This page contains a selection of favourite photos from my life and the struggle to end Race-Based Policing. Hope you enjoy them!
UNEF II: I am 3rd from the right in this photo taken during a parade at the U.N. base in Ismailia, Egypt where I served a six month tour of duty with the United Nations Emergency Force II (UNEF II) in 1978. Click photo to enlarge.
EASTER ON MOUNT SINAI: On Easter Sunday, 1978 some of my fellow members of the Canadian Contingent climbed Mount Sinai in the Israel-occupied Sinai peninsula to watch the sun come up! It was a long tough trek through the hills in a 10 wheel-drive, 5 ton, turbo-charged, ‘multi-fueler’ diesel truck. We had to wait until very early in the morning to begin our 3-hour climb in the dark in order to be at the top in time. Click photo to enlarge.
MARCH FOR FREEDOM: As we walked back to our cars after the first March for Freedom on October 15, 2006, Gary McHale was stopped by a TV news crew for an interview. When they were done, we posed for this photo. The writing on my left shoulder is Gary’s dated autograph. I knew I was witnessing history being made that day.
I created two designs and had 4 Tshirts (2 Large, 2 XXL) made up for the original March for Freedom – one for me, one for Gary, one for his wife, Christine, and the last one (a Large) I still have, still un-worn. Gary asked if he could have the ‘Ipperwash – Caledonia, One Law for All’ version so I took the other one, “March for Freedom – Caledonia – October 15, 2006.” I got Gary to autograph mine while MPP Toby Barrett was speaking to the crowd at the first March for Freedom, October 15, 2006. I was wearing it on December 16, 2006 when I was arrested for trying to put a Canadian flag on a Caledonia utility pole. Click photos to enlarge.
ARRESTED: This photo taken by Jeff Parkinson at a March for Freedom event on December 16, 2006 shows me at a utility pole across from the occupied Douglas Creek Estates being guarded by the OPP so no one can place a Canadian flag beside the Mohawk Warriors’ flag already flying. I am at the lower left holding a Canadian flag mounted upside down as a Universal Sign of Distress to symbolize the attack on the values it stands for – Rule of Law, Democracy, Freedom, Equality, Justice. Once the OPP ‘pole protectors’ refused to allow me to erect my flag, I sat down on the road and had my flag ripped from my hands by an OPP officer with such force that it broke the 1″ aluminum hollow pole in two pieces. I was then arrested “to prevent a breach of the peace” and later released. Gary McHale was also arrested even though he was merely standing on the road with some OPP officers waiting for a senior officer to come to explain why putting up Canadian flags was a ‘breach of the peace’ for non-natives. He was held overnight and forced to appear in court even though the OPP knew they weren’t going to charge him with a crime. A judge ordered his release. Click photo to enlarge.
‘BLUE BERET’ SPEECH: On January 20, 2007 I gave the opening remarks to those who had come to Caledonia for a March for Freedom event. After giving my ‘Blue Beret’ speech, I went to ask the OPP to send a senior officer to answer some questions for me in front of the media. They promised to do so, but no one showed up. While we were waiting I read some of the material contained in our press kit, including the important Dec 21/06 Toronto Star editorial issued after our arrests on Dec 16th called, “Time for a reality check on Caledonia,” and a letter written by Mr. Merlin Kinrade, RCN, Retired, who was standing beside me. This photo was taken just as I was closing my remarks with the cry, “FREE IPPERDONIA!” (‘IpperDonia’ is derived, of course, from the words ‘Ipperwash’ and Caledonia.’) Click photo to enlarge.
A videographer who goes by the YouTube.com screen name of ‘vidkid1983’ produced a great video from the events of Jan 20th that captured the essence of the day in just 1.14 minutes. It’s called, “Caledonia – January 20th 2007.” The footage includes comments from Gary McHale, the OPP, Merlin Kinrade and me.
OPPOSING FANTINO ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH: On March 03/07 we held a March for Freedom event on the steps of the Cayuga OPP detachment to support Caledonia resident Dave Hartless.
