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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board is concerned about having to fund more than just hospitals like the one in the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona board worried over funding more than hospitals

Island Health points to seniors care to reduce demand at acute care sites

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Courtenay area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Former town councillor and long-time volunteer John Marinus was presented with the Freedom of the Town in 2017 by then-Mayor Paul Ives. Facebook/Town of Comox photo
Five-term councillor, long-serving volunteer John Marinus passes away

He was presented the Freedom of the Town award in 2017

Town of Comox council (from left) Alex Bissinger, Ken Grant, Nicole Minions, Mayor Russ Arnott, Stephanie McGowan, Maureen Swift and Pat McKenna. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Comox to move forward with stormwater management bylaws

Northeast Comox lands have been a historical flood plain and regularly floods

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

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

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

The Wachiay Friendship Centre hopes to convert its parking lot into a building with living units and a cultural gathering space. Scott Stanfield photo
Friendship Centre proposes affordable housing project on its Courtenay property

The Wachiay Friendship Centre hopes to turn its parking lot at 17th… Continue reading

Campbell River’s new hospital, July 2018
Comox Strathcona board worried over funding more than hospitals

Island Health points to seniors care to reduce demand at acute care sites

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

Most Read