- VoiceofCanada feature: Caledonia Players: Tom Keefer & CUPE 3903
This is a reprint of the comment I left on Dr. Frances Widdowson’s blog in reply to her excellent article, ‘Caledonia: A glimpse of aboriginal self-government.’ Widdowson is co-author of ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry,’ a finalist for the Donner Book Prize.
The comment deals with several issues, including the role of anarchists and unions in destabilizing Caledonia via support for native extremists.
Dear Ms. Widdowson:
Firstly, thank you so much for your ground-breaking book ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry.’ Thank you also for letting me know about this post and your blog. All bring vital perspectives to the debate about native extremism and racial policing. Thank you also for inviting me to comment. I apologize in advance for the length of my remarks.
Three years ago I gave up my real estate career and exposed myself to bankruptcy, character assassinations, threats, assault and jail (for trying to raise a Canadian flag!) because I am a former soldier and UN peacekeeper who believes that the future of Canada as a peaceful, democratic country is at stake. As the editor of VoiceofCanada.ca and co-founder of CANACE (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality), a group whose founders have a combined 20 years experience in opposing the victimization of innocents during land claim disputes in Ipperwash and Caledonia (you can see our ‘resume’ here: http://joincanace.wordpress.com/about-2/founding-members/) I would like to offer some comments regarding:
1. How native people themselves have been victimized by the Aboriginal sovereignty movement;
2. The role anarchist groups & unions have played in promoting native sovereignty and associated criminality;
3. The use of false accusations of racism against those of us who oppose native extremism; and
4. Why Christie Blatchford’s (excellent!) articles are just the tip of the iceberg.
1. NATIVE EXTREMISM VICTIMIZES NATIVE PEOPLE: Your post makes an excellent point about non-natives having no expectation of justice under an aboriginal system – at least one run by those responsible for the lawlessness in Caledonia, Deseronto, Brantford, Ipperwash, etc. The so-called ‘justifications’ offered for the attacks in lieu of even the slightest hint of empathy for the victims are proof positive of this.
It is important, however, to remember that native people themselves have been badly victimized by native extremists and by the refusal of police to enforce the law. Here is a transcript/video of a speech I gave on Oct 08/07 at a protest that cites some examples from both Ipperwash and Caledonia – including the rape of women on the lawless Douglas Creek Estates and the use of children in the violent attack on Camp Ipperwash: https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/2007/12/20/voc-speech-at-remember-us-march-oct-0807/ . For additional info, please see VoC’s ‘Victimizing Native People’ feature: https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/victimizing-native-people/
2. ROLE OF ANARCHISTS & UNIONS IN SUPPORTING NATIVE EXTREMISTS: You may be interested to know about our recent discovery regarding the role of anarchists in helping to promote Aboriginal sovereignty in Caledonia and Brantford. We are working on a more detailed report, but here are some basic facts:
A. TOM KEEFER & CUPE 3903: After the Mohawk Warriors organized crime group took over DCE in March 2006 a York University political science grad student by the name of Tom Keefer began to assist in organizing and supporting them in both Caledonia and later in Brantford.
For more info about the Warriors and their organized crime activities please see:
National Post: ‘Faith lost in OPP’s ability to protect Caledonia’: http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com/updates/091113np.html
QUOTE: “The officers said the OPP grew more concerned about the possibility of violence after the arrival of militant members of the Mohawk Warriors [at Caledonia occupation site], a group described as “akin to the Hells Angels.” The Warriors were involved in organized crime and cigarette running and had a reputation for physical confrontation and access to guns, including assault rifles, court heard.”
Tom Keefer is a member of CUPE 3903’s First Nations Solidarity Working Group (FNSWG) at York University’s CUPE Local 3903 (http://cupe3903.tao.ca/?q=node/138) whose members support: Limpfist (http://www.tao.ca/~limpfist/) – an anarchist site) and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), a group which financially supported Deseronto occupation leader Shawn Brant, best known for saying things like “I don’t give a rat’s ass if we create victims” and “Not until every home has suffered like we have suffered will I stop” and “We will take whatever action is necessary to bring this government to its knees” (https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/2007/06/06/canada-at-the-crossroads-rule-of-law-or-anarchy/)
The video available at the link above was recorded during an OCAP sponsored presentation on May 16/07 in Toronto during which Brant talks about how OCAP paid him to travel around to reserves where he helped prepare natives for attacking infrastructure. Unbelievably, you can still see the videos on the OCAP website along with other promo material for Brant and his gang at these links:
For some small insight into the impact that Brant’s terror campaign has had on the residents of Deseronto, see this article that talks about a man we met in Deseronto on June 25/09. It talks about how Brant’s gang threatened his family:
http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1603448 His story is similar to the Brown/Chatwell case from Caledonia (http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com/topics/chatwell.html) and Mary-Lou Lapratte’s story from Ipperwash (http://www.ipperwashpapers.com/ipperwashdocuments/A-1.pdf).
