The woman who went on stage topless at the Juno Awards in Edmonton on Monday said she did it to bring attention to the loss of natural carbon-capturing areas across Canada.
Ever Hatherly, 37, (legal name Casey Hatherly) appeared in Edmonton court on a mischief charge Wednesday and said the stunt created international buzz around climate change.
“That’s part of why I do my environmental activism topless — because it’s good for headlines,” said Hatherly, who is from Vancouver.
Topless protester crashes Junos stage on live TV
Messages written on the Hatherly’s bare torso read “Land back” and “Save the Greenbelt,” referring to Ontario’s decision last year to open a protected area of land for housing.
“The Greenbelt is one of our amazing carbon sinks in Canada,” said Hatherly.
“We also have the old growth forests in B.C. which are being logged as we speak.”
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Hatherly said her group On to Ottawa is heading to the capital to demand a citizen’s assembly – a randomly selected group of Canadians that would be convened to discuss an issue – on climate action.
“We have such a short amount of time to make these drastic actions,” she said.
Hatherly said her original plan was to crash a musical performance by Avril Lavigne, until she found out Lavigne wouldn’t be performing.
“When she came up on stage to present an award, we just kind of went for it… for the headline, we knew that would get a great headline,” she said.
Hatherly said she has done topless protests before for climate action and she doesn’t mind that the stunt might have attracted negative attention.
“It’s OK that people are talking about the wrong thing right now, because it happened two days ago and people are still asking questions.”
Hatherly said she is headed back to B.C. Wednesday night.
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