Idle No More: Toronto Flash Mob

By Julye Huggins
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This video is an amazing round dance that took over one of the busiest intersections in Toronto last month as part of the Idle No More protest movement. Yonge-Dundas was overwhelmed by a flash mob December 21st and then again January 1st, after which it continued in the nearby square followed by a candlelit vigil in support of Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike. The Eaton Centre, one of Canada’s busiest malls, was also hit December 30th with a round dance by Canada’s First Nations and their supporters.According to Wikipedia, Idle No More is “a grassroots movement for Indigenous sovereignty, Indigenous rights and respect for the treaties, ” and the “goals include stopping environmental degradation, and economic and social inequality.” Fueled by First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and their non-aboriginal supporters, the movement began in Saskatoon with Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon and Sheelah McLean. Stirred into action over the controversial omnibus bill Bill C-45 (which overhauled the Navigable Waters Protection Act of 1882, deregulating and endangering waterways that pass through traditional First Nations land), they held rallies and teach-ins building support and momentum up to the National Day of Action on December 10th. That day, Attawapiskat Chief Spence (as a member of the movement, but not as its leader) decided she would fast in support of the movement. Her action has garnered international attention with peaceful demonstrations sprouting up across the country in honour of her sacrifice and the Idle No More movement. Her goal was to call Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston into a meeting with a delegation of First Nations leadership to discuss Canada’s treaty relationship. The first “working meeting” is scheduled for January 11th, but the hunger strike will continue until a positive outcome is determined. Social media continues to light up with peaceful actions in many communities around the country and the world.
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