Ukrainian feminists stage topless protest near Tower Bridge over Olympic body’s ‘support for bloody Islamist regimes’
- Demonstration outside City Hall by feminist protest group Femen
- Police break up protest against International Olympic Committee
- Protesters had the slogan ‘No Sharia’ scrawled on their chests
- Scotland Yard: Four women arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour’
A woman writhes on her back as police break up a demonstration near London’s Tower Bridge
Four topless activists from a women’s rights group were arrested today after they carried out a protest in central London.
Police were called to City Hall to deal with the protesters, who had accused the Olympics’ governing body of having supported ‘bloody’ Islamist regimes.
Pictures showed officers holding women on the ground and covering their chests.
Scroll downÂ for video of the protest by Vlad Tepes
Demo: The topless female protesters caused a scene near Tower Bridge until they were seized by police today
Activists: The FEMEN demonstrators organised an ‘islamic marathon’ to demonstrate against ‘islamic regimes’ they say are being supported by the IOC.
Outspoken: The topless activists have already staged several high-profile FEMEN protests across Europe this year
One woman screamed as officers held her.
The demonstration near Tower Bridge, described as an ‘Islamic marathon’ by the protesters, was organised by the Ukrainian feminist group Femen.
Protesters said the demonstration was against ‘bloody’ Islamist regimes which they said had been supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Some of the women had slogans marked on their bare chests. At least one carried the message: ‘No Sharia’.
Femen, a group based in Kiev, was founded in 2008.
The organisation has become internationally known for organizing topless protests against sex tourists, international marriage agencies, sexism and other social, national and international ills.
Protest: Police lead a topless activist away from City Hall in central London after she was involved in a demonstration against the Olympics’ governing body
Struggle: A woman writhes on her back as police break up a demonstration near London’s Tower Bridge
Cry: A woman screams as police officers hold her on the ground after a protest outside City Hall
Fight: A woman involved in the demonstration closes her eyes and struggles on the ground as police hold her
Held: Four police officers surround a woman alleged to have taken part in the topless protest against the International Olympic Committee
Its stated goals include developing ‘leadership, intellectual and moral qualities of the young women in Ukraine’Â and to ‘build up the image of Ukraine, the country with great opportunities for women’.
In a statement published on its Facebook page, the protest group said a number of its French members had been arrested.
It called on the IOC to ‘condemn violence towards women from Islamist states’.
It said: ‘Femen requires the states that apply the laws of sharia be shut out of the Olympic games, because of the inhumanity of these laws, which are in total contradiction with Olympic principles that are peace and philanthropy.
‘Femen accuses these states of simulating democratic changes regarding the position of women.
‘With the support of the IOC, these Islamist governments use the participation of women in the Olympic games to hide thousands of victims and dead.
‘If the IOC keeps flirting with radical Islam, new Olympic disciplines, such as stoning or speed raping will be added to the competition.’
Detained: A handcuffed protester in her underwear is surrounded by police officers and led away
Interest: Onlookers take photographs as two police officers block a woman dressed as a Muslim man
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘At approximately 11.30am today police attended the site of a demonstration outside City Hall.
‘Four topless female protesters were arrested under section five of the Public Order Act for disorderly behaviour.
‘They are currently in custody.’
The protest was staged less than three months after Femen activists snatched football’s European Championship trophy on two occasions.
They grabbed the cup in May while it was on display in a central square in Dnipropetrovsk, south-east Ukraine.
One activist took off her top to reveal an offensive slogan before picking up the trophy.
As security guards moved in on her, another activist, standing next to the cup, stripped off to the waist to display the same slogan.
Activists staged a similar protest in the Ukrainian capital Kiev earlier that month.
In February the protest group clashed with Italian police during Milan Fashion Week after a demonstration against the use of anorexic models.
The topless protesters wore jeans and had handwritten slogans such as ‘Fashion = Fascism’ and ‘Anorexia’ scrawled across their chests.
A similar protest was held in January in the Swiss resort of Davos in January, where the World Economic Forum held its annual meeting.
Campaigner: A Femen activist demonstrates outside the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January