A member of a feminist group was physically apprehended by authorities after she staged a protest at the Vatican, in which she was publicly breastfeeding her baby.
The woman, whose name has not been revealed, was staging a topless Mother’s Day protest last Sunday, (May 13) for the feminist group, Femen.
Members of the public looked on in horror – some in amusement – as the female protestor stood her ground, breastfeeding her child, before Vatican City authorities removed her out of St Peter’s Square.
Before authorities swooped in to remove her from the popular tourist site, the topless protestor had the phrase ‘alma mater’ painted across her chest. Translated from Latin, (who here still speaks Latin?) to English it means, ‘mother feeding’.
A spokesperson for Femen revealed the main purpose of the woman’s stunt was to get the attention of Pope Francis, so he could recognise the right and choice of all mothers across the globe to choose; if, when and how they decide to breastfeed their children.
According to the MailOnline, in December 2017, a member of Femen went topless and tried to steal a model of the baby Jesus from the nativity scene on Christmas Day, so it’s not the first time the group has tried to subvert religious atmosphere in Vatican City.
In January, the pope encouraged women to breastfeed their babies while performing 34 baptism ceremonies at the Sistine Chapel, saying:
If they start performing a concert (by crying), or if they are uncomfortable or too warm or don’t feel at ease or are hungry … breastfeed them, don’t be afraid, feed them, because this too is the language of love.
A statement from Femen was issued following the protestor’s stunt, claiming they choose Mother’s Day to both get their message across and as a dedication to the day.
A post on their website also claims journalists who’ve covered their previous protests have been arrested and ‘illegally confiscating photos and video materials’
A day before their Nativity protest, they staged one outside the Vatican. Protestors came with plaques, signs and body messages bearing the words ‘MeToo’ and ‘assaulted by the church’.
The group was first formed in Ukraine, in 2008 and became became well known for their topless forms of protests and demonstrations against oppressive regimes, religion and other public institutions.
#FEMEN demands the Pope to recognize the right of all mothers of the world to breastfeed in any place and at any time. The right to feed must be recorded in the Papal Bull called Alma Mater. pic.twitter.com/NEgJhZXcR7
— FEMEN (@FEMEN_Movement) May 13, 2018
In 2013, the group was forced to leave Ukraine after members feared for their ‘lives and freedoms’. Since then, the group have expanded their reach and movement across the world with their main base of operations in Paris.
On their website Femen is describe themselves as:
An international women’s movement of brave topless female activists painted with the slogans and crowned with flowers.
FEMEN female activists are the women with special training, physically and psychologically ready to implement the humanitarian tasks of any degree of complexity and level of provocation.
FEMEN activists are ready to withstand repressions against them and are propelled by the ideological cause alone.
FEMEN is the special force of feminism, its spearhead militant unit, modern incarnation of fearless and free Amazons.
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