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'Cancel Canada Day' march in Vancouver draws attention to systemic racism

Last Updated Jul 1, 2020 at 9:01 pm PDT

"Cancel Canada Day" events are taking place across the country, including in Vancouver. (Courtesy Idle No More/Facebook)

A large crowd came out in the rain for a 'Cancel Canada Day' protest

A few Indigenous speakers took to the microphone to call for an end to systemic racism

Similar rallies were held across the country Wednesday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — While many people will be celebrating the country’s birthday, others will be actively demonstrating against it.

“Cancel Canada Day” marches are taking place nationwide, including Vancouver.

Coordinated by members of the Idle No More movement, organizers said they will, “not celebrate the ongoing genocide within Canada against Indigenous people.”

Instead, they said they will gather to honour all of the lives lost.

“We will use our voices for MMIWG2S, Child Welfare, Birth Alerts, Forced Sterilization, Police/RCMP brutality and all of the injustices we face,” reads a post on the event’s Facebook page.

The crowd listened to speakers from first nations communities, as they talked about their encounters with racism and Canada’s dark history with Indigenous people.

“This is what resilience looks like. We’re still here. This is what strong Indigenous people look like,” one speaker said.

Another speaker told the crowd, Wednesday’s protest is also for future generations.

“Because what kind of world are they going to grow up in? We don’t do nothing. That’s why we’re here. And that’s why we’re standing together.”

A large crowd braved the rain at the Vancouver Art Gallery but organizers asked for anyone attending to wear face masks, stay two metres apart, and respect physical distancing.

Idle No More also posted a live broadcast around the same time with live feeds across Canada.