Krista D’Amour Flute, from Media Co-op
Akadanakwig-Katarokwi (Kingston YGK) has a strong history being conservative, proudly colonial and over run with colonial institutions. It also has a strong history or anti-capitalist / anti-colonial opposition. When local Indigenous Rights people promised “celebrations of colonialism will be opposed” the strong activist community here drew together with their many and various allies to work beyond groups and bring that promise to a strong reality,
As The City of Kingston’s “Red and White Parade” walked down princess street from Princess and Barrie, 50 of Akadanakwig-Katarokwi’s anti-colonial supporters marched down King and up Princess. Dressed in black, (some Indigenous people in ribbon skirts, one in hide regalia), the friendly crew chanted “solidarity with Native Autonomy”, “Canada is genocide, Canada is land theft”, and “whose streets, our streets”. The march was accompanied by banners and a giant (four person) Trudeau puppet with a black oil snake (pipeline) coming out of his mouth. Many bystanders waved, gave thanks and accepted handouts about the action and issues. It was an incredible reception and very uplifting, like we were what they had gathered there for. The handouts included paper flags with matches reading “Burn this flag”, a flyer, and two zines by a local Indigenous writers group, one on decolonization and the other (mini zine) addressing reasons why people are opposing colonialism across the land (and not just in ygk this year).
The mood and crowd reaction shifted between Bagot and Montreal on Princess as cops confronted anti-colonialist marchers. The cops aggressively tried to stop the anti-colonialists with their motorbikes, horse, bicycles and cars. Skillfully the marchers stepped out and around this display of the colonial police state. Cops attempted to scare off the action with threats of arrest, but the marchers knew their rights, the importance of autonomy and carried on.
The aggressive cop action had a predictable influence on the crowd. What had been a friendly receptive crowd became an angry aggressive crowd (at times) in step with the cops reactions. It was clear that such colonists perceive cop aggression as unquestionably justified and responded accordingly. However there were still colonial bystanders willing to learn and both accept and and give thanks for the handouts and and chance to better understand.
An Indigenous contingent (within the anti colonial marchers) of 9 attempted to form a circle at the front of the colonizers red and white people parade. The intent being to speak to a group of 6 Women (Indigenous and white) who present themselves as Indigenous leaders, and were leading the colonial parade. The two Indigenous groups knew each other. The cops attempted to stop the two groups from interacting and refused to allow a circle to be formed. The anti colonial Indigenous group repeatedly asked the pro canada Natives (Stockholm Syndrome?) to stop and talk with them about how their actions in these settings harm those of them on the bottom still fighting and surviving direct colonial oppressions, half of the group being those fighting that survival themselves. The ringleader of the pro canada Natives instructed their contingent to just push forward, bumping into the anti-colonial Indigenous people with their bodies and scooters. The pro canada Natives flat out refused to talk or read the offered information, made rude comments, one of them summing up their group’s attitude with “we won’t talk to you”.
The aggressive cop situation continued all the way up to Princess and Clergy. Cops targeted those they saw as more vulnerable at times and at other times took whatever opportunities of supremacy they had opportunity to take. Bikes, motorcycles and a horse were used to intimidate and back up, bump or trample into. When a white female cop on a horse trampled an anti-colonial marcher the whole anti parade stopped and chanted “A horse is not a weapon” until the colonial police agent backed off. Solidarity among marchers was strong, protective and confident.
So how do Anti Colonial supporters (both Indigenous and non Indigenous) view the day? As a strong success.
- The red and white people parade was forced to share (close to) half the road with the anti Capitalist-colonialism march.
- Many people happily choose to take a flyers and handouts to learn more .
- The cops gave a textbook demonstration of a police state and the functioning of its agents.
- Everyone stood together and backed down an aggressive agent of the police state.
- Self proclaimed leaders showed why Indigenous people routinely denounce Native “leaders” as not operating within tradition or for the people but as agents of the colonial state.Hierarchy corrupts all people, always.
Revolution comes from the bottom, from the roots.
See you next year!