George Davis Body Freedom Speech, San Francisco 2018-02-01
Thursday, February 1, 2018, 12:30pm
Steps of San Francisco City Hall
Body Freedom Speech Presented by George Davis while legally nude
Text of Speech:
Hi. I'm George Davis, a well known Body Freedom Activist, ironically better known in London and New York City than San Francisco where I am a permanent resident.
Body Freedom is the principle that the human anatomy and all body parts are normal and natural. To a logical mind, one would uphold this as an axiomatic reality and truth.
Think again! !
Today, February 1, is the 6th anniversary of the start of the enforcement of the San Francisco Nudity Ban Ordinance, which includes the potentiality of a prison sentence for artistically or politically visually expressing the human body as a work of art.
I guess six years are supposed to fly by when your civil liberties are taken away. Not just mine, but yours too. I guess that we are supposed to get amnesia and get used to it. . . . Well, the one strong point to the Body Freedom Movement is there is no expiration on the shelf life. The principle that the total human body is normal and natural has always been valid, is valid, and always will be valid.
By the way, I have had many “so called” San Francisco Liberals ask me why I make Body Freedom such an important issue when there are XYZ causes to them that they consider more important. But none of them can adequately explain why a natural innocent state of nudity, which everyone practices every day if only in a bathroom , is so ruthlessly and vigorously suppressed by prison and fines and media censorship. Think we have a free press and media. Think again! ! Nude body parts are banned in the “San Francisco Chronicle” and other print publications like “B.A.R”, “SF Weekly”, and “SF Examiner”. Broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS practice censorship. Cable stations sometimes do and don't practice censorship. Even the new media, like FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and, for all practical purposes, YouTube all censor body images. . . . Anyone want to tell me how all this censorship keeps the public better and accurately informed? How is this censorship not a distortion of truth and reality?
I'm reminded of George Orwell's quote; “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face – forever.” In case anyone thinks that quote is too harsh a look at nudity bans. Let me remind you that before the Nazis took out the Jews, Homosexuals, Gypsies, and the Disabled; they banned the nudists. You can look up the Goring Decree of March 3, 1933.
How many of you reading or listening to this speech are hoping that nudity bans and censorship are the wave of the future?
Is this the way it has to be?
New York City has way more open artistic and political policies than San Francisco, negating San Francisco's liberal and artsy reputation. New York City recognizes and allows nudity for artistic and theatrical performances and political expression.
Activities that have recently happened in New York City that you can't do in San Francisco are:
1. Free outdoor nude performances of “Hamlet” in Prospect Park, Brooklyn (2017). Free outdoor nude performances of “The Tempest” in Central Park, Manhattan and Prospect Park, Brooklyn (2016).
2. Andy Golub body paints nudes in public spaces all over NYC. He has done so for years with no permit.
3. Ton Dou sings and entertains while in Times Square, NYC (2017) and other years. No permit needed.
4. George Davis – Yes. That's me. – recently made a Body Freedom Speech in Times Square at noon with the full knowledge of the New York Police Department and the Mayor's Office. No permit needed. . . . The speech that I am making now on the top of the steps City Hall is with a special permit. However, if I moved to the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps to make this speech, I could be subject to citation and arrest. Does it make sense for a person to get a government permit, which can whimsically or politically be denied to make a political speech calling for a change in laws like this one?
I am proposing to make San Francisco the cultural, artistic, and political equal to New York City by adding an amendment to the Nudity Ban Ordinance to recognize the nude human body in artistic and theatrical performances and political expression.
To make this so, let's have some fun and find out the positions of the candidates for mayor of San Francisco on this nudity ban amendment.
Unless Angela Alioto spends millions of dollars of her money to run (a la the Donald Trump playbook), there are 3 favored candidates with a possibility to win the June 2018 race.
1. Mark Leno was in Sacramento six years ago when the nudity ban was passed. So, his position is unknown until some reporters and independent thinkers ask him.
2. London Breed was not a Supervisor six years ago. However, Ms. Breed's District 5 (the Haight included) then Supervisor Cristina Olaque voted against the nudity ban. The 2 prior District 5 Supervisors would have been likely to vote against the ban. Maybe some reporters, independent thinkers, and District 5 residents should put the amendment question to Ms. Breed.
3. Finally, Candidate/Supervisor Jane Kim did vote against the Nudity Ban Ordinance. Where does she stand today?
So, media and independent thinkers have some fun with the mayoral candidates. Get their position on artistic and political freedom.
On a side bar, let's at least make the San Francisco Park and Recreation's vintage 1950's era nudity ordinance updated and no more a burden than the San Francisco City Ordinance. In New York City, both in parks and the city and even in San Francisco proper, women can take off their shirt and go bare-chested any place that a man can. The SF Park and Rec ordinance still outlaws the female breast. In fact, SF Park Rangers have recently harassed nursing mothers, Bay-to-Breaker female participants, and an International Go Topless Day rally in Dolores Park. Most women that I know want equal rights to men. I love Gloria Steinem's response to equal rights of women to men; “Why should women aim so low?”
So much for truth and reality.
Talk to the mayor if you want it.
Let's Make San Francisco Great Again, or at least equal to New York!Thank you. George Davis February 1, 2018
All photographs taken by Leif Heilberg, Viking Photography Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org