KITCHENER, Ont. — Three Ontario sisters who say they were cycling topless when a police officer told them to cover up are organizing a Bare With Us rally to help raise awareness about women’s rights.
Alysha Brilla, a Juno-nominated musician and women’s rights advocate, says the incident happened last Friday when she and her two sisters were riding their bicycles late in the evening down a quiet street in Kitchener Ont.
That’s when she says a police officer in an SUV rolled down his window and told them they needed to put shirts on because it was the law.
But Brilla says that when she started filming the interaction on her cellphone, the officer said he had only wanted to check if the women had proper bells and lights on their bicycles.
The sisters are filing a formal complaint with the Waterloo Regional Police, but Brilla says she only wants an apology and to ensure officers are informed about Ontario women’s rights to go topless in public.
The Waterloo Regional Police did not respond to a request for comment.
A similar incident in June garnered headlines after eight-year-old Marlee McLean was told by city staff in Guelph, Ont. to cover up while she was in a wading pool wearing only a swim bottom.
The Kitchener sisters say they hope the Bare With Us rally, scheduled for Saturday at noon in the Waterloo Town Square, will help educate the public on women’s rights to be topless, but also broader issues such as women’s pay inequity and safety.