The naked woman who took a stand against police in Portland reveals why she took action

Greg Evans
Monday 27 July 2020 15:00
news

Content warning: Nudity.

Earlier this month a woman who protested against police in Portland by being completely naked and performing yoga poses became something of an internet sensation after successfully causing the police to move on from a particular spot in the city.

Her actions were captured by journalist Donovan Farley who dubbed her 'Naked Athena' for her incredible act of bravery and solidarity but beyond that, no one really knew who she was.

However, thanks to Unrefined Sophisticates podcast we at least now know that she at least identifies herself as a non-Black person of colour in her 30s named Jen.

Speaking on an episode of the podcast that was released on Saturday, Jen explained that her protest was rather spontaneous and that she was "provoked" by the stance that the police had taken and that it wasn't earned.

There was what felt like to me a very deep feminine place in myself that felt provoked. All the federal officers and cops, I looked at them and they stand there with this stance. Feet planted, shoulder width apart, arms at their side, chest up, head high, and it’s a warrior stance… and it’s not earned. The fury arose in me and I told my friends ‘I want to be naked, I want to confront them’ and my partner said 'I'll hold your clothes', and so I ducked in a doorway and took everything off except my mask and my hat... because its cold. And I walked out there.'

Jen, who said that she is a sex worker and wanted to 'express herself,' handed her clothes to her partner before going to confront the police. She added that the main goal of her protest was to show that the Black Lives Matter movement is not violent and that the experience was both terrifying and calming.

None of these people have weapons. Empty their pockets, take off their clothes — nobody has weapons here. I just wanted them to see what they’re shooting at.

Jen also described herself as 'notoriously naked' and that she has had previous confrontations with the police for being nude in public.

There's almost not anywhere that you can't find me naked. I have been intimidated by the cops just for being topless. My nakedness is political and it is my expression.

Protests in Portland have been taking place since the Black Lives Matter movement began but ugly scenes have developed in the past few weeks after reports of federal agents using aggressive tactics to disperse protestors emerged while the mayor of the city was also hit by tear gas.

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