rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Activist Communique: Photos from Toronto's Idle No More demonstrations

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Idle No More, a call made earlier this month by a group of Indigenous women, held two rallies today in Toronto.

At the root of Idle No More is a request for,” acts of solidarity against governments and industries that use legislation and disregard free, prior and informed consent to further their agendas in the name of profit and progress, ignoring the natural law to live as one with Mother Earth.”

The first rally began at 11:30 am as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) began its three day meeting in Toronto December 10 – 12, 2012. The Monday rally also falls on this year’s Human Rights Day. Ezra Levant came down to speak to demonstrators for his Sun TV show, harassing activists by demanding the secrets to the supposed conspiracy that all tar sands activists are paid protesters.

The rally drew to light that CAPP and the oil companies its represent, according to Indigenous and environmental allies, have been responsible for intense lobbying pressure in Ottawa for decades to remove legislation that protects First Nations, environmental and water rights in Canada in the name of the economy. At lunch that day, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was hosting delegates to an expensive lobbyist lunch of Canada’s premiers.

According to the call out, “As we all know, the government and numerous corporations have been disrespecting and ignoring basic human rights through policies, legislation and industry activities for profit. The government and industries have been failing to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. They have also been ignoring and pacifying the need to be responsible and live as one with Mother Earth.

The Harper government assisted CAPP last week with the passing of Bill C-45, with changes to issues around indigenous, treaty, and constitutional rights. This was done without any consultation with Indigenous leadership.”

The rally at 11:30 am demonstrated in front of the Sheraton Hotel before briefly marching through the financial district, to then join up with the 2nd rally of the day for Idle No More; this time at 1:00 pm at Queen’s Park.

“I read recently on the CAPP webpage a comment about the Toronto conference and it read ‘Get your piece of the $117 billion dollar pie’. This is a blatant example of how CAPP ignores the concerns of communities by putting money first.

As a grassroots member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation standing in support of the litigation my nation is involved in, I choose to not be ignorant of the mass destruction of Mother Earth for financial gain. I have an obligation to my children and future generations and litigation like the lawsuit launched by BCFN will ultimately protect basic human rights to have clean air and water.

Without the grassroots mobilizations, lawsuits like the Beaver Lake Cree’s would not be possible. I stand in solidarity with the grassroots people across Turtle Island!” said Crystal Lameman, member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, and Indigenous Environmental Network and Sierra Club Prairie Chapter Alberta TarSands Organizer

For photos of the rally, please click here.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.