UPDATED April 04/11: Newly discovered video of arrests of Mark Vandermaas & Gary McHale on Dec 16/06. Watch the OPP rip the Canadian flag out of Mark Vandermaas’s hands on Dec 16/06 before he and Gary McHale are arrested:
- CANACE video, Dec 16/11: Gary McHale & Mark Vandermaas arrested Dec 16 2006 [VIDEO, 2:52]
- see also: VoiceofCanada feature: THE END OF THE BEGINNING!
Foes of the Two Tier Justice system being perpetrated on Caledonia and Ipperwash will be pleased to know that on December 16-17/06 the OPP joined Haldimand County in the VoC ‘A Child Could Have Seen it Coming’ club by disgracing a Canadian flag in front of 30+ witnesses, and making themselves and a certain crown attorney look like fools in front of a judge. I suspect that they will also be facing a lawsuit from Gary McHale in the near future.
DID I/WE ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING BY GETTING ARRESTED IN CALEDONIA THIS WEEKEND?
Before I share the background to this great story, let me pass on my amusement at the (very) few ‘hate mail’ senders who are under the very mistaken impression that being arrested on Saturday was a bad thing for me or for Gary McHale. You have no idea how wrong you are. Do I look unhappy to you? I knew, the moment the OPP ripped the flag from my hands, that we had scored a gigantic victory, and I told them so as they were arresting me.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Politicians and media – including 2 of the largest newspapers in the Golden Horseshoe – have now realized who the real victims in Ipperwash and Caledonia are – and it’s not the native criminals flouting the law:
1. Dec 19/06: The St. Catharines Standard – “A Caledonia reality check is in order.” This is one very hard-hitting editorial that gives Ontario Premier McGuinty, and his Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ramsay a good slap upside the head for their Ipperdonia policies of appeasement and politically-correct policing. The Standard’s strong position was forcefully ratified just two days later when their piece was re-printed by none other than…
2. Dec 21/06: The Toronto Star – “Time for a reality check on Caledonia.” The Star’s version was only slightly edited. The last sentence says it all in both versions: “The rule of law is paramount in Canada’s society and must be upheld.”
3. Dec 26/06: The Georgetown Independent – “McGuinty breaks promise to Caledonia.” Another toughly worded editorial piece by Halton MPP, Ted Chudleigh, that begins, “Native protesters in Caledonia are destroying the faith of all Canadians in the rule of law which forms the basic social contract of our society.”
4. Dec 17/06: CanadaFreePress.com (www.canadafreepress.com) Respected journalist, Judi McLeod, opens her article, – ‘Ontario – yours to recover’ – with these words, “Something changed in the Province of Ontario on Saturday. And that something changed Ontario forever.”
5. Voice of Canada: For some VoC context on these historic editorials all written just days after our arrest see “History has been made this week!“
So…to the hate mail senders, and one supporter of the DCE criminals in particular who thought he was having a laugh at my expense while I was in the OPP police car…the joke’s on you.
December 16th was a public relations disaster for the OPP. Take a few minutes to enjoy this 4 minute video produced by CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com called, “Justice in Ontario – OPP Style.” If you don’t have high speed internet, use this link.
NEW TO THE CALEDONIA CRISIS?
If you’re new to the Caledonia crisis and how it is eating at the very foundation of our democracy, or you just want to know why an average, overweight, middle-aged guy dragged his butt off the couch to end up in a Cayuga jail cell, check out MARCH FOR FREEDOM – The Struggle to Restore Equal Justice in Ontario, Canada.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED – DECEMBER 16-17, 2006
1. I arrived at Canadian Tire parking lot approx 1/2 km from occupied land about 1045 on Dec 16/06. I brought a new Canadian flag measuring approximately 2.5′ x 5′ mounted on 1″ hollow aluminum pole that was 6′ long. (Photo by Jeff Parkinson: “Puppets With Badges” – click to enlarge)
2. Gary McHale arrived at about 1100 with wife, Christine.
3. Media began interviewing both McHale and me separately.
4. At approx. 1145 McHale asked me to hang a protester’s flag (mounted on wooden stick) upside down on a nearby pole.
5. I then addressed the crowd with an impromptu speech that lasted several minutes. I have to say that I was a little more strident than I should have been. In fairness to myself, however, I was also trying to speak loudly enough for everyone to hear. I explained that:
a. I was there for a man named Quinton Chausse who was arrested by OPP approx. 1 week earlier for attempting to mount a Canadian flag across from occupied land.