CUPE SUPPORT FOR NATIVE ORGANIZED CRIME GROUP: Tom Keefer outlines, in a Nov 15/09 post on the CUPE 3903 FNSWG website called ‘Report of the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group to the 2009 AGM’ (http://3903fnswg.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/report-of-the-cupe-3903-first-nations-solidarity-working-group-to-the-2009-agm/) how the group supports the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Men’s Fire, a criminal organization whose actions, according to a Superior Court Judge in the 2009 case of John Voortman & Associates Limited v. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council and Haudenosaunee Men’s Fire of Grand River were described as follows:
“I also find that the actions of the HMF amount to both criminal and civil misconduct. Their actions have interfered with the property rights of Voortman and can be characterized as nuisance, trespass, extortion, intimidation, and inducing breach of contract.” (see para 78 in http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com/documents/090403-Vortman-ReasonRuling.pdf)
The CUPE report also states that the FNSWG participated in an (illegal) road blockade set up in Caledonia in April 2008 and advises that Six Nations members have blocked “over $2B worth of development….” Obviously, this devastating attack on the economy has been accomplished with the FNSWG’s support and assistance.
We first became aware of Keefer and company in June when he mounted a vicious attempt to use the media to smear us and a Caledonia resident with false accusations of being white supremacists: https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/legal-notices-served-re-cupe-protest/
In a speech he gave in Cayuga on June 23/09 which I recorded on videotape Keefer talked about how he and his supporters – which included CAW, CUPE, OPSEU, CUPW, CLC and OCAP – have been involved in supporting the occupiers of Caledonia’s Douglas Creek Estates for three years. Here is a link to an article by Gary McHale which was recently published in the Regional News entitled, “Have you heard of Tom Keefer?’ (http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com/updates/091104regional.html). In it he discusses Keefer’s involvement in Caledonia & Brantford and quotes him describing CANACE as the single biggest obstacle to achieving their goals related to native sovereignty.
Just as interesting, the CUPE 3903 FNSWG report tells about the involvement of anarchist organizations in supporting native sovereignty. One such group mentioned was ‘Freedonia’ which they claim provided $3,000 to the FNSWG in 2008 which in turn provided money to a non-native group called TRUE (Two Row Understanding Through Education) which ‘educates’ the public about native sovereignty issues. (Freedonia’s website does not list this grant.) The FNSWG also invited members of the Six Nations youth movement (NYM) to speak and hand out warrior flags on a strike picket line.
From Freedonia’s home page: http://www.freedonia.ca:
“Freedonia was founded in 1997 by Gary Moffatt as an expression of his lifetime commitment to anarchism and to building social and economic alternatives to capitalism. In keeping with this anti-authoritarian vision, Freedonia provides funding and other support for the development of movements promoting radical democratic and systemic change.”
Freedonia is an anarchist organization which has provided funds to organizations which support native militants.
Previous Grants by Freedonia include OCAP, the organization which paid Shawn Brant to travel Ontario and organize natives to target infrastructure for attacks, and Jan Watson’s ‘Community Friends’ a non-native group which openly supports native protesters who have engaged in lawlessness in Caledonia:
“The Community Friends have undertaken solidarity work with the aboriginal community of Six Nations by preparing a documentary on the land rights struggle and organizing showings in nearby non-Native communities, organizing a weekend conference of solidarity activists at Six Nations, and a series of anti-racist workshops for local people in the area.”
Here are some links about Jan Watson and Community Friends:
Candidate Profile: http://www.cd989.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=10060
OCAP story: Public Meeting in Caledonia: Why Canadians should Support Six Nations Land Rights http://update.ocap.ca/FirstNations?page=5 (Watson was a speaker)
Community Friends of Six Nations: An Interview with Jan Watson: http://bermudaradical.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/community-friends-of-six-nations-an-interview-with-jan-watson/
It would appear that the Aboriginal Industry described in ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry’ also includes those who use native militants and non-native collaborators to help undermine the rule of law for their own anarchistic ends. This is a story, with the exception of Gary’s lone article about Keefer cited above, that has never been told by MSM.
