by Gary McHale - The Regional News
February 23, 2011
If every single person in Haldimand were to sign a petition and join a rally against the injustice that occurred the Ontario Government wouldn't care as long as those outside Haldimand didn't hear about it. With 107 seats in the province and Haldimand being a strong conservative riding a Liberal Government doesn't care how much noise you make as long as no one is listening.
However, outside interlopers are listening - tens of thousands have read Christie Blatchford's book, read the media reviews of the book, watched the news reports for five years and viewed dozens of videos posted on the internet. While the government policies that created the injustice remain, the government's ability to control the message, to silence or bully people into submission has come to an end.
For example, take the recent story printed in the Toronto Sun (a newspaper that virtually had no stories on Caledonia in 2006-07) by Peter Worthington titled 'Truth and its consequences' which was reprinted in the London and Brantford newspapers. The story was then circulated around the world via the International Free Press Society, which will have a representative speak at our rally this Sunday, and was covered in Europe as well as in Israel.
For the first time major media has accepted the view that the struggle in Caledonia is part of a greater global civil rights movement against political correctness run amok. Worthington has seen that Caledonia represents something far greater than local Ontario politics. Of particular importance is how Worthington links the civil rights struggle of the 50-60s to the issues of Caledonia.
He wrote, "Two of the victims of the temporary policy — Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas, once arrested for raising the Canadian flag! — cite Martin Luther King’s famous letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, where he was under arrest for parading without a permit. In his landmark letter, Dr. King recalled that it was not an issue between legality and illegality, but right and wrong. He noted that everything Hitler did in Nazi Germany was 'legal', and everything Hungarian freedom fighters did in 1956 was 'illegal'. 'One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty,' Dr. King wrote. One who does this 'is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.' King’s words reverberate with McHale and Vandermaas: 'Condemning peaceful action because it might precipitate violence is like condemning a robbed person because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery.' "
Worthington then raises the issues surrounding Lars Hedegaard, a Danish journalist, historian and president of Denmark’s Free Speech Society, who was charged for speaking out against honour killings and Muslim extremists. A Danish MP, Jesper Langballe, spoke out in support of Hedegaard's right to Free Speech and quickly found himself facing the same charge. Both were charged under Article 266b of a Danish law which does not allow “truth” as a defence.
Free Speech is under attack throughout western societies where a twisted view of multiculturalism has determined that all people are NOT equal under the law but where politically correct groups are favoured over all others. In Canada no one is permitted to speak out against aboriginal radicals while in most European countries it is becoming increasingly illegal to speak out against Muslim extremists.
Just three weeks ago British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a speech attended by world leaders, criticized his country’s longstanding policy of multiculturalism, saying it was an outright failure and partly to blame for fostering Islamist extremism. "If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it's time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past," he told an international conference in Munich.
While Canadians appear to want to honour their war vets who paid a high price for our freedoms, we are unwilling to stand up against injustice and for our own rights. While a thousand books were sold at Christie's book signing in Caledonia, how many of those thousand people will join in support of changing our province and country for the better?
Some would ask why have another rally in Caledonia and why create a monument which will one day have printed on it the apologies from the OPP, the Ontario Government and from Six Nations Band Council?
The answer is quite simple. To do nothing ensures the injustice will continue and that political correctness is further ingrained within our government and the political parties. In fact, to do nothing means you are giving permission to governments to repeat their abuses upon you, your family and others.
Worthington's story isn't merely a reporter's attempt at creating a good story that has world-wide appeal. We have been working hard in order for the media to see Caledonia within a larger context.
CANCE has been building bridges with various groups from around the world. Recently we met Hedegaard, attended various Jewish meetings which are facing similar struggles, held meetings with different political parties in Ontario and reached out to various media outlets. Worthington's story is primarily based on a joint press release by Vandermaas and myself issued on Jan. 23, 2011 where we gave support to Hedegaard and Langballe. Our release was reprinted by the International Free Press Society.
Our release states, "Dangerously deluded are those Canadians who do happen to open one sleepy eye to Denmark’s lawful suppression of free speech and then turn smugly in their beds apathetically, naively and dangerously believing they are immune because their Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects them from such abuses. Christie Blatchford’s shocking book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, And How The Law Failed Us All proves this is not even remotely true. The only difference between Canada and Denmark is that what is practiced legally by Denmark is practiced illegally here."
We have an opportunity to take a stand for our own Freedoms and those of our children. The only question is will we or are we too busy to protect our own future?
Join our Truth and Reconciliation rally this Sunday at 1 pm outside the Caledonia Lion's Hall where we will have a few speeches and then place a monument on the road allowance at DCE.