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Toronto Packed Dundas Square To Show Their Support For Mi'kmaq Struggle

Protester calls what's happening right now in Nova Scotia "terrorism"

Hundreds gathered in Toronto's Dundas Square late Tuesday afternoon and blocked downtown's busiest intersection to loudly show their support for the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia whose lives and livelihoods have been endangered by anti-Indigenous racism.

Dancing Star, a Mi'kmaq member of the Bear Clan from near Antigonish, N.S. who now lives in Toronto, spoke to the crowd from her mobility device.

"It's terrorism that's happening all across Canada," she said, referencing the burning of a Mi'kmaq lobster yard, pipeline-related RCMP violence against the Wet'suwet'en in B.C., among other conflicts. "It's not just in my territory."

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Drumming in Dundas Square, and dancing in the middle of the intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets made it clear this was an Indigenous-led protest to bring national attention to the Mi'kmaq's plight in the context of a national problem.

A broad cross-section of protesters peacefully blocked the intersection for about 45 minutes.

This is the latest in a string of protests going back to September, in Ottawa as well as Nova Scotia, reflecting the conflict over Mi'kmaq and non-Indigenous fishing rights. This happened just hours after the Assembly of Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq Chiefs demanded that the federal Department of Fisheries stop seizing Mi'kmaq lobster traps.

People kept their distance where they could, but the large crowd surged and moved and clustered and hugged, as crowds will.