The Hypocrisy of the Media and Politicians

by Gary McHale - The Regional

June 30, 2010

After the first hour of rampaging protesters in Toronto most media outlets expressed amazement and outrage that the police had done little to stop the violence or prevent damage to private property. Politicians were quick to make statements condemning the protesters who resorted to criminal behaviour. By Monday Toronto was demanding money from the Federal government to cover the cost of damages and the Federal government has agreed.

What Hypocrisy!

The same Toronto media spent weeks in Caledonia watching, not just one hour of criminal behaviour, but weeks and months of uncontrolled criminal behaviour and almost always found ways to justify or explain the criminal acts. On April 21, 2006 the day after the OPP raid on DCE you saw almost every media outlet spending most of their time interviewing the very people who attacked the OPP.

Where were the photos in the Toronto Star, the Sun or Globe and Mail that showed the burning Stirling bridge? Where were the photos of the burnt out security car or the burnt out power station? Just how many media outlets covered the kidnapping of two OPP officers in 2006 in Caledonia?

In 2006 the politicians bent over backwards not to condemn the protesters and repeatedly expressed their desire to negotiate with the very people committing the crimes.

Of course there is one real difference. The protesters who turned violent in Toronto were white and in Caledonia they were Native.

You read any media story about Caledonia in the first 4 months and you see them do everything they could to justify the violence. It was called balanced reporting with few interviews of any residents. In almost every case the media would find a way to show the residents incited the violence or provoked the criminal behaviour.

One such example was on Aug. 7, 2006 when a large group of Native Protesters attacked Jack Dancy's house - at the time a 92 year old WWII vet. The house was attacked after several tire fires were lit on DCE and then the protesters spent a few hours throwing rocks at Jack's house. The Mayor wanted to speak to the protesters but the OPP stopped her. After an hour of this uncontrolled scene some residents got angry and started responding.

Of course, you know how the OPP reported the story stating, "On Monday, August 7 just after 12:00 midnight, police attended and observed approximately 40 citizens in opposition with numerous occupiers. At one point the numbers grew to approximately 100 citizens. The situation escalated to the point where projectiles such as rocks and golf balls were thrown from both sides. Police along with others from both sides were able to de-escalate the situation and ensure peace was kept throughout the remainder of the night."

The OPP didn't tell the public about the fires on DCE or about how Native Protesters were raising Native flags on people's property throughout the day or that Native Protesters spent an hour attacking Mr. Dancy's house before residents responded.

Karen Best reported the following, "Town residents said natives used lacrosse sticks to lob palm sized rocks into backyards of several homes. A couple of Caledonia residents fired back golf balls after waiting over 40 minutes for additional officers to show up on the street. By 12:30 a.m., about 25 officers were on the scene. Over 20 rocks were hurled at the home of a Second World War veteran. No longer counting on police for protection, neighbours stood watch over his backyard all night and refused to leave when OPP asked them."

In the last 48 hours I think I have heard the media a hundred times tell me that the vast majority of people were peaceful protesters who have the right to protest the G8/G20.

Quite amazing because anytime any resident in Caledonia has attempted to speak out the media was right there to ask them why they were inciting violence.

The politicians lined up to condemn any peaceful protest by non-Natives in Caledonia. The only time the Liberal, NDP and PC Party was united was in condemning non-Native people protesting either in Caledonia or in front of Mr. Fantino's house.

All through 2006-08 the media always called Native Protesters spokespersons or land protectors while non-Natives were called inciters of violence, troublemakers, interlopers, people with personal agendas and a number of other loaded terms.

Where is the outrage from Commissioner Fantino in Toronto? In 2006-07 he was on radio and TV and in the newspapers ranting against any non-Native in Caledonia who spoke out. He was angry that in a democratic society the OPP had to spend $500,000 to police non-Native protesters.

Where is his outrage at $1.2 BILLION dollars being spent?

However, the greatest Hypocrisy is the McGuinty Government who have done everything they could to undermine the Rule of Law in Haldimand County while passing special powers of arrest, in secret, just for the G8/G20.

The McGuinty Government purchased DCE to undermine Judge Marshall to ensure his court injunction and contempt of court orders would be null and void - notice McGuinty hasn't purchased any other property where the owners had injunctions.

In Toronto the police get special powers but in Caledonia you get police watching crimes committed. At the opening hearing in Dave Brown and Dana Chatwell's lawsuit the Crown lawyer stated the following:

"The responsibility for promoting a peace-keeping approach does not rest with the OPP alone. The provincial government should develop a policy to govern its own response to Aboriginal occupation and protests, as well as it should publicly confirm its commitment to peacekeeping and should promote coexistence and coordination between the provincial government, the OPP and other police services. This would ensure that any police service in Ontario charged with policing in Aboriginal occupation or protest would be required to acknowledge and respect current best practices. It would also codify the lessons learned at Ipperwash. Such a policy would reassure Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Ontarians that peacekeeping is a goal of both police and government in the province, that treaty and Aboriginal rights will be respected, that negotiation will be attempted at every reasonable opportunity, and the police force will use force only as a last resort."

When Whites break the law the Police get special powers but when Natives break the law they get the assurance of negotiations.

No Racism or Hypocrisy in Ontario.