Hundreds of people gathered outside of Victoria’s City Hall on Saturday afternoon after the removal of a contentious 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 extremist vigilante group, The 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 carried thoughtful conversations with each other.
Those in support were happy to see a the statue of a key figure in the spread of residential schools removed, while those in protest believed that there wasn’t enough discussion about the process, and that Macdonald’s role in the development of Canada was also important.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who did not attend the protest, was not surprised about the protest, but noted that from here on out 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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