Dear WordPress.com: Thanks.

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpg

UPDATED 1251 EST July 31/08

Dear WordPress.com:

Re: Ryerson Review of Journalism recognizes WordPress blogger VoiceofCanada.ca for land claim occupation coverage

Just thought you’d like to know that the founders of CANACE (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality www.canace.ca) were recently recognized by the prestigious Ryerson Review of Journalism (Cdn journalism school) for our role in providing news coverage when the media failed to cover the Caledonia land claim crisis in Southern Ontario up here in the Great White North.

My site, VoiceofCanada.ca (voiceofcanada.wordpress.com) was specifically mentioned along with my partner’s site CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com (not a WP site) in an article called, ‘Disputed Land, Failed Coverage’ in the just-released Summer 2008 issue.

I have written approximately 225 VoiceofCanada stories about the crisis with just shy of 220,000 page views since Oct 2006 when I posted my first article on my (free!) WordPress site. Since then…

  • My partner and I have been arrested for trying to put up a Canadian flag on a hydro pole (yes, really!). Hey, at least they let ME go after a few hours; they kept my partner overnight and forced him to appear in court even though they knew they couldn’t charge him with anything. (Yeah, we’re suing.)
  • My partner and I have been threatened with death, kidnapping and torture for daring to suggest that native protesters should use the courts instead of violence against innocent people to draw attention to their grievances.
  • I was assaulted by a group of native protesters who sent two of my fellow civil rights activists to hospital in unprovoked assaults while police refused to arrest our attackers. I wasn’t injured, but my Canadian flag was when one of the gang tried to chew through it as they threatened to kick my ass.
  • I am facing financial ruin because I put my career as a real estate broker on hold to try to preserve the rule of law in my province – and I do so willingly. My partner already lost his house.
  • Our reputations were smeared by lying police officers, and thugs who tried desperately to stop our attempts to expose the violence, crime and trauma inflicted on innocents caught up in land claims through no fault of their own. We were called racists and falsely linked to white supremacist groups in an attempt to silence our message that victimizing innocent people was not the solution to resolve their grievances. The gang’s supporters even tried to shut down my WP site. (Thanks for not letting them do that.)

Nearly two years later, despite the worst efforts of native protesters; a corrupt police force; PC MSM media; and a government that is allowing innocent people caught up in land claims to live in fear because of politically-correct racism, we’re still here…exposing their outrageous manipulations and lies. 

And now, the most prestigious journalism watchdog in Canada has vindicated the thousands of hours I put in to help gather the evidence and expose it using my (free!) WordPress site – VoiceofCanada.ca. The article is called, ‘Disputed Land, Failed Coverage.’ Check it out here:

The little victories are making life easier and a lot more hopeful!

Along the way, we formed a new organization called CANACE (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality www.canace.ca) which required a new (free!) WordPress site. This struggle is far from over, but life is getting easier as the little victories come. Here’s what’s been going on in the past few months:

  • We were commended by Ryerson Review of Journalism for our coverage of the Caledonia crisis where other media failed.
  • Met w/2 federal Members of Parliament (like a U.S. Congressman) who distributed our reports in Ottawa & provided a nice donation.
  • The Mayor of Haldimand County said publicly that our leader Gary McHale is leading ‘a revolution.’ And she meant it in a good way!
  • We just had our first politician join CANACE as a Member Advocate. (not the Mayor)
  • A retired, senior provincial police officer helped pay for CANACE’s incorporation.
  • A published author has been reading our material and is considering writing a book.
  • 3 CANACE founders have been included in a painting by Caledonia artist, Barb Patterson-Tuck. (I’m the one in the blue UN beret on the right side of the maple leaf (I was a former peacekeeper in the Middle East). The guy at the top looking to the left is our Caledonia Liaison Merlyn Kinrade, another former peacekeeper who served with the Royal Canadian Navy. And the chubby-faced fellow with the glasses slightly below me to the right is Gary McHale, Executive Director of CANACE, the guy who was sworn at, swarmed and beaten by native thugs without ever once retaliating in kind.  

Thanks. A lot.

I can’t help but think that WordPress ought to be getting at least part of the credit for the VoiceofCanada mention in the Ryerson Review of Journalism and the other successes we’ve having. After all, it was you who provided the biggest weapon I needed to do my job, and you even gave it to me for free! Not long after I started VoiceofCanada, I did some ‘comparison shopping’ of blog platforms and decided to stick with WordPress. I’m really glad I stayed.

 Thank you for WordPress. Thank you for not allowing those who support violence to shut down my site. Thank you for providing this awesome tool of free speech and political accountability. One day, Canada will again be a country where the law is enforced without regard to one’s race, where land claim lawlessness is a thing of the past. Thank you for helping me get my message out that true reconciliation between native and non-native peoples will only be possible in the light of truth, justice and respect for the rights of all human beings irrespective of race or grievance. 

I want you to understand that this is no small thing you did; your system, your commitment to be the best – to constantly try to improve has helped us influence Canadian history for the better, I believe. One thing I’ve learned in the past 2 years is that we all affect other peoples’ lives in ways we can only know if we’re lucky. You have affected mine and given hope to many, many more.

Thank you for that. A lot. 

P.S. If you want to know what’s going on here in my province of Ontario, Canada check out the reports listed in this CANACE.ca article: CANACE counters T.R.U.E. attempt to rewrite history. The info will shock you, but it will give you an idea of why I’m so grateful for my (did I mention, ‘free’) WordPress sites.

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
VoiceofCanada
Vice-President/Director of Research
CANACE (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality)
www.canace.ca

Advertisements

3 responses to “Dear WordPress.com: Thanks.

  1. wordpress.com is great

  2. nice tip. Thanks.

  3. WordPress is a great weapon for freedom of information and freedom of the real, unbiased press. Keep up the excellent work, all of you. Incidentally, I think it was when checking out your site that I decided to revamp my site into the theme you have on now, Mark. How’s that for unintended influence!

    Richard aka Roby
    genzel.ca

    VoC REPLY: Hi R aka R aka G! Thanks so much for the compliments. We can’t alway’s talk about what we’re doing, but some good stuff is happening! You keep up the good work, too on genzel.ca – we appreciate the interest and support. The WP system truly is amazing. Gary and I have often talked about how technology – both on and off-line – has played a critical role in helping us to effectively combat those who would take our rights from us. Regards, Mark.