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Idle No More Protesters Accuse Calgary Sun Newspaper Of Racism


The Calgary Sun found itself in the difficult position of being the newsmaker when Idle No More protesters staged a demonstration to accuse the publication of racism.

The protest, themed the Death of Racism, saw approximately 100 people march in a funeral-like procession outside the newspaper's northeast offices on Sunday, complete with a Grim Reaper costume and a headstone that read 'R.I.P. RACISM Jan 13, 2013'.

The demonstrators gathered to protest the comments and polls being published by the paper, which they say stir "the hate pot," the event's organizer, Gemini Award-winning actress Michelle Thrush, told 660 News.

"I just got really tired of seeing the comments that are being given permission by certain media outlets, and the polls that are are taking place that are encouraging racism and that are giving brand new permission to stir up the hate pot,” she said.


First Nations Accuse Calgary Sun Of Racism

In an editorial Monday morning, the paper fired back, saying that just because columnists on its pages may see some of the issues differently, it does not make the publication racist, and it went on to defend the discussions that go on its comments boards as a way of allowing "readers to engage in lively real-time debates.

"Yes, there is a tiny minority among the thousands of people who post comments on our website who can best be described in words not suitable for a family newspaper. Because comments can be posted directly, without vetting or moderation, they occasionally contain offensive, hateful and yes, racist material.

"It’s a problem every media outlet in the city faces."


Meanwhile, more than 2,000 demonstrators took part in a flash mob at West Edmonton Mall Sunday afternoon, which included dancers, drummers and banners, according to the Edmonton Journal.

The protesters, which were joined by First Nations members from neighbouring provinces and as far away as California, gathered to protest Bill C-45 and what aboriginal communities say is its threat of Canada's water resources, organizer Conway Kootenay from the Alexander First Nation told the Journal.

Demonstrator Georgina Lightning said she hopes the movement can overthrow Bill C-45 so it can be dissected and redrawn.

“It’s the largest piece of legislation to ever pass in the history of Canada. And it was so fast-tracked, there was no time to really dissect each piece of the bill and decide on each piece instead of an entirety,” demonstrator Georgina Lightning told the Edmonton Sun.

Lightning also took issue with amendments to the bill that loosen the protection of waterways across Canada, she told the Sun.

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