by Gary McHale
Regional News This Week - Dec. 2, 2009
In a not so brilliant move, the Crown introduced two videos as evidence in the Brown-Chatwell case which provided the Judge with an undeniable example of Race Based Justice in Caledonia.
The first video was from May 24, 2009 which showed Randy Fleming walking alone on the shoulder of Argyle St. carrying a Canadian Flag. The second video was from July 15, 2009 which showed Native Protesters slowly walking on the same road, blocking traffic, carrying numerous Native Flags.
The contrast of the videos is found in the reaction of the OPP. While Mr. Fleming was doing nothing illegal by walking on the shoulder two OPP vehicles pulled over and eight OPP officers quickly arrested him placing him in a police van.
The video also showed the OPP presence prior to Mr. Fleming being arrested including an OPP helicopter. The OPP assigned over two hundred officers to be present in Caledonia on May 24, 2009 to ensure no Canadian Flag would be raised. As Dave videotaped the OPP build up he could be heard saying, "All this for a 75 year old retired naval officer wanting to raise a Canadian Flag... what is this country coming to!"
However on July 15, Native Protesters blocked the road all the way from Hagersville to Caledonia. The OPP response was to provide a police escort as well as blocking off Argyle St. by the Canadian Tire to ensure they could walk on the road unhindered. The video showed traffic backed up for a mile.
As the Judge watched, Brown could be heard on the video saying, "they [OPP] beat the shit out of Randy for walking down the road carrying a Canadian Flag and what's this?"
The scene at the end of the video captures the OPP waving goodbye as the protesters entered DCE. Dana Chatwell's voice is heard on the video saying, "They even waved at them, isn't that special."
The Crown asked Brown, "Do you think Randy Fleming was arrested for walking down the road carrying a Canadian Flag?"
Brown answers, "Yes".
The Crown asked Brown why he was videotaping the Natives marching on Argyle St. and he stated, "I am trying to prove that the Natives can protest any time they want and carry their flags. I don't have a problem with that, as I said before they are a proud nation and they should be able to fly their flag whenever they want but how come a Canadian cannot do the same thing."
The Crown drew attention to the beginning of the first video which showed Chatwell setting up a table for a yard sale which included selling protest t-shirts. The Crown asked why they had the yard sale and Brown replied, "We have been trying to draw attention to the Government for 3 years."
The Crown then asked, "were you not concerned that by conducting that activity on your front lawn next to the DCE, in sight of the protesters, could cause a negative reaction by the people you are living next to?"
Brown replied, "Councillor, we are trying to raise a Canadian Flag, this is the issue, our soldiers are dying for that flag."
The Crown restated the same question and Brown replied, "It seems to me that any decision I make is going to upset the protesters. I have spoken to numerous politicians and Government people who say we do not want to upset the Natives. Look around they are already pissed off. I don't blame them, I really don't. I am going through my own land claim right now. However, we are trying to get attention just like everyone else that we want to carry a Canadian Flag and we want to hang it proudly. I don't understand why I have to worry about upsetting a group of people when they are allowed to do it whenever they want."