by Gary McHale
Regional News - July 15, 2009
I have often wondered if what I am writing here would ever be printed. Would Caledonia still exist now that a Canadian Flag flies across from DCE? Would I wake up Monday to the news that Caledonia is just one large pit of destruction? For over 2 years the OPP has acted as if all hell would break loose if someone raised a Canadian Flag.
The OPP spent close to $1 million dollars of your hard earned money to stop a single Canadian Flag. No expense was spared to stop the interloping outsider who had his own agenda. The London riot squad, helicopters and hundreds of officers would line up as a show of force to intimidate residents who may be thinking about speaking out.
This past Sunday was the final Flag Raising Event organized by any CANACE member. I am sure that will make many people happy for many different reasons. Now that the goal of why these events were being held has been accomplished there is no reason to continue them. So what has been accomplished and at what price?
First we need to see what was at stake. Can the police or government merely remove individual Rights and Freedoms for political reasons? Can the OPP and McGuinty Government determine that certain people do not have Rights merely based on their skin colour or their race? Can the OPP use the power and authority given them in a democratic society to intimidate, threaten and force individuals to submit to their Race Based Policies? What was at stake were the very values that are fundamental to all true democracies.
Our message was crystal clear, that we would never give up and never surrender our Rights and Freedoms so that the OPP could appease any group. The last thing the OPP wanted was to allow us the Right to put up a flag. According to the OPP Native Protesters repeatedly threatened violence. Over the past 3 years the repeated acts of violence had caused the OPP to remove the individual rights of the residents of Caledonia to appease the occupiers. When the OPP was faced with dealing with our peaceful protests and the violent threats by Native Protesters the OPP repeatedly opted to arrest the peaceful citizens instead of the violent thugs.
Here is a small list of what we have accomplished by the Flag Raising Events.
1) Repeatedly exposed OPP Race Based Policing Policies for all Canadians to see.
2) Sent a powerful message that non-natives will no longer submit to these policies.
3) Demonstrated that true Peaceful Protests will change government policies.
4) Non-natives do not have to live in fear of the threat of violence.
5) Non-natives do not have to submit to the agendas of Native Occupiers.
6) The illegal use of force by the OPP and their attempts to slander us will not prevent the Rule of Law from being restored to Haldimand County.
7) We have gathered an enormous amount of evidence that proves the existence of Race Based Policing.
What has been the cost? Four people were illegally arrested because of the OPP willingness to appease Native Protesters (Bo Chausse, Gary McHale, Mark Vandermaas and Randy Fleming).
For almost a full year the OPP went on a public campaign to slander any resident or any member of CANACE who spoke up. Commissioner Fantino's repeated rants against non-native people while admitting in court he has NEVER made any negative statement against Native Protesters is prefect proof that the Government didn't care about the Rights of non-Natives as long as they could silence people.
In the midst of this smear campaign by the OPP they believed they could silence me by suing me for $7.2 million for publicly stating OPP officers were violating their Oath of Office. This lawsuit will never see the inside of a court room and the OPP have done nothing to set a court date. This is what is called a SLAPP suit which is meant to intimidate and pressure individuals into submission.
The encyclopedia defines SLAPP as, "A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation is a lawsuit that is intended to intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Winning the lawsuit is not necessarily the intent of the person filing the SLAPP. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate."
Of course, the latest criminal charge against me with the travel restrictions placed upon me was another attempt by the Government to silence me and others. Threatening people with false charges and limiting their freedoms will cause most people to back down.
Finally, we had to pay dearly by being labelled as racists and members of some white supremacy group. This is standard practice by the Native Protesters to smear everyone who disagrees with them as a member of the KKK. Before I got involved the occupiers had signs up saying Mayor Trainer and Ken Hewitt were racists and other signs that said KKKanada and KKKaledonia. Any reporter who dared to disagree with them was labelled a racist and those media outlets would receive many phone calls demanding the media get rid of the racist reporter.
The only way we were able to accomplish getting the OPP to allow us to raise a Canadian Flag was because we firmly believe in following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr. In the face of violence or threats of violence we did not give up but merely stated we would peacefully march down a road. We forced the OPP to deal with our concerns. We didn't wear masks or carry baseball bats. We didn't hospitalize anyone or assault a single person. We didn't set a single thing on fire or create property damage either to public or private property. We didn't swarm anyone or occupy a single house, development or someone's property.
We have been sued, assaulted, threatened, slandered, mocked, jailed and abused but peaceful protest has worked.
So why do Native Protesters not follow in the footsteps of Dr. King's peaceful approach? The answer is quite simple. They don't want Equality or the Rule of Law. Violence and the threat of violence is the only tool they have to force the OPP and Government to bend to their will. Political correctness allows them to get away with it - until now.
We have already supported the idea that there is a time for the healing process for both communities. However, healing cannot happen while one side continues to use criminal behaviour to force their will upon others.
If Native people want lasting change then follow Dr. King's example of peaceful protests - we did and it worked.