by Gary McHale - Feb. 22, 2012
This past Saturday we held another rally to DCE but this time we walked down Surrey St. and got almost to the only house on DCE. We had a few speeches while 5 Native people stood by. A Native woman started swearing and telling the OPP to use their guns on us. As the OPP watched her she picked up a pipe and walked towards us.
She lunged at me and I would have been hit if it wasn't for a Native man who grabbed her. The OPP immediately arrested her and physically carried her off DCE. Later the OPP issued a press release stating, "Charged with Assault with a Weapon, Weapons Dangerous and Breach of a
Recognizance is 46 year old Teresa Jamieson of Six Nations of the Grand River."
With Jamieson removed from DCE everything was quite peaceful and we began to finished our speeches when two vehicles drove onto DCE and approached us. Ken Green (a.k.a. Sleeper) got out and started ordering the OPP around.
It should be noted that in 2008 the OPP raided DCE and arrested Green and laid 17 criminal charges for mischief, assault with a weapon, intimidation, uttering threats and resisting arrest all stemming from his participation on Sept. 1, 2008. In this event Native protesters blocked traffic, one of the protesters set gasoline on fire on the road and brandished a club at police and residents.
Green started pushing 77 year old Merlyn Kinrade and the OPP grabbed him. Green and two other Natives starting wrestling with the OPP for about 30 seconds whereby the Natives won because the OPP simply gave up and let them go.
At that moment there were about 8 Native people and 50 OPP officers but the OPP told us they didn't have enough officers to arrest the 3 who had just assaulted them. Instead the OPP placed handcuffs on me and arrested me to prevent a breach of the peace that had already been breached. This is like arresting a bank teller instead of the robber or the woman instead of the rapist.
We all know why the OPP arrested me instead of the Native protesters committing criminal acts. For some in Caledonia, who hide their heads in the sand, they believe there is no such thing as Race Based Policing. However, there is one simple truth and that is I was arrested because I was the non-Native who wasn't going to use violence against OPP officers.
Before I continue I must give credit where credit is due. For the first time in Caledonia a Native person was arrested in the commission of a crime and to prevent a greater crime from happening. Imagine if the OPP would have done this before Sam Gaultieri was attacked. Also, this is the first time the OPP entered on to DCE without first spending endless hours getting everyone's permission to do so. The OPP walked quietly beside us all the way back to the house on DCE.
Finally, it is important to understand that the OPP has finally acknowledged by their actions that the roads on DCE are legal county roads and therefore must be policed. In the OPP press release is doesn't say anything about DCE but simply states, "a disturbance occurred on
Surrey St. with a lone female approaching a male on the street in a threatening manner carrying a weapon." In 2006 Judge Marshall ordered Native protesters and the County to keep Surrey St. and Thistlemoor St. open, which are both on DCE.
In less than 3 months CANACE, with the commitment of the Caledonia 8, has publicly exposed that the county owns 16.5 acres on DCE and brought policing back to DCE. The road to establishing law and order takes many steps. Without these rallies the OPP would not be upholding the law or the rights of non-Natives. The media attention from outside Haldimand, mostly SunTV and their newspapers, has finally placed McGuinty and the OPP in a bad light.
If the OPP continue enforcing racist policing policies the media will continue to blame McGuinty for the injustice. It has taken several years, but finally the OPP and McGuinty are realizing it is far more costly to allow non-Natives to be attacked.
If it wasn't for our rallies and the public attention brought to the issue the OPP and the McGuinty government wouldn't care if there were a dozen Sam Gaultieris that had been seriously attacked.
My proof is simply to ask how many people died in Ipperwash and who's name have you heard the media talk about? Even the media are aware of only Dudley George, but two other people died in Ipperwash. Both of these people were found chopped up, and in one case only a foot was found. The OPP and the politicians didn't care about these two people because the media didn't report them.
Being silent is exactly what dictators and abusers of democracy want. The solution isn't to hide, isn't to ignore the injustice, but to confront injustice with truth, confront violence with peace and confront hatred with love.
In the end we will win because those on the side of lawlessness only reign for a little while and darkness can only overcome light when people refuse to step forward. The days of OPP racist policies are numbered and those who aid in institutionalizing these policies will be exposed.
Even in physics darkness cannot overcome light unless the light goes out or as Winston Churchill stated, "The only thing needed for evil to flourish is for people of good will to do nothing."