Mark Vandermaas interviewed by CBC re Tom Keefer march in Caledonia

Caledonia Victims ProjectNot long ago I finished a short, but great radio interview w/CBC radio (French) out of Toronto who wanted my perspective on today’s march through Caledonia as the founder of the Caledonia Victims Project.
They were given material by the organizers of today’s takeover of the streets of Caledonia by Tom Keefer and his anti-capitalist allies that left the impression today’s march was about ‘commemmorating’ the occupation, but I talked about the flyer delivered to Haldimand homes in which they make it clear that the purpose was not about commemoration, but because Gary McHale & company (of which I am proud to be one) decided to walk down a county road through DCE, and how they are using the circumstances of a mentally disturbed person who tried to commit suicide by driving his car into the house on DCE.
I told him that it doesn’t matter whether they’re commemorating the beginning of a reign of terror against innocent people or reacting to non-native people who dared to walk down a county road, their goal is to legitimize the use of violence against innocent people as a political tool, by denying the humanity of their victims by pretending they don’t exist, by blaming the victims for the violence against them, and by attacking those who speak out for them. I said this was the essence of a supremacist ideology and, as the son of parents who lived under Nazi occupation, I found it disgusting and despicable.
I made clear that the victims also include native people; I mentioned the two rapes of native women on DCE, and that as a former soldier/peacekeeper I have a duty to speak for them too.
I spoke about 6N Councillor Helen Miller’s 2009 letter in which she named all the groups involved in the lawlessness and said they don’t speak for 6N people and that the people are fed up with the occupations.
I discussed the fact that court after court have ruled that not only is there no valid claim for possession or return of the land, the recognized representatives of Six Nations haven’t even made such a claim, only one for moneys they claim they are owed.
I talked about how the real solution to reconciliation is for those responsible to apologize to the people of Caledonia.
Afterwards I sent him a copy of the flyer delivered to everyone in Haldimand County, and I sent him a link to the VoiceofCanada reference article about Keefer’s gang (reprint of the email I sent to all of you yesterday):
PLEASE – resist the urge to use violence or hateful words today:
While I know the provocations and the symbolism of what these people represent are monstrous I beg you to resist the urge to use violence or angry words against Keefer’s gang as they march, no matter what they say to you. They would dearly love to have video of Caledonia residents swearing at them or getting into fistfights.
Hate and violence is not the way; Dr. King has shown us the true path to correcting institutionalized racism in a democracy:
180px-martin_luther_king_-_march_on_washington.jpg“And so I say to you today that I still stand by nonviolence. And I am still convinced that it is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for justice in this country.

“And the other thing, I am concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice. I’m concerned about brotherhood. I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence.

“For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that.”

“And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. 

“I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. 

“I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who loves has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.”

Remember, Dr. King lived during a time when Black people were being lynched, police were siccing dogs and fire hoses on them, and the KKK was murdering black children with bombs.  It would have been so easy for him to succumb to the temptation to abandon hope, but because he stuck to his Christian beliefs to love one’s enemies the United States avoided the civil war urged against whites by Black radicals.

Violence is so easy to start, but its negative effects last a very long time as you in Caledonia know all too well. Peaceful methods will win eventually. It is a slow process to be sure, but history proves that it works. 


Mark Vandermaas
Editor, VoiceofCanada
Founder, Caledonia Victims Project

One response to “Mark Vandermaas interviewed by CBC re Tom Keefer march in Caledonia

  1. It’s always those who claim to be from the left who are first to use violence for social change.