Activists topple statue of 1st Canadian PM

Ottawa: Activists in Montreal have toppled a statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. MacDonald, who was linked to policies that killed many indigenous people in the late 19th Century, media reports said.

Video captured the moment the statue’s head flew off and bounced on the pavement nearby, the BBC reported.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault condemned the incident as “unacceptable”.

“We must fight racism, but destroying parts of our history is not the solution. Vandalism has no place in our democracy and the statue must be restored,” the premier tweeted.

A leaflet distributed at a protest described MacDonald as “a white supremacist who orchestrated the genocide of Indigenous peoples with the creation of the brutal residential schools system”, according to Canadian broadcaster CBC.

MacDonald was Prime Minister for 19 years in the 1860s-1890s and is remembered for his nation-building policies but he also created the residential schools system, said the BBC report.

For more than a century, the system forcibly removed at least 150,000 indigenous children from their homes and sent them to state-funded boarding schools.

Many children were abused and some died, and they were forbidden from speaking their own language or practising their culture.

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