CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster says those participating in a”Free the Nip Top Freedom Rally” in the city this weekend may not all be topless.
“They’re asking everyone to come fully clothed,” Webster told Mayor Danny Jones Thursday on his talk show “580 Live” heard on MetroNews affiliate 580-WCHS in Charleston. “As they begin walking, they may wish to remove their tops during the march.”
On Wednesday, Mayor Jones requested organizers push back their event in an attempt to avoid disrupting a previously-scheduled children’s event. The group agreed to move their march from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday because the FestivALL activities involving children are scheduled to end at 6 p.m.
“FestivALL people are very concerned about this,” Jones said. “They’re getting a lot of complaints by people that were going to have their children down at the children’s Art Fair.”
The event is scheduled to start at Davis Park. Jones said nearly 80 women are expected to mark down Summers Street to Haddad Riverfront Park.
“The burden is going to be on our police department,” Jones said. “I wish they would’ve change it.”
Webster said there will be an increased police presence downtown during the event.
“We’ll staff it sufficiently. We’re mindful that people are downtown and we’ll do the best we can,” Webster said. “We’ll do all we can to make it safe for all.”
Organizers say they want to march to protest the expectation that women and girls must wear bras.
Jones said going topless is not against the law.