Copyright © Melissa Farley 1986. All Rights Reserved.

A G A I N S T       P E N T H O U S E

May Day, l986


We who are 'rampaging' against Penthouse have now converged on 21 communities in 9 states in the last year and a half. What began as a Midwest action is becoming a national movement with actions in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, California, Nebraska, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Missouri.
     Eighty-five men and women have destroyed hundreds of Penthouse magazines at 70 bookstores, newsstands, pornshops and convenience stores, resulting in 111 individual arrests.
     This campaign is in retaliation for the December issue of Penthouse magazine where Japanese women were shown tied up, hung from trees and hurled onto rocks, several appearing to be dead..
    We are making scenes, tearing up violent pornography, as a way to express to Bob Guccioni and his ilk that the public is becoming fed up with the intertwining of violence with sexuality for corporate profit.
     We organize to encourage a massive rejection by the public of the slanderous lie that women enjoy sexual violence. We unalterably oppose the stripping and binding, rape, torture, mutilation and murder of women committed in the name of entertainment and to celebrate free expression.
     As the mass media increasingly moves to intertwine sexuality with violence, it is our responsibility to send a firm message that we will not tolerate this deadly blend.
    No matter how profitable it is for Bob Guccione, it is not good for us. Violence in the media provides a support network for rapists and men who commit acts of violence and escalates violence in our culture. That forces all of us to live in fear.


     We will not collaborate in our own victimization by being silent. We demand corporate responsibility from pimps and pornographers like Bob Guccione and Larry Flynt.
     The corporations producing Penthouse, Hustler, etc., self righteously proclaim their publications sacrosanct under the First Amendment, saying they should appear 'unmolested' on newsstands, disseminating the propaganda that promotes rape of women. We call for the widespread destruction of Penthouse magazine by men and women, responding to its December pictorial of Asian women tied up, hung from trees and hurled onto rocks, several appearing to be dead.

 Rampage Actions were as follows:   

OCT 6 1984
Des Moines, Iowa
Melissa Davis, Denise Perry, Sue Cook, Kimela Nelson, Nikki Craft and Melissa Farley tear up a Hustler in: BLUE NUDE BOOKSTORE and BACHELOR'S LIBRARY. They are all arrested at the last location.
JAN 19 1985
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Melissa Farley, Bonnie Marzlak and Nikki Craft tear up three magazines at three 7-11 stores. Citizens for Media Responsibility Without Law (Outlaws for Social Responsibility) is founded in response to the 7-11 demo organized by Citizens for Decency through Law. There were no arrests.
JUNE 30 1985
Coralville, Iowa

Melissa Farley and Dedra Gracey enter L'IL RED BARN and tear up Penthouse.
NOV 22 1984
Des Moines, Iowa

Sue Millar, Karry Koon, Scott Palmer, Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft are arrested for writing: violence in the media = violence in the society = violence in the media = violence in the society = violence in etc.
     After their release from jail the same people are arrested again for tearing up a Hustler at: READERS WORLD. The MUSH (Merchants United to Save Hustler) AWARD is presented along with the NO-THANKS TURKEY AWARD to the pornographers of Des Moines from the women of Iowa.
JAN 19 1985
Iowa City, Iowa

Melissa Farley, Bonnie Marzlak and Nikki Craft tear up 20 magazines at: JOHNS GROCERY-6 copies, MOTTS DRUG STORE-8 WALDEN BOOKS-5 copies, KUM AND GO-1 copy. They are arrested at Johns, but charges are immediately dropped when the owner decides not to press charges. No other charges are filed.
JUNE 30 1985
Iowa City, Iowa

In an action with no adults present, members of Minors Against Violent Pornography enter AM-PM MINI MART and each tear up a single copy of Penthouse. They are arrested, and charged with 5th degree criminal mischief.
DEC 5 1984
Santa Cruz, California
Heather Wilber is arrested for tearing up one copy of Penthouse at: WAREHOUSE LIQUORS. An effigy of Bob Guccione is burned.
FEB 9 1985
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Carol Quirke, Katherine Kelly, Melanie Vesser, Liz Reiser, Sadie Green, Noreen Hautala, Joyce Stone, Pasha Milbrath, Allison Holt, Nikki Craft, Bob Hamil, Trina Porte and Mary Spierling, Leesa Scott, and Johana tear up 10 Penthouse Magazines at three:B. DALTON stores. Two B. Dalton stores are briefly closed down and charges for Disorderly Conduct are brought against the thirteen arrested.
  • A moment of silence was taken for Jean Fewel, the eight year old chinese girl found in North Carolina raped and hanging from a tree.     
  • Minneapolis is the home office for B. Daltons. In an article printed in U.S.A. Today a spokesperson stated that B. Dalton was "reviewing its policy on Penthouse sales."
JULY 3 1985
St. Joseph, Missouri

Sarah Luthens enters WALDON BOOKS to tear up one Penthouse and is greeted by 12 police officers in riot gear. She was arrested and charged with destroying private property.
DEC 14 1984
Madison, Wisconsin

