Live Tweets from the “Free the Nipple” Trials in Laconia

Free the Nipple Hampton Beach

Free the Nipple, Hampton Beach 2015

This summer, Heidi Lilley and B. Liz MacKinnon were unexpectedly cited by police for going topless on the beach in Gilford, NH. This, just a couple of weeks after Lilley’s successful “Free the Nipple” topless equality event in Laconia.

Today is the trial date in Laconia district court for both ladies, who are being represented by Free State Project early mover and attorney Dan Hynes.

UPDATE 4:40pm: Full trial video still to come. Here are my tweets from today courtesy of the Free Keene twitter:

Hynes responds that people should be treated the same. Court takes case under advisement. Order to come later by mail. #freethenipple
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State says if court overturns Gilford’s ordinance, it should also overturn 644:9. #freethenipple
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State argues RSA 644:9 grants special protected status to female breasts from being photographed without consent. #freethenipple
3h

Hynes requests charges be dismissed and court find ordinance unconstitutional #freethenipple
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Hynes says RSA 354:A overrides the ordinance. #freethenipple
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Hynes says defendants are essentially being prosecuted for being women. #freethenipple
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Hynes says people being offended is “Heckler’s Veto” – an objection should not negate one’s rights. #freethenipple
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Hynes says state is not a “home rule” state – towns can’t make things illegal without being authorized to do so by the state. #freethenipple
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Defense attorney Hynes says it’s important that people be treated equally based on their gender. #freethenipple
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Defense rests and motions to dismiss on equal protection and free speech grounds. #freethenipple
3h

On cross-examination, MacKinnon admits being born with a vagina. #freethenipple
3h

MacKinnon is transgender, is “non-binary”, neither male nor female. Things just got interesting. #freethenipple
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4h

Barbara Liz MacKinnon takes the stand, says she is not a woman. #freethenipple
4h

Lilley said she didn’t know about the Gilford town ordinance, beach signage says no nude sunbathing, but not no toplessness. #freethenipple
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Lilley says she was not engaged in sexual activity at the beach, has been topless in other places besides the beach. #freethenipple
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Lilley says it’s about slut-shaming, body shaming. Says ordinance discriminates against women. #freethenipple
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Heidi Lilley, Free the Nipple leader, takes the stand. Says it means equality for men and women. #freethenipple
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Drumheller being cross-examined now – says she’s walked topless in NH before. #freethenipple
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Drumheller says Free the Nipple is about women having the same rights as men to be topless. #freethenipple
4h

Drumheller: “We can be topless and the world’s not going to end” #freethenipple
4h

Drumheller is from Greenfield, MA – was at the beach for fun as a guest of Lilley, says it’s comfortable to be topless. #freethenipple
4h

Drumheller says Ms. Demers got in her face, called her names including “whore” and “slut” and was mentally unstable. #freethenipple
4h

Laura Drumheller is first defense witness. #freethenipple
4h

State rests. Defense reiterates motion to dismiss. #freethenipple
4h

Salmon claims he determined they were females “by their exposed breasts” #freethenipple
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Salmon says 6-8 women were topless on the beach and were respectful. #freethenipple
4h

Officer Andrew Salmon is on the stand now. #freethenipple
4h

O’Connor admits there were no riots, defendants were polite. #freethenipple
4h

O’Connor says he had read about #freethenipple in the media. Admits it may be legal to be topless elsewhere in Gilford.
4h

Both Heidi Lilley and B. Liz MacKinnon are being tried together. #freethenipple
4h

Police officer Cory O’Connor is on the stand now. #freethenipple
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Landry admits the ladies were not harassing anyone. #freethenipple
4h

Next state witness is Robert Landry – 50+ year old man felt it was “wrong”, admits snitching to police. #freethenipple
4h

Demers says she’d want to leave NH if she found out it were legal for women to be topless. #prude #freethenipple
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Demers claims she would be offended by a little girl topless and offended by a woman with a double mastectomy topless. #freethenipple
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Defense asks “How do you know who is female”? Snitch Demers claims “it’s obvious based on their sex”. #freethenipple
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Defense cross examines Demers the snitch. Claims she would not be offended by a man topless.
4h

Demers claims she won’t go to beach, 13yo son won’t go if “that’s happening”. Admits snitching to police. #freethenipple
4h

Erin Demers is the next state witness. Claims she was shocked and angry about the topless ladies. #prude #freethenipple
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Witness/snitch claims it’s okay for two people to kiss of the same gender. #freethenipple
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Witness/snitch claims beach is “private”, yet taxpayer funded. #freethenipple
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Attorney Hynes gets witness to admit that she would not consider a man to be nude if topless. #freethenipple
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Witness claims “breasts are sexual”, considers it nudity. #freethenipple
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State tries to ask what her family members said. Objection – hearsay – sustained. #freethenipple
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Witness / snitch Melanie claims she took photos for police. #freethenipple
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Witness claims she was “offended for the children”. #freethenipple
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Melanie Dagat is first state’s witness, claims was at beach, appears to have been the snitch. #freethenipple
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Witnesses being sequestered. #freethenipple
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Defense and state agree to stipulate to toplessness, ID of defendants. #freethenipple
4h

Ok, it’s showtime! #freethenipple
5h

Oh boy. Same defendant, second trial. Maybe this won’t be over before lunch. #freethenipple
5h

Hopefully the case will start before lunch break! #freethenipple
6h

Another case is in front of #freethenipple – other case called back in. You still have time to get here!
6h

Judge Carroll compliments the motion. #freethenipple
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Judge addressing motion to dismiss. #freethenipple
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Cases just got called #freethenipple
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Video arraignments are over. Still waiting on #freethenipple trials.
6h

Water bottles are not allowed in Laconia district court, but are allowed in Keene district court. Arbitrary rules, anyone? #freethenipple
6h

Court setting up for video arraignments with the jail.
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Court is less than half-empty now. Likely still plenty of time to get here to support Heidi and Liz. #freethenipple
7h

Judge James M. Carroll is presiding and cracking jokes. Appears to be in a good mood. #freethenipple
7h

Union Leader and NH1 are here as well as @FreeKeene #freethenipple
7h

Plenty of peaceful people are being attacked by the state in Laconia district court today. #freethenipple activists are just two of a crowd
7h

The #freethenipple trial was slated for 8:30am, but the court is still conducting other hearings. If you’re running late, you have time!

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6 Comments

  1. I saw that photo and a wave of nausea almost overcame me. Some people just shouldn’t be seen naked.

  2. @PorcupineGuy: There’s no photo showing anyone naked.

  3. JumpingJacks is so negative, a woman could show her breasts and he would start complaining that one is slightly larger than the other.

  4. I’ll second that. I don’t want to see physically ugly people naked. We should have a government agency that makes sure you’re pretty enough and they could give you a nudeness permit authorizing … Oops, better not give the people calling themselves “The City of Keene” any ideas. If they get involved, we’ll have an ENOC — Equal Nudeness Opportunity Commission, and they will require that I look at nude women with big boobs. What I really want to see is Derrick J and Steven naked … I’d pay good bitcoin to see them being naughty together.

  5. @PorcupineGuy: I don’t know, dude … that Asian chick is pretty hot and has a great rack.

  6. In Oregon it is legal for women to go topless in public, no one has been molested because of it and the only problem is during the Country Fair and all the pedophiles come to town to take pics of the teenage girls.

Care to comment?