by Gary McHale - The Regional
November 4, 2009
Most people in Haldimand will never have heard of Tom Keefer but everyone has been affected by his actions. He has helped organize groups and bussed people into Haldimand to join the occupiers on DCE and to do protests against residents of Caledonia.
You may have noticed that the OPP has never done a press release about the antics of Mr. Keefer, who is from Toronto, so it appears the OPP only view people who support the residents of Caledonia as outsiders, interlopers and mischief makers. Commissioner Fantino has never once publicly talked about Mr. Keefer or his group.
On Mr. Keefer's website he defines himself as part of the 'radical left' movement in Canada which holds three political views - anti-capitalism, anti-oppression, and anti-imperialism. Mr. Keefer supports a radical approach to Native occupation to force all levels of Government to accept Six Nations sovereignty.
Mr. Keefer has been featured for the past few weeks in the Teka newspaper as well as receiving coverage in Turtle Island News for his support of Native Protesters. In a recent roundtable report written by Mr. Keefer, he explains who is involved in this ongoing support:
"Non-native support for the reclamation took a variety of different forms. Significant numbers of anti-capitalist activists including members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) were a constant presence at the site, assisting in campsite chores, and contributing to the production of the food required to feed the hundreds of people present at the site. Others produced blogs and web sites with news, reports, and video and audio interviews covering the reclamation. The leadership of several major trade unions and labor organizations including the Canadian Auto Workers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, and the Canadian Labour Congress wrote letters of support and in some cases made financial donations. While the support from trade union officialdom remained largely symbolic, dozens of rank-and-file trade union activists made their way to the site, bringing donations of food, money, and flags from their locals to fly at the site."
Mr. Keefer calls residents of Caledonia 'hostile mobs of non-natives'. The real goal of the occupations in Brantford and on DCE is to achieved Six Nations Sovereignty which would require a 'constitutional resolution at the federal level'.
Instead of seeking political change through the election box, these radical leftists seek to force their will upon others through force, intimidation and economic harm. Mr. Keefer offers the following suggestion as to the means of winning their goals:
"A second way for Six Nations to win is if they can escalate their blockades in a manner that continues to financially hurt the City of Brantford while also making clear that attempts at police or military intervention would be costly and impractical means of resolving the situation. By escalating direct action tactics and mobilizing a larger number of people from Six Nations, this approach might force the City of Brantford to recognize Six Nations land rights and sovereignty through some kind of wide ranging and innovative agreement with the Confederacy and the HDI. Such an approach may be more achievable since the City of Brantford is a more responsive government institution than the Ontario or federal governments, and since the land claims within Brantford are inherently more resolvable than those over the whole of the Haldimand tract. If some kind of agreement was made that was agreeable to Six Nations, this approach could create a whole new precedent for the resolution of land claims in Canada."
Mr. Keefer explains that this goal of forcing Six Nations' Sovereignty upon Canadians has run into one major problem which has directly affected the politics at all levels of Government. He states, "Just as Six Nations is at the forefront of native activism in Canada, McHale and CANACE are the most sophisticated grassroots anti-native political force currently active. They are actively making links with other non-native communities elsewhere in Canada affected by land claims (such as Ipperwash and Deseronto) and, because they mix activism with research and ongoing lobbying efforts aimed at all levels of government, they are able to push governments from below and get them to take action that they might not otherwise see as politically feasible. Indeed, CANACE has managed to shift the public political debate around native land rights to the right."
Mr. Keefer further states, "According to McHale, people from Six Nations have been breaking Canadian laws (thereby implying that they are Canadian citizens and should be held to account by those laws), and a system of 'two-tiered' justice now exists in the province of Ontario because police officers are unable to enforce laws against native protesters carrying out direct actions. The failure of police officers to immediately intervene to stop native direct actions is, according to McHale, an expression of 'race-based policing.' Citing Martin Luther King, Jr., McHale endorses non-violent direct action as an appropriate strategy for the people of Caledonia and Brantford to 'regain' their legal rights as Canadian citizens. McHale fails to understand that there are actually two conflicting rules of law at work in this situation, since the people of Six Nations have never relinquished their sovereignty and have refused to become Canadian citizens... Without publicly recognizing that the direct action protests he critiques as 'extortion, violence and terrorism' are actually a struggle between the competing claims of two sovereign nations, McHale has steadily built a grassroots movement with the aim of pressuring local state officials to undermine Haudenosaunee claims to sovereignty by criminalizing their resistance, and demanding that all Six Nations claims be processed by institutions and structures set up and administered by the Canadian state according to its law."
While many residents in Caledonia have been unwilling to unite or even address the real problems occurring in Haldimand the radical left anti-capitalists, who reject Canada as a nation, have been actively aiding in forcing all Canadians to bow to Six Nations' Sovereignty. What Mr. Keefer calls 'a struggle between the competing claims of two sovereign nations' has caused serious economic harm to Haldimand as well as physically victimizing many residents - let's not forget Sam Gaultieri.
Can you imagine what these Native Protesters and radical leftist groups would be willing to do if Canada or Brantford ever did agree that Six Nations is Sovereign?
There are still many who believe they can hide under their beds or negotiate with thugs who use violence and intimidation to force their will upon others.
The issues in Caledonia have never been about reclaiming DCE. They have always been about undermining the Canadian Justice System and creating a new System where Native Protesters are not subject to Canadian Law.