Culver City Edition

Topless women march at Venice Beach

VENICE — A group of women marched topless along the Venice Beach boardwalk Aug. 23 as part of an annual call for equal rights for women who want to go bare-breasted in public.

“We’re working toward freeing women’s nipples and obtaining equal gender topless rights that are enforced worldwide,” said Lara Terstenjak, head of the Los Angeles branch of GoTopless, the sponsor of the event.

The annual topless march featured women — joined by shirtless men — walking from the northern end of Ocean Front Walk to the center of the boardwalk at Windward Circle, where a rally was held urging lawmakers to allow women to go topless.

Similar marches were held in dozens of cities across the country as part of the eighth annual GoTopless Day, organizers said.

On Aug. 21, organizers of the Venice march held a “pre-rally party extravaganza” in West Los Angeles, featuring a screening of the film, “Free the Nipple.”

According to an online invitation, the event featured entertainment such as comedians, stilt walkers, mermaids, a “boob juggler,” hula hoopers, dancers and :topless alien angels.”

People were admitted free prior to 7 p.m., but after that time, admission was $20 — $15 “if topless or w/ pasties,” the invitation said.

Terstenjak noted that the Venice Neighborhood Council recently approved a resolution in support of women going topless, but such a change would require action by the city and the county.

“The Venice Neighborhood Council’s approval is a hopeful step forward after our eight years of activism on Venice Beach,” Terstenjak said. “Now it’s time for the city and county to follow up by making equal gender and topless rights a priority.”