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Pro-charter rally draws thousands of supporters in Montreal

Supporters in favour of Quebec’s proposed charter of values gather in Montreal on Oct.26, 2013. If implemented, the charter would ban the wearing of religious clothing and symbols in the public sector.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Protesters marched through the streets of Montreal Saturday with a message: Quebec's proposed charter of values would help protect women's rights.

The crowd estimated in the thousands argued the charter would help end religious oppression and ensure equality between men and women.

The protest was led by several high-profile Quebec women, including actress Janette Bertrand, who wrote an open letter in support of the charter.

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Lise Rousseu, one of the protesters, says the charter will serve as a model not just for Quebec society, but for the world as a whole.

The Parti Québécois government wants to ban public employees from wearing obvious religious symbols, including the Muslim headscarf, in the workplace.

The PQ has a minority and would require opposition support to make the charter law.

Protests for and against the charter have been held regularly since the plan was announced in early in September.

A protest opposing the plan is scheduled for Sunday in Montreal.

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