[WSMDiscuss] Canada in movement…, Turtle Island in movement…, Indigenous Peoples in movement… : First Nations groups plan Canada Day protests Respect Indigenous people who don’t want to celebrate Canada 150 : Prime Minister Trudeau / Celebrate the tepee protest. Demonstration improves social justice - Protest is in this country’s DNA (Elizabeth Renzetti)

JS CACIM jai.sen at cacim.net
Fri Jun 30 17:13:14 CEST 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada in movement…, Turtle Island in movement…, Indigenous Peoples in movement…

[For those who are not Canadian / in Canada : Tomorrow, July 1, is not only Canada Day, to celebrate the unification and confederation of the country in 1867, but is also therefore the 150th anniversary of that moment.  And where this is being marked by celebrations right across the country, and most especially in Ottawa, the capital of the country (which is though – as is now widely and publicly recognised, in both governmental and civil discourse - on unceded Anishinaabe territory in Canada and on Turtle Island).

[In this context, many if not all First Nations groups in Canada / on Turtle Island see July 1 a little ‘differently’, shall we say – as celebrating 150 years of colonialism, racism, oppression, discrimination, and murder - and here is news of a very public protest action that took place yesterday in Ottawa, and right in front of the Houses of Parliament and within its grounds, on Parliament Hill; and below that, a comment on the action and on the tradition of protest in Canada / on this land…

[For those of us from at least many other parts of the world though…. what happened yesterday on Parliament Hill, and what the Prime Minister of the country said in response, is impressive; and especially in the context of the extreme intolerance and fundamentalism that has is growing during these very days in the US, in India, and so widely across the world…  Read on :

First Nations groups plan Canada Day protests

Respect Indigenous people who don’t want to celebrate Canada 150 : Prime Minister Trudeau

Mia Rabson

Celebrate the tepee protest. Demonstration improves social justice

Protest is in this country’s DNA

Elizabeth Renzetti

            Thanks, Elizabeth Renzetti, for your great commentary.


First Nations groups plan Canada Day protests

Respect Indigenous people who don’t want to celebrate Canada 150: Trudeau

Mia Rabson

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press

Published Thursday, Jun. 29, 2017 7:58AM EDT

Last updated Friday, Jun. 30, 2017 7:38AM EDT

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/indigenous-demonstrators-erect-teepee-on-parliament-hill-to-protest-canada-day/article35497784/ <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/indigenous-demonstrators-erect-teepee-on-parliament-hill-to-protest-canada-day/article35497784/>
Preparations are underway to move an Indigenous demonstration tepee right onto Parliament Hill after a man was arrested for assaulting at least one of the activists Thursday.

The Bawaating Water Protectors from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., arrived Wednesday night on Parliament Hill with plans to erect a tepee and engage in four days of ceremonies they’re calling a “reoccupation” to draw attention to the history of Indigenous people in Canada during 150th birthday celebrations this weekend.

“We’re here to make people aware of the genocide that went on, the assimilations that went on,” said organizer Brendon Nahwegezhiche.

Globe editorial: After 150 years, Canada’s Indigenous citizens are finally being heard <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/globe-editorial-after-150-years-canadas-indigenous-citizens-are-finally-being-heard/article35506457/>
Read also: Indigenous leaders call out PM <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/indigenous-leaders-call-out-trudeau-over-funds-for-social-services/article35496813/>
“That is a part of the history and that is the truth of Canada, unfortunately.”

Originally the group clashed with police, who arrested nine people and told the group they couldn’t set up the tepee.

However within a few hours all nine were released without charges and the tepee was set up on a slope near the eastern entrance to the Hill.

It wasn’t where the group wanted it to be but was an initial compromise, with the hope of eventually moving it right onto the Hill.

They’re getting their wish, after RCMP arrested a man who caused a scene at the demonstration and allegedly knocked a cell phone out of the hands of one of the activists. He was to be charged with mischief, one government source said.

Following the incident, negotiations began to move the tepee up onto the main lawn near the West Block.

The Bawaating Water Protesters are just one of many Indigenous groups planning protest events and demonstrations this weekend to draw attention to the fact that for them, there is nothing to celebrate.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking at an event in Charlottetown, said their position is understandable and must be respected.

“We recognize that over the past decades, generations, indeed centuries Canada has failed Indigenous Peoples.”

