Around 300 bare-chested demonstrators paraded in Manhattan following recent bids to get semi-nude models in Times Square banned

Other protests took place around the United States and in other countries

The campaigners want women to be given the same rights as men when it comes to being topless in public

Rachel Jessee from NYC’s GoTopless group said: ‘Freeing nipples and bodies frees minds as well, restoring self-image and self-esteem’

Bare-chested protesters took to the streets of 60 cities around the world on Sunday as part of a campaign to ‘free the nipple’.

One of the biggest events for GoTopless Day was a semi-naked parade through New York City – where officials are debating whether topless tip-seekers should be allowed in Times Square.

Rachel Jessee, an actress and model who leads the GoTopless group in NYC, explained that Sunday’s topless campaigners want women to have the same right as men to go topless in public.

Our goal is for equal gender topless rights to be enforced worldwide, freeing women’s nipples,’ she said.

Police in mid-Manhattan blocked off several streets to traffic so around 300 topless protesters could parade through the city.

Freeing her own nipples: Rachel Jessee, who leads the GoTopless group in New York City, speaks to other demonstrators on a megaphone during Sunday's parade in Manhattan
Freeing her own nipples: Rachel Jessee, who leads the GoTopless group in New York City, speaks to other demonstrators on a megaphone during Sunday’s parade in Manhattan
The aim of the parade (pictured) was for equal gender topless rights to be enforced worldwide
The aim of the parade (pictured) was for equal gender topless rights to be enforced worldwide
A woman gestures for freedom as she waits next to a New York police officer for Sunday's parade to begin
A woman gestures for freedom as she waits next to a New York police officer for Sunday’s parade to begin
Although women have been allowed to go topless in public in New York City since 1992, officials are now debating whether semi-nude painted models should be allowed to pose for tips in Times Square
Although women have been allowed to go topless in public in New York City since 1992, officials are now debating whether semi-nude painted models should be allowed to pose for tips in Times Square

Bra-vo! Some of the women who took off their tops to go bare-chested in the middle of NYC

The GoTopless parade, in honor of women's equality, wound its way from Columbus Circle to Bryant Park
The GoTopless parade, in honor of women’s equality, wound its way from Columbus Circle to Bryant Park
The bare-chested protesters made for an unusual sight among the American city's skyscrapers
The bare-chested protesters made for an unusual sight among the American city’s skyscrapers

 

Appearing bare-breasted has been legal in New York since 1992. But Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton are now trying to get semi-nude, painted women banned from the city’s Times Square.

The women – like many costumed characters in the square – pose with tourists to get tips. But De Blasio, Bratton and others believe they are a nuisance.

Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, said the practice harkened to the pornographic ‘bad old Times Square’ of the past.

Sunday's event was the eighth annual GoTopless Day Parade to take place in New York City
Sunday’s event was the eighth annual GoTopless Day Parade to take place in New York City
Male and female parade-goers gathered in New York's Bryant Park to chat and share experiences
Male and female parade-goers gathered in New York’s Bryant Park to chat and share experiences

Many advertised their group’s website (left) or made sure they were head and shoulders above the rest (right)

This breast balloon was among the decorations marking the parade's route through Manhattan
This breast balloon was among the decorations marking the parade’s route through Manhattan
This parade-goer made sure spectators knew exactly why she was taking part in the NYC march
This parade-goer made sure spectators knew exactly why she was taking part in the NYC march
In New York a fierce debate is raging over whether semi-nude painted women (such as the one above, pictured last week) should be allowed to pose with tourists in the city's Times Square
In New York a fierce debate is raging over whether semi-nude painted women (such as the one above, pictured last week) should be allowed to pose with tourists in the city’s Times Square

In Washington DC, one woman activist took off her top in front of the White House, while a male friend had a message of support daubed on his bare back
In Washington DC, one woman activist took off her top in front of the White House, while a male friend had a message of support daubed on his bare back
The weather failed to rain on this woman's parade as she made her way to an event at Hampton Beach
The weather failed to rain on this woman’s parade as she made her way to an event at Hampton Beach
Women - and men - gathered at the beach in New Hampshire to take off their tops and embrace GoTopless Day
Women – and men – gathered at the beach in New Hampshire to take off their tops and embrace GoTopless Day
In Edinburgh, Scotland,  demonstrators staged a topless sit-in along the city's main street, the Royal Mile
In Edinburgh, Scotland, demonstrators staged a topless sit-in along the city’s main street, the Royal Mile
Around 50 people - mainly women - took off their tops in the Scottish capital for around two hours
Around 50 people – mainly women – took off their tops in the Scottish capital for around two hours

GoTopless had been urging both men and women to ‘stand up with topless pride’ on August 23 to honor the 95th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day and to support the​ passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Spokeswoman Rachel Jessee said: ‘Centuries of gender inequality and exclusive male rule created major planetary imbalances that could prove fatal to society. It’s time for change!

‘It’s liberating and empowering for women to free their bodies from repression. Freeing nipples and bodies frees minds as well, restoring self-image and self-esteem.’

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