3. NATIVE SOVEREIGNTY: ‘EQUALITY IS RACIST’ On June 23/09 supporters at the Tom Keefer/CUPE 3903 protest in Cayuga handed out a 2 page flier entitled, ‘Understanding the Colonial Roots of Anti-Native Activism’ which was designed to show – through bizarre, Orwellian logic – how we and others were racists for advocating equality before the law:
“McHale consciously uses the language of civil and human rights, and his reliance on ‘peaceful activism’ services to distinguish between those who are civilized and those who are not. So while McHale and followers define the CWUC movement as rooted in peaceful activism, they cast the Six Nations reclamation as terrorist in nature. This is a racist tactic and a very old colonial justification for violence against Aboriginal people.” […]
“Today these types of [“anti-sovereignty/anti-Native”] groups and organizations often passionately employ language based in civil rights movements, calling for ‘equal rights for all Canadians’ and using the popular slogan ‘one law for all.’ […] While the slogan ‘One Law for All” began to be used by anti-Native groups in Canada in the early 1990’s, it was previously popularized by the KKK in the early 1970’s.”
So, there you have it: when non-natives emphasize the importance of human rights, and use peaceful means to protest against illegal/violent land seizures and the victimization of innocent people they are racists trying to justify violence against innocent native people.
In my opinion, native sovereignty has little or nothing to do with justice or equality or fairness, or even the settling of land claims, but everything to do with racial supremacy/segregation and/or organized crime attempting to set up the ‘homefree zones’ similar to those described by victims in both Ipperwash and Caledonia where native militants are not subject to Canadian law.
Moreover, as described above, the extremists who have victimized so many non-natives have also victimized native people as well. The failure by sovereignty proponents to even acknowledge, let alone show empathy for, the innocent victims of native extremism belies any claims of innocent intentions.
Finally, the involvement of anarchists in organizing and funding the native sovereignty movement should be a clear warning that Canadian democracy itself is under assault. Natives and non-natives alike should fear involvement from these provocateurs from the lunatic fringe.
What is truly troubling, Canadian governments – especially in Ontario – seem woefully ignorant and/or wilfully blind to the dangers and are determine to treat these militants as though they speak for all native people, thereby giving them decidedly undeserved legitimacy. While the OPP and its Commissioner Julian Fantino mounted a vicious and very public smear campaign against peaceful non-native activists they have never once denounced native extremist leaders or the non-native anarchists who have supported them all along.
4. BROWN/CHATWELL TRIAL JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG: We have been working full time to expose and oppose racial policing and native extremism for 3 years. Now, at long last, the media seem to be grasping the terrible dangers of both. Christie Blatchford’s articles are fabulous, but the Brown/Chatwell story is just the large tip of a huge iceberg.
For example, virtually everything that happened in Caledonia happened in Ipperwash, but the Inquiry ensured that the evidence of crime against residents was never allowed to be presented. Strongly suggest you read our fully-referenced report entitled, ‘McGuinty’s Ipperwash Cover-up: the Caledonia Legacy’: http://joincanace.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/mcguintys-ipperwash-cover-up-full-version.pdf
There isn’t space here to outline all of the information and evidence at our disposal, but if readers are interested in understanding more I would suggest:
A. Back issues of Gary McHale’s weekly column in Caledonia’s Regional News; you can read them at http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com. Scroll down to ‘Court Beat & Regional News’. These are ‘must-read’ articles written about the racial bias of the OPP and the Crown by a man at the centre of the fight to end racial policing. Most of the stories have never been told by any other media.
B. CANACE reference feature: Race-Based Policing: http://joincanace.wordpress.com/race-based-policing/
C. CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com feature: $12M Brown/Chatwell Trial: http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com/topics/chatwell.html
In summary, the quest by native extremists, aided by anarchist & union collaborators to bring about ‘native sovereignty’ has terrorized thousands of innocent people, native and non; caused billions of dollars in economic damage; and poses a clear and present danger to the rule of law and Canadian democratic traditions.
Thank you for listening. I thank you for your book, your excellent post and your interest – and I hope you will continue to speak out. Canada needs your voice.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
In response to my comment Ms. Widdowson echoed my concerns about native victims of extremism and racial policing in a follow-up article entitled, ‘Pseudoleftist support for “Mohawk Warriors” in Caledonia.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor