PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

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)
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)

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 KKKlanada’ 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.

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

The other rally, 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.

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.”

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
‘Horrible’: Number of positive tests in Elk Valley on the rise

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

(File Photo)
Fernie Heritage Library plans Family Literacy Day events

The Fernie Heritage Library is hosting a number of programs to get kids excited about reading

The City of Fernie's pilot snow plow program is ongoing through the 2020-21 winter season. (Soranne Floarea / The Free Press)
Changes coming to Fernie snow plow efforts

Curb-to-curb plowing will be the most obvious change after the next snowfall in Fernie

Dustin Denham, Colin Standish, Jennifer Sliva, Jennifer King, and Cindy Sleeman rode to the Montane Hut to celebrate Fernie Fatbike Day. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
First ever Fernie Fatbike Day gets local tires spinning

The FMBC’s inaugural event spread the Fernie fatbike stoke all over local trails on Jan. 16

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read