According to reports, Canadian activists have pulled down a statue of the nation’s first prime minister, whose policies were linked with the deaths of many indigenous people.
Canadian broadcaster CBC reported, “A leaflet distributed at the protest described MacDonald as “a white supremacist who orchestrated the genocide of Indigenous peoples with the creation of the brutal residential schools system.” As of now, no arrests have been made.
Protestors can be seen in a video pulling down the statue of Sir John A MacDonald, the figure’s head breaks down and bounces on the paving stones.
According to the BBC, A video showed the moment that protesters were able to pull down the statue of Sir John A MacDonald, with his head bouncing off after the statue hit the ground. A protester than posed for a photo with the head.
A leaflet distributed at the protest described MacDonald as “a white supremacist who orchestrated the genocide of Indigenous peoples with the creation of the brutal residential schools system,” according to Canadian broadcaster CBC. No arrests have been made.
“Destroying parts of our history is not the solution,” Quebec’s Premier François Legault said, further condemning the action as “unacceptable.”
“Whatever one might think of John A. MacDonald, destroying a monument in this way is unacceptable,” Legault wrote on Twitter. “We must fight racism, but destroying parts of our history is not the solution. Vandalism has no place in our democracy and the statue must be restored.”
Quoique l’on puisse penser de John A. MacDonald, détruire un monument ainsi est inacceptable.
Il faut combattre le racisme, mais saccager des pans de notre histoire n’est pas la solution.
Le vandalisme n’a pas sa place dans notre démocratie et la statue doit être restaurée.— François Legault (@francoislegault) August 29, 2020
The removal of the figure came at the culmination of a 200-strong protest that started as a call for changes to the city’s police funding, according to the local newspaper the Montreal Gazette.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the police accompanied the protesters but didn’t intervene at the statue’s removal.
The group has called for the removal of all “Statues, Plaques and emblems” connected to those who have promoted racism in a statement on the group’s Facebook page.
The statement read, “Statement of hate encourages the mental oppression of marginalized people and serve as reminders to all people of the inequitable imbalance of power and encourage white supremacist attitudes.”
The recent shift in MacDonald’s standing, particularly in response to the global protests following George Floyd’s death, has led Scotland to “disowning him,” according to the BBC. Mentions of the Glasgow-born politician have been removed from Scotland.org sites.
In a statement, the Scottish National Party-led government confirmed it had removed articles on Sir John A Macdonald from the websites “following the legitimate concerns raised by Canadian indigenous communities about his legacy.”
John A. MacDonald was among the founding fathers of the country and the first prime minister of the country. He helped build the Canadian nation and create the residential school system.
His nation-building policies included the forced removal of at least 150,000 indigenous children from their homes and inclusion in state-funded boarding schools.
The policy enforced assimilation, with students banned from speaking their own language or practicing more explicit elements of their culture. Many of those children were supposedly abused, with some dying.
MacDonald is accused of capitalizing on a famine to drive Indigenous people into reservations. He also founded the Indian Residential Schools system, a project that forcibly removed children from their parents.
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