Monday, July 26, 2010

Stopped @ Dick's

A group of about 15 bicyclists in various stages of nakedness rode from Belltown, through downtown Seattle and on to Capitol Hill on Friday night, where they were stopped by Seattle police, according to one of the organizers.
The ride was part of World Naked Bike Ride, which is meant to dramatize the vulnerability of cyclists in car-dominated cities and to promote nonpolluting transportation, said ride organizer Daniel Johnson. Most cities have their rides in June, but the small Seattle group waited a few weeks until warmer weather, he said.
Police stopped the riders near Dick's Drive-in, and the cyclists complied with their request to stop without any arrests, reports or citations, Johnson said. Further details weren't immediately available from police Saturday.
Police policy in Seattle for events such as the Fremont Solstice Parade is typically for nude riders to be allowed to ride, as long as there are no public complaints.
Johnson argues Friday night's stoppage violated the riders' First Amendment rights.
"This is the first time I'm aware of where SPD has stopped naked cyclists in Seattle without evidence of even one citizen complaint," said Johnson.
Three bicyclists were arrested for indecent exposure in July 2007 at Seward Park, after police received five calls from neighbors.
Friday's route went through Belltown, downtown, Pioneer Square and the Pike-Pine area near the Capitol Hill Block Party.
Some riders were nude, others in costumes, Johnson said in an interview. One person wore a dinosaur suit until it became too hot.
The next scheduled ride is to protest fossil-fuel use on Aug. 7, Seafair weekend, when the city hosts the hydroplane races and the Blue Angels flying team.

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