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"Free the Nipple" Supporters Coming to New Hampshire

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    Supporters of the "Free the Nipple" campaign plan to hold a topless sit-in for women on New Hampshire's Hampton Beach. (Published Friday, July 31, 2015)

    A nationwide movement encouraging women to "go topless" is making its way to New Hampshire.

    Two women are organizing an event called "Free the Nipple New Hampshire" and plan to go topless on Hampton Beach.

    "We are just having a beach day and exercising our rights," said organizer Kia Sinclair of Danbury, New Hampshire.

    Sinclair and her neighbor Heidi Lilley are joining the national "Free the Nipple" movement to change what they say is a longstanding double standard.

    "The woman's breast is no different than a man's breast," said Lilley.

    "The nipple on a female is so criminalized and sexualized that, yeah she can't even feed her own child, and she can't tan on a beach topless," Sinclair said.

    But the new mother says it's about much more than topless sunbathing. Sinclair says she's fed up with feeling isolated when she breastfeeds her son.

    "I just want to be able to feed my child anywhere and not have people look at me or say anything rude," she explained.

    The topless sit in is almost a month away, but people are already talking about it at Hampton Beach.

    "I hate double standards and I think if men can go topless, then women should, too," said beachgoer Denisse Tejeda.

    "Everyone has the same nipples, the same breasts," said Joel Rojas of Lawrence, Massachusetts, at Hampton Friday with his buddies.

    But not everyone agrees with the event.

    "There's too many kids running around," said Chelsea Kamuene of North Andover.

    "In my mind it is not okay," said Sarah Allen who was visiting the beach with her 5-year-old daughter Sophia.

    Sinclair and Lilley say those who find this movement offensive are the people they're trying to reach.

    "We want children to see this," Lilley said. "My child is going to be there, her child is going to be there."

    Sinclair agreed, saying, "Breasts were designed for children so they are family friendly."

    The national "Free the Nipple" Facebook page has more than 52,000 likes.

    Sinclair and Lilley expect upwards of 100 supporters for the August 23 topless sit in at Hampton Beach.

    Police say it's technically legal and they are well aware of the planned event.