Earlier this evening, Montreal police took down and destroyed a tipi that activists had set up as part of the Idle No More Global Day of Action. According to witnesses, police did not attempt any negotiations and moved into the camp, pushing aside a group of Aboriginal women who had surrounded the tipi.
“It was one of the most random and arbitrary attacks on an extremely peaceful event that I have seen,” said protester Katie Nelson, “nevermind disrespectful and extremely insensitive to First Nations.”
In the following audio clip recorded by Nelson, SPVM officer Arruda claims that they are afraid the event would turn into another Occupy Montreal and asks “do you think the City of Montreal cares…” without finishing his question.
While the irony of equating native protesters to occupiers when non-Aboriginals are in fact the ones that have been doing the occupying for centuries seems lost on Arruda, the question he never finished is one we should be asking. Does the city or moreover the people in it care about the First Nations and how the police behave at demonstrations? We can only hope so.
Give it a listen:
* Photo by Katie Nelson via Twitter