Nearly 400 activists are planning to stage a protest at Artscape this year and they'll be leaving their pants at home.
The members of the group "No Pants, No Problem," will be strolling through the arts festival sans pants to show support for victims of sexual assault.
"I wanted to do something meaningful that spoke out against victim blaming and shaming," said Brittney-Elizabeth Williams, 27, who is organizing the protest with her sister, a burlesque performer who goes by Bunny Vishsus.
"I, myself, am a rape victim and people would ask me all the time, 'What were you wearing? What were you doing that led to this?'" said Williams. "It's really important to me to help people who have been victims of sexual assault know that it's not their fault."
Williams said she also hopes to persuade people to stop cat-calling and to call attention to hate crimes. She said she and her sister were inspired, in part, by the "No Pants Subway Ride" organized by the New York City group Improv Everywhere.
Those who wish to participate in "No Pants, No Problem" should attend Artscape on Saturday, July 19, at 12:30 p.m., Williams said.
The group won't be parading together in their panties and tighty-whities, but mingling with the tens of thousands of others who attend the free art festival.
"My goal is to make it look as unintentional as possible," she said. "Get dressed as if you were going to Artcape, but then take off your bottom."
She said she hopes that people "of every gender" to take part in the protest this summer.
(An earlier version of this post stated an incorrect date for the Artscape protest. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.)
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