Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Authorities in S.Africa ban public mass naked bike ride

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Authorities in S.Africa ban public mass naked bike ride

Authorities in South Africa have banned what would have been the country's first public mass naked bicycle ride to protest against global warming, SAPA news agency reported on Tuesday.

The African National Congress Youth League, which planned to hold the protest Saturday in central Cape Town, said in a statement that city authorities and the police had banned "mass activities," and described the move as an infringement of their constitutional rights.

City spokesman Charles Cooper said the city had been advised that all policemen have been placed on high alert due to ongoing violence caused by a feud between taxi owners, and a public sector strike.

"Please be advised the city can unfortunately not support your application for your group to hold your procession on June 9 as in the absence of the necessary security forces, the city cannot provide the necessary protection to ensure your group's safety," Cape Town's director of legal services, Lungelo Mbandazayo, told the ride organisers in a letter.

"Kindly note that should your group proceed it would be considered illegal."

Workers in South Africa's public sector have been on strike since last Friday to press for a 12 percent pay increase.

Six people have been shot dead in the last fortnight as part of the feud between taxi owners in the Johannesburg region.

Cape Town's naked bike ride was to have coincided with similar rides in 50 other cities worldwide.


Naked cyclists aim to tackle climate change

A Battersea man will bare all to help save the planet by taking part in a mass naked bike ride.

Martin Ireland will be shedding his threads along with thousands of others to take part in London's fourth annual World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday.

The 42-year-old believes this will be a record breaking year for the ride and predicts more than 3,000 may join the clothing optional ride against oil dependency, cyclists rights and car culture.

He said: "Cycling naked may seem a strange thing to do, but more and more people feel at a loss to do something to protest at what is going on internationally on the environmental front and the perpetual stalemate over the Kyoto agreement. The protest exposes the inconsistencies of Government policies in regard to environmental issues and climate change."

The ride, which starts from Achilles Statue in Hyde Park at around 3pm, will pass down some of the busiest and best known parts of the capital including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Downing Street.

The Met Police granted approval for the ride and for participants to cycle naked.

Mr Ireland said: "I found that while talking to other cyclists, there were lawyers, police officers, teachers, firemen, nurses, dinner ladies, artists, social security officers, and many, many others from all walks of life in this human leveler of activity."

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