Nude Protesters Picket President With PM-Reagan-Tax Bjt
ARTHUR L. SRB
May. 31, 1985
OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) _ Hecklers heaped verbal and visual abuse on President Reagan as he carried his tax reform message to Wisconsin and was taunted by several nude protesters who complained ''Our Emperor Has No Clothes.''
The president spoke Thursday to an estimated 22,000 persons about the tax plan he is proposing to Congress. He generally ignored about 50 demonstrators and dozens of placards protesting a variety of administration policies.
Four young women stripped off their shirts and sat on shoulders of fellow protesters for much of Reagan's 22-minute speech, and two young men were seen running nude three blocks from the speech site.
After ignoring demonstrators for several minutes, Reagan eventually gestured toward them, drawing laughter and applause from the audience when he remarked: ''I have a little loophole for that group up over there. I'm going to raise their taxes.''
Albert Bradshear, deputy White House press secretary, said Reagan was asked before boarding his jetliner for a return flight to Washington if he had noticed the topless protesters.
''No. I want to go back,'' Bradshear said Reagan replied jokingly.
Paul Stevenson, Winnebago County executive administrator, said Reagan made a ''humorous remark'' also to dignitaries near him on a speech platform on the county courthouse steps.
Stevenson declined to relate the president's remark, but he said of the nudity that the ''act befits their intelligence.''
The two nude runners and two of the topless women were taken into custody, said deputy sheriff Thomas Llewellyn. The two other young women disappeared in the crowd, apparently after dressing again, he said.
There also were reports that two men were nude while holding topless demonstrators. Llewellyn said police might have gotten to the demonstrators sooner but were preoccupied assisting some of the two dozen people who sagged to the parking lot pavement in the hot, muggy weather.
Jennifer Nashold, 19, a member of a protest delegation from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, said she counted about a dozen unclothed demonstrators, some of them from the Madison university.
The four who were taken into custody were freed on $100 bond each.
Llewellyn said the district attorney would consider today whether charges of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct should be filed.
The sheriff's office said two women removed their shirts outside the office while two men were posting bond, but that it was not known if the women were among the four who were seen topless during the courthouse demonstration.
Reagan, who spoke earlier in Williamsburg, Va., was applauded enthusiasticall y as he told the Oshkosh audience about his tax proposals.
Some of the demonstrators' placards read: ''Reagan Must Face the Naked Truth;'' ''Naked, Not Nuked;'' ''Quit Staring - Join Us,'' and ''Our Emperor Has No Clothes.''
Signs also protested U.S. policies in Central America, and one said: ''Impeach the Bum.''