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Will Williams

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Re: Flag Flap

PostMon Aug 13, 2018 9:55 am

Will Williams wrote:
Will Williams wrote:A Statue of a Confederate General and KKK
Leader Has Just Been Removed in Memphis

December 21, 2017

Here we go again, this time in Canada.
A harness is strapped to the statue of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, after Victoria city council voted to remove it from outside city hall as an act of reconciliation with First Nations. Crowds gathered on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, either to protest the removal or to cheer the decision. ADRIAN LAM / VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST
Protesters gather as Sir John A. Macdonald statue is removed from Victoria city hall

Updated: August 11, 2018

VICTORIA — The statue of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was hoisted on a five-point harness from its place outside Victoria’s city hall early Saturday morning amid cheering, booing and disagreements about the politician’s legacy.

City crews started the process at 5 a.m. — after some preparation, including erecting temporary fencing Friday night — and the statue was driven away on a flatbed truck by 7:30 a.m. Afterward, crews remained to install an interpretive plaque in the statue’s place.

The 635-kilogram bronze statue, installed in 1982, was cut with a saw under its limestone base — the metal rods holding it down severed — and was removed with much care and attention.

At this point, some people began singing O Canada, others applauded and some booed.

The final leg of the lift and transportation of the statue was accompanied by people singing the refrain “na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, goodbye” to drown out those with hands on hearts singing O Canada.

Matthew Breeden, one of a few young men wrapped in Canadian flags, said he came down to city hall to show respect for Macdonald, describing the removal of the statue as “like a funeral process.”

“I don’t support them taking down the statue; we want more debate,” said Breeden.

Bradley Clements, 28, held a sign reading: “No honour in genocide.”

Countering opinions that the presence of the statue promotes educational dialogue about history, Clements said: “If that’s the case, it’s failed.”

Clements said few who pass the statue know Macdonald as the architect of residential schools and other policies of assimilation under the Indian Act, such as restricting Aboriginal movement and Macdonald’s refusal to supply food to starving First Nations on the Prairies.

“I think the act of removing it is starting that necessary dialogue,” said Clements.

His friend, Kate Loomer, 25, said she has passed the statue and never even noticed it — a statue that profoundly offends many Indigenous people.

“At no point did anyone ever say: ‘Let’s meet at the statue and talk about Indigenous rights and truth and reconciliation,’ ” said Loomer. “That’s the point.”

Tsastilqualus, 64, born and raised in Alert Bay and a fourth-generation residential-school survivor, was proud Saturday to witness the removal “of a shameful part of Canada’s history.”

Tsastilqualus wants the statue moved to a museum with an explanation of all facets of Macdonald’s policies — as well as an update on why the statue was moved from Victoria city hall.

Barbara Todd-Hager, 58, a television producer who is Métis, said she also felt a lot of pride for her Indigenous relations and friends that Macdonald’s discriminatory policies are today being acknowledged.

“This is a really strong statement that bigotry and racism doesn’t have a place in our courtyards or city halls,” said Todd-Hager.

Eric McWilliam, 27, arrived on his electric bike about 5 a.m.

Until two days ago, McWilliam said, he was a fan of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, but now he is offended that the mayor shut down public debate over the statue’s removal and that she “and a small group of political elites” made the decision.

The decision to remove the statue was made by three councillors and First Nations representatives who met over the past year as part of a reconciliation process. They cited Macdonald’s involvement in creating the residential-schools system, which forced First Nations children away from their homes and subjected them to abuse.

“Lisa Helps says there will not be a public debate; but we are here and there will be a debate,” said McWilliam. “You can’t stop free speech.”

Several hours later, a protest against the statue’s removal and the process that led to it quickly grew intense. About 12 Victoria police officers oversaw several angry and loud debates, as people chanting “Hey hey ho ho, Lisa Helps has got to go” were drowned out by another faction singing “Hey hey ho ho, white supremacists have got to go.”

Placards read, “We’re not erasing history, we are making it,” while others were along the lines of “Sir John A. you’re OK.”...
More, here: ... -city-hall

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