UPDATE 1400 EST Jan 23/10: I received a gracious reply from ‘John’ promising to review the info I provided in this post. Posted at the bottom.
UPDATED 1144 EST Jan 23/10
Well, it’s started already folks…
Those opposed to a debate that includes an airing of the tragic lessons learned from the victims of native violence and intimidation in Caledonia and Ipperwash are throwing mud to (try) to smear those of us who believe that true healing and reconciliation can only come about when the rule of law and equality before that law is respected for all citizens – native and non.
Dr. Frances Widdowson, author of the groundbreaking work, ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry,’ a 2008 Donner Book Prize finalist, recently invited Gary McHale and me to speak at her ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum that will be held in Calgary later this year. A self-described “Haudenosaunee citizen” I’ll call ‘John’ published an article that calls for the struggle by native people to remain peaceful and respectful.
Unfortunately, the article’s entire point was to make his readers believe that Ms. Widdowson and her forum shouldn’t be taken seriously because she invited a “thug” who is “inciting violence”:
“…Gary McHale is…a thug [who moved to Caledonia for the purpose] “of inciting violence.“
‘John,’ Jan 21/10:
I sent the comment below to the woefully misinformed ‘John’ and to Dr. Widdowson. Hopefully, he will have the good grace to be embarassed, apologize and reach out so we can build some bridges with a productive debate. NOTE: hyperlinks shown thusly [LINK] were not in my original comment:
I apologize for the length, but you have made some statements that deserve to be addressed in a manner which enables readers to access evidence and judge for themselves if we are, as you say, acting in a manner which appeals to the best of us:
A. A THUG INCITING VIOLENCE?: As someone who has worked with Gary McHale on a daily basis for more than 3.5 years I really must take exception to your characterization of him:
“…Gary McHale is…a thug” [who moved to Caledonia for the purpose] “of inciting violence.”
[The comment I left on ‘John’s’ website included the complete offending paragraph from ‘John’s blog that I originally included in my comment. I have replaced it here with the shortened sentence which captures the essence of his attempt to smear Dr. Widdowson and her forum by attacking Gary McHale. I have also removed other minor content which might identify him or his site. I have no desire to assist the writer of such falsehoods in obtaining an audience for his website which, as of yesterday, had but two posts on it.]
These repugnant comments about Gary McHale have no grounding in fact. He/we and our organization Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (www.CANACE.ca
) have a track record of advocating peaceful protest against racial policing and the terrible native lawlessness that has victimized thousands in Caledonia and elsewhere – including native people.
You are obviously receiving your information from one of two sources:
1. The Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (who is now facing a criminal charge for illegally influencing municipal officials [LINK
] during an attempt to smear McHale and intimidate them into not supporting him – clearly, a violation of Charter right to freedom of association and freedom of speech), in which case I suggest you review these two documents from the Race-Based Policing page: one is a defamation claim (for falsely accusing us of being “involved” in violence and having a violent “agenda” curiously enough) currently before the Court; the other is a Police Services Act complaint regarding possible criminal behaviour by the commissioner, one allegation is the crime he is now charged with. Both documents deal extensively with his campaign to smear and arrest McHale. Both are shocking:
2. If your information is coming from sources who support the violence and crime in Caledonia who are very much opposed to our quest to end their criminal activities against innocent people, then I would suggest you look at the videos on this page regarding Dec 01/07 when Gary was viciously swarmed and attacked by native smokeshack supporters who sent him to hospital in a disgusting, unprovoked attack during which Gary did not use his fists or angry words in retaliation:
A Six Nations woman is charged with mischief for setting off the swarming by loudly – and falsely – screaming that McHale had pushed her. Her ‘street theatre’ was caught on video and you can watch it yourself. The man who led the attack by cowardly jumping on McHale’s back pleaded guilty to assaulting him. Our camera man was knocked to the pavement and while laying on the ground unconscious witness say Six Nations people were calling to ‘finish him off.’ I myself was assaulted by a group of thugs who pushed me to the ground. Numerous police officers were assaulted by native thugs, but not a single one of them was charged. I have a transcript of testimony by an OPP officer talking about how they were yelling to get the cop’s guns. I’d be happy to send you the relevant excerpt.
