Statue of Queen Victoria overthrown by protesters in Canada

A statue of Queen Victoria has been brought down in Canada amid growing anger over the discovery of the unidentified graves of Aboriginal children.

A group meeting in Manitoba’s legislature demolished the statue on Canada Day – an annual celebration on July 1 marking the country’s union.

The group members, who wore orange T-shirts in honor of Aboriginal children sent to the country’s notorious residential schools, covered the statue and its base with red hand prints and left a sign that read «We were kids once. Bring them home.»

A smaller statue of Queen Elizabeth II was also brought down on the east side of the grounds. Both members of the royal family are seen as representing the colonial history of the country.

At least 150,000 Aboriginal children have been taken from their families to attend school over a century as part of the government’s drive to forcibly assimilate children into Canadian society.

The Lower Kootenay squad announced Thursday that they have discovered 182 human remains in unmarked graves at a former residential school – the latest in a string of shocking discoveries that have shocked the country.

Recent discoveries have previously led to calls from Aboriginal groups not to celebrate Canada Day.

We will not celebrate stolen Aboriginal lands and stolen Aboriginal spirits. Instead, we will come together to honor all the lives lost in the Canadian state,” said the Idle No More group, which has called for national rallies in support of Indigenous communities.

In Ottawa, thousands gathered at Parliament House for a «Canada Day» rally, chanting «Shame on Canada» and «Bring them home.»

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged the sombre tone of the federal holiday taken this year, an event typically marked by fireworks, picnics and downtown parties.

“The horrific findings of the remains of hundreds of children on former boarding school sites in British Columbia and Saskatchewan have rightly led us to reflect on the historical failures of our country, and the grievances that persist for Indigenous peoples and many others in Canada,” he said in a statement. ourselves about our past.»

And Calgary police announced Thursday that 10 churches in the city were vandalized overnight with orange and red paint. Someone’s window had just been smashed so paint could be thrown inside. Police say hand-painted fingerprints and the number «215» – a reference to the first discovery of unmarked graves by Tk’emlúps te Secwepem in late May – indicate the vandalism was linked to anger over unmarked graves.

Demonstrators increasingly targeted historical figures who were complicit in the creation and operation of the schools, which lasted for more than a century.

Last month, protesters removed the Egerton Ryerson statue in Toronto. A prominent figure, Ryerson is widely seen as the architect of the country’s residential school system. – guardian

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