Idle No More
Idle No More is a movement organized by Canada’s indigenous people (i.e. First Nation). This movement is strongly opposed to pending federal legislation.
The proposed legislation — omnibus budget bill C-45 — has some hidden features which would weaken tribal sovereignty and eliminate environmental protection for over a million lakes and rivers. The underlying purpose of this legislation — or at least one purpose — is to allow tar sands oil to be moved through pipelines across tribal lands, whether the First Nation people like it or not.
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has been on a hunger strike for 32 days in order to bring attention to their cause and to persuade Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (no relation) to cancel the legislation. Stephen Harper actually attended a meeting today to discuss this with tribal leaders, but some leaders boycotted the meeting because Harper could only spare half an hour.
Like the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, Idle No More has no leaders and its growth has been driven mostly by social media. And Idle No More has been spreading way beyond Canada’s borders.
Along with today’s half-hour meeting with Stephen Harper, Idle No More held gatherings today in cities all over Canada, the U.S. and Latin America. The movement has struck a chord with Latinos and indigenous people on both continents.
In Toronto a group of Latino protesters chanted “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” — “The people united will never be defeated.” The protest was organized by two Chilean women who said the plight of Canada’s First Nation reminded them of the battles between Chile’s government and its indigenous people.
And so on.
Arab Spring toppled a few dictators. As Idle No More gathers momentum, let’s hope the movement can hold its own against Canada’s government and fossil fuel industry (same thing).