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2010-06-25

Indigenous Activists Protest G8/G20 Meetings in Toronto

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On Thursday, indigenous groups in Toronto held a demonstration to protest the G8 and G20 meetings. Franklin López and Dawn Paley of the Vancouver Media Co-op file a report from the streets. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re in Toronto, Canada. The G8 and the G20 summits are taking place here. Thursday saw the G20’s largest protest so far with an indigenous-led march through downtown Toronto. We’re going to go to sounds of that march, produced by Frank López.

    MARK CORBIERE, Ojibwe Nation: The G20 are not respecting indigenous rights across the world. They’re bending over backward, so that way corporate colonialism can control indigenous indigenous lands and its indigenous people, who are directly affected by the decisions made at the G20. So, being in solidarity with Palestinians and liberation armies from southern America, we’ve felt the need to come out here today and represent the warrior’s voice, when the liberal organizations are coming out to try and pacify the movement.

    PROTESTER: Native rights under attack, what do we do?

    PROTESTERS: Stand up, fight back!

    PROTESTER: No justice...

    PROTESTERS: No peace!

    PROTESTER: No justice...

    PROTESTERS: No peace!

    PROTESTER: No justice...

    PROTESTERS: No peace!

    PROTESTER: No justice...

    PROTESTERS: No peace!

    ANDREA CHRISJOHN, Council Fire: I am hopeful that the Canadian society as a whole will look to not this — to this day not just as an example of bringing our peoples together, but also examining your own history and the history about your own peoples and looking at how you can make this government accountable.

    PROTESTER: Native rights are human rights!

    PROTESTERS: Free rights now!

    PROTESTER: Native rights are human rights!

    PROTESTERS: Free rights now!

    DARLENE RITCHIE, Toronto Council Fire: In Canada today there’s over 500 missing women — 584, to be exact, determined by the Native Women’s Association. In March 2010, Stephen Harper cut the funding to the Native Women’s Association that — the money that was going to go to the Sisters in Spirit Campaign to identify ways and means of protecting women and ways and means of making sure that we don’t lose any more. Those missing women have gone as a direct result of the Indian Act, and the Indian Act is alive and well here in Canada today in 2010. Racism is legislated.

    SHANDRA, Manitou Rapids First Nation: Canada can’t hide genocide. And that means you can’t put a pretty face on top of the state-sponsored violence that has been done to people like me and my family, generations of children kidnapped, taken to residential schools where they’re imprisoned and tortured, for the longest time, generations of those people and then generations like me, that are taken by the Children’s Aid and adopted out into non-Native families to become non-Native Canadians. And it’s an amputation. It’s an extremely violent act, and it’s genocidal. And Canada just can’t sweep that under the rug.

AMY GOODMAN: Voices of protest yesterday in the streets of Toronto, produced by Frank López and Dawn Paley with the Vancouver Media Co-op.

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