100,000 watch Boobs on Bikes (+ pics)

Strippers and pornstars parade down Queen St during the Boobs on Bikes parade. Photo by NZPA.
Strippers and pornstars parade down Queen St during the Boobs on Bikes parade. Photo by NZPA.
Downtown Auckland came to a grinding halt today as tens of thousands of people crowded the sidewalks to watch the controversial Boobs on Bikes parade.

An estimated 100,000 packed the CBD as around 30 topless women on motor bikes and two army tanks were driven along Queen Street.

The parade, organised by porn king Steve Crow to promote his erotica festival this weekend, had an almost carnival atmosphere with the crowd cheering and clapping as near-naked women went by.

The only tension during the hour long parade was when eggs were thrown from a building on lower Queen St at Mr Crow, with one egg narrowly missing one of four policemen.

Mr Crow, in a black Bentley convertible, led the parade and had instructed the topless women beforehand to keep the jiggling to a minimum and to not do anything that would be deemed offensive.

A legal bid to stop the parade failed in the High Court in Auckland yesterday.

The huge crowd, at times lined six deep, cheered and and snapped the topless women on cellphones and cameras.

There were also few hecklers among the crowd.

One man shouted at Mr Crow, asking him if he was a pervert.

Mr Crow replied he was not a pervert, he was comfortable with who he was and what he did, and it was the man on the sidewalk who was the pervert.

While the crowd was predominantly male from all age groups and professions, many women also watched the parade.

One woman, in her 50s, who did not want to be named said she was a tourist from Canada.

"We've got nothing like this at home."

The woman said she was taking photos of the parade to show friends and family in Canada because "no one will believe me".

Five policemen at the front of the parade at times struggled to contain the crowd which spilled onto the road from the sidewalks.

Virtually every possible viewing space was taken up with construction workers watching from building sites and office workers looking out of windows.

A separate march by about 50 opponents of the Boobs on Bikes parade went off without incident.

Auckland Women's Centre and Stop Demand Foundation organised the march to bring awareness of the links between pornography and sexual violence.

Among those in the demonstration were four councillors from Auckland City Council, including Cathy Casey whose legal bid to stop the parade was rejected yesterday.

Ms Casey had threatened to lie in front of the parade to stop it but today she did not go through with her threat.

Stop Demand founder Denise Ritchie told NZPA the demonstrators had been well received, apart from several sections of Queen St heckling the group.

"It was an excellent opportunity to get our message out there.

"In a perverse way Steve Crow has provided us with a wonderful platform."

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