In my last message, I explained why I will not go to Caledonia again unless my help is requested.
Gary McHale tells me that some people let him know they were offended by my message. Out of 441 who read my email, only a handful wrote to me personally, and out of those who wrote only one person wrote to express his anger with me. I don’t know if this means that everyone else agreed with me, or they’re just too mad at me to write.
I will reprint what the ‘angry’ letter had to say along with my reply to him plus, I will leave you with some thoughts from Mary-Lou LaPratte.
Mark,… Like I said to Gary, you are picking the wrong fight and in doing so you are alienating people who have been coming in to the periphery as you both changed how you do business… The training seminar for making public complaints, the media release of the Ipperwash papers etc they are all great work and need to be focussed on with vigor. The messages related to this and showing people how to apply appropriate and legal pressure are what brings in people who fear to otherwise be a part of the CWUC and VOC because they fear the smears and lies of racism will be branded onto them.
You both have been steadfast in your commitment to the community and no-one can ask for more but you both need to stop and think really hard about this approach you have taken… No-one who was on the fence and leaning or those who were just crossing the fence will take kindly to the messages that you both sent out. Hell I have been a big supporter of both of you and the majority of what you have both done but even I was offended and angry over what I read from the two of you and the follow-up e-mail by Gary…
Forcing this down peoples throats will do nothing for you except make people gag and reject. Understandably you would like more direct support and more public validation from political leaders community leaders etc but this does not happen quickly and you serve yourself poorly by expecting it to be so….
Stay on point, stay on message, position yourselves as a place that people can come to for advice, strength etc but jumping up and down in this fashion and “calling out” people like Craig Grice and others is foolish, it is poorly planned and extremely poorly executed. The last 2-3 months you had people talking far more positively in town about both of you than you had in the months prior to that due to the shift in tactics and the focussed message you were presenting, this e-mail and Garys just punched a great big hole in that.
If you are tired, worn down etc take the break! Say that is why your taking it, don’t take what amounts to nothing more than a blind angry swing at some who are taking a different path than you while still trying to get to the same destination and for the same purpose.
Sorry to take so long to get back to you, but yesterday was a busy day (finishing and mailing another OCCPS complaint), and today I was out of town all day.
I can only speak for me. I’m sorry what I did or said made you angry, but I’m not in the habit of BSing people that I care about. As far as I’m concerned a 14 year old girl took away the excuses for every citizen and politician in Caledonia for not getting involved and uniting against a common enemy.
I have said that I will pay any price to destroy Two Tier Justice and return the rule of law to Caledonia and I still am, but I will not fight the citizens of Caledonia to do it.
I just read Gary’s reply to the Grice email. As far as I’m concerned Grice’s statements about people being afraid when we come to town were ridiculous, and since you know our protests and our words have been peaceful, you know just how ridiculous they were. It is the OPP the people of Caledonia should be afraid of, not us. Grice should be telling the truth about us, not sitting on a fence and allowing people to believe the lies. I agree with everything Gary said in his reply.
As for me calling out Grice, he had an opportunity to learn some valuable lessons about the similarities between Ipperwash and Caledonia on behalf of his constituents; he promised to be there, so we waited a full hour to begin our presentation to the Mayor because of him; he never showed; he never called. It was an inexcusable performance and all of Caledonia missed out because of it.
As for people not taking kindly to my message, the truth hurts sometimes. Either Caledonians can suck it up and save their town, or they can continue to watch it spiral down the drain. I didn’t go to Caledonia to win a popularity contest; I went because a good man was arrested for putting up a Canadian flag and because I thought people might be willing to step up and fight for themselves if they saw that others were willing to help them. As near as I can tell, except for some notable exceptions, I was wrong – at least so far.
Caledonians can find something they don’t like about my message and use that as an excuse for justifying their inaction or selfishness, or they can get mad enough to take their town back from the criminals and the OPP. If anyone in Caledonia wants my help with the latter, they know where to find me.
Thanks for taking the time to write, xxxxx. I do appreciate it.
Anyone who knows me or has read VoiceofCanada knows how personally I take it that the rights and safety of my fellow citizens are being attacked by the OPP and the DCE criminals. I have cried many tears for Caledonia. Gary McHale has told me over and over that taking things so personally isn’t good for me or good for the cause, but that’s who I am. Making it personal is what has kept me going. I believe, with all my heart, that no Canadian citizen should have to endure what your town is enduring for one minute, let alone a year.
I have an overwhelming sense of urgency in not wasting a day, an hour or even a minute to do whatever I can to fight back. To let this evil know that its days are numbered. To do what I can to restore my country’s values to all citizens in Ontario. It may be unrealistic, but I expect the citizens of Caledonia to share this sense of urgency, to put aside their personal interests and ambitions to fight back against evil for the good of all. If that makes me naive, so be it, but Canadians have come together for the common good in the past, and I refuse to accept that it cannot happen again in Caledonia.
If I have made the people of Caledonia angry enough to carry on the fight – with or without my involvement – then I am happy for your town. If I have made them angry enough to justify continued apathy, non-involvement and obstructionism, Caledonia has lost nothing.
Let me leave you with some thoughts sent to me during the past few days by Mary-Lou LaPratte of Ipperwash. She actively fought for her community for more than 15 years, assisted us in creating The Ipperwash Papers, and went with us to Queen’s Park to share her story so that Caledonians and politicians and the media might learn from the tragedy of Ipperwash:
“A whole town is torn apart, neighbour fighting neighbour, residents standing up against militant natives, and how in God’s name can this ever be repaired if they do not support each other. The government and the police have to be loving this. While the residents fight the natives and each other, the authorities are left off the hook. Deja vu—-Ipperwash all over again.”
“There is no doubt the government at both levels and the OPP have sacrificed another small community to avoid the Rule of Law. All of us in Ontario need to get involved and Caledonia needs outside influence just to stay on the map. I am the Ipperwash Papers. We would have loved the exposure Mark and Gary have given the Caledonia situation at the time of our worst nightmare. Sometimes it is wise to let things work themselves out. If you look at Ipperwash 12 years later, we should have kept screaming foul and demanding the rule of law be restored. Learn from the past. If the government doesn’t see and hear daily the uphevel in your Town, you will quickly become off their radar. Don’t sacrifice one more person in your Town from Terror by being silent.
As promised in my last message, I will gladly help any Caledonia resident who wishes to file a complaint with the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services (OCCPS), especially those on Sixth Line.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor