A nude woman known as “Naked Athena” squared off against police in riot gear in Portland, Oregon, sending people scrambling to figure out her identity. Be forewarned that, for obvious reasons, the videos below contains some nudity. You can also see photos throughout this article.
The identity of Naked Athena remains a mystery.
A video shows the completely naked woman standing across the street from police in riot gear. At one point, she raises her hands. She is wearing a hat and mask but nothing else.
The Oregonian reported that Dave Killen, a photographer for The Oregonian/OregonLive, was covering the protests when he came across Naked Athena.
“She emerged as an apparition from clouds of tear gas as federal agents fired pepper balls at angry protesters in the early Saturday darkness.” @RichReadReports on the “Naked Athena” of Portland, with a photo by @killendave for the @Oregonian:
— Daniel Miller (@DanielNMiller) July 20, 2020
The newspaper reported that officers “shot pepper balls” at her feet.
— melly (@quezoncityqueen) July 19, 2020
Here’s what you need to know:
The Photojournalist Called Naked Athena ‘Incredibly Vulnerable’
And then? Naked Athena appeared and the little boys didn’t know what to do. pic.twitter.com/Elo69SsV0t
— Donovan “It was the blurst of times” Farley 💻🐒 (@DonovanFarley) July 18, 2020
“She was incredibly vulnerable,” Killen said to the newspaper. “It would have been incredibly painful to be shot with any of those munitions with no clothes on.”
naked Athena of Portland Oregon making the cops back off protestors by stripping naked and sitting down in the street showing she has nothing to be of a threat to them so they couldn’t advance without cause ❤️❤️❤️ a queeeen pic.twitter.com/iNAHlv8lEN
— fallon (@cigsafterurex) July 18, 2020
Wrote an admiring Twitter user, “Forty years fm now when HS teachers going over year 2020, in history class, this will be one of pictures in all textbooks! Absolutely a legendary timeless photo! Fear a woman who in simple act of vulnerability & peaceful resistance more bravery than an army of men.”
She did ballet poses at one point.
— 🕊OccupyPeace🌸🦋🦄💔in isolation (@stonergrandma) July 19, 2020
Portland police wrote, “The Portland Police Bureau is aware federal law enforcement has deployed CS gas on the west side of the federal courthouse.”
According to The Toronto Sun, police left about 10 minutes after Naked Athena showed up.
Police Have Declared Riots as Controversy Swirls Over Federal Agents in Portland
— Morgan (@mh610creative) July 20, 2020
Portland has become the new epicenter of national unrest as the Trump administration dispatched the Homeland Security secretary and federal agents to the streets. They defended the move citing destruction of federal property but criticism erupted from the mayor, governor and others after allegations that agents were spiriting protesters away in unmarked vans.
It’s in that context that Naked Athena appeared.
“And then? Naked Athena appeared and the little boys didn’t know what to do,” the man who shared the viral video wrote on Twitter.
Some people added text to the now iconic photo.
Welcome to our lovely city!
Featured in this edition of my limited series, Portland Protest Postcards, is local celebrity Naked Athena.
— Celina Tebor (@CelinaTebor) July 19, 2020
“She emerged as an apparition from clouds of tear gas as federal agents fired pepper balls at angry protesters in the early Saturday darkness,” wrote Los Angeles Times reporter Daniel Miller on twitter.
Another Twitter user wrote, “a f****** goddess using her devine feminine & warrior energy to tear down walls & make them retreat. Naked Athena blessed the protests with fearless, gentle-strength. if you’re seeing this you should be. this NEEDS to be talked about. Portland Oregon needs to be on your timeline.”
“Nothing says ‘owning the cops’ like showing them your uterus. #NakedAthena,” wrote another. “Lol, only in Portlandia gotta to love it! I wonder if there is going to be a movie about the Portland protests and Naked Athena someday?” wrote a woman.
“#NakedAthena was fierce and beautiful in her defiance. It was very brave, moving act of rebellion,” a woman wrote.