From: Pamela Waller, Maxwell Gardens, Orpington
Regarding the Naked Bike Ride on June 3. Firstly, I have to say that I am not a resident of Hastings but I visit Hastings frequently because I have family living there.
However, I was ambushed by the cyclists last year and so will many visitors on Sunday who will have no idea what to expect.
This is a free country and we have the freedom of speech and choice. However, I also know we also have many sexual abusers in our society. How do I know this? I am a therapeutic counsellor who works with adults and children who have suffered sexual abuse and sexual assault and exposure to pornography.
I see this bike ride as a flagrant disregard to other people’s wishes who do not want to be exposed to nudity of a stranger and those who will be ambushed as I was last year without the time to prepare children (or themselves). I am not being small minded about nudity and encourage the learning to love oneself.
I do not accept the reasoning of the organisers for the parade. They are acting in a way which if they were not a group, they would be arrested. They accept that a minority of their bike ride may have a different agenda (sadly, that will be a certainty and how will the group ensure that it is members only) but are not bothered by implications.
Hastings has always supported the views of others and, thank goodness for that, but this pushes the boundaries of decency.