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Women bare breasts on California's Venice Beach for annual Go Topless Day

Updated: 23 Aug 2011
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Fight for your right: Latex stickers and pasties were optional during the Go Topless march in Venice Beach, California, yesterday
  
Members of a UFO cult have staged rally to protest for women's constitutional rights at Venice Beach - but the objects on show needed no identifying.
 
Hundreds of women (and plenty of men too) descended upon California’s Venice Beach yesterday to take part in the fourth annual Go Topless Day.
 
The event, which is traditionally held on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day on August 26, was hosted in numerous U.S. cities and will be repeated in two Canadian cities next weekend.

While some female participants let it all hang out, others opted to wear latex stickers or pasties over their nipples, and men donned bikini tops and bras to protest against the hypocrisy that allows them to be bare-chested in public.

Protesters carried signs reading ‘Men and women have nipples. Why should women hide theirs?’ and ‘Equal topless rights for all or none’, while others donned fancy dress.
   
Getting the message out: A banner promotes the cause, held dear to the heart of the UFO cult group the Raelians
    
The event is inspired by the Raelians, a group founded by former sports journalist Claude Vorilhon, who claims to have had numerous encounters with aliens.

The cult combines Sixties-style free love principles with the conviction that science holds the key to humanity’s problems.

Marriage is discouraged and members are encouraged to celebrate the beauty of their bodies.
 
Put your money where your mouth is: Nadine Gary (foreground)helped organise the rally
    
Raelian Lara Terstenjak took part in the Venice Beach march on Sunday.

She told the Huffington Post: ‘The Constitution says women are equal to men in every sense of the word.

'But if we don’t have the Constitution supporting equal rights in all forms, what good is it?’

Fellow organiser Nadine Gary admitted that while it is legal for women to go topless in many American states, arrests have been made over incidents deemed to have disturbed the peace.

She said: ‘This is a basic civil right, just like blacks and whites being able to use the same water fountain.’
  
Some male protesters also covered their nipples as a gesture of solidarity 
        
Cult leader Vorilhon founded the Raelians after a supposed encounter with an alien called Yahweh Elohim in the crater of a French volcano in 1973.

Elohim whisked him back to his home planet – where Vorilhon met Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Moses, and enjoyed perfumed baths prepared by robot servants.

He was informed Christ’s resurrection was made possible by ‘advanced cloning’ methods carried out by extraterrestrials 25,000 years ago using DNA technology.

The sect has close links to the controversial biotechnology company Clonaid, which in 2002 claimed to have pioneered the first ever cloned human baby.

Based in the U.S., Clonaid also has a cloning service for dead pets and claims to preserve the DNA of living people for future cloning.
  
All for a good cause: The group argues it is a 'basic civil right' for women to go topless
 
  
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