A message for OPP officers in Caledonia

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpgIn my article, OPP Email: Hartless Complaint was revenge for McHale association!, I released an email from OPP Caledonia/Cayuga Detachment Commander Dave McLean that exposed how the OPP had been motivated by a desire to punish Dave Hartless for his association with Gary McHale. I was disgusted by McLean’s false statements about McHale and with his apparent disregard for the Charter of Rights that guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of association.

I couldn’t help but think that there must be at least one or two OPP officers in Haldimand who feel the same way.

Did you swear an oath to uphold the law, or to uphold lies?

If you are an OPP officer in Caledonia you must surely know in your heart that it is wrong for senior officers to spread lies about law-abiding citizens. You must know that it is wrong to conspire to stifle free speech and citizens’ right to free association. You must surely know that you are undermining Canada’s democracy and its very security every time you refuse to enforce the law; every time you arrest a Canadian citizen who wants to exercise their right to place a flag on a pole; every time you take orders from the DCE thugs; every time you refuse to do what you know is right.

You know the truth; you were there!

We have protested against your force’s activities peacefully and legally. Contrary to what your senior officers have told the public, not a single person – civilian or police officer – has ever been hurt at a March for Freedom event organized by Gary McHale. You know this is true; you were there!

We reached out to help front-line OPP officers, and were libelled for our efforts by the OPPA

In January, I personally left two detailed messages for OPPA Vice President Ron Middel on his cell phone asking that he meet with us for the purpose of discussing how we could get the negative attention off front-line officers and onto the brass where we thought it belonged.

Our reward for reaching out on your behalf was a disgusting media release issued by OPPA President Karl Walsh on Jan 18/07 that accused us of promoting hatred and inciting violence. You – through your association – are now being sued for that outrageous libel, libel that cannot be substantiated because it simply is not true. Our lawyer told us that the OPPA news release was the worst case of libel he has ever seen.

Please, don’t take my word for it. I urge you to read my complaint to the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services regarding the defamatory statements made against me/us by senior OPP officers.

You are defending a culture built on the lies of Ipperwash

westernstandard-jul0207.jpgOn March 14/07 we went to Queen’s Park to release The Ipperwash Papers, a collection of more than 400 pages of documents that were ‘overlooked’ by the Ipperwash Inquiry. The Commissioner of the Ipperwash Inquiry says that the OPP are using ‘best practices’ in Caledonia, yet The Ipperwash Papers show that the Inquiry was a shameful cover-up that completely excluded the residents and key evidence that casts serious doubt on the Inquiry’s assertion that Dudley George was unarmed.

Again, don’t take my word for it; spend some time reading the documents the Inquiry didn’t want you to see. They will shock you and reaffirm what you already know – that the OPP’s policies that you are enforcing are based on lies.

Photo/link above is to July 02/07 article called ‘Protection Racket: an Ontario judge glosses over illegal aboriginal acts at Ipperwash.’ It was based in large part on The Ipperwash Papers project.

You are being ordered to violate the Charter of Rights and the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada

girls-with-guts.jpgHave your senior officers informed you that there are two separate Supreme Court decisions that protect the rights of citizens to place flags on public utility poles?

One says that citizens have the right to place items on public utility poles. The other says that third parties to aboriginal land claims have NO duty to consult or accommodate aboriginal concerns. In other words, the OPP do not have the right to suspend the rights of non-native citizens as a convenient alternative to enforcing them.

Every time you prevent us from putting up a flag you are breaking the law and undermining democracy. Once again, don’t take my word for it; read the VoiceofCanada articles listed in ‘References’ below, and see the court’s decisions for yourself:

Ramsden v. Peterborough (City), [1993] http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/scc-eliisa/highlight?language=en&path=http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1993/1993rcs2-1084/1993rcs2-1084.html&query=%2Bhydro+%2Bpoles

Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), [2004]