3. If you want more evidence of who the thugs are in Caledonia, just look at the photos on this page:
… and the court decisions and statements of claims on this page:
4. And, if that’s still not enough, you might have a look at our report, ‘The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations’:
Our principles and values are on our website for all to see and read:
We follow the teachings of Dr. King:
Information about CANACE founders and our motivations are here:
Finally, I’m sure you and your readers have no idea that we have repeatedly talked about the native victims of the race-based policing that has traumatized Caledonia. On Oct 08/07, for example, I gave this speech on the topic:
Gary McHale gave a speech on the same day about how the media failed the victims of residential schools and Caledonia:
Of course, the media did not report any of our words, including the journalists from Six Nations. They didn’t report on the words of a 15 yr old girl who has to take medication and go to counselling because of the trauma of being terrorized by masked native thugs with guns who hung a deer carcass on a telephone pole so the kids on the school bus could see it. Her mother recently tried to kill herself. I dare you to watch this girl’s speech about how she lives on a road without policing because thugs won’t let the OPP patrol it, and THEN tell me who the thugs are:
SUMMARY: You closed your post claiming that your commitment is to see “[that the Haudenosaunee struggle remains peaceful in a manner which brings out the best in all of us] I agree totally, and if this is really true, then I would ask that you do this for me, for your readers, and all Canadians -native and non – who share that view:
1. Review with an open heart the evidence I have provided for you.
2. Review next this 1 page diagram we provided to Brantford Council on Sept 29/08 as part of our ‘Reconciliation: the CANACE Path’ presentation on Sept 29/08:
We were interviewed recently for 4 hours by an investigative reporter with a major news organization. After listening to us talk about how native people were being hurt too, and our belief that healing and reconciliation can never take place when the rule of law has been lost, I showed him this diagram. His exact words were, “What you guys are doing is good for native people, too.” Yes, we believe so.
3. Call me at your convenience, day or night at: 519.457.0709. Yes, that’s my home #. I will answer any questions you have about Gary McHale. If that’s not enough, then you can call him yourself.
4. Consider if our words are truly those of ‘thugs’ […] and then please revise this article to remove the offensive description or at least apologize for your words. How would you feel if I made such repulsive, unfounded, statements about a non-violent native activist you knew had spoken out on behalf of both native and non-native victims? Please give me the same consideration for the great man I know as Gary McHale.
I do hope to see you at Ms. Widdowson’s forum in May. I’ll be the tall, chubby fellow standing next to an even chubbier fellow named Gary McHale, who I suspect will go down in history as one of the greatest civil rights leader in modern Canadian history.
As for Ms. Widdowson, I thank her for speaking out and for making it possible to bring, for the first time ever, the concerns of the innocent victims of land claim lawlessness and racial policing to the policy debate. Your article shows exactly why that debate needs to take place.
Thank you for your time. I will be sending this ‘comment/novel’ 🙂 to Ms. Widdowson so that she may post it on her blog as our ‘open letter’ to you if she wishes. I will also be posting it on VoiceofCanada. Please do feel free to call or write me.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
‘John’ replies to my defence of Gary McHale
- ‘JOHN’: Jan 23/10: Hi Mark. I’ll review the links you’ve provided. My preferred approach is to do the work first and then discuss once I’m satisfied I’ve processed everything. Sincerely, -Wayne.
- VoC, Jan 23/10: “Dear Wayne: That’s very kind of you and very much appreciated. I’ll let my readers know that ‘John’ has agreed to look at the material, and I’ll pass on your comments to Dr. Widdowson. Please contact me if you have any questions. Regards, Mark.”