In an awkward interaction on Sunday, Tash Peterson, 28, from Western Australia told a male police officer he was “sexist” when he asked her to put on a top.
The young woman was wearing a Kangaroo onesie with the top rolled down and tied around her waist. Her arms and torso were painted with hot pink body paint with red streaks.
A video clip on the young activist’s Instagram page shows her being approached by three male police officers on bicycles wearing disposable blue face masks, who asked her to cover up her chest.
“We’re just asking you politely to put a top on,” one of the officers said.
Ms Peterson pointed out that she was just standing there speaking out and she told him, “No I’m not putting a top on. I don’t abide to sexist requests.”
The officer replied, “I don’t think it’s a sexist request.”
Ms Peterson then pointed out that there are topless men walking around all the time and he wouldn’t have three male police officers behind him telling them to put a top on.
The officer informed Ms Peterson, “This is purely a disorderly behaviour in public.”
To which Ms Peterson asked, “How is it insulting, offensive or threatening language or behaviour?”
The officer reiterated that he hadn’t said that – he had said “disorderly”.
Ms Peterson then proceeded to educate the officer, “Disorderly in the legislation is insulting, offensive or threatening language or conduct.” She then asked, “So how am I going… breaking Section 74A in the legislation?”
The officer paused to refer to his mobile phone.
After the pause he said that when it’s brought to the police attention it is disorderly. Then he said, “We’re just asking you politely to put a top on.”
Ms Peterson stated again that she was just standing there speaking out.
The police officer responded by telling her “We’re just asking for you to put a top on and go home!”
Ms Peterson has previously received fines over her protests.
She captioned her footage “Stand up for your rights and stand up for non-human animal rights”
For two previous protests she received a $3500 fine.
Peterson stood trial over the two protests; one outside the Boatshed Markets in Cottesloe in December 2020 and the other at the Louis Vuitton store in Perth CBD in August 2021 – denying that her behaviour was unlawful or offensive.
Ms Peterson claimed that Nike was responsible for the “holocaust of these delicate creatures” (kangaroos).
Her protest only lasted approximately eight minutes before she was escorted away from the shopfront by security. After that she continued walking through the weekend crowd, shouting her message.