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Portland, Oregon has dominated newsreels in recent weeks, as the city continues to be ground zero for often-violent protests.
One protestor stripped completely naked in front of riot police during demonstrations last weekend, right down to a black hat and mask and absolutely nothing else. For unknown reasons, she has been nicknamed “naked Athena”.
Videos and photos began to appear all over the internet starting on Saturday night of the as of yet unidentified woman dancing back and forth past demonstrators, as she worked her way up to the line of riot police in their masks and protective gear.
She was recorded performing, at various points, dances and different yoga exercises. At one point, she lied down on the pavement. At no point did she do anything else. She didn’t utter a single word during the whole “performance”.
According to the National Post, the police were unable to arrest her, as there is no law addressing public nudity in the jurisdiction of Portland, unless said nudity is undertaken with an intent to sexually arouse.
Protests have been almost continuous in Portland since May 25th, the day George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by police action. Black Lives Matter has an especially strong presence in the Pacific Northwest, and in Portland in particular.
Sunday night, according to the Portland police, things were getting out of hand and federal agents felt they were obliged to use flash bangs and then tear gas to disperse the increasingly unruly crowd of approximately 1,500 people. This was after a fire was started at the entrance to a courthouse, and protestors started tearing down a metal fence.
The Portland police wanted to make it clear in their press release that they did not engage with protestors nor themselves use tear gas at any point in time. Many citizens feel that the federal presence in Portland is unnecessary and that federal protestors are unlawfully detaining people.