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California IN BRIEF : BERKELEY : Playboy 'Read-In' Erupts in Shouting

September 23, 1991|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A Playboy "read-in" turned into a shouting match between free speech advocates and critics of the magazine known for its nude centerfolds and free-sex philosophy. According to police, about 150 people on both sides of the issue showed up at Bette's Ocean View Diner, where a waitress told a customer last month to stop reading his Playboy. The customer was initially asked to leave the popular brunch spot, but then was allowed to stay and finish his breakfast. Bette Kroening, the diner's owner, eventually told her employees that customers should be able to read what they want, but that did not prevent Sunday's protest. Demonstrators--supplied by Playboy with copies of the latest issue--carried placards including some reading: "Stop Censorship." Opponents chanted "Stop the Violence" and carried signs that equated Playboy readers with child molesters and Nazis.

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