‘Idle No More’ Halts Traffic at Portage and Main

By David Klassen

Protesters hold up a sign at Portage and Main as part of the Idle No More movement in Winnipeg on Monday, December 31, 2012. (TED GRANT / CHRISD.CA)
Protesters gather in downtown Winnipeg as part of the Idle No More movement on Monday. (TED GRANT / CHRISD.CA)

Hundreds of protesters assembled at Portage and Main shortly before 3 p.m. on Monday as part of the Idle No More movement.

What began as a rally on the side of the cement barriers that prevent pedestrians from crossing at the busy intersection soon spilled into the streets, forcing Winnipeg police to stop traffic in all directions as a safety precaution.

The group held a round dance and drumming ceremony in the centre of the intersection for about 20 minutes before moving north on Main toward Thunderbird House, where an event was scheduled for 4 p.m.

The nationwide movement is in protest of the federal Bill C-45 and First Nation treaty rights.

Social media has helped demonstrators organize themselves to hold peaceful rallies for the last several weeks in cities across Canada.