Angry Bunnies Protest London's Playboy Club Opening (PHOTOS)

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PLAYBOY PROTEST
A young feminist protester takes part in a demonstration against the opening of the Playboy Club in central London, on June 4, 2011. | Getty
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These bunnies are hopping mad.

Feminist protestors, some dressed like rabbits, took to the streets on June 4 to demonstrate against the opening of a new Playboy Club in England -- the sexy magazine's first foray into London nightlife since the city's original Playboy Club closed its doors in 1981.

As 85-year-old Playboy founder Hugh Hefner arrived at the new venue with his 25-year-old fiancee Crystal Harris, more than 100 opponents of the club gathered behind barricades and held up signs reading "Eff Off Heff" and "Our Bodies Not For Sale."

(Scroll down for photos)

After going undercover at a Playboy Club, feminist icon Gloria Steinem ironically noted that "All women are bunnies." These ones, however, are the kind she would admire.

Speaking for demonstrators from the groups UK Feminista and Object, protester Julia Long told Sky News that the rally was intended to draw attention to Playboy's exploitation of women.

"They're about the degradation of women and I think they're rightly angry at the way Playboy is trying to legitimize pornography and bring it into the mainstream," she said. "This club is another step in that direction."

According to The Guardian, the London club is designed to closely reflect the Playboy clubs of the 1960s -- riffing off pop culture's current infatuation with the era.

Visitors -- as well as lifetime members who shell out about $24,000 -- will see plenty of smiling women in bunny suits as well as other trappings of "Mad Men"-era entertainment, including the Cottontail Lounge "where the Bunnies come out to play," a high-end cocktail bar, a sports bar, a smoking terrace and a "traditional barbershop."

The opening of the new venue in London's Mayfair neighborhood comes amidst a renewed effort by Playboy to establish clubs after its previous attempts faltered in the 1990s.

Despite the demonstrators' claims that the venue is sexist, Hefner told Sky News that Playboy is "what the sexual revolution was all about."

"A feminist protest in 2011 to the Playboy Bunnies is lame ... Playboy and the Playboy clubs were the end of sexism," Hefner said. "Women were being held bondage for hundreds of years, owned first by their fathers and then their husbands, Playboy helped to change all that."

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