b. I was also there because Ontario’s Minister for Aboriginal Affairs said that natives were different and deserved to be treated differently. If they are different, I am different and we are, therefore, not equal.
c. I had served in a UN peacekeeping mission in Middle East under the Canadian flag and I was not going to allow a corrupt police force or self-serving politician to keep any Canadian citizen from erecting a Canadian flag, nor would I stand by while they promoted the idea that all Canadians are not equal under the law. I was prepared to go to jail that day if necessary to preserve those ideals.
d. I believe OPP are acting as taxpayer-funded security guards for organized criminals.
e. The flag was hung upside-down in the Universal Distress Signal because all the values it stands for are under attack.
f. I was disappointed with media for their superficial coverage of the March for Freedom, Oct 15th.
After my talk there was a lot of applause. Afterwards, numerous people, including Quinton Chausse, came over to thank me for my words and for coming to Caledonia.
6. I then crossed the street and walked with Gary McHale into a field on the East side of Argyle St as we moved closer to occupied land. We were heading to a spot further down the road where approx 30 protesters were gathered in front of an OPP police line. The OPP were guarding a utility pole from which was flying a Mohawk Warrior flag.
We did not ‘break through’ police lines; we simply walked along towards the other protesters. As we got about half way to the pole McHale was stopped by a group of OPP officers who wanted him to ask everyone to leave. McHale told them he would be pleased to call an end to the demonstration if they would bring over an officer who could explain why it was legal to place the Warriors’ flag on the pole, but not a Canadian one.
7. As McHale debated the issue with them I left and walked up to the police line that was guarding the pole with the Warriors’ flag. There were about 30-40 people there asking the police to either let them take the Warriors’ flag down or put up the Canadian flag beside it. The police stood there against us refusing to allow law abiding, peaceful citizens to erect a Canadian flag on a Canadian pole on a Canadian street on Canadian land beside a flag placed by organized criminals under the continued protection of our very own Ontario Provincial Police. In this photo I have just arrived at the left with my flag hung upside down on my pole. You can see the Warriors’ flag being guarded by the OPP line. (Photo by Jeff Parkinson: “Picture Worth a Thousand Words” – click to enlarge)
8. A couple of young girls, aged 11-13 (?) came up to me with their father and asked if I would give them my flag so they could ask the OPP officers to let us put it up. I did so, but the officers refused, standing there like brainwashed automatons seemingly not caring or understanding that they had sold their country and their souls for a few pieces of overtime silver. I wanted to cry – for the police, for those two girls and for my country. I don’t know who the two young ladies are but I want you to know that I couldn’t be prouder of you. (Photo by Jeff Parkinson: “Girls With Guts” – click to enlarge)
9. I then asked an officer directly whether or not he would allow us to put up the Canadian flag. He replied that ‘the line is here. No one is crossing the line.’ I asked him if that meant that they were refusing to allow us to put up a Canadian flag next to the Warrior flag to which he replied, ‘Yes, it does.’ In this photo you can see the back of my head just to the right of the flag as I question the officer. (Photo by Jeff Parkinson: “Guarding the Sacred Pole” – click to enlarge)
10. I came to Caledonia on December 16th to put up a Canadian flag across from the occupied land or go to jail trying. I knew that getting arrested was the likely result. My resolve did not, however, include using violence against the police in any way, so I asked people to step back away from the officers so they would not appear threatening to them. I then walked quietly out to the middle of the Northbound lane of Argyle Street and sat down in the road facing a car with my flagpole between my legs. It was approximately 1300.
I was facing Southward with the OPP officers off to my left. Again, I did not ‘break through’ their lines to get to the road; I simply walked away from the Warrior’s flag they were guarding for the Caledonia criminals and sat down on the road.
11. Almost immediately, and without warning, an OPP officer grabbed the top of my flag pole from behind and tried to take it from me. I held on to it as hard as I could; he used so much force that the 1″ diameter aluminum pole the flag was mounted on broke in two separate pieces! I was then lying on my back holding the bottom half of the pole in my hands. I was ordered to drop the piece which I did. They then asked me if I was willing to stand up so they could remove me. I did so and cooperated completely as they escorted me to a police car on the West side of the road. As I walked to the car I saw Gary McHale being led away.
[The image above, right, was captured from an A-Channel interview recorded Jan 19/07 just prior to the Jan 20th March for Freedom event. It includes footage of the OPP officer ripping the flag from my hands on Dec 16/06. The officer is bent over me at the far right of the photo. You can see a flash of red as he tries to get the flag out of my hands. (2.10 mins) HIGH-SPEED DIAL-UP]
12. While standing by the car, I turned over the contents of my pockets to the arresting officer. Suddenly, another protester appeared pleading with the officer to let me go. I don’t know who you were, but I appreciated your efforts to have the police reconsider their decision to arrest me. The officer ordered him to leave which he was reluctant to do, so I asked him not to get arrested for me as it would have been very easy for the officer to claim that he had assaulted them, or was interfering with the arrest. (Photo by Jeff Parkinson: “Reinforcements” – click to enlarge)
13. The officer explained that I was being arrested for Breach of the Peace, and read me my rights. I then asked about my flag. Another officer told me, “It’s in the ditch where you left it.” You can imagine how that made me feel. I do not know what happened to my flag, or if it was damaged or otherwise dishonoured by the OPP during or after my arrest.
Prior to being placed in the police car I was able to hand off my video camera to a nearby protester who was herself manhandled by the OPP. Fortunately, the incident was caught on film. The photographer described it to me as follows: “That one [photo] with the cop pushing the older woman across the street is especially disgusting because despite what seems to be a smile on her face, that cop grabbed her from across the street and shoved her quickly and violently across Argyle. She was not a happy camper and may come looking for evidence.”
VoC does know the “older lady” personally and I’m not sure if she’s more annoyed with the OPP’s actions or the description of her as being “elderly.” 🙂 (Photo by Jeff Parkinson: “OPP Abuse the Elderly” – click to enlarge) Just kidding – she was thrilled with the photo!
14. I was kept in a cell at the OPP station in Cayuga until approximately 1600 when they released me unconditionally without charge. When the officer returned my personal items I refused to sign the acknowledgement form until they made a note regarding my missing flag. The sergeant didn’t seem too committed to finding it for me so I let them know that if I didn’t get it back I would be filing a Small Claims Court action against the force and make sure the media were present when I served the papers.
15. The sergeant warned me that if I came back to Caledonia for future demonstrations I could face charges, and I explained to him that I would keep coming back until the OPP enforced the law equally.
16. I was met outside by my wife and another Caledonia activist. After celebrating with a meal, my wife and I drove home to London where we learned that Gary McHale was going to be held overnight despite no charges being laid against him.
17. On Sunday, my wife and I drove to Hamilton to attend McHale’s ‘bail’ hearing for the non-existent charges. It took place at 1015 and proved to be quite an embarassment for the OPP and the poor crown attorney. At one point before the proceeding began, the court’s appointed Duty Counsel for the defence came to us and said, “This smells like a political case, not a criminal one.” Surprise! It took this experienced lawyer all of 5 minutes to realize that the OPP’s case didn’t pass the sniff test!
McHale appeared in court by video. The judge asked the Crown what the case was about, to which the Crown replied – “I have no information about this case, your honour.” (In other words, “The OPP are fools and they’re making me look stupid, too.”) I almost laughed out loud. After a brief moment of palpable amusement, the judge ordered Gary McHale to be released. It certainly appears that the OPP had knowingly held a citizen overnight even though they knew they were not going to charge him.
I didn’t see McHale being arrested. I’ve been told that there is video/audio evidence and witnesses to the fact that he was standing peacefully and non-threateningly where I left him, debating the Warrior vs. Canadian flag issue when he was taken into custody. Naturally, he’ll have lots to say about it at http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com/.
18. In fairness, I must note that – other than dishonouring my Canadian flag – the OPP officers treated me and all who came into contact with them on my behalf with respect and professionalism once the initial arrest was made. I’ve been told by OPP Inspector McLean that my flag is to be returned to me.
