Montreal protesters go topless after Quebec City police harass sunbathing woman
After a young woman in Quebec City was hassled by multiple police officers for sitting on a blanket topless doing macrame while smoking a cigarette on a sunny day, a topless demonstration took place on Sunday in Montreal.
Organizer Alice Lacroix was among those topless at the "Liberez les Seins" protest at the Tam Tams at Mont-Royal Park at noon.
"It's not only about changing people's minds and changing the way people view women's breasts, (but) it's a protest about gender equality entirely," she told CTV News.
Eloyse Paquet Poisson wrote a lengthy post on Facebook that went viral after she was accosted at the end of May by Quebec City police (SPVQ), who responded after a citizen complaint about her being topless.
Poisson said in her post that she asked the first cop if he asked the several topless men in the park to cover up. The cop said he did not, according to Poisson, and left only to return with more officers.
"Five more police officers arrive as reinforcement," she wrote. "The five of them moved on me. My heart was beating fast, but I kept my tits up and my eyes piercing. I was scared but I felt strong."
There is no law against a woman being topless in a park in the Canadian Criminal Code and Quebec City's bylaw is essentially the same.
Though Poisson did not receive a fine, Lacroix was disturbed by the whole event.
"What happened with Eloyse was very problematic on the side of the police," she said. "There cannot be five policemen around one women who is doing something that's completely legal, but what we also need to remember is somebody called the police. They didn't just see her. They called and complained."