Dozens Attend “Free the Nipple” on Hampton Beach, Despite Cold & Rain

Free the Nipple Hampton

Free the Nipple 2015, Hampton Beach, NH

After making international headlines and despite a major facebook mistake and bad weather, approximately two-dozen ladies persevered and came out to Hampton Beach today to stand against the social stigma associated with women being topless in public.

Free State Project early mover Jessica Wardell traveled all the way from Henniker to join the topless ladies and their male supporters today and had this to say about the event, “It was lots of fun, there were about 20-30 girls participating, and I didn’t receive any negative criticism. Mostly people were curious about what was going on, and everyone that I talked to seemed to support the idea- especially when I brought up breast feeding.”

The event has already received coverage from the Daily Mail, which focused on the dozens of topless equality events taking place internationally, Reuters, Boston.com, NECN, as well as in Manchester’s Union Leader. Seacoast newspaper “Fosters” was dismissive of the event in their article, calling it “a bust” (yuk, yuk) and claiming only a dozen women came out. How many actually attended? Wardell claims 20-30 ladies in her estimate, with 40-50 additional supporters, including topless males. While more than 1,300 had claimed they were attending on the facebook event, facebook event attendance estimates are almost never close to the actual turnout. Many will indicate they are attending on facebook simply to show support for the event.

Free the Nipple Hampton 2015

What day at the beach would be complete without sand boobies?

The ladies who set up the Hampton event, Kia Sinclair and Heidi Lilley, deserve a lot of credit for doing a great job promoting it and fielding media interviews in advance. Sadly, a major mistake was made early this morning when someone canceled the facebook event! The night prior, one of the admins posted a warning that they were going to cancel the facebook event this morning, but told people that did not mean the event was actually canceled. (Apparently, the FB event was canceled due to heavy trolling of the comments, however this could have been solved by only allowing admins to post.) Of course, only a fraction of the event attendees saw that post, so when the event was cancelled, EVERYONE on the event received a notice this morning from facebook saying the event was canceled with no explanation. This, in addition to the cold, rainy weather was likely a major contributing factor to the turnout. Two dozen topless ladies in bad weather actually seems really good, all things considered!

Organizer Kia Sinclair agreed, saying in a Free Keene-exclusive interview, “I am really happy about the turnout despite the weather. There were actually quite a few topless women around the beach at different times throughout the day. Because of the rain, a lot of women took shelter at the seashell stage. I will say that it was slightly intimidating being stared at and photographed by so many people. Its actually silly that just us being topless made so many people want to take pictures. If the weather was better I don’t think it would have been quite like that. But either way there were a lot of supporters despite the rain.”

Free the Nipple Hampton Beach 2015

Free State Project Early Mover Jessica Wardell, Graham Colson, and FSP Early Mover Matt Genack

Of course, all the mainstream media articles have been showing censored photos, or the ladies shot from behind, because the media are part of the problem. The social stigma against showing women topless runs deep, and mainstream media certainly won’t cross that taboo. Free Keene is not beholden to those rules. Share this article on social media at your own risk – you may get reported and banned for doing so.  UPDATE:  Facebook has targeted this article for censorship, so if you want to share it there, goto this link and hit “share” on it.  That will share a version with a censored pic that uses Graham’s breasts to cover Jessica’s.

Congratulations and thank you to the ladies who went out today despite the weather. Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on topless equality.  You can also join the “Free the Nipple” group for NH on facebook here.

Expected next is an as-yet-unscheduled civil disobedience event in Laconia where the city has illegally outlawed female toplessness.

Photo credits in order of appearance: Ashley Stoddard, Miranda Stoddard, Andrew Wardell

Jared Goodell Launching Manchester Morning Radio Show on Tuesday, 8/25, 7am

Jared Goodell Show

Keene Native Jared Goodell Launching Morning Talk Show in Manchester

Keene independent newsman and local radio pro Jared Goodell has been given a major promotion – straight to morning talk radio in Manchester, NH, starting Tuesday 8/25.  Saga Communications’ Manchester-based WFEA-AM 1370 flipped to talk radio earlier this year to provide some competition to iHeartMedia’s longtime market leader, WGIR. This summer, WFEA also signed onto translator 99.9 FM.

Goodell’s show will be the first local, longform weekday talk show on the station and it’s a major win for Goodell, a Keene native who cut his teeth in Keene music radio for years – he started at age 13 at WOOL-FM in Bellows Falls, VT. It’s a bold move for Saga to tap a young talk host like Jared to head up mornings. Good for them for taking the chance on the farm team rather than going the typical route of hiring some old politico or using a national morning show.

Goodell says of his new gig, “I hope to usher in a new era for talk radio. There is a lot of speculation as to the future of the format, some of which is not great. I love talk radio and want to see it live on for many more generations. Talk radio has always been the medium that the American people could use to amplify their voice and to hold their government accountable.”

