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Spence to continue hunger strike; Idle No More grows

OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS1130) – A rep for Theresa Spence says the Attawapiskat chief will continue to forgo solid food.  She has been on a diet of fish broth and medicinal tea for the past month.  Spence attended a ceremonial meeting with Governor General David Johnston earlier on Friday.

Her health is said to be in poor condition.  She is also said to be tired, weak and suffering from stomach cramps.

Her presence fueled speculation that she’d finish her protest, which was initially started to help secure a meeting between First Nations leaders and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Both meetings happened on Friday, but in separate venues and at different times.

Locally, hundreds of people gathered in two Vancouver locations as part of the Idle No More movement.  The first gathering was on the lawn of City Hall.

Many people held signs that expressed frustration against the federal government and major corporations like Enbridge.  The event wasn’t all about frustrations, though. Protesters talked about a sense of pride that has grown along with the movement.

The second Idle No More protest was held at the intersection of Burrard and Robson Streets.  Hundreds of people poured into the intersection, blocking traffic for a half hour.  Organizers say the protests will continue until Bill C-45 is dead.  That’s the new law that changes aspects of environmental protection.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo warns these grassroots events could get ugly if nothing is accomplished.

“If we don’t find that Canadians are joining us and seeking to do the hard work of reconciliation, I am concerned about the safety of our people. I am concerned about the well-being, especially of our most vulnerable,” says Atleo.

News1130 hit the streets of Vancouver to find out if the message of Idle No More was getting through.  Nearly two-thirds of the people we talked to had no idea what it was or what the demands of First Nations Leaders were.