A woman determined to save Saltspring Island from the logger's axe re-enacted Lady Godiva's legendary protest by riding a horse through downtown Vancouver yesterday, wearing little other than her panties and a long blond wig.
Briony Penn, goose bumps covering her legs and arms, was flanked by a group of topless protesters and surrounded by a healthy assemblage of police officers on horses and motorcycles.
The lunch-hour procession drew amused spectators and snarled traffic but failed to get any attention from Texada Land Corp. officials, despite at least one attempt by Ms. Penn to ride her horse into its office building.
Saltspring residents have blocked logging trucks, staged protests and even posed nude for a charity calendar in attempting to stop Texada from logging.
Environmentalists are trying to stop the logging on a tenth of the private property on the island because they say it is harming some watersheds. Some residents have even tried to buy the land.
Yesterday, protesters slowly circled a block downtown about five times, each time stopping at the office of Texada, a land-development company that owns 2,000 hectares of Saltspring Island. They chanted "Stop clearcutting Saltspring" and "Down with corporate greed." There were no arrests.
While almost everyone around was warmly dressed, Ms. Penn braved the sunny but crisp seven-degree weather.
"Well, it's unseasonably warm. I've been out for an hour and I'm okay. That's global warming for you," she said.