Law in Popular Culture

In 'Undieground' Protest in London & Elsewhere, Participants Doff Pants

Some did it in protest of new airport security rules. Others did it just for fun.

But in subways and other transit locations around the globe, participants took off their trousers yesterday in what has become an annual No Pants Day tradition to reveal a wide range of underwear styles to the startled amusement of fellow travelers muffled up against the winter cold.

“It looks chilly,” a fully clad Dawn Young, waiting on a New York platform with several skimpily dressed fellow travelers, told the Daily Mail, which features photos of “undieground” trendsetters in London, Madrid and Manhattan.

In some Big Apple subway cars, those without pants outnumbered those wearing all their clothes, thanks to Improv Everywhere’s organizational efforts, according to the New York Daily News.

At least one lawyer was among those doffing their trousers on the Metro train in the nation’s capital yesterday, the Washington Post reports.

“There’s not really any point or any cause,” says stand-up comic Bruce Witzenburg, 26, who was one of the organizers there. “We’re just trying to put smiles on people’s faces.”

Participants risked frostbite and, in past years, arrest, recounts CBS News’ Crimesider blog.

It appears, however, that authorities may have become just as blasé about the unusual No Pants Day display as participants. News reports did not mention any arrests, although a Sun Break account of the event in Seattle notes that “the fare enforcement officers were looking very perturbed by the whole thing.”

In Berlin’s Tegel Airport, however, protesters appeared in their underwear to protest, as an invasion of privacy, plans to use full-body electronic scanners to “see” whether dangerous materials are concealed under a wearer’s clothes, according to the Wall Street Journal, which features a page-one photo of the group.

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