Police, demonstrators prepare for topless march

FARMINGTON — Local police say plans are in place to make sure everyone remains safe during a topless march down Main Street on Friday.

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A new message appeared Thursday on the Thought Bridge billboard at Joel Batzell's property at Bridge Street and Routes 2 and 4 in West Farmington. The message was put up the day before a topless march organized by a Univerity of Maine at Farmington student in downtown Farmington. The billboard greets travelers heading toward downtown Farmington from Temple and Wilton.

Simoneau facebook photo
submitted photo

University of Maine at Farmington students Andrea Simoneau and Paige Barker promote Saturday's march in Andrea Simoneau's current Facebook profile picture.

The demonstration is designed to promote equality for women to go topless in public and not be harassed, and to make people aware that it is legal in Maine for both men and women to go bare-chested in public.

The march is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Meetinghouse Park, across from the county courthouse, and to continue down Main Street to Abbott Park, just south of Roberts Learning Center at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Lt. Jack Peck of the Farmington Police Department said Thursday he would have extra police around and some on call as a precaution.

“We want to protect all people involved,” Peck said. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Counter-demonstrators also plan to be downtown.

Businesspeople who have establishments along the route say it will be business as usual for them.

“We’re actually treating it as a regular, normal day,” said Melissa Judkins, a clerk at Liquid Sunshine. “We were actually just discussing it. We’re just going to wait and see. It’s very interesting for us. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Sharon Tranten of Tranten’s Market and Jack Anderson of Trask Jewelers agreed that Friday would be business as usual for them.

Director of Support David Leavitt of the Mt. Blue Regional School District said school buses would avoid the downtown area as much as possible. From what he knows of the schedule, Leavitt said, he expects it to be over before kids are on the buses at about 2 p.m. But as a precaution, buses from the middle and high schools will be going down High Street to Anson Street and then hit Main Street to head toward New Vineyard.

March organizer Andrea Simoneau, 22, of Farmington, said she would speak for about five minutes at Meetinghouse Park and lay some ground rules. She‘ll have electrical tape on hand for those who want to cover their nipples, she said.

“I’m still not sure how many people will show up,” she said, but based on the e-mails, letters and phone calls she’s been receiving, there will be quite few.

“I think it will be something to see. That’s for sure,” Simoneau said. “I just hope it’s a safe and fun day for everyone.”

The number of calls complaining about the protest have decreased at the Town Office, though police have been fielding most of them, Town Manager Richard Davis said.

“We’ve had a couple of calls today,” he said. “Hopefully, this thing will come and go without any unfortunate incidents,” Davis said. He’s not planning to attend, he said.

dperry@sunjournal.com


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Comments

What is the march for???

If it is legal for a female to go without a shirt in Maine, then what is this march all about?  I am not getting this...Is she an exibitionist or just really proud of her boobs? Just don't forget to bring your shirt and shoes with you if you plan on shopping or eating out, cause most places require you to be covered, including men.  And I'm sure there will be all kinds of coverage for this story, but enough is enough...Just don't go crying to anyone if a perve follows you and you are raped.  Nothing like advertising!!!   

Explain yourself

Explain yourself please....what are you referring to?

John Chick's picture

To Joel Batzell

Keep reading...

"And for Adam and his wife the LORD God made coats of skins, and clothed them." - Gen 3:21

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was a
nd never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

Tira Cottrell's picture

I would

I have had a double mastectomy due to cancer. I am a survivor of 4 years! If I were in Maine, I would be there. I think people would be more horrified to see my scarred chest than all of the health, perky ones. They are marching for something that isn't even illegal! March for a cause and make a difference.

Karen Parker's picture

Tv crews

Where is Ch 8, ch 6, or ch 13. will they be there to put it on the evening news cast tonite for all too see. Maybe Parents of future childern that would like to go for Higher learning at UMF, might what to rethink about sending them.

Beth Loon's picture

don't forget

I hope if she wishes to shop, she remembers to have a shirt with her.  This is just plain dumb

Heather Costa's picture

I can't beleive

The Sun Journal puts this in the paper so much.  Big deal Boobs.  Whoa!  Freakin stupid

Licia Kuenning's picture

Topless march

Will the counter-demonstrators be marching bottomless?

Leslie Michaud's picture

Electrical tape?

Redneck pasties?  Why not duct tape...........just askin'?

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

Surely this immature 22 year

Surely this immature 22 year old student will come to regret this childish behavior. What is she really protesting? What she is doing is not illegal, and she is aware of this; she can protest human nature, but there are certain things that even her childish tantrums cannot change. Unfortunately even though she may not list this activity on her resume, with a simple Google search this will follow her for a long time.

Kevin Saisi's picture

It is lovely weather for a

It is lovely weather for a stroll down Main Street. It should be quite a sight, the participants topfree, and the spectators in winter coats.

Janet Hersey's picture

consider this her application

I suppose she can consider this her application to Hooters: they are the only ones that are going to hire her after this stunt.  She is protesting something legal, on a cold day...make a point in the heat of summer (usually a day on or around the middle of August) and get ligitimate. This is a sad appeal for attention. Really, trying to change the nature of those who would already ogle is not going to go well when it is a freak show in the cold anyhow.

 's picture

One time?

What is this going to accomplish other than the fact that this stupid show will give her  15 minutes + of showing her lack of intelligence and decency.  If being bare breasted isn't illegal, why doesn't she just pop them boobs out and go for it any time she wishes?  No! She has to make a big deal out of it.  Her mother and father(if she knows who he is) must really be proud of her!

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