Man who stripped in protest at PDX will fight charge

Man who stripped in protest at PDX will fight charge

PORTLAND, Ore. – The man who stripped naked in the security line at Portland International Airport last month to prove he wasn't carrying explosives wants his day in court.

Police arrested 50-year-old John Brennan Tuesday, April, 17 after he stripped to his birthday suit to protest airport security searches and refused orders from the TSA to put his clothes back on.

Brennan appeared in court Wednesday and the judge dropped a restriction that prevented him from leaving the state on an airplane without the OK of a judge. But the indecent charge was not dropped.

The judge gave him the option of doing community service in exchange for taking the charges off his record. But Brennan rejected the offer, saying he's ready to defend his right to free speech.

"There are some people focusing on how unpleasant it is to see a middle aged, overweight man without his clothes on. But that's not really the issue at hand," he said.

He said the issue really is nudity as a way to protest.

"It's great that people know who I am, and it's an opportunity for us to discuss important constitutional and bill of rights issues," he said. "As we move towards trial, I look forward to learning more about the legal process and defining more clearly our rights to free speech."

Since he bared it, Brennan's gotten a lot of attention, including a cartoon in a Seattle newspaper of him completely naked. While he said it portrays his stomach bigger than it is and his calves smaller than they are, the image may eventually end up on t-shirts or posters to support his cause.

He said people have been sending him donations to help him with legal expenses.

Brennan said he just got a letter from the TSA, saying it is investigating him for interrupting the screening process by disrobing. He and his attorney are looking into what that means.