He said there has to be a compromise to ensure the safety and security of huge crowds on Canada Day on the Hill as well as respect for the demonstrations.

“That’s what I expect of our security services and that’s what I am expecting to see,” he said.

Trudeau’s office wouldn’t say if he intervened to stop the possibility of a large confrontation ahead of the big event July 1.

However there are signs the government is trying to do what it can to keep tensions down, including working to move the tepee to a location that is safer for everyone involved.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett is hosting a picnic in her riding Saturday at which another reoccupation event is planned. On Thursday afternoon, she issued an invitation on Facebook and her MP website, making note of why many Indigenous people won’t be celebrating and inviting them to have their voices heard at her picnic.

“While many Canadians will be celebrating on Canada Day, for far too many it is a reminder of our colonialist, racist past,” she said in the invitation.

“As we mark 150 years since Confederation, it’s important for us to remember and reflect all aspects of our collective history. We need to remember that we are all #treatypeople and that Reconciliation isn’t an Indigenous issue - it is a Canadian imperative.”

The Parliament Hill event and the protest planned at Bennett’s barbecue are but two of many such events scheduled for Canada Day festivities across the country. There have been numerous social media campaigns using hashtags such as #UNsettleCanada150 or #Resistance150 and a call from Idle No More to rise on up July 1 with a “National Day of Action — Unsettling Canada 150.”

Sen. Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will be on hand for Canada 150 events in Ottawa on Saturday as a gesture of reconciliation from the Indigenous perspective.

“Celebrate is not the right word,” he said. “I will be attending events.”

Sinclair said he is in full agreement with the Bawaating Water Protectors’ attempt to draw attention to the history and present for Indigenous peoples, and said there is “still a long way to go” before Canada achieves reconciliation.

Sen. Sandra Lovelace Nicholas said in a statement Thursday that, as an Indigenous woman from the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, she is not celebrating this weekend.

“We are of the opinion that we will celebrate when all treaties are settled, all First Nations children enjoy equality in education, health care, safe drinking water, quality housing and governance in our own land.”

Also on The Globe and Mail [video - if you can’t see it, check the link above]

Video: Demonstrators erect tepee on Parliament Hill to protest Canada 150 (The Globe and Mail)
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Feds fund mentorship network to support Indigenous health researchers <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/feds-fund-mentorship-network-to-support-indigenous-health-researchers/article35485581/>
Kent Monkman marks Indigenous response to Canada 150 at Toronto Pride  <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/kent-monkman-marks-indigenous-response-to-canada-150-at-torontopride/article35453537/>

Celebrate the tepee protest. Demonstration improves social justice

Protest is in this country’s DNA

Elizabeth Renzetti <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/authors/elizabeth-renzetti>
The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jun. 29, 2017 4:29PM EDT

Last updated Friday, Jun. 30, 2017 7:42AM EDT

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/protest-is-in-canadas-dna/article35502187/ <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/protest-is-in-canadas-dna/article35502187/>
“Peace, order and good government:” That’s us, right? Canadians are meant to be content, law-abiding, polite. Or at least, that’s our national story. But there’s another story, one that’s even more relevant to today: Protest obtains good government.

When Indigenous activists brought a tepee to Parliament Hill this week, seeking to bring attention to legitimate and long-delayed grievances, they were stopped by security forces (the protesters eventually erected the tepee on the edge of Parliament Hill). The Globe and Mail reported that 10 people were detained by police before being released.

Instead of listening to the issues that were being raised, critics immediately dismissed the protest as ill-timed and un-Canadian. It was viewed by some as impolite party-crashing. Couldn’t we all just get along and wave some red balloons?

Globe editorial: After 150 years, Canada’s Indigenous citizens are finally being heard <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/globe-editorial-after-150-years-canadas-indigenous-citizens-are-finally-being-heard/article35506457/>
In fact, there’s nothing more Canadian than impolite party-crashing. Protest is in this country’s DNA, from the 19th-century pro-democracy rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada to the road blockades of Clayoquot Sound to the youth-fueled energy of Black Lives Matter and Idle No More. As a country, we tend to think we’re quiet and demure and resigned to our fate, and it’s countries such as Brazil and France and the United States that know how to agitate and organize. But in Canada protesters – both individuals and those who come together in large groups – have led the way and improved social justice for us all.

