REVISED Sept 18/08, 1615 EST
OPP makes Canadian flag illegal for non-natives
In 1993 the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Ramsden v. Peterborough that Canadian citizens have the right to place items on public utility poles in accordance with the Charter’s guarantee of Freedom of Expression.
On Dec 02/06 a Caledonia man by the name of Bo Chausse was arrested while trying to exercise his right to place a Canadian flag on a hydro pole across from the occupied Douglas Creek Estates.
On Dec 16/06, at a protest organized by Gary McHale in support of Mr. Chausse, both he and I were arrested to ‘prevent a breach of the peace’ while attempting to do the same thing. Actually, Gary was standing quietly on the side of the road with some OPP officers waiting for a senior officer to come and explain why putting up a Canadian flag was illegal. He had offered to cancel the rest of the protest if he received an explanation. Instead of ‘open and honest dialogue,’ Gary got to wear some handcuffs.
OPP hatch a plan
An OPP document shows that in response to a plan to stop Gary McHale’s protests that apparently was put in motion on Dec 03/06 by Commissioner Fantino, the OPP arrested Gary on Dec 16th; held him in jail overnight; tried to place travel restrictions on him and even suggested to a Crown Attorney that he lay an unwarranted ‘Mischief’ charge against him. All this even though they knew Gary had committed no crime.
The OPP’s own internal investigation even admitted they didn’t even know if what they did was legal or not. Nothwithstanding the illegalities, OPP Professional Standards Bureau – naturally – couldn’t find fault with a single officer for their shameful role in the fiasco.
Fantino admits raising flags is legal, but he orders his officers to stop us anyway
On Jan 09/07 Commissioner Fantino was quoted by Katie Dawson of The Sachem as saying the following:
When it comes to raising flags, Fantino says it is legal to put up a flag on public property. “From what I was told the Supreme Court says it is legal.”
On Jan 14/07 Gary McHale talked to residents at a townhall meeting in Caledonia about Dr. King’s use of non-violent protests against injustice, and asked people to volunteer to be arrested while attempting to raise flags in an upcoming protest.
On Jan 20/07 the OPP called out the London Police riot squad to help the OPP ensure that non-natives could not put up flags. Fantino was in Caledonia that day personally taking charge. He met with the native thugs and their supporters on DCE, but he wouldn’t meet with non-native protesters to explain why the Canadian flag was illegal.
Gary and Mark complain to Ontario Human Rights Commission
On July 18/07 I submitted a complaint to the OHRC alleging that Fantino and other officers violated my right to put up a flag and arrested me because of my race; that they knew I had committed no crime; that that they did so because it was easier than protecting my rights from native protesters; and that their actions were in accordance with systemic, race-based policing policies. Gary submitted a similar complaint.
The OHRC wrote back advising me that they had invited Commissioner Fantino and the two officers to a mediation session, asking if I would attend, and also requesting supporting evidence for my complaint. I agreed to the mediation and provided the evidence on April 04/08, but didn’t hear back as to whether or not Fantino would attend until August when the OHRC sent me a copy of the OPP response.
Fantino continues to make false allegations linking us to violence
From Jan 10/07, up to and including April 23/08, OPP officers – Fantino in particular – repeatedly made serious and false allegations trying to link Gary and me to committing and/or encouraging acts of violence. See CANACE founders hit back at Fantino/Bryant defamation for info on the most recent incident on AM640 when Fantino accused us of being ‘involved’ in violence and having a violent agenda.
Fantino refuses OHRC mediation, admits he made decision to arrest based on threats by native extremists
On July 22/08 the Ministry of the Attorney General lawyer for Fantino and two other officers informed the OHRC they were refusing to attend mediation. They provided no evidence to counter my claim of systemic race-based policing and focused mainly on trying to convince the OHRC to dismiss my complaint as frivolous, vexatious, groundless, made in bad faith, etc.
Fantino and his boys also made a shocking admission: that they violated my right to put up a Canadian flag and arrested me to protect me from native extremists:
“Mr. Vandermaas’ actions in relation to the situation at Caledonia have made him a potential target of the more extreme element who do not share his views. It is the Respondents’ position that any actions it has taken in relation to Mr. Vandermaas have been to preserve the peace and to protect Mr. Vandermaas and his supporters from harm.”
“The Respondents do not dispute that on December 16, 2006 and January 20, 2007 OPP officers objected to Mr. Vandermaas erecting or attempting to erect a Canadian flag across the street from the occupied area.”
“It was the Respondents’ honestly held belief that the placement of the flag could provoke others to breach the peace and put Mr. Vandermaas and others in harms way.”
This, of course, means that the OPP have now admitted to all the core elements of my OHRC complaint.
What’s next – arrest women for walking down a bad street to ‘protect them’ from predators?
The OPP actually believe they have the right to arrest law abiding, non-native victims of violent native extremists as an alternative to protecting them from the thugs making the threats!
If one follows the OPP’s logic, police should be able to prevent women from walking down certain streets and arrest them should they do so in order to protect them from potential rapists. Perhaps the police should arrest rich people with nice cars to protect them from carjackers? Why not restrict black people from certain areas or arrest them to protect them from violent white supremacists?
Is this the Canada I swore to defend as a member of the Canadian Forces? Has the OPP become so thoroughly corrupted that they (and their MoAG lawyer) could possibly believe their own anti-democratic, racist bullshit? How could this be in 2008? Martin Luther King Jr. must be rolling over in his grave:
In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion?
Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion?
We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.
Martin Luther King Jr., April 16/63: ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail‘
Curious – no more false allegations of violence or breaches of the peace!
What was noticably absent from Fantino’s response were allegations that Gary and I were involved in committing or fomenting violence – a most interesting development given the OPP’s past attempts to smear us as violent radicals bent on the destruction of Caledonia and the free world.
This was – as I pointed out in my reply to the OHRC – quite a welcome change. I suspect however, it has less to do with a change of heart and more to do with the fact that the OHRC might actually insist that Fantino produce evidence to back up his statements.
Human rights complaint forces Fantino to tell the truth – at last
So, now you have it from the big guy himself:
- He did stop us from raising flags.
- It was native ‘extreme elements’ who might choose to become violent or breach the peace – NOT us.
- He and his officers’ conduct was not a ‘colour blind’ response to events on the ground, but the result of a deliberate, pre-determined decision to violate the rights of non-natives instead of protecting them from the whims and threats of native extremists.
- He believes that it is acceptable to arrest potential victims of crime as an alternative to enforcing the law against those making the threats.
- Contrary to his persistently false allegations between Jan 2007 and April 2008 that Gary and I were committing or encouraging or desiring acts of violence Fantino (wisely) chose NOT to make any such allegations to the OHRC when he had the chance.
Thanks to the complaints process of the Ontario Human Rights Commission Julian Fantino was finally forced to tell the truth – ah yes, the sweet smell of truth – at last!
My response to the OPP’s silly arguments
The OHRC requested my response to the OPP position which I submitted on Sept 02/08. I have posted my concluding remarks of that response in Part 2 of this article:
VoC, Sept 16/08: Human Rights complaint forces Fantino to tell truth (PART 2)
Mark Vandermaas, Editor