GUELPH–On that day of nationalist garbage, so-called Canada Day, around 20 anti-capitalist supporters of indigenous sovereignty, led by radical members of the indigenous community, gathered in the city’s St. George’s Square to confront colonialism and reject the spectacle of the day.
While the event was scheduled some time in advance, speakers centered and echoed the call from Six Nations for Justice for Jon Styers–along side Colten Boushie, Tina Fontaine, and countless other victims of the colonial state’s violence. Following speeches centered on anti-capitalism and dismantling the colonial state, a short march was held in spite of minor harassment from nationalists.
All in all, those present and those who came by to ask genuine questions or express passing support took the moment to build community–using this as a moment to come together in resistance of Canada. The call echoed out loud and clear that day: End Canada, Free Turtle Island.
Statement from Confront Canada Day! Rally Organizers to the Settlers of Guelph:
Every year on July First we are expected to celebrate the anniversary of Canada’s “Independence”, celebrate the supposed “greatness” of this “peacekeeping” “progressive” country. But for too long have the Original Nations of this land suffered at the hands of the Canadian state for there to be anything worth celebrating about. The government claims to care, weeping crocodile tears from fake guilt, never keeping their promises to Native people that they will earnestly seek to reconcile with the they genocide waged. This is not unlike every other settler colonial state on this land, which we too denounce. In Canada, the police tear down our camps of protest to make way for settler celebrations of building their colonial state as an outgrowth of the British Empire. Blind patriotism, ignorance, liberalism, white supremacy—these are all the fuel behind this national holiday. As Indigenous people, racialized people, poor people, LGBT+ people, migrants—what have we to be patriotic about? Why do we celebrate the oppressive, capitalist, settler colonial state of Canada? What has this country done for us that we did not have to fight tooth and nail for in order to be merely placated? This country claims to be great, despite its institutions being built through the genocide of Indigenous people, the exploitation of the poor and working class, imperialism abroad, the abuse of immigrants fleeing from said imperialism—these are just a few examples. We must reject the idea that this settler colonial state will ever truly reconcile with Indigenous people. We owe nothing to this state and its government, and we must continue to fight for our liberation. Now is the time to question your patriotism, question what you have been taught by colonialism, and reject Canada Day! Stand with Indigenous people, and all those others mentioned that are oppressed by this state. Until we have justice for all our murdered Indigenous comrades, until we have sovereignty for our Nations, until the suffering of Indigenous people ends and we can heal, there is no reason for any celebration. There is nothing to be smug about!
Reject Canada Day and Confront Colonialism!