Asheville, NC-- A topless rally in the downtown Asheville on Sunday drew several hundred people, with about a dozen women baring their breasts.
The numbers were way down from a similar rally last summer organized by the same group, GoTopless.org. That event drew an estimated 2,000 people and featured several dozen topless women.
By the time the event at Pack Square ended at 3 p.m., only a few dozen people remained.
Organizer Jeff Johnson of Huntsville, Ala., said he was surprised that more people didn't show up. He said the aim of the rally was to promote women's equality.
"We're going to fight for the right for women and men to be treated equally," he said.
"All human beings should have equal rights," said Barbara Bradley, a 27-year-old Asheville waitress, who was topless. "Why should we have to hide them and cover them up."
But Jessica Bond of Asheville, who came by the event with her husband, Ian, and infant son Aiden, said the topless women weren't really proving anything.
"The thing is, this is legal in Asheville, so why make a big deal out of it," Bond said. "You're not proving any point."
A small group of people carrying white crosses were on hand as a counter-demonstration.
"It's about the spiritual wickedness in this city," said one of the group, Michael Lombardi of Asheville. "We're trying to bring the love of Christ. We're not bashing anyone."
State law allows women to be topless, and Asheville City Council members have been reluctant to approve a local ordinance banning it. A number of other cities in the state have such ordinances, however.