NO MORE LANDCLAIM TERROR!
McGuinty – Fantino: protect ‘Dancer’ – NOW!
In a recent post called, “Fantino muzzles victim of Caledonia violence” I talked about how the OPP Commissioner has filed a complaint with the Hamilton Police Service against Dave Hartless, a Caledonia citizen who has been an outspoken critic against Two Tier Justice and the OPP. Hartless happens to be a police officer, but he has never identified himself as such in his messages. I know because he has commented on VoC.
On Saturday, March 03/07 Gary McHale and I, with the help of some very devoted Caledonians – and other ‘outsiders’ – organized a March for Freedom event at the request of Dave’s wife, Linda, as a way for the community to show support for her husband.
At 1000 a group of us met at the Canadian Tire parking lot and spread out across Caledonia to get signatures on two petitions, one to support Hartless and one to have Fantino removed from his job. The volunteers grabbed their clipboards, announced where they were going and took off without waiting for any direction. Several came back for more forms. Wow! Life is easy when you have help from committed people. Caledonia should be proud of these concerned citizens who were prepared to give up their Saturday to support a good man who has stood strong for their community. You should also be proud that other ‘outsiders’ came to help. Three people drove in from Toronto, and ‘Roy’ came all the way from Wallaceburg to bring signs he had made for people to carry. All the signs you see in the pictures were made by him. Thank you Roy!
While we were handing out clipboards and petitions, people drove up to drop off pages of petitions they had circulated throughout the week. Others just came to sign. It was great!
We were originally going to assemble at the Hamilton Police station, but Dave Hartless requested that we move to a different location, so our March was held on the steps of the OPP station in Cayuga instead. Gary sent word out by email of the change, and both of us put bulletins on our websites. I’m told that at least one local newspaper ran a story about the event, but – due to the timing of publication – it still had the Hamilton location listed. (Thank you for carrying the event!) Apologies for anyone who ended up going to Hamilton.
At 1400 about 60 people, including reporters from (I believe) Turtle Island News, Sachem and the Spectator, met in a cold parking lot near the Cayuga. Craig Grice, Councillor for Ward 3 showed up with his family which was very much appreciated by all of us who were there.
I walked over to the station, knocked on the door and spoke with an officer to explain what we were doing, and that we weren’t there to cause any trouble. She was very gracious and thanked me for letting her know what was going on.
I went back to the group and we marched over to the steps of the station. Gary provided an introduction and turned it over to Craig Grice who spoke eloquently and passionately about Dave Hartless and his contributions to his neighbours during the Caledonia agony. I learned a lot about Dave Hartless yesterday from someone who knows – first hand – what he has done to aid his neighbours. Grice confirmed for me that Julian Fantino should be pinning a medal on Dave Hartless instead of trying to intimidate him into silence.
Here is the text of the notes Councillor Grice made for his speech:
The issue before us is not about Land Claims, an Occupation, or race relations. It’s about the constitutional right of “Freedom of Speech” Throughout this entire ordeal in Caledonia I never thought I would need to defend this entrenched right. The right that gives every individual the power and protection to use their voice. At no time has this man, who we are here for today, spoken a racist word, commented on things he has no business discussing, or expressed hatred towards any individual. However, today we hear how he may be a discredit to his employer as he speaks out against the injustices placed before him and those he cares for.
He has stood tall not for himself, but for his neighbours and his community. Throughout the turbulent times alongside the Douglas Creek Estates, he sought to bring about a sense of security and provide a piece of mind to others. It was he who knocked on my door, telling me that if my family ever needed anything, he would be there. In fact, this truly courageous individual spoke to all of us in an effort to organize a call for help, as we all could see the O.P.P. with their hands tied. The gentleman I speak so highly of is David Hartless.
Today, Dave is being personally harassed and I believe unjustifiably investigated for discreditable conduct. I ask you, how can Mr. Hartless be a discredit to his employer, when he is seen as a community hero? Every employer, whether private or public asks of its’ employee(s) two things, be charitable and try to be involved with your community. Mr Hartless has exemplified himself in both these tasks which any employer should applaud not condemn. Mr Hartless has never brought his employer into any communication written or otherwise, yet he is being defamed for his relation with law. Again, I ask, what disrespect to the law, to his oath, to his office has he brought forth? He helped a community feel that it could stand and be safe if it acted together. That, I contend is leadership and promise you, brought hope to a battered neighbourhood!
It is only because he speaks for the application of the law, as facilitated by an officer’s oath and duty that he is censured today. I propose to you, that at any other time he would be celebrated by his employer for his direct involvement with those he lives closest too.
Mr Fantino stated only two short days ago that Provincial Police “will continue to assume our responsibilities for keeping the peace, and do what they can to mitigate consequences.” I would suggest to Mr. Fantino that it was, and is, Mr Hartless who has helped keep that peace by bringing my community together and dealing with the consequences that the O.P.P., the Province, and the Federal Government have allowed to exist in our backyards. Mr. Fantino goes on to explain that he and the Province are trying to get the Federal Government to understand the volatility that we are faced with, yet to me it’s clear that Mr Hartless, and his community, already understand this.
