‘Idle No More’ protesters demonstrate at Eaton Centre
Published Sunday, December 30, 2012 4:45PM EST
Around 250 people took part in a flash mob protest at The Eaton Centre Sunday as part of ‘Idle No More’, a native movement that has gained momentum nationwide in recent weeks.
“Aboriginal people are tired of being kicked around by the present Harper government,” one protester told CP24 at the demonstration. “It’s not going to happen anymore, we will be idle no more.”
Protesters carried placards, chanted slogans and beat drums inside the busy mall for about an hour in what appeared to be a peaceful demonstration.
“I think by talking to people that we see, by round dancing and singing, people know that we’re here and they’ll look on Facebook and find us,” one woman told CP24. “I’m sure that Canadians will find out why we’re here.”
Similar protests have taken place in cities and communities of all sizes across the country over the past few weeks. They have been ignited in part by a hunger strike being carried out by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has set up a teepee on Victoria Island in Ottawa.
Spence is demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General David Johnston and First Nations leaders in order to discuss what she sees as the dire state of First Nations people in Canada.
The Conservative government has said in recent weeks that it is making efforts to work with First Nations leaders. Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has also offered to meet with Spence, a proposal she has rejected.
Organizers of the Eaton Centre demonstration told CP24 that more protests are set to take place in Toronto on New Year’s Eve.