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In Paris, street art in solidarity with Idle No More (PHOTO)

by: Obert Madondo  | Jan 13, 2013

(Photo: Solguy via Twitter)

(Photo: Solguy via Twitter)

More than five thousand #IdleNoMore protesters gathered in Ottawa Friday as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and First Nation leaders held a closed-door meeting.

Meanwhile, in Paris, France, street art (photo above) in solidarity with Idle No More.

As I blogged earlier:

The (Idle No More) protesters first gathered outside the Langevin Block, the official home of the prime minister’s office and venue of the controversial meeting. They chanted songs, drummed and waved banners, before moving to the central block of Parliament Hill for speeches.

Idle No More protesters and their allies also held rallies across Canada, from Toronto to Montreal, Vancouver to Fredericton, Halifax to Whitehorse, Yellowknife to Winnipeg. APTN National News reportsthat “there were over 200 Idle No More related events around the world, from London, England, to Texas, to New Zealand.”

According to the CBC News, Montreal had the largest crowd outside of Ottawa, with a gathering of about 1,000 protesters near the Palais des Congrès. (More from the CBC’s coverage of the protests here).

A majority of the speakers in Ottawa expressed solidarity with Chief Theresa Spence and other chiefs from Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwest Territory, who boycotted the meeting demanding the attendance of Governor General David Johnston, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Canada.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo attended the meeting with a delegation of about 16 chiefs.

Chief Spence, who is Day 31 of her indefinite hunger strike, has reportedly drawn up her will and is prepared for death unless there is real progress.

The impact of the peaceful protests was instant. Harper has reportedly agreed to attend the five-hour meeting. Initially, he had said he’d only attend the first half-hour, disappear and return to receive a summary of the discussions.

Earlier,  Naomi Klein argued that “Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger speaks to all of us.” The internationally acclaimed Canadian author and social activist posted this on Twitter today.



Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow me on Twitter: @Obiemad

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