A pow-wow-style Idle No More demonstration, planned for the Bay Centre on Saturday, has been moved after it was found to clash with a wedding show — and a real wedding.
Social media sites lit up Wednesday after the non-profit group Just Love Animals Society, which is benefiting from proceeds of the show, asked that management of the Bay Centre and Victoria police move in if the Idle No More demonstration went ahead.
On Idle No More Facebook pages, some commentators said issues such as clean water and the environment are more important than shopping, while others did not want to provoke confrontation.
Early Wednesday evening, organizer James Taylor posted that the demonstration will be moved to Centennial Square.
“The last thing I wanted was for people to get harassed, get racially profiled or get into trouble,” he wrote.
“We, as peaceful warriors, pick our fights and this fight is not what we need.”
The task at hand is to get the Harper government’s omnibus bills C-38 and C-45 repealed, not to have a confrontation with the Bay Centre, Taylor wrote in the post.
“[The] Creator knows how the Hudson Bay Company has treated our people for 300 years already,” he wrote.
“I do not want this to become negative. I do not want people to get into trouble. What I do envision is a peaceful celebration of culture.”
Darlene Hollstein, Bay Centre general manager, said the conflict between Idle No More and the Modern Bride Show could have been a public safety issue.
“With the wedding event [the building] was already at capacity and we would never have agreed to a conflicting event,” she said.
Apart from those attracted by the wedding show events, a couple of hundred guests have been invited to an actual wedding taking place during the show, Hollstein said.
“It would have been terribly disruptive if another group barged in.”
Idle No More held a previous demonstration at the Bay Centre and, although no advance permission was given, it did not conflict with any other events and did not cause problems, Hollstein said.
Victoria police were aware of the potential problem at the Bay Centre, said Const. Mike Russell before the decision was made to move the demonstration.
Police must balance the rights of protesters with those of people earning a living, Russell said.
“And, on any day, our job is to keep order,” he said.
© Copyright 2013