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FEMEN activists detained for action under Pope's balcony (PHOTO)

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Nov. 7, 2011, 11:25 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

An activist of the Ukrainian female rights organization "Femen" shows a placard during a protest at the end of Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.
© AP

The activists of the Ukrainian FEMEN women's rights movement on Sunday held a rally against the "misogynist policies" of the church at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. A statement posted on the Web site of the FEMEN movement reads that two participants were detained while approaching the square.

The leader of the movement, Oleksandra Shevchenko, got to St. Peter's Square in the center of the Vatican and staged a topless action under the balcony of Pope Benedict XVI.

According to Western media, a young Ukrainian women's rights activist sneaked past security and partially stripped in front the Vatican's Saint-Peter Basilica just after the Pope's Sunday Angelus.


An Italian policemen pulls a poster reading: "Freedom for women" held by an activist of the Ukrainian female rights organization "Femen" during a protest at the end of Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.


The blonde activist, initially wearing tight jeans and a see-through black tulle top, struck provocative poses against the dramatic backdrop of the basilica and the papal apartments, where Benedict XVI had given his traditional blessing moments earlier.

She brandished a black placard demanding "Freedom for Women" and then took her top off.

In this way, the activists expressed their "protest against papal patriarchal propaganda, imposing on the world the medieval idea of a woman, her social and cultural mission."


Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, detain an activist of the Ukrainian female rights organization "Femen" after she brandished a placard reading: "Freedom for women" and wearing diaphanous top, at the end of Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.


According to FEMEN's Web site, Vatican security forces dispersed reporters and detained the FEMEN movement activists, as well as a female journalist from Australia.

The FEMEN activists spent more than four hours in a police department in Rome and escaped deportation only under pressure from the media, the movement said.

Earlier on Saturday, FEMEN activists participated in a protest attended by several thousand people in Rome demanding the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

They came to the protest topless, painted in the colors of the Italian flag.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Nov. 7, 2011, 2:51 p.m.    

Well I guess that is the end or her European vacation. No visa for FEMEN

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Anonymous Nov. 7, 2011, 5:40 p.m.    

Why is Femen in Italy when the situation in Ukraine is SO MUCH worse than in Italy!

Sure their people are being pushed into Poverty &amp; Slavery BUT we are ALREADY there! Not only are we poor slaves but we are also undergoing Russification and genocide which the Italians are NOT! Femen COME HOME the greater battle is here!

Read more: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/ukraine/detail/116367/#ixzz1d2CVjFKp

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Anonymous Nov. 7, 2011, 8:23 p.m.    

boring , all the times the same , just undress , no arguments .

better they find one job if they want to help their country but it is more funny to undress in front cameras , true courage is to wake up the mornings for go work .

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Anonymous Nov. 7, 2011, 11:46 p.m.    

Roman Catholics believe naked women in public to be a bad habit!

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Anonymous Nov. 8, 2011, 7:05 a.m.    

Courageous, and cheers to FEMEN, yet doing that in front of one of the Illuminati headquarters could be dangerous...and what does the Vatican care about &quot;human rights&quot; anyway? The pope condoned the bombing of Serbia, a Christian Orthodox country. The pope is one of the Illuminati puppets, and They know how to pull the strings.

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Anonymous Nov. 8, 2011, 8:06 a.m.    

Oh wow, the poor women. Won't someone PLEASE, PLEASE think of those poor, innocent, oppressed souls?

God, how heartbreaking.

BTW, KP seriously needs to fix this captcha bullshit. Use bloody ReCaptcha if you have to. I'm sick of typing it in several times every time I comment because you guys can't make a simple form right.

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Anonymous Nov. 8, 2011, 11:15 a.m.    

Such a disgrace.... What is FEMEN demonstrating for? Which Cause? Such a big shame and disgrace for Ukraine, Producer of Prostitutes as FEMEN is showing.. Prostitutes coming out to display there Goods. Shame on you all.. And annoying part is nothing the topless prostitutes does at any point affect any decision in even a shopping center not to talk of company and not venturing to state government even...

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Anonymous Nov. 8, 2011, 11:54 a.m.    

Disgrace to do this before the pope. Yet another black eye for Ukraine which are already the butt of jokes in the world. The Lviv diaspora (as hypocrytical as they are) will of course make excuses or turn a blind eye on this, even though they are Catholic themselves.

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Anonymous Dec. 11, 2011, 10:56 p.m.    

Women taking radical steps in not unheard of. On October 31st, 2009, Code Pink organized a protest rally outside the White House to coincide with President and Mrs. Obama's official Halloween party. As many of the guests were family members of military members, the Code Pink press release encouraged attendees to dress as &quot;zombie soldiers&quot;. On August 13th, 2011, organizers held their first Slut Walk. As noted in the Washington Post, &quot;In a feminist movement that is often fighting simply to hold ground, Slut Walks stand out as a reminder of feminism’s more grass-roots past and point to what the future could look like.&quot; The women of FEMEN are known for their scandalous tactics, much like the women of Code Pink and the organizers of Slut Walks, but they are the new face of feminism, women who are not afraid to speak their minds or show their bodies. They are women who are willing to break all the rules, all the social convention commonly adhered to in their societies and fight for what they believe is a just cause....http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-washington-dc/femen-s-solidarity-video-message-to-femen-holland-starts-a-firestorm-online

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