PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

A person standing on the Legislature steps as part of the Resist Canada 153 rally, holds a Canadian flag with the words ‘still stolen’ painted on it. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)A person standing on the Legislature steps as part of the Resist Canada 153 rally, holds a Canadian flag with the words ‘still stolen’ painted on it. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Over a hundred people showed up to the Resist Canada 153 rally at the Legislature on July 1. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Over a hundred people showed up to the Resist Canada 153 rally at the Legislature on July 1. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Joseph Thomas, wearing the red jersey with the number 58 on it, gets ready to take a bow with a group of traditional dancers called Joseph’s Singers and Dancers after a performance on the Legislature steps. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Joseph Thomas, wearing the red jersey with the number 58 on it, gets ready to take a bow with a group of traditional dancers called Joseph’s Singers and Dancers after a performance on the Legislature steps. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Kati George-Jim, one of the organizers, speaks to the crowd and thanks them for being there. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Kati George-Jim, one of the organizers, speaks to the crowd and thanks them for being there. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Another rally was held on the Legislature lawn called Unify the People. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Another rally was held on the Legislature lawn called Unify the People. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Two men who did not want to give their names hold signs at the Unify the People rally. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Two men who did not want to give their names hold signs at the Unify the People rally. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Two different rallies gathered at B.C.’s Legislature in Victoria on Canada Day, but neither was there to celebrate the country’s birthday.

One event, called Resist Canada 153, was “created in collaboration by a number of community members for the purpose of celebrating our collective resistance as Black and Indigenous peoples – resistance against assimilation, genocide, white supremacy and all other forms of colonialism,” reads the description on Facebook.

READ ALSO: 13 Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested by VicPD

A banner reading ‘Decolonize KKKlanda’ provided a backdrop on the steps of the Legislature where people shared stories and experiences about racism and colonization in Canada.

“I guess folks were misinformed about what we’re celebrating today – we’re not celebrating unity and freedom and rights under the Canadian state; we’re celebrating our collective relationship and resistance as Black and Indigenous people and those that stand in solidarity with that idea,” said organizer Kati George-Jim to a cheering crowd.

Selma Arale, who also organized a people-less Black Lives Matter protest in Centennial Square, spoke to the crowd and questioned what was being celebrated on Canada Day.

“Are we celebrating its Indigenous peoples? Are we celebrating the POC that live on this land,” she asked the crowd.

“No, we’re not. We’re celebrating the rape, the genocide, all of the disgusting things that happened and they weren’t that long ago.”

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Dozens show up to rebuild vandalized Victoria people-less protest

The other rally at the legislature, Unify the People, was smaller in size, with speakers set up near the Queen Victoria statue.

Many of the attendees at the gathering did not wear masks. A number of the signs seen called into question the validity of the pandemic. One protester, who did not wish to give his name, used a viral conspiracy theory video that was pulled from social media platforms for spreading false information, to back up his points.

Canada Day has taken a different tone this year as the pandemic disallows for large gatherings while 2020 has quickly become one of reckoning for systemic racism both in Canada and across the 49th parallel.

In Vancouver, an anti-Canada Day march is set to start Wednesday afternoon outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The event is being hosted by Idle No More, an Indigenous-led group, and intend to “gather to honour all of the lives lost to the Canadian State.”

According to the Facebook event, roughly 600 people say they plan to attend.

During Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Canada Day address he said the success of the country is because of its people, particularly those who strive to make the country a place of peace, equality and compassion.

– With files from Ashley Wadhwani


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Canada Day

Just Posted

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

North Saanich has received a report from the Urban Development Institute calling on the municipality to expand and densify its housing options in the face of demographic and environmental changes as the municipality continues its Official Community Plan review. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich asked to create more affordable, diverse housing

Urban Development Institute says community faces demographic, environmental challenges

Dog trainer Sharon Labossiere at play with her dogs. AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Sooke's Hanging with Hounds. (Contributed - BC SPCA)
Hanging With Hounds digs its paws into AnimalKind accreditation

Local dog trainer earns special BC SPCA status

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Royal Bay pride crosswalk restored following graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Colwood high school

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read