Naked political protest on bicycle in Victoria, BC (a multitude of Godivas)

by Yule Heibel on June 11, 2005

Ok, I know my readership is miniscule (I’m trying to teach my dog Jigger to read, just to boost the numbers…), but is there anyone in Victoria (or beyond) who can tell me details about what I saw this afternoon?

I was in Munro’s, skimming through Allan Levine‘s book, The Devil in Babylon, when I heard a series of whoops and yelps resonate up Government Street (a sort of combination one-way traffic-and-pedestrian-zone-for-tourists that runs, significantly, from the Legislature, past the Empress Hotel, through the downtown core). At first I ignored it, expecting that it was tourists (or locals) getting drunk early (it was around 3 or 3:30 pm). But when I glanced out the door of Munro’s, I saw a horde of bicyclists — perhaps 3 dozen, perhaps 50 — riding 3 deep past the store, in a line that stretched for at least one block. And they were almost all completely naked (some wore underpants or thongs). It was quite amazing! At first I thought they were part of a queer/ gay pride baseball game I read about recently, but then I thought, “naw, they’d have better clothes!” There were also too many women riders — I mean, I could see they had real breasts, not falsies, and I couldn’t imagine such a congregation of transgendered folk out on bikes. They looked like athletes. So I scooted out the door to get a better sense of what was going on, and barely had time to notice that some of the bikes had trailers with political slogans. Something about “political justice,” and so on.

Hey! Riders with a purpose! My kind of purpose!

The only problem was (is) that I have absolutely no idea who they were, what they were protesting, or how they came up with that specific strategy. People on the street were laughing, clapping, agape, but it was over so fast!

If anyone has any news about this, please leave a comment. So far there’s nothing on the local (web)news….

Update: Many thanks to Doug for solving the mystery (or: clueing in my clueless self): the event in question was World Naked Bike Ride, described thus:

On June 11th, 2005 over 50 cities across the world will experience the naked joy of the worlds largest naked protest against oil dependency and car culture in the history of humanity. It is time to stop indecent exposure to automobile emissions and to celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies! Naked Bicycle People Power!

The specifically Canadian angle (with the Victoria bits — uh, bad pun? — that I saw) is described in more detail here. I just want to say I support the aims of WNBR completely — last weekend the family & I trekked to hear Guy Dauncey speak about peak oil and alternatives available to us, and I’ll blog about that later soon. It’s time.


Doug Alder June 12, 2005 at 12:37 am
Doug Alder June 12, 2005 at 12:38 am

Actually i should have pointed you to

Stu Savory June 12, 2005 at 1:33 am

Doug apears to have it (un)covered.
German courts forbade the WNBR demo, FWIW and oue local
e-bay is now offering used bike-saddles for the pervs.

Yule Heibel June 12, 2005 at 1:56 am

Ahhh! Thank you, Doug (and Stu, f

Doug Alder June 12, 2005 at 2:23 pm

You say “not to have heard of this enough in advance!” Oh my – does that mean you would have participated 🙂 For that I would have taken the 12 hour joujrney to the Island with my camera ….. LOL

Yule Heibel June 12, 2005 at 3:56 pm

Gee, I’m not sure I would have gone on the ride myself, Doug, so spare yourself the oil/gasoline needed to drive here! (Of course there are webcams…!) Besides, even though it was very sunny & beautiful yesterday, there was quite a stiff, cooling breeze…!

Stu Savory June 12, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Possible punctuation error? Should that be a fullstop/exclamation mark before the word “cooling”?

Yule Heibel June 12, 2005 at 5:27 pm


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