Berkeley refuses to bare any nudity after early breach in contract



BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Berkeley can’t bare it anymore.

Its leaders have had it up to here this year with nudists who think this liberal university town’s attitude of ‘‘anything goes’‘ applies to clothing.

So far, bare-is-beautiful spokesman Andrew Martinez, a.k.a. the Naked Guy, has been ordered to keep his shorts on. A punk rocker faces charges of behaving lewdly with two women and a banana. And jury selection was to begin today for the X-plicit Players, performance artists accused of crossing the line between street theater and exhibitionism.

‘‘It’s something I guess people want to do, and this being Berkeley, people do what they want to do,’‘ said David Kahn, an attorney for the X-plicit Players.

Those facing prosecution say the crackdown violates the First Amendment right to freedom of expression—and in Berkeley, of all places, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in 1964, when students at the University of California demanded the right to engage in political activities on campus.

Councilman Fred Collignon agreed the city is experiencing a ‘‘shift to the middle.’‘ But he said the nude and lewd crackdown probably would never have happened if ‘‘those who view themselves as nudists by philosophy had not gone out of their way to make themselves a difficulty for other Berkeley citizens.’‘

The outbreak of nudity dates to last September, when Martinez, then a student, led a nude-in at the university. Since then, naked people have been spotted in increasing abundance.

Last spring, Martinez was expelled by the university, which rewrote campus codes to ban public nakedness.

The city passed a new anti-nudity ordinance after Martinez and some of his followers showed up naked at City Hall. Martinez, 20, was the first person arrested under the law. He pleaded guilty Friday and got two years’ probation.

The X-plicit Players and punk rocker Marian Anderson were charged under previous laws, not the new anti-nudity ordinance, which does not apply to artistic endeavors.

‘‘We seek a very personal connection with each and every audience member,’‘ said X-plicit player Debbie Moore, 41.

The X-plicit Players’ arrest was also indirectly due to the university’s code: A performance they had planned to give at the school was canceled because of the campus nudity ban, and they took the show outdoors instead.

Punk rocker Marian Anderson won a round in court Friday when the district attorney dropped one of three misdemeanor charges against her. Anderson, 25, is charged with lewd conduct in a performance at a teen-age nightclub involving two other women and a banana.

Collignon and police Lt. Tom Grant said officials have no intention of trying to uncover nudists, but will respond if other citizens complain.

‘‘This is a liberal town, but it’s a liberal town that says that if the community’s going to survive people have to agree to be able to work together,’‘ Collignon said.