Thousands protest charter of values in Montreal

Marilla Steuter-Martin | VP Communications

A large crowd gathered at Place Émilie-Gamelin at 12 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 to protest against the new ‘charter of values’ proposed by the Quebec government.

The charter would dictate what types of religious symbols people working in the public sector are allowed to wear. Under the charter proposed by Premier Pauline Marois, public servants such as doctors, nurses, teachers and daycare workers would not be permitted to wear obvious religious symbols such as hijabs, kippahs, large crosses or turbans while at work.

This has sparked controversy across the province with some critics calling the plan discriminatory and many taking to social media, and now the streets, to voice their discontent.

From Place  Émilie-Gamelin, the demonstrators marched slowly and peacefully to Place Du Canada, where the protest eventually dispersed.

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The crowd continued to grow throughout the early afternoon.

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Many protesters sported head coverings, some emblazoned with the Quebec flag.

Many protesters sported head coverings, some emblazoned with the Quebec flag.

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Here a radio-canada cameraman let's three young children play with his equipment.

Here, a radio-canada cameraman let’s three young children play with his equipment.

Many signs held messages of tolerance and love for Quebec's diversity.

Many signs held messages of tolerance and love for Quebec’s diversity.

Police presence during the event was visible but relaxed.

Police presence during the event was visible but non-confrontational.

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During the march, the crowd spanned over six city blocks.

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Saturday's protest drew thousands of people, including many families with small children.

Saturday’s protest drew over a thousand people, including many families with small children.

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