Feature Story

The Upsurge In Global Protest


Indigenous people unite in Paris to protest UN 21st conference on climate change (COP21).

The day was December 29, 2012. People began to hear loud, rhythmic Native American drumming coming from an atrium inside of the Mall of America. Large crowds of people began to gather to see what the commotion was all about. As one got closer one could hear the continuous BOOM BOOM of drums and native chants drowning out anything else that was audible in the space. If you had come to the edge of the atrium and looked down from the railing you would have seen over a thousand people gathered on the ground level. You would have seen that in the center is where the drumming was coming from, and around them stood people clapping and singing to the rhythm. In the outer layer of the gathering, people were moving in a circular rotation around the rest of the group. This is a round dance, “flash mob” style protest, put together by the “Idle No More” indigenous rights movement from Canada to bring attention to bill C-45. This bill, among other things, relinquishes the protection that was placed on natural waterways that pass through native lands and opens the door to commercial developments on these lands without their consent. This same day and week, many similar protests happened worldwide in support of the Idle No More movement.

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