstituional.

The removal of the exemption for constitutionally-protected activities (such as artistic performance and political protest) has made the ordinance illegally broad. The denial of jury access for free speech related cases, makes the ordinance content-specific & denies due process. And the ordinance's differential treatment of women's and men's breasts violates the equal-protection amendment of the Constitution.

The Seventh Annual Berkeley Nude and Breast Freedom Parade will take place this Sunday, 20 September. We feel that participants in the parade need protection from this new version of the ordinance.

We have endured seven years of legal harrassment for our nude street theater. We've faced five court trials, and won all of them. We've had fifteen nudity citations in 1997 alone, every one of which was dropped or dismissed.

We've spent an enormous amount of time and energy attempting to educate people in the city government about the artistic, political, and human values of our non-sexual street performances. Most of these people have been unwilling even to view our performance a single time. They've continuously ignored the actual community values of Berkeley. With this last amendment to the ordinance, they've gone out of their way to silence the voice of the community.

We are committing our trust to the federal courts to end this abuse of power by the city government.


    Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Berkeley anti-nudity ordinance
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