Hundreds of women have pledged not to wear bra on Saturday in solidarity with Carola Rackete, the captain of a German migrant sea rescue ship.
The #freenipplesday initiative, is a response to right-wing Italian tabloid Libero denouncing Rackete for her “boundless effrontery” after she appeared in public seemingly not wearing a bra.
“A little bit more decency would not have gone amiss,” the paper said last week about Rackete’s July 18 court of justice appearance in Agrigento, Sicily, for an interrogation by prosecutors.
“We are calling for a day in which we can affirm the right not to wear a bra without this being cause for being taken less seriously,” five women, who initiated the #freenipplesday protest wrote on Facebook.
About 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) Wednesday, more than 270 people had joined the Facebook event and about 220 had expressed an interest in it.
Rackete, who works for the Sea-Watch charity, is a criminal suspect in Italy because she took 40 migrants to the island of Lampedusa on June 29, ignoring orders not to enter Italian territorial waters.
The affair has made her a public – and polarising – figure, amid the wider and long-running controversy over the European Union’s response to the influx of migrants from North Africa.
Some of the most vocal criticism of Rackete has come from Italy’s right-wing Deputy Premier and Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini.
He has called her a “criminal” and “potential murderer.”