UPDATED 1956 EST Jan 26/08
Until yesterday, we were under the impression that the OPP news release quoting Fantino blaming the non-native victims of the Caledonia violence was issued the next day, Dec 02/07, which is the date it was published in the London Free Press.
We just discovered, however, a reprint of the release in the Turtle Island News which shows that it was issued on Dec 01/07 – the very same day we were attacked by native thugs! Not only did the OPP & Fantino rush to falsely blame the innocent victims in direct contradiction of the facts, but the full text of the release – coupled with statements by Detective Murray and subsequent bail restrictions on Gary McHale – shows that Fantino was clearly targetting Gary McHale and fellow “interlopers” Jeff Parkinson and me for arrest.
Here is how the OPP media release appears in the Turtle Island News…
FROM: Haldimand County OPP
RELEASE: 01 Dec 07
COMMISSIONER FANTINO OUTRAGED
The Ontario Provincial Police, Haldimand County Detachment responded to a disturbance at the south end of Argyle St in the area formerly known as Plank Road, Caledonia, Haldimand County.
Today at approximately 10:00am, a small group of protestors known to pursue their own agendas approached a smoke shack on Plank Road taunting and provoking those present.
A confrontation broke out as police struggled to maintain order and peace. Haldimand County OPP was forced to call in numerous police reinforcements to restore peace and order.
Commissioner Fantino expressed his outrage at the interlopers; “The OPP will seek every legal remedy possible to end this madness and to bring them to justice. Taxpayers should be just as outraged at these instigators since these unintelligent acts have cost them in excess of a half million dollars. These incidents, where interlopers put their own personal agendas over those who are striving for a permanent and lasting resolution will not be tolerated.”
Haldimand County OPP Crime unit is fully engaged in a thorough investigation of all events including those leading up to today’s volatile situation.
The OPP is firmly committed to hold those responsible for today’s disturbance.
Turtle Island News, p6, Dec 05/07
Fantino falsely blames victims for violence against them
Anyone who has read the text of Fantino’s Nov 09/07 interview with the Hamilton Spectator where he refers to McHale and company as ‘interlopers’ and blames us for costing taxpayers $500,000 in additional policing costs for (lawful, peaceful) protests knows exactly who Fantino is talking about in this press release. (McHale has just filed a lawsuit against the Spectator after we tried, at least 6 times, to get them to apologize and/or allow us to respond to Fantino’s bizzare statements about us.)
Unfortunately for Fantino, video evidence proves that non-natives – including the ‘interlopers’ targetted by Fantino – were the victims of the violence by smokeshack thugs, and NOT the perpetrators. The only exception is a minor assault that took place near the end of the event when a non-native resident allegedly pushed away a man aggressively videotaping Christine McHale after the numerous assaults on her husband.
There is no excuse for Fantino and the Caledonia OPP detachment not to know the truth – video evidence clearly shows the assaults on various OPP officers.
Incredibly, however, not a single arrest was made that day other than a non-native man quietly standing away from the police line holding a cup of coffee.
Readers who want to read a detailed account of what happened on Dec 01/07 with supporting video should see the CANACE report entitled, ‘CANACE calls for RCMP to take over investigation after Fantino blames victims of Caledonia violence.‘
Lies, lies and more lies
Video evidence and additional evidence obtained from ‘official’ sources also proves that several women supporting the smokeshack thugs lied to police about what happened. One of these women, Camille Powless, has been charged with Public Mischief for filing a false report claiming she had been assaulted by Gary McHale when in fact she assaulted McHale after falsely accusing him of pushing her.
We even have evidence that an OPP officer may have ‘misled’ the investigation. Oops!
Fantino and Haldimand OPP cause loss of faith in judicial system
Later in the day, after Gary McHale was released from the hospital, we visited the Cayuga OPP detachment where we met Detective Murray who assured us he was ‘unbiased.’ After asking Christine McHale and me to leave the room, he had a short conversation with Gary during which Murray said that charges might be brought against Jeff Parkinson and me. Before we left he advised Gary that someone had filed an assault complaint against him. This, of course, was the bogus complaint by Camille Powless for which she was eventually charged.
Fantino’s heavy-handed pronouncement of our guilt before the investigation had even begun caused me to lose what little faith I had in the ability of the OPP to conduct an unbiased investigation, and that’s what I told Detective Murray when he called me on my cell asking me to come in and make a statement. I refused to make a statement or complain about my assault out of fear that the investigation had more to do with nailing me for some non-existent offence than prosecuting the thugs who attacked me.
My belief that Jeff Parkinson and I were being targetted by Fantino was reinforced when Detective Murray forced McHale to agree not to contact us even though we had not been charged with an offence.
Where’s our apology, Julian?
Now that it’s crystal clear who the perpetrators of the violence were, I wonder when Fantino and the OPP are going to issue an apology to residents and the ‘interlopers’ for for tainting the ‘investigation’ and our reputations?
Was it all planned in advance by the OPP?
When considered in light of the woeful lack of police presence despite having advance knowledge of the event, the fact that no OPP officers were videotaping, one can’t help but wonder if the speed with which the news release was issued had anything to do with OPP planning prior to the event.
I won’t hold my breath waiting for my apology.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
VoiceofCanada, Dec 08/07: Caledonia violence deliberately incited by depraved liar
VoiceofCanada feature: Caledonia Violence
Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality, Dec 13/07: CANACE calls for RCMP to take over investigation after Fantino blames victims of Caledonia violence
VoiceofCanada, Dec 12/07: Kyle Hagan: arrested for ‘Protesting While White’