Winnipeg protests cause traffic interruptions on day of Harper’s meeting with First Nation leaders
Published Friday, January 11, 2013 12:23PM CST
Last Updated Friday, January 11, 2013 6:24PM CST
A number of protests caused traffic interruptions and road closures across Winnipeg Friday.
Six Idle No More demonstrations saw hundreds brave harsh weather to gather at a number of locations across the city.
An afternoon protest scheduled for the University of Winnipeg forced police to issue a warning to motorists to avoid Portage Avenue and Spence Street.
Though the protests caused some delays, some motorists were supportive of the cause.
"It is an inconvenience but a small inconvenience for what these people have gone through in their lives,” said Brian Cyncora, who was delayed by the protests.
Demonstrators were not only from First Nations communities. Several students from the Canadian Mennonite University turned up in support of the movement.
"We want to be supportive of the Idle No More movement and hold the government to account for they way that they are treating people,” said Matt Dueck, a student who demonstrated Friday.
Demonstrations were planned at a number of locations, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the legislative building.
A round-dance at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights saw more than 100 protesters block Waterfront Drive in front of the museum, forcing motorists to be rerouted to Main Street and Provencher Boulevard.
Political analyst Chris Adams said the large turnout on a day when weather made it difficult for demonstrators to remain outside could mean the movement would continue to gain ground.
"I would expect that if there were large crowds on a stormy day, then on good weather days, as issues continue to percolate, we'll see large crowds,” said political analyst Chris Adams.
The protests came on the same day Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with First Nations leaders in Ottawa. Major protests were held on Parliament Hill ahead of the meeting, with demonstrators blocking the entrance to the Prime Minister’s office.