On August 24th 1998, a woman was arrested in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada for swimming topfree. Evangeline Godron, 64, was literally carried out of the Wascana pool by police and was charged with two counts of assault and one of mischief. She was then jailed for two days as a threat to society.

Godron pointed out that topfree men were not required to leave the pool. She reported a Regina City Police officer as replying that Godron would have to leave because she was a woman. Some adults took children into change rooms to avoid the sight of Godron's breasts.

The assault charges resulted from her refusal to leave the pool willingly. But they do not apply in this case, said a Regina lawyer, because Godron's passive resistance was not assault. The mischief charge, he noted, resulted because she allegedly interfered with other users' enjoyment of the pool. But only the pool staff and the Regina City Police interfered with people's use of the pool.

There is no law against topfree swimming in this pool. Godron was charged under the Criminal Code of Canada despite the fact that a month earlier she and her colleague Kathleen Rice were acquitted of a charge of "indecent exhibition" under the Criminal Code for being topfree in a Regina park. It should also be noted that Godron is part Cree and part African.

Evangeline Godron has no money for a lawyer. Legal Aid in Saskatchewan is not an option. At a trial in June she faces conviction for exercising her rights and being poor. An acquittal, however, would send a strong message for women's rights and body acceptance all over North America.

The Topfree Equal Rights Association appeals for funds to hire a lawyer for Evangeline Godron. Please send a cheque or draft in any currency made
out to T.E.R.A. to:

PO Box 81128 FGPO
Ancaster ON L9G 4X1

Those in Canada may make a deposit at any Toronto-Dominion Bank, to the credit of T.E.R.A. at branch no. 2624, account no. 636.

Click here to learn about other ways you can help.

Thank you for your help!

The Topfree Equal Rights Association (T.E.R.A.), founded in June 1997 and based in Ontario, has assisted women across Canada and in the United States who face legal difficulties over being topfree in public.

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