Hundreds of people gathered outside Victoria’s City Hall Saturday afternoon following the removal of the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald.
There was a wide representation of people, spanning from those part of the Indigenous Solidarity Working Group, to those associated with vigilante group, Soldiers of Odin.
Repeatedly, chants of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, white supremacy’s got to go!” rang through the crowd as a megaphone was passed around.
While some people tried to shout over one another, others engaged in thoughtful dialouge with each other on politics, history and race.
Those in support were happy to see the statue of a key figure in the creation of residential schools removed, while those in protest felt there wasn’t enough discussion about the decision to remove the statue and that Macdonald’s role in the development of Canada was important.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps – who was not in attendance – was not surprised about the protest, but noted that from here going forward a “wider discussion” would be made to the public about further steps towards reconciliation.
“One of the principles of engagement is you engage on sensitive issues with the most affected people, which we’ve been doing for the past year,” Helps said. “Now that this act has taken place, there’s room for a wider conversation… I think the City Family and council is ready to have a more robust conversation, asking ‘how do we reconcile?’”
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