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Naked cyclists ride on anti-traffic protest in Brussels

Cyclists stripped naked and braved the elements in Brussels Saturday for the annual two-wheel nude demonstration “cyclonudista” against car traffic in cities.

Wind and rain battered down on some 50 bare-bottomed Belgians, and police stopped two stark naked protesters for infringement of decency before quickly releasing them after friends circled the police vehicle.

“The nudity has allowed the protest to gain visibility in the media,” one of the organisers Jerome Nature said. “You need to be seen to be heard.”

But, he stressed, stripping off was a means to an end.

“Please do not reduce us to it,” he said.

The cyclists were protesting over “public space being monopolised by cars, which impose their law on us: aggression, speed, danger and pollution, transforming cities into hostile places,” he said.

The “cyclonudista” manifesto instead called for free, ecological public transport, car-free cities open to cyclists and pedestrians only, and a clampdown on car and air travel advertising.

The first “cyclonudista” protest took place in Saragossa in Spain 10 years ago has since become an annual ritual.

The European Commission will discuss on Wednesday a carbon tax that could also support the development of renewable forms of energy.