Idle No More protesters fill Waterfront Station
Idle No More protesters filled Vancouver's Waterfront Station on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to draw more attention to their concerns.
While the protest made it difficult for people to move through the busy transit hub, the protesters did not block access or stop any transit vehicles at the station. The protest wrapped up by 4 p.m. PT.
The protesters, who are part of a loosely-organized nationwide First Nations movement, are attempting to draw attention to conditions on native reserves and federal legislation that they say violates treaty rights and weakens environmental legislation.
The protests have also been linked to the 23-day hunger strike by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence in Ottawa, who is demanding to speak with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about native concerns.
Meanwhile the president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says he will be joining Idle No More protesters at a rally at the Peace Arch border crossing on Saturday.
Chief Stewart Phillip says he hopes the grassroots movement will continue to gain momentum as it protests soaring poverty rates in aboriginal communities.
"Clearly it's about social justice, it's about human rights and human dignity and in many ways it's a protest against the Harper government selling out the democratic and environmental values of all people in this country on the altar of big oil, big industry and Harper's obsession of becoming an energy power in the world context," he said.
Idle No More leaders say more protests are moving toward civil disobedience, though calls for blockades have not been endorsed by organizers.