by Gary McHale - the Regional
April 22, 2009
On Friday April 17, 2009 members of CANACE met with the OPP in Cayuga to negotiate an agreement to allow the rally on May 10 to raise a Canadian Flag. We attended this meeting hoping that the OPP had come to realize that all people regardless of their race have certain rights as guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution. We were quickly disappointed.
Insp. McLean read out a prepared statement that included the idea that all people in Canada have rights but then informed us that any attempt to raise a flag near DCE was a breach of the peace.
The OPP did agree that they had in the past provided a police escort for Native Protesters as they walked down the middle of the road but that they were unwilling to do the same for non-Natives. Insp. McLean informed us that OPP intelligence reports stated that 'radical elements' from Six Nations and 'others' would respond to any attempt to raise a Canadian Flag.
Insp. McLean then suggested to Merlyn Kinrade that we simply go out in the middle of the night and raise a flag across from DCE - we were shocked. Can you imagine if we took his counsel and went out at midnight and secretly attempted to raise a flag and the OPP caught us? They would immediately issue a press release claiming to have proof we knowingly were breaking the law, inciting violence and breaching the peace.
We are not about to accept Insp. McLean's counsel and we have asked Supt. Gentle whether it is the official policy of the OPP to counsel people to do something that could result in their arrest.
Maybe the OPP were simply trying to entrap CANACE into following this foolish advice so they could arrest us in the middle of the night. After all they did falsify evidence back in Dec. 2006 when they claimed the Baptist Church phoned in a trespassing complaint against Bo Chausse. We also have proof that for two weeks after Bo's arrest the OPP held meetings to conspire to arrest me and hold me in jail on Dec. 16, 2006. On that day they arrested Mark Vandermaas and myself because we entered a no-go zone along Argyle St. in front of DCE which restricted non-Natives from being there. It appears the OPP believe they can enact zones saying 'no whites allowed' - if so, is the public safe against a 'no Jew allowed' zone if some white supremacist group threatens to beat up Jewish people?
Commissioner Fantino, in his legal reply to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, stated that we were prevented from raising flags on Dec. 16 - and again on Jan 20/07 - because we had become targets of an ‘extreme element' who did not share our views. His shocking statement suggests that a small group of radical Native protesters are controlling the OPP to the point of causing them to deny non-Native people their rights.
On Dec. 17, 2006 the OPP forced me into Hamilton court and it was assistant crown attorney Andrew Goodman who handled the case. In an OPP report it states the following, 'There was little documentation and Goodman was asked to speak to somebody at the Cayuga detachment. Goodman came to the conclusion very quickly that McHale ought to have been released...'
This same report shows that Mr. Goodman told the OPP a few times the day before that they had no legal authority to hold me in jail. Mr. Goodman has since provided me with an official statement which was entered as evidence in my defence back in Oct. 2008. In his statement he says, "There were some strong views provided to me suggesting that the Crown take a certain course of action which I did not feel was appropriate." Of course, the OPP refused to release me until a judge ordered them to do so.
When Mr. Goodman refused to comply with OPP demands to take me before the court they attempted to pressure him into laying a mischief charge against me. Mr. Goodman stated, "I advised the OPP members that it is the police who lay charges if they have the reasonable and probable grounds to do so, and they had not done so in this case." The OPP wanted the Crown to do their dirty work of laying a false charge against me. Mr. Goodman correctly understood this was 'inappropriate'.
Of course what the OPP is truly trying to do by suggesting we raise a flag at night is to get the public to stop focusing on their unwillingness to enforce the laws, and equally uphold Charter rights. It had never been my view to raise a flag simply to prove you can raise a flag. Any idiot can sneak around at night and put up a flag - that is just being childish.
The point of the Flag Raising Events is to expose the complete unwillingness of the OPP to uphold the Charter of Rights and Supreme Court Rulings. Putting up a flag at night is easy but getting the OPP to obey the laws of Canada in the light of day has already been a three year battle.
Forty years ago Martin Luther King Jr. travelled to Montgomery, Alabama to walk down a road to prove that Black people had rights. The police, politicians and church leaders publicly denounced Dr. King as an 'outsider' and someone who incited 'hatred' and 'violence' and who was also refusing to give 'negotiation' a chance. Dr. King was repeatedly arrested and publicly defamed by the police.
Who would now say Dr. King was wrong to insist on equal rights for all? Who would now claim that the police had the legal right to arrest him because racist ‘extreme elements' were willing to attack him?
There can be no doubt that today there is a Black President because Dr. King refused to end his peaceful marches. Dr. King had a dream that one day people would not be judged because of the colour of their skin. In the USA a Black man has become the president.
While in Ontario non-Natives cannot raise a Canadian Flag.
Whether it is hatred by the KKK against Blacks or hatred by 'extreme elements' from Six Nations, the police should never arrest the victims in order to appease the extremists. The police and public must denounce the extremists who resort to violence but support those who, through peaceful means, confront injustice.
What sort of Canada do you want for your children - one ruled by thugs or one ruled by laws?
The only solution is for the average person to stand up as Dr. King did and simply walk down a road and by doing so you are demanding equality. As Dr. King stated once from jail that we do not negotiate to get our freedoms and our rights. Equality is non-negotiable.
Join us on Sunday May 10 at 1:30 pm at the Lion's Hall for speeches and then a March against racist OPP policies. We will raise a Canadian flag as a symbol of Equality.
As always the choice is in the hands of the OPP to either start obeying the laws of Canada or continue violating the rights of non-Native people. We hope they make the correct choice.