This is where the irresistible force meets the immovable object. And the tragedy is that the First Nations, as a people, do not like conflict. They do not want to put their bodies on the line against the police. They do not want to be surrounded and starved and sent to prison. But occasionally the blatant cruelty and criminality of Canadian federal or provincial governments forces their hand. harper's attempt to completely destroy their sovereignty is one of the biggest assaults in a long time.
These are desperately poor people. One time, reading one of Owen Gray's posts, the heroism against all odds that the First Nations have displayed from time to time really hit home to me. harper has pushed their backs to the wall but he is going to encounter something he's not used to seeing: principled and determined opposition.That is what "Idle No More" is. harper has to realize this. These aren't people for whom a war in a foreign country is something they'd rather their government not enter into, so they go to a rally, the rally has no impact, the war is launched and they occasionally criticize it but life goes on. The First Nations have already had it up to the back teeth with our racist abuse and they simply won't stand for shit-head harper increasing the abuse.
This is not a "values" protest. This is about their lives.
It's over harper. It's over harperscum. This is a nation-changing movement. We look at the Black Civil Rights Movement as this historical period that changed the USA forever. Well, this is one of those moments for Canada. Around the time of the Black Civil Rights Movement in fact, Canada and the First Nations were having their own history changing conflict. Pierre Trudeau (ever the liberal philosopher) had his Indian Affairs Minister circulate a "White Paper" on Indian Policy in 1969. It basically called for the "extermination by assimilation" of the First Nations. It provoked a firestorm of protest and produced the First Nations activism that has been sending the racist imbeciles of the right-wing into seething paroxysms of fury of the past four decades.
This protest helped bring about Cree activist Harold Cardinal's book Unjust Society that articulated the way forward for the First Nations from the misery and hopelessness of the past.
Aboriginal people in Canada took hope with the election of Trudeau’s Liberals in 1968. They were outraged when the Paper introduced by Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Jean Chretien a year later amounted to an assimilation program: repeal of the Indian Act, the transfer of Indian affairs to the provinces, the elimination of separate legal status for native people. The Unjust Society, Cree leader Harold Cardinal’s stinging rebuttal, was an immediate best-seller, and it remains one of the most important ever published.
Again, this is the latest, biggest stage in this struggle. The period when the Unjust Society was written was a time of hope. Since the right-wing counterattack of the 1980s, we have been in a period of decline and confusion. But, the catastrophic failures of capitalism resurgent is producing more determined counter-movements. "Idle No More" is the First Nations' example. And, unlike the Occupy Movement, everything is at stake for all the participants. It's not going to end with a fizzle. If harper and the harperscum think that way and act accordingly, they'll be dealing with an explosion.
Possessed of a wicked gift for satire, Cardinal summed up the government’s approach as “The only good Indian is a non-Indian.” He coined the term “buckskin curtain” to describe the barriers that indifference, ignorance and bigotry had placed in the way of his people. He insisted on his right to remain “a red tile in the Canadian mosaic. Above all, he called for radical changes in policy on aboriginal rights, education, social programs and economic development.
The Idle No More movement, which began in response to the Conservative’s omnibus Bill C -45, is evolving into a national phenomena and it’s demanding nothing less than the nation’s full attention to finally find lasting peace with the original nations of this land.
And Spence’s demands are but a first step.
The tone in many of the speeches carried an underlying message that a confrontation loomed if the Harper government continued on its current path in dealing with First Nations.
“Stephen Harper may be angry, Stephen Harper may be smart, but there’s one thing he doesn’t understand. We’re not going to give up ever,” said Clayton Thomas-Muller, of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “We will never stop, not for one second Mr. Harper. You better be ready.”Together with the righteous fury of the "Idle No More" movement, the "Redeem Canadian Democracy" movement is going to bring down this regime of thieves, fraudsters, thugs and racists.