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Idle No More flash dance brings more than 1,000 protesters to Mall of America [VIDEO]

Idle No More protests like the one at MOA Saturday are a response to the Canadian government's effort to abrogate treaties signed with Native communities.
Idle No More protests like the one at MOA Saturday are a response to the Canadian government's effort to abrogate treaties signed with Native communities.

Shoppers at the Mall of America on Saturday evening got more entertainment than they bargained for, as the mall's eastern rotunda was packed with more than 1,000 people, including hundreds of Native Americans, for an Idle No More protest flash dance.

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The Idle No More movement began earlier this month in Canada as a response to the conservative government's effort to allow the sale of land originally set aside for indigenous people, but has since spread to America and Mexico. A smaller-scale protest dance in the IDS Center's Crystal Court on Christmas Eve resulted in the controversial arrest of American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt. Bellecourt was also in attendance at the Mall of America on Saturday.

"We have to look out for our own -- what happens in Canada happens here and what happens here happens in Canada," Bellecourt said on Saturday, according to a WCCO report.

Over 700 people RSVP'd for the MOA protest dance on Facebook, the Twin Cities Daily Planet reports, and more than that showed, with shoppers on the second- and third-floor balconies crammed around a railing to film the action below.

Here's video footage shot near the drum circle:

And here's a video capturing how things looked and sounded from the balcony:

In an interview with the Planet, one of the organizer's of Saturday's protest, Mesha Camp, characterized the dance circle as a form of "non-violent action" that's especially effective because "It speaks to youth, helps them to get involved, and look at what's happening."

"What better way than with our songs?" Camp added.


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