And so you might be wondering through it all, did Chief Spence lose weight on this hunger strike, or didn't she? Well, she'll never tell, but discrediting minds want to know. And it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to derail a serious discussion in this country. All it takes is suspicion that your liquid diet was prepared for you by Lance Armstrong for the credibility of an entire issue to be tossed out.
So let me it recap it for you, as free from nuance as I can manage: Children in Canada are living in the kind of squalor that would lead a Martian to think that they've landed in the slums of Haiti, except that it's minus 30 and the water isn't as safe to drink. So Idle No More is a grass roots movement for good reason. It's less concerned with assigning blame - because leadership on ALL sides have some serious responsibility to bear - and more concerned with the actual despair that's being suffered. They're Idle No More because enough is enough. If government leaders had to live in Attawapiskat, I think they'd be pretty motivated to find some solutions. Or at least a process that's actually processing something and not just existing because, you know, it would be a shame to let all that letterhead go to waste.
When the Idle No More movement started picking up steam, I was excited to see that SOMEone was standing up to Stephen Harper and his omnibus, let me stick whatever I can into this fat, unwieldy, I can hide whatever I want in this thing, bill. And while I'm deeply offended at the slow-erosion of a socially progressive Canada that used to be so much of the country's identity, I'm also not living in the aforementioned squalor, so my effrontery has been limited to a Woody Allen-esque brand of kvetching to whoever would put up with the nuisance, and I'm now banned from the number 10 bus in Vancouver, so thank you Stephen Harper. (I mean, y'know, it's just one more thing...)
So Idle No More starts as a response to Bill C-45, stuffed like a pinata with rotten candy, that affects environmental protection laws, which in turn affect waterways that pass through First Nation reserves, that ultimately affect the path of certain pipelines....Huuuh, ...are ya with me here?... It's just one more say in how First Nations govern their land that Harpersaurus wants to get rid of.
So when Idle No More started as a response to that, well, I was glad that something a little more forceful than idle rants on the bus was starting to unfold.
And it looks like a lot of non-natives felt the same way, because it didn't take long before support grew and other Canadians got on board with the protests. And while they're likely amenable to First Nations' concerns, I think what's giving it momentum is a lot of bunched-up anger that's been looking for an outlet. So I think it's perfectly appropriate to have an omnibus protest for an omnibus bill.
Feminist groups that find themselves fighting long dead issues that have risen again like they're part of the conservative zombie apocalypse; Social Justice groups, and environmentalists have all been slapped in the face. It's like Harper can smugly dare us to do anything because it's against our polite natures to fight back. Hey, “polite no more”. Hm. I kinda like it. Do you?
For the video version for the Vancouver Review, follow this link: