UPDATE 1622 EST Jan 13/07: WordPress.com listed “Confusion in Caledonia has a name: Marie Trainer” in the #9 spot on their list of ‘Top Posts‘ in the English language category. There are over 587,000 blogs on the WordPress system. Rankings can change at any time.
Also, as of 1802 EST today, WordPress.com had ranked Voice of Canada as #14 in their list of the most popular English ‘Top Blogs’ in their ‘Blogs of the Day‘ feature. Blogs are ranked according to a special formula and rankings can change at any time. This is the first time that VoC has broken into the top 20. Thanks to you for spreading the word, and – of course – to Gary McHale at www.caledoniawakeupcall.com for the links.
On January 10, 2007 people across Canada got to watch as thuggery and disrespect for the Canadian flag met its match in the person of one Chris Syrie when he went toe-to-toe with a native bully who tried to intimidate him after throwing Syrie’s Canadian flag on the ground. I’m pleased to report that his bravery and the interest it sparked caused my post, “Courage in Caledonia has a name: Chris Syrie” to go all the way to #10 on the WordPress.com list of Top Posts for Jan 11/07.
Chris Syrie’s stand has – apparently – caused the Mayor of Haldimand to become a little confused as to whether the DCE criminals and their supporters are peaceful, tolerant, reasonable people that can be rationally negotiated with or volatile, dangerous, well armed gangsters who would wreak havoc on Caledonia if anyone tried to erect a Canadian flag across from the occupied land.
On January 11/07 CHTV provided another take on the Chris Syrie incident [low speed click here] that includes a clip of Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer complaining about how the ‘negotiatons’ are stalled because of citizens who want to raise Canadian flags. According to CHTV’s understanding of their conversation with her, the Mayor’s solution is to negotiate between the parties to erect the flags.
[I know that the media doesn’t always get things straight, so Mayor, if you’ve been misquoted about your intent to erect Canadian flags, email me through the comment form below and I’ll correct this post ASAP. ]
Why does anyone have to ‘negotiate’ in order to exercise their constitutional rights? I don’t need the Mayor’s ‘approval’ or the approval of native criminals in order to peacefully protest and put up a Canadian flag. As I said in my open letter to Julian Fantino entitled, “Dear Commissioner Fantino: Sir, you owe Canadians an apology“:
“I will not give up my rights simply because you refuse to defend them, or because you are unable or unwilling to protect me from those who would harm me as I exercise them.”
This is the same mayor who has been running around like Chicken Little saying there was going to be violence if ‘outsiders’ came to protest or tried to raise a Canadian flag across from DCE. OPP Commissioner Fantino has repeatedly said outsiders were ‘stirring things up’ by trying to put up a flag. Fantino even compared our efforts in Caledonia to trying to find a gas leak with a match. Now, however, the Mayor wants to put up flags on the same poles that Gary, Bo Chausse and I were arrested at.
I’d be very appreciative if the Mayor and the Commissioner would please get their stories straight – are the DCE occupiers too violent and well-armed to allow Canadian flags across from DCE or having you been misleading the public all this time with your constant accusations about ‘outsiders’ coming in to ‘provoke violence?’ Which is it?
Now, you must be thinking by now that Gary and I are angry with Mayor Trainer, but you’d be dead wrong. In fact, we want to wish the mayor well in her efforts to have Canadian flags erected across from DCE. If she’s successful, it could be a great aid to our lawsuits against the OPP for the false arrests they made during OUR attempts to do so. If the mayor can do it, obviously it’s not illegal, ergo why was the OPP arresting us?
(We already know it’s legal to place stuff on utility poles: the Mayor and OPP Commissioner might want to review the Supreme Court decision with respect to the case of Ramsden v. Peterborough (City),  )
By the way, Mayor, with respect to us bringing a halt to the negotiations – you couldn’t have said anything that would make me prouder. HELLO MAYOR! WHY ARE YOU NEGOTIATING WITH – OR ON BEHALF OF – CRIMINALS? When the lawlessness ends, and the criminals are caught, then and only then will it be time to negotiate with law abiding native people.
Let me close with a quote from the letter that Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from a Birmingham jail on April 16, 1963 to explain why he came to Birmingham. This is for you, Mayor Trainer:
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
Readers can view the full text of Dr. King’s letter and a paraphrased version adapted by Gary McHale to explain why we have gone, and will continue to go to Caledonia until Two Tier Justice is only a memory.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor