Venezuelans who use Twitter are suddenly seeing lots of photos of naked people popping up on their timelines. But the images are far from being porn. They are being posted in solidarity with a university student who was forced to strip naked and beaten during clashes in Caracas on Thursday. The video of this incident has shocked many Venezuelans.
The idea first originated with Ricardo Cie (pictured above), the vice-president of a marketing firm, who posed with a few of his colleagues. He told BBC Mundo that they turned off the office lights and got naked, turning them on just for a second to snap the photos. Their initiative was quickly emulated by hundreds of other Venezuelans, using the hashtags #MejorDesnudosQue (“Better Naked Than”) and #MejorDesnudosQueSinLibertad ("Better Naked Than Without Liberty"), among others.
"I am the mother of a student. I support them all. Long live the courageous student heroes."
Some even took their naked protest to the streets...
Thursday’s clashes at the Central University of Venezuela took place following a protest in which students denounced the country’s rapidly deteriorating economy and its socialist government’s policies. Police prevented the protesters from leaving the university, using tear gas and flash bang grenades, while students threw stones and firecrackers. Then, pro-government militia members stormed the campus, and forced two students to strip.
Several people were reportedly hurt during these clashes, including a student and policeman. Over the past few weeks, clashes around Venezuela have left at least 35 people dead.
Students wearing the national flag.