‘Lactivists' stage nurse-in to protest Forest Park law limiting breast-feeding

More than 100 breast-feeding women and their supporters plan to hold a “nurse-in” Monday in front of the Forest Park City Hall to protest a new city law that limits public breast-feeding.

The city council passed a public indecency ordinance earlier this week which allows for breast-feeding, but only for children under the age of 2. City attorney Robert Mack Jr. said the ordinance is aimed at public nudity and not breast-feeding.

"Breast-feeding [of babies] ... and performances in live plays, among other things, was carved out as an exception and exemption to the ordinance," Mack stated in an e-mail Thursday.

Protest organizers  -- "lactivists" as some call themselves -- say the law tramples on their rights to practice child-led breast-feeding, when the child determines when he or she will stop nursing.

Jessica Lister, a Griffin mother who breast-feeds her 19-month-old son, launched a Facebook campaign against the Forest Park measure after hearing news reports about it. Lister's Facebook has drawn dozens of response nationwide. As of Wednesday, more than 130 people, some from as far as Alabama, had confirmed they'll participate in the nurse-in, Griffin said.

“I’m very passionate about breast-feeding,” said Lister, who believes in natural weaning.

It has hardly been a silent spring for Forest Park's city council.

A city councilwoman faces a fine and possible removal from office after several residents accused her of 25 ethics and city charter violation charges. The charges against Karen-Brandee Williams range from demanding city personnel plant flowers and remove signs to using her district's money to buy T-shirts that she said she gave to  constituents. A ruling on the case, which was heard recently, has not been made yet.