http://rt.com/art-and-culture/news/t...otest-law-183/After bikers straddled by topless beauties hit the streets to draw attention to “safe driving” by taking everyone’s eyes off the road, a judge has hit them with a fine. Not for indecent exposure, but for violating Russia’s new protest law.
A video of the event of July 6 shows three women strip down to their g-strings before climbing onto the backs of three-wheelers and taking off. The girls, one of whom was not even wearing a helmet, unfurled yellow banners bearing the words “safe driving” as they made their way to the heart of St. Petersburg.
Once the video went viral and made its way to the press, scandalized local police immediately sought out the bikers for questioning, Fontaka.ru website reports.
Investigators scoured local bike dealerships looking to identify the culprits. A prominent dealer contacted Sergey, one of the bikers who took part in the demo, telling him the trio should stop by and have a talk with the city’s traffic police. They did, expecting to hear something about missing helmets (never mind bras) or moving violations. What came next threw Sergey for a loop.
Following a report from the city police which claimed the bikers’ behavior constituted a violation of public order, the easy riders involved in the topless run were all summoned to appear in Magistrates Court two weeks later (sans their exhibitionist companions). They were strangely charged with taking part in an unsanctioned rally, even though the ride was at best a racy public service announcement.
The judge presiding over the case apparently viewed the topless joyride as an unauthorized demonstration (of female beauty?), fining the trio 10,000 rubles (around $316 dollars) each. Under the amended law on protests, those taking parts in demonstrations where public order is violated but no damage to health or property are registered face fines of up to 20,000 rubles (approximately $632) and 40 hours community service.
After determining that the accused were all upstanding citizens, the judge decided to show leniency, strapping them with the minimum allowable fine.
Besides the fact that a similar topless “protest” went off last year without a hitch (or a charge), the ruling has served to confuse Russians, who are accustomed to biker rallies making bold statements that are rarely political.
And if there is any lesson to learn from this case it might be that it’s okay to hit the streets of Russia without a helmet or even a top, but just be careful not to ask people to drive safely.
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