'Top-Free Stand' Protest Planned for Spring Break

Stephen Yagielowicz
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Elizabeth Book is planning to hold another "top-free stand" protest on March 28, scheduled to coincide with spring break's beach festivities.

The event, which will promote 14th Amendment rights on Central Florida's beaches, will follow up on the success of her recent protest on March 8, which was held in celebration of International Women's Day.

"Larry Walters was once quoted in the Orlando Sentinel as saying, 'If Ms. Book and her friends want to dance down Main Street Daytona naked in a First Amendment-protected protest, they could,'" Book said. "I wasn't naked. I was topless. But damn, being topless for six and a half hours in that city was a victory dance all in itself!"

Book made headlines in 2004 when she was arrested while staging a "top-free" protest during Daytona Bike Week, where she bared her breasts while making a political speech.

Although women are commonly cited for exposing their breasts during Bike Week, the Daytona Beach public nudity ordinance allows nudity during a legitimate demonstration or protest. Despite this, police arrested Book once she removed her top. She ultimately prevailed in the case.

Book plans to stage her next protest on the beach behind the Desert Inn.

"So many young women have been arrested there over the years," Book said, "that it will be poetic justice for us to make a stand there."