My wife and I, along with those that Mr Hartless has touched with his kindness, have a lot to thank his family for and it’s time we speak for them as he is being silenced. The O.P.P. has stepped beyond its’ mandate as it tries to quiet a private individual who has shown one thing; he cares more about his community than he does his professional career. I am honoured by knowing Dave, not only as a neighbour and a friend, but in the fact that he stands for the law and the safety of others he may not ever know. Dave loves his job and as a result carries his sworn oath as a badge of honour. A badge that he gives the outmost respect to. He does this all, in order to serve and protect.
Craig Grice, Haldimand Councillor, Ward 3
March 3, 2007
I know I speak for Gary and everyone who was there when I say how very grateful we were to Councillor Grice for his words and for the presence of his family.
He then announced the date for our Caledonia Legal Workshop which will be held at the Cayuga Lions Hall on March 24 between 1-4pm. Guest speakers so far include Lisa Parent from the HELP Funding Society; MPP Toby Barrett; lawyer John Findlay and others to be confirmed. We will be showing Caledonians how to use the legal avenues available to fight back against Two Tier Justice.
During his remarks, Gary made some wisecrack about me (I forget what it was), so I picked up the the after-hours police phone [photo, above right] and ‘called for help’ from “Julian” to see if I could get him arrested. Hey, if you don’t laugh, you’d cry at the absurdity that is Caledonia.
Gary then turned over the steps to me to make an statement about our upcoming news conference at Queen’s Park scheduled for 1100 on March 14/07. Here is the text of the notes I made for this statement:
“The media and politicians have repeatedly asked why we don’t take our protests about Two Tier Justice to Queen’s Park.
There is a reason why we have not done so – the injustice is in Caledonia. The evidence of the OPP’s violations of the Supreme Court and our Charter of Rights is in Caledonia.
We always knew that one day we would go to Queen’s Park, but we also knew that when we did go it would be on OUR time not theirs.
That day has arrived.
VoiceofCanada and CaledoniaWakeUpCall have been conducting a joint investigation into OPP activities in Ipperwash and how that legacy has influenced and impacted their failure to uphold the Rule of Law in Caledonia.
On March 14th at 1100 Gary McHale and I will be holding a news conference in the media room at Queen’s Park. We will be releasing what we call ‘The Ipperwash Papers’ – consisting of more than 400 pages of documents that reveal the truth of what really happened in Ipperwash, documents that the Ipperwash Inquiry apparently does not want the public to see.
While we do not wish to release further details at this time, I can say that the Ipperwash Papers will NOT present the OPP and the Ipperwash Inquiry in a positive light.
Thank you for coming out today.”
After we were finished, Gary and I spoke with members of the crowd, one of whom gave me a copy of a pamphlet called, “Road of Hope: Help the Sixth Line” produced by a 14-year old girl who lives on the Sixth Line – where there is no policing. Her words made me cry in sympathy and with rage. Watch for a VoC post today to be titled, “The Strength of a Woman – 14 year old ‘Dancer’”
VoiceofCanada received several donations yesterday, one in person and one by PayPal. They will be used to pay for the press kits for our news conference and for the Cayuga Lions Hall rental for our March 24th Legal Workshop – details to follow. Thank you ever so much for that, Merlyn and Shawn. Thanks to all who made sure we had enough to eat and a place to stay while we were in Caledonia. Thanks to Jeff for the pictures. Thanks to all the volunteers who went out in the cold with the petitions, and thanks to those who came out in the cold – some from great distances – to hear Councillor Grice honour a good man. Well done!
[While – as mentioned above – it was ‘Roy’ who produced the physical signs, it was Gary McHale – who is notably ‘spelling challenged’ – who produced the paper notices that were taped onto them hence, “YOUR” instead of “YOU’RE.”
We joked about it afterwards – Gary thought that, by now, people had learned to read ‘McHale-ese’ and were able to figure out what he was trying to say. 🙂 Readers may enjoy reading a post I wrote way back on October 24, 2006 called, “If Gary McHale could do it with ‘kiddie GIFs, imagine what YOU could do!]
Watch CaledoniaWakeUpCall for details as to when the petitions will be delivered.
Thanks again for your help and support.
UPDATE: Laura Hartless, sister of Dave, sent the following thank you note to Gary McHale at CaledoniaWakeUpCall and asked us to publish it under her full name:
“Dear Gary, Mark and all the kind people who stood up for my big brother and all those who dare to have a different opinion from the OPP Commissioner and our poor excuse for a Government.
“I am proud to have him as my brother and as my friend and to know the man he is will truly show you why he stands for what he believes in. From the time we were little he always knew what he wanted and who he wanted to be.
“I am truly saddened by the OPP Commissioners attempts to bully my brother into submission. As his sister I would like you to know that this will never happen. David is true to his word and his beliefs and will deal with whatever comes his way with honour.