Sandy Thistle, James Naruk, Eric Parker, Nikki Craft and Melissa Farley burn an effigy of Bob Guccione at: PIK-A-BOOK BOOKSTORE and OPEN PANTRY. All are arrested at PIK-A-BOOK for tearing up one Penthouse. Charges are dropped when they get down-town. They go to: B. DALTON BOOKSTORE and tear up one magazine and are arrested again
FEB 19 1985
Davis, California

LaVonne Dixon, and Diedra tore up one Penthouse at: UNIVERSITY OF DAVIS BOOKSTORE. There were no arrests. "The incident is under review and an investigation is proceeding."
JULY 4 1985
Provincetown, Mass

Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft enter Cape's End Pharmacy, Cumberland Farms Convenience Store, and Prudy's and are arrested for tearing up Hustler's and Penthouses. Charges dismissed. (Craft is arrested one week later with Harriet Arnoldi of Wellfleet for removing their shirts at the Cape Cod National Seashore headquarters with Helen Wilson to protest the regulation requiring women to wear shirts as sex discrimination and to illustrate there is a difference between an acceptance of the human body and control over ones own body and the exploitation of nudity and the marketing of women that is the trademark in pornography.)
DEC 15 1984
Dubuque, Iowa

Nikki Craft, James Naruk and Melissa Farley are arrested for tearing up a Penthouse at: WALDENBOOKS. Charges are immediately dropped.
FEB 23 1985
Lincoln, Nebraska

Irma Nippert, Jennifer Harvey, Ana Capek, Cynthia Trainor, Cynthia Delgadillo, Stephanie Roth, Patricia Spitzer, Mickey Morgan, Joy Anderson and Melissa Farley are arrested for tearing up magazines. They enter: B. DALTON - 2 copies, WALDEN BOOKS - 2 copies, U. BOOKSTORE - 3 copies, NEBRASKA UNION - 2 copies, FENTON DRUGS - 10 Hustlers. Nikki Craft is arrested in front of B Daltons for "gathering a crowd to block an entryway." Charges are later dropped. 13 others are arrested at Fenton Drugs. All received small fine.
SEPT 27 1985
Durham, North Carolina

Bryan Liptzin, Dorothy Teer, Jennifer Lanier, Marjorie Walker, Carolyn Jarrell, Elizabeth Montgomery, Debbie Adams and C.J. Reilly were arrested after a First Amendment Rights Lie-In on the floor of B. Dalton for 5 hours. The store closed its doors at nine o'clock with all the demonstrators refusing to leave. At ten thirty they were all arrested and released on their own agreement to appear in court. Their trial for trespass is pending.
    The demonstration began with a special appearance by Myth Durham and Myth Tar Heel. The two Myths were wearing attractive evening gowns and suits made from the sophist magazines. They demonstrated how to recycled ripped up men's magazines. A pornata with a blow up of Bob Gucciones face was hit with a stick, kitty litter boxes lined with Penthouse and stocking stuffers to send in manilla envelopes to friends in the ACLU or to Bob Guccione make wonderful Christmas gifts. Mens magazines make wonderful logs for the fire-place and work wonderfully as fire starters. This action was co-sponsored by S.A.V.E. a Chapel Hill based group.
DEC 16 1984
Rock Island, Illinois

James Naruk, Melissa Farley, Karen Waurzniak-Hogg, Sandy Bricker and Nikki Craft are arrested for tearing up a Penthouse at: READMORE BOOK WORLD. Charges were dismissed because the DA did not prosecute.
FEB 24 1985
Omaha, Nebraska

Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft enter: B. DALTONS and tear up one magazine. No arrests.
     Since the demonstration takes place in a suburban wasteland and no side-walks are available, the demonstrators drive the Pornmobile around and around the shopping center parking lot. Huge enlargements of the Penthouse prints are mounted to the car along with signs calling for a boycott of B. Daltons.
     A press conference is held at the Playboy Club and a blow up plastic "fuck" doll (called "teen doll" by the company that sells it) is hung from a tree behind people making statements.
OCT 4, 1985
Madison, Wisconsin

Jay McLanahan, Lynn Olson, and Holly Buchholz were arrested after about one dozen people entered B. Dalton and ripped up one copy of Penthouse and made statements. They stayed in the store for nine hours and turned away over 50% of the store business in that time according to the manager of the store. The demonstrators feel they turned away a higher percentage than that.
DEC 20 1984
Iowa City, Iowa

Judy Mintzer, Sue Cook, Dale Strichler, Sarah Luthens,Scott Palmer, Nikki Craft and Melissa Farley burn an effigy of Guccione and enter stores and tear up numerous copies of Penthouse. Each time the police are called and the demonstrators are asked to leave and they proceed to another store. No charges filed and no arrests are made. QUICK TRIP #l, QUICK TRIP #2, QUICK TRIP #3, MIGHTY SHOP CONVENIENCE STORE, B. DALTON.
MARCH 8 1985
Santa Cruz, California
(INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY) Margaret Zack, Mariposa, Kevin Olish, April Kane, Julie Brown, Nikki Craft and Rosemary Renauer are arrested at: UNITED CIGAR after tearing up 3 magazines.
OCT 10 1985
Iowa City, Iowa