Don’t miss the updates/media appearance links below the photos. Mark
Jan 19/07: A-Channel News (www.achannel.ca) – Sean Irvine interviews Mark Vandermaas DIAL-UP (2.10 mins) This interview, conducted the day before the Jan 20/07 March for Freedom, includes footage of me being arrested on Dec 16/06. If you watch closely you can see the OPP ripping the flag from my hands while I’m sitting on the ground.
Dec 16/06: Global News (Ontario) – “Organizer of Caledonia rally arrested.” Similar story to above, but with more details.
Dec 18/06: London Free Press – “Protesters say house trashed” Gary & I were nowhere near the house that was trashed at approximately 0130 on the morning after we were arrested, but the article mentions us both. If you haven’t already done so, take 2 minutes to review the absolutely shocking CHTV video. The owners came home at 0130 Sunday morning to find their entire house trashed by intruders who wrote the words ‘RACIST GO HOME’ as well as other profanities on the inside walls.
The house borders the occupied Douglas Creek Estates, and although the identity of the intruders is not known, the hostility of the attack and the words used to deface the walls seem remarkably similar to that used by supporters of the Caledonia criminals who heckled Gary McHale in Brantford before the Oct 15/06 March for Freedom – see March for Freedom: the movie for video footage from that night.
Dec 18/06: CKNX AM920 in Wingham, Ontario (www.am920.ca) – 20 minute radio interview on the Bryan Allen Talk Show regarding my statement in Caledonia that we need a new political party to stand up for equal justice and the rule of law. Bryan is very supportive of the fight against Two Tier Justice, and I appreciate his interest.
Dec 18/06: The Right Side (http://www.therightside.ca/) – 20+ minute interview with talk show host, Doug Aldridge. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Doug is a supporter of our fight against Two Tier Justice, and I thank him for his interest and air time.
Dec 18/06: 103.9 FM radio (‘The Hawk’ – short interview on the Jeff McArthur show. Unfortunately, the audio recording is not available. Jeff was very supportive of the fight against Two Tier Justice, and mentioned that all his callers were supporting my/our actions. Thanks, Jeff!
Dec 18/06: National Post (www.canada.com) – “Organizer of rally in Caledonia, Ont. arrested at native occupation site” Nice photo of Gary McHale leading the original March for Freedom, October 15/06.
Dec 19/06: London Free Press – “Protester eyes new party to deal with natives” Actually, I didn’t say that we needed a new political party to deal with natives; I made the “new political party” statement near the end of my ‘speech on the hill‘ during which I said that Canadian values such as democracy, the rule of law and equality were under attack by our police and our politicians. During a radio interview on AM920 (see Dec 18/06 above) I explained my reasons for reconsidering my opinion about the need for a new political party.
UPDATE 1: Let me say how absolutely overwhelmed I am with all the support from readers, and from the media who are now beginning to focus on the real issues facing our country. Thanks to the actions of the OPP on December 16th, there is absolutely no doubt that our province has instituted an anti-democratic, anti-equality Two Tiered Justice system, and citizens are beginning to respond. I have already received an offer from someone offering to have his band play for free at a March for Freedom event to support Gary & Christine McHale. Wow! I have received hugs and congratulations from people I know in business, and from waitresses at one of my favourite restaurants. Thanks to all.
UPDATE 2: Gary McHale and I will be filing lawsuits against the OPP. Lawyer, John Findlay of Findlay & McCarthy (www.caledoniaclassaction.com) will be handling our actions for wrongful imprisonment. Since we are expecting that there will be more people arrested at the next March for Freedom event on January 20/07 the OPP can look forward to more lawsuits.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP RIGHT NOW: If you can, go to www.caledoniawakeupcall.com right now and send Gary a few bucks using his PayPal donation button – he and Christine really do need it. Please believe me when I say – from personal knowledge – that they are putting EVERYTHING on the line for the residents of IpperDonia, and they really need your help. Even if all you can afford is 5 bucks, it matters. You are witnessing our century’s first, and possibly most important civil rights movement, and one day you’ll be proud of the fact that you did what you could to help.
If you already sent Gary some money, send more and ask your friends to do the same.