Joani Glendale sang her heart out.
For close to three hours Saturday, the Idle No More protester joined with about 250 others in a peaceful rally at Mayfair Shopping Centre.
Glendale sang and drummed and danced to bring attention to the grassroots movement that says it wants to stop the Conservative government “from passing more laws and legislation that will further erode treaty and indigenous rights and the rights of all Canadians.”
Some shoppers, who had only seen Idle No More on TV, appeared to enjoy the event.
Anthony Metz had no idea there would be a protest at the mall. He hoisted his daughter Sophia onto his shoulders to get a better look.
“In person, it’s pretty powerful,” Metz said. “It’s easier to connect when you can see it in person. People are enjoying it. It’s more like a show.”
The movement also has a focus on environmental issues. Cowichan Tribes member Bernice Edwards said people had come from all over Vancouver Island to rally against the federal government’s Bill C-45 and Bill C-38. The omnibus bills contain changes to more than 90 laws, including the Navigable Waters Protection Act, Fisheries Act and Environmental Assessment Act.
“We want to get our word out and to gain support in a positive way and to gain some allies with Canadian people,” Edwards said. “We’re not here to hurt anybody.”
Police did not expect any problems and there were none, said Victoria Police Sgt. Jason Laidman. “Everyone respected each other.”
Another protest is planned for Saturday at Victoria City Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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