Nude Canadian Activist – Read All About It!
Nude Activist - In the last two years, Brian Coldin of Ontario, Canada, was charged on 5 separate occurrences in which he was nude or partially nude in public. The most renowned incident took place at a fast-food drive-thru when Brian and two other men drove up naked to the window. Then, to the female workers’ shock and dismay, they pretended to search for their wallets.
Brian and his accomplices recently went to trial, and Brian was fined $3,000 along with two years of probation. He unsuccessfully attempted to contest the charges by claiming Canada’s nudity laws were unconstitutional and hindered his freedom of expression. The judge ruled that the incidents expressed no significant meaning or beliefs beyond Coldin’s simple desire to be naked in public.
John Cropper was one of the two men facing charges for the drive-thru stunt. After reading a few articles, I was under the impression that John had been in the car, but was acquitted because he “may have been” sporting a thong. This past Sunday I interviewed John to get the story first-hand, and was informed that he was not even present at the time the incident occurred. He went to the restaurant on a separate, clothed occasion with Brian, and was mistakenly identified by the employees as one of the offenders. (Perhaps because he was dressed?)
John, a volunteer on the board of the Federation of Canadian Naturists, has been a naturist for ten years as well as an activist and free hiker. He fervently described the greater happiness and freedom he experienced from free hiking and being nude outdoors. “I’m 60 years old, and I feel 20,” he stated. When I inquired about his activist side, he spoke of a case he won in 2010 for the rights of hikers to go nude on the trails outside of Orillia. In a form of civil disobedience, John began hiking the secluded trails in the nude and one day was spotted by two police officers, who cited him for an indecent act. However, the judge determined that John’s simple free hiking was not causing anyone harm and dismissed the case.
Currently, John is working with the local superintendent to officially designate a clothing-optional section at Wasaga Beach. It already exists unofficially, but with the minimal cost of putting up signs, it can readily become Canada’s third official, clothing optional beach.
He says there is “no opposition so far…People are much more tolerant of nudity now.”
Presented in this article are two recent cases of public nudity charges brought to trial, both as forms of activism. However, there is a distinction worth making: passive resistance vs. active resistance. In Brian’s case, the judge was not so concerned with whether Brian was completely nude or not, but more so with Brian’s aggressive behavior and intention to disturb and shock others. Both John and the FCN seemed to agree that Brian crossed
the line in his naked “protest.” Such forms of active resistance may work well for other causes, but as far as nudism is concerned, aggressively forcing one’s belief that nudity should be permitted anywhere is not a behavioral model for naturists. In the case of passive resistance, John chose to quietly hike out of a simple desire to enjoy the nature and sunshine. He gained the right to free hike without being labeled “indecent,” a win of legitimacy for all naturists and nudists. Though it can be complicated to decide when to push boundaries or even break laws, it is evident which form and style of resistance has benefited naturism the most. One cannot haphazardly force his or her beliefs on others and expect it to bring about positive change. All acts of resistance or protest affect how naturism is perceived and what laws should be in place.