October 05, 1999 07:37am
Patch Adams Leads Nude Protest
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Led by a naked Patch Adams, a group of anti-nuclear protesters paraded nude down a San Francisco street to publicize the potential dangers of a catastrophic Y2K atomic meltdown.
``Nonviolent people like us really have so few tools to face the capitalist system,'' Adams told the protesters as they stripped for their demonstration Sunday. ``All we really have are ourselves and our ideas. Our ideas have not done the job.''
Adams, an unconventional doctor whose prescription of activism laced with humor was portrayed by actor Robin Williams in a recent movie, was one of a group attending a conference entitled ``Creating a Culture of Peace for the 21st Century.''
The San Francisco Examiner reported on Monday that frustration over lack of media attention prompted Adams and prominent anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott to organize the nude demonstration to publicize the threat that nuclear accidents could occur on Jan. 1, 2000, if computer systems around the world crash because they are unable to handle the date change.
``To be scared of doing something like this, which is a little thing compared to what's facing us, is just silly,'' Caldicott said, urging participants to undress. ``It just shows that people are desperate for this cause and will do whatever it takes.''
The naked group paraded briefly down San Francisco's Van Ness Avenue, chanting ``Disrobe for disarmament,'' and ``News, not nukes.'' A few cars slowed to gawk, the Examiner reported.
``I'm glad to be a part of a community that is as passionate as I am,'' protester Carol Brouillet, a 42-year-old mother of three and author of books on nuclear issues, told the newspaper.
``I'm glad my husband's not here,'' Brouillet added. ``He wouldn't do this, but we have different world views.''