Author: marty grande-sherbert | Contributor
Why students need to keep a closer eye on Regina activism
I find it disconcerting that a Facebook event was the first thing that led me to the Colonialism No More occupation in Regina. Before I even heard about the camp outside the INAC Regina office – incredible ignorance on my part, as at the time the camp had been going strong for over 80 days – the thing that drew me to it was the promise that the activist performance group, The Beehive Collective, would be performing at the campsite.
The Collective had come to the University selling books months before. I was amazed at the intricate and educational stories they told with their enormous graphics (which took almost a decade for them to complete) about the true stories of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist resistance in Central America. Afterward, the hip-hop work of Test Their Logik literally had the group yelling “WHAT THE F*CK” at the top of our lungs into the open sky, as a call to release our frustrations about what our society has done to damage the Earth and its people.
It was a highly fulfilling event, and I was sad for those who were not there to see it. What made it truly special, though, was the knowledge that it was a concert unique to the Colonialism No More movement. The concert had come to many venues, but it was performed there for a dedicated group of people who offered their food, shade, and friendliness to newcomers like me. A sign in the camp serenely said, “We share our food with those who share their time,” and another politely asked visitors to help with dishes and clean up.
The ideals of solidarity and cooperation that we gathered around at the concert were being upheld in that same space.
As I write this, the camp is on day 93 of their occupation. They are facing a threat of eviction from their space as its landowner may file to remove them. The demands of Colonialism No More are reiterations of the things indigenous peoples in Canada have been calling for generations: a return to the true spirit of the Treaties, and public and direct attention to the issues facing indigenous people like unclean water, housing crises, under-funding of education, and racist violence.
To support them, the first and easiest thing you can do is like their Facebook page, “Colonialism No More Regina Solidarity Camp.” Then, visit the camp yourself at 1827 Albert Street. People of all ages, some still in high school, are giving their time to sit and talk while they make themselves a presence. 93 days is an astounding time to occupy a space, and this community is truly powerful. This is where the struggle for justice is in your city!