Bundled-up downtown workers and others ambling about during lunchtime Monday on Nicollet Mall came upon a chilling sight -- a man and woman strip downed to their undies and in bed on the sidewalk.
The goose-bumpy exhibition in Minneapolis was an anti-fur demonstration staged by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the global activist group that for decades has protested humans wearing the hairy exterior of other species among its many causes.
PETA's "Fur Out, Love In" message was seen and heard on the mall at S. 11th Street, within steps of many restaurants and coffee shops along the bustling pedestrian and public-transportation thoroughfare. Yes, PETA says, it had a permit from police to block the sidewalk for the hour or so protest.
Monday's chilly cuddlers are no strangers to Minnesota's frigid Februarys. The two bedding down were 24-year-old Jenna Cameron, who attended Winona State University and now lives in the Twin Cities, and Derek Ritchison, 30, of Minneapolis.
Cameron's PETA protest resume includes dressing as a chicken in Winona outside a McDonald's in 2011 to accuse the fast-food giant of promoting the inhumane slaughter of chickens. Also that year, she donned a condom costume in Kansas and Missouri and held a sign that read, "Condoms won't work. Fix your cat!"
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482