Political and social reforms that we now take for granted were hastened by the power of angry voices raised in unison. Consider the bathhouse raids by Toronto police in 1981: More than 200 gay men were arrested on a February night, many of them publicly humiliated. The next day, thousands from Toronto’s queer communities gathered to march on police headquarters and chant “Gay rights now!” There was a renewed purpose in their organizing and cohesion. Still, it took until last year for the Toronto police to apologize for the bathhouse raids.

It took until 2010 for the government of Nova Scotia to apologize to Viola Desmond. Here’s where the power of one person can have a profound effect, even if it takes years for the results to be felt. In 1946, Ms. Desmond, a black woman, took a seat in the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S. Refusing to leave, she was dragged out by police, charged, and, after a court case, forced to pay a $26 fine. Now, more than 40 years after her death, Ms. Desmond’s bravery will be honoured when her image appears on the new $10 bill.

No, more than that: Her bravery will be legitimized by the state that once oppressed her. This is the way of protests – the things that are dismissed as radical and unruly at one moment (say, Canada Day, 2017) becomes a celebrated part of our national fabric a little further down the road. In the same way, the Museum for Human Rights held an exhibit honouring the legacy of the Winnipeg General Strike, a labour protest that once terrified every Bolshevik-fearing heart in the country.

Sometimes the protests get messy. They are disruptive. An underclass that is used to being ignored must use every ounce of leverage it possesses. The Vancouver Women’s Caucus found this out when it launched the Abortion Caravan in 1970, a great feminist convoy that travelled across the country, picking up women as it went. Eventually its members made their way to the House of Commons, which they shut down for the first time ever after locking themselves in the gallery to protest Canada’s laws restricting women’s reproductive rights.

In early 2014, commuters grumbled when Indigenous protesters shut down the Via Rail route between Toronto and Montreal, inconveniencing passengers for a few hours. But guess what? It worked. There would not be an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls if not for the work of activists who would not accept government foot-dragging (what happens to the inquiry, currently experiencing a troubled rollout, is another question).

On this weekend, we’re meant to be celebrating the history of our country, whether you consider it to be 150 years old or many thousands of years older, as Indigenous people do. There are so many things worth celebrating in that history and high among them would be the fact the we are not always a polite people. We’re people who shout to get things done.

Report Typo/Error <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/community/digital-lab/news/article13869751/?artId=35502187>
Follow Elizabeth Renzetti on Twitter: @lizrenzetti <https://twitter.com/@lizrenzetti>
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read more Canada is not about ‘bricks and mortar,’ Trudeau tells critics of Canada 150 choices <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-is-not-about-bricks-and-mortar-trudeau-tells-critics-of-canada-150-choices/article35498039/>
TOM FLANAGAN Should Indigenous ancestry dictate public policy? <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/should-indigenous-ancestry-dictate-public-policy/article35429184/>
ANDREW COHEN Turning an embassy into ‘Indigenous space’ is a classic government misjudgment <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/turning-an-embassy-into-indigenous-space-a-classic-government-misjudgment/article35413678/>
Simogyet Malii Beyond appropriation of our culture, the most important fight is for our land  <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/beyond-appropriation-of-our-culture-the-most-important-fight-is-for-our-land/article35406652/>


Jai Sen

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/> / http://www.openword.net.in

Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) 

Recent publications :

Jai Sen, ed, 2016  – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (forthcoming in 2017 from New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press), ADVANCE PREFINAL ONLINE MOVEMENT EDITION @ www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2013 – The Movements of Movements : Struggles for Other Worlds, Part I. Prefinal version of Volume 4 Part I in the Challenging Empires series. New Delhi : OpenWord.  Prefinal version 1.0 available @ http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/the_movements_of_movements/ <http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/the_movements_of_movements/>

Jai Sen, ed, 2017a – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  Volume 4 in the Challenging Empires series (New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press).  Available for pre-order at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>

Jai Sen, ed, 2017b – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance.  Volume 5 in the Challenging Empires series (New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press)

CHECK OUT CACIM @ www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/>, OpenWord @ http://www.openword.net.in <http://www.openword.net.in/>, and OpenSpaceForum @ www.openspaceforum.net <http://www.openspaceforum.net/>
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