On August 15th anti-racist organizers in Halifax held a rally against white supremacy following racist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.
Chief Grizzly Mama spoke to a crowd of 200 at Halifax’s anti-white supremacy rally on Tuesday.
The events in Charlottesville were a horrifying display of the violence of racism. White supremacists gathered to protest the removal of a statue of confederate Robert E. Lee, carried burning camp torches, and imitated Nazi rallies of the early 1930s. There were counter protests calling for the removal of the statue and the condemnation of white supremacy. During that counter-protest, a white male drove a car through the crowd, killing one woman, Heather Heyer, and injuring 18 other people.
Organizers in Halifax drew the obvious link between the confederate statue in Charlottesville and the statue celebrating Edward Cornwallis, the once governor of Nova Scotia who ordered a bounty on the scalps of Mi’kmaq people. Mi’kmaq author and historian Daniel Paul, and many others, have been calling for Halifax regional council and Mayor Mike Savage to remove the statue for decades, and that call was only strengthened in the recent months.
On July 1 a mourning ceremony was held at the Cornwallis statue, and on July 15 a ceremony was held to remove the spirit of Cornwallis from the park. Both of these events were interrupted by racist detractors. These interruptions bolster the argument that statues like Cornwallis and Lee are flashpoints for violent racism, and lend to the argument that these statues must be removed swiftly to avoid racist violence.
The Council of Canadians supports the removal of the Cornwallis statue and the demands made by Indigenous activists to have the statue removed by October 1 2017.