In section 78 on page 27 of the Jan 12/07 ‘Plaintiff’s Factum’ for the Caledonia Class Action lawsuit, solicitor John Findlay of Findlay McCarthy states the following: “The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that third parties to Aboriginal treaty claims have no duty to consult or accommodate the group that is making the claim. Further, third parties are not subject to any duty or are required to make any accommodation to enable the Province to obtain a remedy to an Aboriginal claim. It is up to the Province to find that remedy without affecting or compromising third party interests. Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), supra., per McLachlin C.J. at paras 52 to 56 Caledonia Class Action Plaintiff’s Factum, Jan 12/07

http://www.caledoniaclassaction.com/plaintiffs’ factum.pdf

Why your morale is low

We know that morale within OPP officers serving in Caledonia is low. It is low because you know that you are part of a culture that goes against everything you were ever taught about democracy. You know that what you are doing is wrong. You know, deep inside, that you are acting as enablers to senior officers who think they have the right to suspend the constitutional rights of non-native citizens as a convenient alternative to protecting them. You know it’s wrong, but you do it anyway.

We are NOT the enemy of police officers or of law & order

I have never met a single person involved in the struggle against Two Tier Justice who dislikes police officers. When I met recently with a representative from the Solicitor General’s office regarding my complaints against your Commissioner, I explained to him that if someone had told me a year ago that I would be involved in a struggle to get police officers to enforce the law I would have told that person they were crazy. Yet, here I am.

We believe in the rule of law. We believe in equality before the law. We believe in the Charter of Rights & Freedoms. We believe in the Supreme Court of Canada. And…we believe in supporting police officers who honour their oaths of office. We want to support and honour you, but we cannot because you are dishonouring your oaths and subverting the principles of democracy.

No, we are not your enemy. But, so long as you enable your superiors to subvert democracy and do nothing to help us resist them, we will continue to oppose your actions. All of us must be responsible for our actions, and you – as a police officer – accepted an even greater responsibility when you put on your uniform. Until the OPPA apologizes for their attacks on us and makes it clear that they are opposed to Two Tier Justice on behalf of all OPP officers, the responsibility for resisting this evil rests with each officer individually.

We would prefer that you become partners in the struggle against Two Tier Justice, but so long as you continue to violate our constitutional rights and so long as the OPPA refuses to join the struggle we will be forced to continue to file OCCPS complaints and lawsuits against you, your force, your association and its leaders.

History rejects the ‘I was just following orders’ defence

My parents lived through the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War II, so I have read a great deal about that period. In 1935, long before the first gas chamber was built or the Final Solution was proclaimed, Nazi Germany decreed the Nuremburg Laws that were designed to exclude Jews from participating in German society. The horrors that would come barely five years later were made possible not by storm troopers, but by quiet acquiesence by low-level clerks, bureaucrats, police officers and judges who were ‘just following orders’ as they enforced racist laws they knew or ought to have known were wrong.

I am not saying that your actions in Caledonia will lead to genocide, but I do believe that anarchy is a distinct possibility as more and more people lose faith in your willingness to enforce the law, and/or to do it fairly. You and your fellow officers have a duty to do whatever you can to prevent the rule of law from being lost. You and your fellow officers have a duty not to enforce laws based on race. No good can come from race-based policing.

You may know that I have served with the Canadian Forces and the United Nations on a peacekeeping mission. We were taught that we had a duty – not a right or an option – to refuse to carry out illegal orders, so I reject out of hand the ‘I was only following orders’ excuse. I have said that I would rather be a bum under a bridge than an OPP officer enforcing Two Tier Justice in Caledonia, and I mean it.

An appeal to all OPP front-line officers in Caledonia

I call on you to join us. Help us by gathering and sending evidence anonymously as some of your fellow officers are already doing. Call the OPPA leadership and ask them to tell you the truth about us. Ask them to show you the ‘evidence’ against us. Then, when they cannot, tell them to defend democracy instead of attacking law abiding citizens.

Am I saying that you should quit your job with the OPP? No, not if you’re doing whatever you can to resist. Not if you’re calling the OPPA to pressure them to fight for the rule of law on your behalf. Not if you’re sending evidence to those of us who can help expose the truth about the force so it can be reformed. Not if you’re speaking out against Two Tier Justice like Dave Hartless did.

One day you will be judged

question-mark_cartoon.jpegOne day you will be called to account for what you did or didn’t do in Caledonia by your God, by your courts or by your children. Will you be able to say that you did everything you could to defend Canada’s democratic institutions against injustice and abuse, or will you say, “I was just following orders.”?

I look forward to hearing your answer.

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
371 Vesta Place
London, ON N5Y 1G4



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