After Eloyse Paquet Poisson was surrounded by police officers who found offense at her sunbathing clothes, activists launched a topless protest
A woman who was surrounded by six police officers after opting to sunbathe in a park says: “I kept my t*ts up and got my eyes pierced. I was scared but I felt strong.”
Eloyse Paquet Poisson wrote a post on Facebook describing how she took off her top while sitting on a blanket, making macrame and smoking a cigarette in a Quebec park on a sunny May day.
“It was a beautiful, hot, sunny day,” she wrote. “There were a lot of topless guys in the park…
“I wanted to soak up some sun and if I was lucky, catch a cool breeze that would cool my underbust.”
She says a police officer watched her for at least 10 minutes before deciding to come over and told her to “cover up”.
When she pointed out that there were a lot of shirtless men in the park, the police officer appeared unimpressed.
Ten minutes later, “five more police officers arrived as ‘backup’,” she says.
“The five settled on me,” Eloyse said. “My heart was beating fast but I kept my tits up and my eyes pierced. I was scared but I felt strong.”
“There is no law in Canada’s Penal Code against a woman being topless in a park, and Quebec City’s statute is essentially the same.”
People in the park started lobbying for her, Eloyse said, including a shirtless man who asked the cop, “Are you going to arrest me?”
In the end, officials couldn’t find anything to charge Eloyse with.
Even worse from the police perspective, sparked by Eloyse’s experience, a large group of activists started a “Free The Nipple” protest in the park – increasing the number of topless women in the park from one to several dozen.
Alice Lacroix, organizer of the protest, stated: “What happened to Eloyse was very problematic for the police,” she said.
“There can’t be five police officers around a woman doing something totally legal, but we also need to remember that someone called the police. You didn’t just see them. They called and complained.”
She added: “I know what we’re doing today upsets a lot of people. and I say fine… Because at the end of the day, we’re claiming our right to use our bodies the way we want.”