Idle No More National Day of Protest comes to Nelson
A peaceful group of approximately 120 young and old supporters came together at the City Hall Courtyard in Nelson as part of the Idle No More National Day of Protest.
The Nelson rally was one of many held throughout Canada as protestors continue to try to send a message to the Federal Conservative government.
“Stand up for the land, stand up for these animals, stand up for the fisheries,” Marilyn James of the Sinixt Nation of BC told the calm crowd on a chilly January day.
“It’s your responsibility to stand up. And if your not supporting the Sinixt and what we’re doing then you’re idling.”
“Don’t stand behind the liars and thieves that are turning our territory into the Gaza Strip,” James added.
The Idle No More movement is in direct response to Stephen Harper’s Conservative government bill C-45, which is viewed by supporters as threatening treaty rights set out in the Constitution.
The Nelson rally was peaceful as protestors listened to speakers before chanting spiritual songs and dancing around drummers.
Across Canada protestors slowed traffic on the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., threatening to snarl the busiest Canada-U.S. border-crossing point, blocked Canadian National rail line in Manitoba and slowed traffic along Highway 117 in Quebec, about two hours northeast of Ottawa.
First Nations activists are also planning a demonstration in front of the Canadian High Commission in London in the U.K. on Thursday.
A key demand of the protesters and chiefs alike is for the government to back down on changes to environmental oversight in two recent omnibus bills.
However, the government spokesperson said the Conservatives have no plans to reconsider its legislation.
Which is why the Idle No More movement continues on.