He’s proven he’s got the chops for issues-oriented talk radio in his recent week-long fill-ins for longtime local morning man Dan Mitchell on WKBK here in Keene.  I was grateful to be a guest on a recent episode to discuss the Shire Free Church:

Goodell’s new show will be 7a-9a to start, eventually expanding to 6a-9a after a syndication contract ends. While his show will not air in Keene at this time, you can still listen online via WFEA’s website.

Good luck in the big city, Jared. Here’s a video of Goodell performing WKBK’s morning show, courtesy of Youtube’s CAPTAINQUINN: (more…)

Topless Equality Movement Spreads to Hampton Beach Sunday 8/23 for “Free the Nipple”

topless_tuesday2010

Topless Tuesday 2010, Keene’s Central Square

Longtime readers of Free Keene remember the controversial and short-lived “Topless Tuesdays” events from 2010. Many critics in the area still cite it as something they didn’t like that liberty activists have done. It’s relevant to point out that none of the females who participated in that were Free State Project participants. They were all townies.

Now, five years later, the topless equality movement has come again to New Hampshire, this time with over 1,100 saying (on Facebook) they will be attending “Free the Nipple” at Hampton Beach. (Who knows what the actual turnout will be.) The event is slated for all-day on Sunday 8/23. There is no specific meeting time or location besides Hampton Beach. This is an interesting approach and one of the event organizers comments on why on their facebook page:

“Even though there is no meeting spot, I have a feeling we will notice each other and make some new friends. I plan on walking around and I’ll gladly introduce myself, but I want to enjoy the beach as much as all of you! We don’t need a giant gathering or “spectacle.” Our goal is to just be normal about it. We want to show everyone that the breast and nipple can be seen without all hell breaking loose, traumatizing kids, giving old men heart attacks, or causing the apocalypse.”

Nonetheless, certain prudes in politics are making this out to be the apocalypse. Busybody state senator Nancy Styles is talking about proposing a law banning female toplessness and some local Hampton people have been whining.

Though it’s not illegal in New Hampshire to be topless as a male or female, one city, Laconia, has made an illegal ordinance banning it. News just hit this weekend that the ladies behind Free the Nipple are planning civil disobedience in Laconia.

Things are definitely getting interesting. Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on this social change in New Hampshire. Though people are legally free to be topless, there’s a large social stigma that needs to be broken.  Thanks to the courageous ladies who will be participating in Sunday’s event, and especially to those who will eventually risk arrest in Laconia at an unknown date in the future.

Here are the two organizers, Kia Sinclair, and Heidi Lilley explaining why they’re having this event:

State Issues Marriage License for Ceremony Performed by Shire Free Church Minister

JP, Rich, and Jessica

JP, Rich, and Jessica

Though the city tax assessment board doesn’t understand freedom of religion, it appears the state government agencies do. Last month, the Shire Free Church was denied a tax exemption by the city assessor, but this week the NH State Registrar of Vital Records issued certificate of marriage to JP & Jessica, with Shire Free Church and Church of the Invisible Hand minister Rich Paul listed as performing the marriage! If you missed the video of their wedding, performed at the Shire Free Church’s Keene parrish house, you can see that here.

Like with all new churches, there are many who are disrespectful to our freedom of religion. While our church may not be hundreds or thousands of years old, it’s still subject to the same constitutional protection as anyone’s. The issuance of this marriage certificage is more recognition of those rights by the people calling themselves the state. Thanks to the Registrar of Vital Records for officially recognizing our freedom of religion. They now join the NH State Police, who recognized my status as a Shire Free Church minister in a 2014 press release and Keene District Court judge Edward J Burke who recognized Shire Free Church: Monadnock’s nonprofit status by accepting our certification of a defendant’s community service hours, which Burke has also done for the Church of the Sword.

The Shire Free Church offers a sanctuary for those seeking an escape from state churches. We perform media and real-life outreach to spread god’s message of peace and love and awakening those to the evil state religion. As the state believers continue to force their beliefs on us, we will continue to use their system to accomplish our god-given mission. Please join us.

Keene Sentinel’s Feature Story on Shire Free Church’s 2015 Tax Exemption Denial

Keene SentinelAs expected, the city tax assessor denied Shire Free Church: Monadnock’s 2015 tax exemption for our parsonage and parish house here in Keene. Thanks to the Keene Sentinel’s Martha Shanahan for her feature story that was published in Tuesday’s paper:

Members of a Keene activist group and self-proclaimed church plan to file an appeal in Cheshire County Superior Court after the Keene Board of Assessors again denied their request for tax-exempt status on a Leverett Street house.

 

The group’s members, ministers of the Shire Free Church: Monadnock, have hired Manchester Attorney Brandon L. Ross to represent them in their second attempt to prove that the duplex doubles as a parish house or parsonage.

 

Ian B. Freeman, Darryl W. Perry and Mark Edgington, all members of the board of Shire Free Church: Monadnock and members of a loosely organized group of Keene libertarian activists, first filed an application with the Board of Assessors for tax-exempt status in March 2014. (more…)

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