Gary and Christine McHale met with York Regional Police yesterday to work out the details for our protest at Julian Fantino’s home scheduled to take place on Sunday. They brought with them a copy of the 1993 Supreme Court decision in the case of Ramsden v. Peterborough.
According to Gary, the York officers made it clear that they had two objectives in mind: 1)to ensure that no one will be allowed to “interfere with our Charter rights of Free Speech” (their words, not Gary’s) and 2) Keep the peace. Apparently, they agree 100% that the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue of hanging objects on public utility poles and citizens’ rights to conduct peaceful protests.
Considering that the OPP have – under instructions from native occupiers of the Douglas Creek Estates – arrested three people for trying to place flags on hydro poles, the York Regionals are a breath of fresh air. Poor Christine was speechless when the liason officer asked, “What can we do for you? What would you like from us?” After a year and a half of non-natives being ignored, arrested and defamed by the OPP it was shocking to have a police officer ask what they could do to protect our rights. It was also very reassuring.
The York Regional Police worked out parking areas for media vehicles, and Gary has sent out a release to them.
Our offer to call off the protest if Fantino agrees to meet
Included in the map provided to the media is a copy of the 2nd press release released yesterday in which we offered to call off the protest if Fantino agrees to meet with us as he has done with native protesters. Given his attitude towards non-natives to date, this is an unlikely possibility. If he does agree, however, announcements will be posted here and on CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com. I will be in Caledonia at 1000 no matter what to meet and inform anyone who shows up for the convoy if Fantino suddenly agrees to a meeting at the last minute.
What will happen on Sunday
1. Meet at Lions Hall in Caledonia at 1000.
Caledonia Lions Hall
100 Haddington Street, Caledonia, ON N3W 1G4
– beside Haldimand County Community Centre (Twin Pad Arena) –
2. We are not releasing Fantino’s address to the general public therefore, you will be given a map/instructions to a meeting point in Woodbridge near Fantino’s home.
3. We will leave Caledonia at 1030.
4. Upon arrival at the meeting point in Woodbridge, we will organize ‘car pools’ to shuttle people to Fantino’s home or simply continue on to the protest site. There is not a lot of parking available in Fantino’s neighbourhood, so how we get there will depend on how many cars and how many people we have. That decision will be made upon arrival at Woodbridge.
Conduct during the protest
1. Please do not enter onto private property.
2. Please do bring signs, flags and/or posters (with tape). There are 3 hydro poles in the area on which we can place flags and posters. The poles are made of concrete. If you wish to attach your own flag, you will need some kind of metal bands or a bracket that can be attached with metal bands, i.e. stainless steel hose clamps.
3. Please treat police officers present with respect. The York Regional Police have shown us the greatest respect and cooperation, and they deserve the same in return.
4. Please treat people in the neighbourhood as we wish people in Caledonia were being treated. Show them they have nothing to fear from us. We win by allowing Canada to see how we can remain peaceful and focused on our message. In the unlikely event someone says something unkind to you, do not respond in anger. We want the media and their readers/viewers/listeners to see and hear our positive message, and to wonder why Fantino refuses to listen to it.
There has been enormous interest in this protest which has resulted in some very exciting media relationships that could substantially expand our media forum for exposing and discussing issues associated with landclaim lawlessness and Caledonia.
Is it ‘right’ to protest at Fantino’s home?
Ask yourself this question, “Does ‘Dancer’s’ right to feel safe in her home on Sixth Line outweigh Fantino’s desire not to have protesters outside his home?” Despite her fears, fourteen year-old Dancer has repeatedly stood up for Caledonia’s children in public. It’s time for Caledonia to stand up for her.
It is not right that Fantino should be able to come home to his policed neighbourhood without doing everything he could possibly do to make Dancer feel safe again. If that makes people uncomfortable, then perhaps they should go looking for property on the Sixth Line and walk in her shoes for a while.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
Judgements of the Supreme Court of Canada: Ramsden v. Peterborough, 1993
CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com feature: Protest at Fantino’s home (+ other FantinoGate stories)
VoiceofCanada, Feb 26/08: Message for Fantino’s neighbours re Sunday’s protest
VoiceofCanada feature: Dancer’s Courage!
VoiceofCanada, Dec 10/07: Mark Watson, Caledonia – The dangers of ignoring Civil Rights