Hartless, who happens to be a Hamilton police officer and a victim himself of landclaim violence has been an outspoken critic of the OPP and the government, but never identified himself as a police officer in his writings. Fantino tried to silence him by filing a complaint with the Hamilton Police Service.
The photo was taken by Jeff Parkinson after the event was over. Gary McHale is on the left.
THE IPPERWASH PAPERS: The July 02/07 issue of Western Star magazine carried a great article by Kevin Steel that relied heavily on The Ipperwash Papers and interviews with both Mary-Lou LaPratte and me.
It was the first time that our work on the Ipperwash story was referenced in the main stream media, and it was the first time that Mary-Lou felt that a reporter had accurately told the Ipperwash story.
Kevin’s well-researched story included quotes from Mary-Lou; National Post columnist Andrew Coyne; Professor Whitney Lackenbauer, University of Waterloo; Professor Tom Flanagan, University of Calgary; Chief Terry Nelson; grand chief of Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine; and me.
‘Protection Racket’ is an expose of the official Ipperwash Inquiry. It vindicated what we had been saying all along about the failures of the Inquiry, and the dangers of tolerating violence and criminality during land claims. For me, it was a milestone in the struggle to reveal the truth about Ipperwash and its Caledonia legacy.
Taken in the parking lot of the Hamilton hotel where Mary-Lou LaPratte stayed the night before we (Gary McHale, Mary-Lou and I) held our Ipperwash Papers news conference in the Queen’s Park Media Studio on March 14, 2007. This is me with one of the greatest people I have ever had the honour of meeting just before leaving for Toronto for the most important presentation of our lives. Dundurn Castle is visible over Mary-Lou’s right shoulder.
In Feb 2009 the Caledonia-based Regional News became the first media outlet in Canada to allow us to tell the story of the Ipperwash Papers project in our own words.
MCHALE V. R., 2009 (et al): The photo (LEFT) was taken by me on June 29/09 on the steps of the Cayuga courthouse during the week that CANACE co-founder Gary McHale presented his ultimately-successful arguments before now-deceased Justice Marshall of the Superior Court in support of his application for an Order of Mandamus overturning a JP’s decision to side with the Crown’s argument that it had the right to withdraw a private prosecution before the evidence had even been presented.
Justice Marshall granted the application on July 02/09, quoting one of the fathers of the U.S. constitution to emphasize the importance of the the case McHale had brought before the court. The Crown has appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeals. If McHale v. R. is upheld it will ensure that the Crown can never again interfere with a citizen’s right to lay a criminal charge against police or government officials.
Gary is on the left, standing with our fellow CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson who, with Gary’s help, was able to win two Superior Court victories of his own with respect to private prosecutions in Parkinson v. R., 2008 and Parkinson v. R., 2009. On Dec 31/09 Gary won another important ruling – McHale v. Attorney General of Ontario, 2009 – when Superior Court Justice Crane granted him an Order of Mandumus requiring a justice of the peace to issue process for a criminal charge against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino. CANACE founders have now defined the limits of the law in the area of private prosecutions. The most remarkable and inspiring aspect of these victories is that neither Gary or Jeff have any formal legal training.
FINAL FLAG VICTORY: On July 12/09 CANACE founders successfully led an historic march to raise a Canadian flag across the street from the occupied Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia where Caledonia community leader Doug Fleming did what the OPP arrested Gary McHale, me, Doug’s brother Randy and a resident named Bo Chausse for attempting to do since Dec 02/6.
The photos on the left was taken by Jeff Parkinson. It shows Merlyn Kinrade and me saluting the flag after Doug Fleming attached the flag (photo right by Christine McHale) to a hydro pole near the site of our arrests. Gary’s wife, Christine, is standing with us. After 4 arrests and a 31-month campaign, the battle to force the OPP to stop violating the right of non-natives to walk down a road and peacefully place a Canadian flag on hydro poles – a right protected by the Supreme Court in Ramsden v. Peterborough, 1993 – ends in victory.