Morin is a Montreal woman who says she is trapped in Saudi Arabia. She moved there in 2005 to be with her Saudi husband and now says the Saudi government won't issue passports to her three children. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development has previously told reporters that consulate officials in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are assisting Morin while respecting the Saudi legal framework.
The topless protesters said the Canadian government should be doing more to bring Morin home and believe that if enough people know about the woman's plight they will pressure the government to do exactly that.
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"If we were just three of us there with our shirts on, it wouldn't do anything," said 18 year old protester Julie Anne Beaulac.
Beaulac is a proud FEMEN supporter who believes women can make political statements and fight for social equality by displaying their breasts in public. She's a member of the new and growing FEMEN Quebec group, which formed last fall. The group is part of the international feminist movement, characterized for topless protests in Europe, that kicked off in Ukraine five years ago.
Xenia Chernyshova, the woman who founded Quebec's FEMEN chapter, said topless protests are controversial but effective.
"It's a form of protest to actually have attention," Chernyshova explained. "We're using the same strategies as show business and by doing that we can reach more people."
Chernyshova said she knows some people gawk simply because she's half naked, but said they at least see the slogans she waves on posters and paints on her body. Even if people think she's crazy, at least she gets her messages out, she said.
Chernyshova brought FEMEN to Canada last October when she paraded topless through a Montreal IKEA to protest the fact that women were being airbrushed out of the company's Saudi catalogues. A YouTube video of the event shows the curvy blonde woman sauntering between display furniture while brandishing a poster that reads "Women are still here." A pair of frazzled security guards eventually escorts her from the building.
Chernyshova organized a topless protest outside the Tunisian consulate www.officialbullsauthentic.com/WOMENS-MICHAEL-JORDAN-JERSEY.html in Montreal this spring to show support for an imprisoned Tunisian FEMEN activist, and she made national headlines last month when she interrupted a speech by the former Tunisian prime minister, Hamadi Jebali, by jumping onto a Montreal stage and ripping off her shirt.
"We need to find ways to shake people," she said.
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