Pro-Charter supporters stage feminist rally
Despite the rain thousands rallied in Montreal in favour of the PQ government's proposed Charter of Quebec Values.
The rally was focused on women's rights which supporters say are threatened by religions that force women to cover their faces. Estimates range from 2,000 to 5,000, wheras TVA Nouvelles reported "close to 20,000" were in attendance.
International feminist group Femen, reknowned for staging semi-nude protests during international events such as G20 conferences, lent their support to the movement by going topless during the march.
Femen member Xenia Chernyshova told CJAD without a secular ban on religious symbols, known as laïcité in French, women's rights can be threatened.
"We should be all nutral in our appearance and in our minds, especially in public places," she said while being detained by Montreal police.
Sailaha Abdenbi of the Quebec Association of North Africans for Laïcité says women are often controlled through religion
She says her organization would support a Charter of Values banning religious symbols because it will keep religious extemism from entering Quebec's public sector.
"Laïcité is the best way to live together in peace," she told CJAD.
Other prominent supporters included ex-student leader Martime Desjardins and tv personality Janette Bertrand, who was quoted in La Presse saying she would not be treated by a public servant wearing a hijab.
She later retracted the statement.
Supporters of the Charter of Quebec Values march up Berri St. in Montreal, on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.
Photograph by: Peter McCabe, The Gazette