Meredith job recruiters at U of I were met by Melissa Farley, of Meredith Stockholders Against Penthouse and Teresa Helmkey who displayed large blowups of Penthouse to prospective employees.
DEC 21 1984
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Evelyn Craft (Nikki's mother), Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft enter: CITY NEWS AND BOOK, WALDEN BOOKS. They tear up two magazines and are arrested at the last store. Melissa's daughter and two l2-year-old boys carry signs saying: WE OPPOSE VIOLENT PORNOGRAPHY, WE DO NOT OPPOSE NUDITY AND SEXUALITY. Charges were immediately dropped when the store manager declined to press charges.
MARCH 14 1985
San Jose, California

Mark Knipper, Karen Hester, Tammy Teichgraeber, Kathy Lynch and Mary Jeffries enter: 7-11. They are all arrested for tearing up Penthouse. Mark Knipper tears up his own magazine and is arrested anyway.
OCT 30, 1985
Iowa City, Iowa

Seven women dressed as witches visited Quicktrip and shredded a Penthouse while hexing the store by chanting, "We will silence your violence." The women were asked to leave the store and no arrests were made.
JAN 4 1985
Beloit, Wisconsin
Melissa Farley, Duane Allen (member of Men Stopping Rape in Madison)and Nikki Craft are arrested in the Beloit Mall for tearing up one magazine at: B. DALTON. All three are held for 30 hours. They plead no contest and are fined 100.00 per person.
JUNE 20 1985
Iowa City, Iowa
Minors Against Violent Pornography calls for a boycott against Iowa City stores selling Penthouse and tear up Penthouses at B. DALTON'S, JOHN'S GROCERY and 7-11. No arrests are made.
NOV 11, 1985
Des Moines, Iowa

CFMRWL purchase three shares of Meredith Corporate stock and formed Meredith Stockholders Against Penthouse. Six people attend the stockholders meeting and pose questions concerning corporate ethical responsibility to stockholders and corporate executives. The demonstrators carried signs that read: "Penthouse is Meredith's South Africa". When a Des Moines Register reporter asked Robert Burnett, President of Meredith, if there could be some validity to this comparison, Burnett stated that it was debatable if there was a problem with investment in South Africa.
     Five thousand leaflets were distributed in downtown Des Moines, Meredith's home base, forcing them to take public responsibility for the images they print for Penthouse. Des Moines citizens were shocked to say the least and E. F. Hutton attempted to have leafleters arrested. The company's representatives claimed it was because children were passing out leaflets. Minors Against Violent Pornography were present and leafleting. There were no arrests.
JAN 11 1985
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Terry Johnson, Gretchen Kuehn, Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft enter 9 stores and tear up over 50 magazines at: HILL STREET NEWS, BERGS, KUM AND GO, UNIVERSITY BOOK AND SUPPLY, 7-11, REVCO, ONE-STOP, B. DALTON, QUICKSTOP. No arrests are made.
JUNE 20 1985
Coralville, Iowa

Dedra Gracey and Melissa Farley tear up Penthouse magazines at RANDALL'S SUPERMARKET. They are released from police custody. Dedra and Melissa are ordered never to return to the store under the threat of immediate arrests.
MARCH 24, 1986
Chicago Illinois

Barbara DeGeneiveve, Mary Thomas, Pat Gowens are arrested for Criminal Destruction of Property at B. Dalton for shredding two Penthouse magazines. Charges were later dismissed.
Later that same day Annette Appell, Christine Wallers, Josephine Adams, Nikki Craft, Bev Tuitt and Jennifer LeVasque were arrested at the Playboy Foundation after they chained themselves across the revolving doors and refused to leave until Hef take off his jammies and pose in a nude family centerfold portrait with Christie. There were charged with trespassing and the trial is currently pending.
     Representatives from the Women In Law Conference tore up an unsolicited donation from Playboy and held signs that urged people to refuse co-optation and "Reject Playboy Money". Demonstrators also demanded that Playboy stop including jokes that encourage molestation of little girls.
JAN 11 1985
Waterloo, Iowa

Gretchen Kuehn, Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft enter: NATIONAL CIGAR BOOKSTORE. They begin tearing up magazines and are not stopped, so they continue tearing up Hustlers and Penthouse magazine with the owners blessings. They tore up magazines until their arms hurt too much to tear any more and ended up standing over a pile of hundreds and hundreds of magazines over knee high and spread out over the whole floor.
JUNE 30 1985
Iowa City, Iowa

Melissa Farley and Dedra Gracey enter B. DALTON AND QUICKTRIP tearing up Penthouses at each location. A group of 25 people encircle downtown Iowa City with chalk message. (Described in Nov. 22, 1984 action.) Osha Davidson is arrested and charged with defacing public property for writing in chalk on the sidewalk. He was found not guilty.
Neither the Rampage, nor the any of the individual actions were ever covered in Ms. Magazine. On November 11, 1985 while we were in the street protesting against Meredith for printing Penthouse (see above) Gloria Steinhem was the guest speaker at the evening entertainment.