OPP only

UPDATE, Oct 24/10: Caledonia Victims Project: ‘Helpless’ excerpt 1, [by Christie Blatchford] – ‘Caledonia: the town that law forgot’ 

The end result was a form of policing that would be simply unrecognizable to Canadians living anywhere else in the country: cops who watched or turned away as the law was broken, sometime brazenly; cops who appeared to take sides and would take action against only one group of people and not the other; cops who refused to make arrests, conduct investigations or protect the public. 

Some of those officers who resisted were either punished, reprimanded or disciplined, with the result that the others lost heart. Few people are as shamed by Caledonia, sickened by their own impotence, as the men and women of the OPP who worked there regularly. 

UPDATE, Oct 10/10: Christie Blatchford in HELPLESS: Front line OPP officers ‘sold down the river’ by Fantino & Boniface  

UPDATE re Dec 01/07 Assaults on OPP officers: Gary McHale presented video evidence to the Court during an attempt to file a private prosecution for some of the many assaults on OPP officers on Dec 01/07. Unfortunately, and unbelievably, he was successfully opposed by the Crown Attorney(!) who argued that the police were capable of laying their own charges should they wish to do so.  

You may also be interested in seeing the photo of Julian Fantino laughing it up with Clyde Powless, the guy who led the vicious swarming attack on Gary McHale on Dec 1/07 and who was responsible for several assaults on OPP officers himself that day.  

UPDATE re Dec 01/07 Caledonia violence: On Dec 01/07 the Haldimand detachment issued a press release quoting Commissioner Fantino that falsely blamed non-native residents and ‘interlopers’ i.e. Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas for the day’s violence before any investigation had been done. Please see, ‘CANACE calls for RCMP to take over investigation after Fantino blames victims of Caledonia violence.’  

We would also like to advise that we are in the process of using private informations to lay charges against those who assaulted police on Dec 1st. According to Detective Murray’s testimony under cross-examination by Gary McHale, not one of the officers who was assaulted that day filed a complaint. This can only be the result of OPP policy – written or tacit – that native suspects are not to be charged for assaults against officers. If OPP brass won’t protect frontline officers, we will.  

If you wish to help, please contact the OPPA and request that they offer assistance to us. Also, if you have any documentary evidence related to OPP policies of treating citizens differently based on their race, please mail it to: Mark Vandermaas, 371 Vesta Place, London, ON N5Y 1G4.  

A message for OPP officers in Caledonia  

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpgIn my article, OPP Email: Hartless Complaint was revenge for McHale association!, I released an email from OPP Caledonia/Cayuga Detachment Commander Dave McLean that exposed how the OPP had been motivated by a desire to punish Dave Hartless for his association with Gary McHale. I was disgusted by McLean’s false statements about McHale and with his apparent disregard for the Charter of Rights that guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of association.  

I couldn’t help but think that there must be at least one or two OPP officers in Haldimand who feel the same way.  

Did you swear an oath to uphold the law, or to uphold lies?   

If you are an OPP officer in Caledonia you must surely know in your heart that it is wrong for senior officers to spread lies about law-abiding citizens. You must know that it is wrong to conspire to stifle free speech and citizens’ right to free association. You must surely know that you are undermining Canada’s democracy and its very security every time you refuse to enforce the law; every time you arrest a Canadian citizen who wants to exercise their right to place a flag on a pole; every time you take orders from the DCE thugs; every time you enforce race-based policies; every time you refuse to do what you know is right.  

You know the truth; you were there!   

We have protested against your force’s activities peacefully and legally. Contrary to what your senior officers have told the public, not a single person – civilian or police officer – has ever been hurt at a March for Freedom event organized by Gary McHale. You know this is true; you were there!  

We reached out to help front-line OPP officers, and were libelled for our efforts by the OPPA  

In January 2007, I personally left two detailed messages for OPPA Vice President Ron Middel on his cell phone asking that he meet with us for the purpose of discussing how we could get the negative attention off front-line officers and onto the brass where we thought it belonged.  

Our reward for reaching out on your behalf was a disgusting media release issued by OPPA President Karl Walsh on Jan 18/07 that accused us of promoting hatred and inciting violence. You – through your association – are now being sued for that outrageous libel, libel that cannot be substantiated because it simply is not true. Our lawyer told us that the OPPA news release was the worst case of libel he has ever seen.  

Please, don’t take my word for it. I urge you to read my complaint to the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services regarding the defamatory statements made against me/us by senior OPP officers.  

You are defending a culture built on the lies of Ipperwash  

 westernstandard-jul0207.jpgOn March 14/07 we went to Queen’s Park to release The Ipperwash Papers, a collection of more than 400 pages of documents that were ‘overlooked’ by the Ipperwash Inquiry. The Commissioner of the Ipperwash Inquiry says that the OPP are using ‘best practices’ in Caledonia, yet The Ipperwash Papers show that the Inquiry completely excluded the residents and key evidence. It never studied the issue of violence against innocent third parties and, therefore, reliance on its 100 recommendations (not one of which specifically addresses the issue of violence vs. residents) by Fantino & McGuinty to ‘justify’ the illegal racial policing policies in Caledonia represents a policy fraud of the highest order. 

You can read a fully-cited summary we authored which was published as a 2 part series in the Regional News here: 

  •  Regional News series, Feb 18-25/09: McGuinty’s Ipperwash Cover-up: the Caledonia Legacy [PDF, 10p]

Again, don’t take my word for it; spend some time reading the documents the Inquiry didn’t want you to see. They will shock you and reaffirm what you already know – that the OPP’s policies that you are enforcing are based on lies.  

[Photo/link above is to July 02/07 article called ‘Protection Racket: an Ontario judge glosses over illegal aboriginal acts at Ipperwash.’ It was inspired by The Ipperwash Papers project, and it quotes project contributors Mary-Lou LaPratte and Mark Vandermaas.]   

You are being ordered to violate the Charter of Rights and the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada   

girls-with-guts.jpgHave your senior officers informed you that there are two separate Supreme Court decisions that protect the rights of citizens to place flags on public utility poles?  

One says that citizens have the right to place items on public utility poles. The other says that third parties to aboriginal land claims have NO duty to consult or accommodate aboriginal concerns. In other words, the OPP do not have the right to suspend the rights of non-native citizens as a convenient alternative to enforcing them.  

Every time you prevent us from putting up a flag you are breaking the law and undermining democracy. Once again, don’t take my word for it; read the VoiceofCanada articles listed in ‘References’ below, and see the court’s decisions for yourself:  

Ramsden v. Peterborough (City), [1993] http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/scc-eliisa/highlight?language=en&path=http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1993/1993rcs2-1084/1993rcs2-1084.html&query=%2Bhydro+%2Bpoles   

Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), [2004]  


In section 78 on page 27 of the Jan 12/07 ‘Plaintiff’s Factum’ for the Caledonia Class Action lawsuit, solicitor John Findlay of Findlay McCarthy states the following: “The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that third parties to Aboriginal treaty claims have no duty to consult or accommodate the group that is making the claim. Further, third parties are not subject to any duty or are required to make any accommodation to enable the Province to obtain a remedy to an Aboriginal claim. It is up to the Province to find that remedy without affecting or compromising third party interests. Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), supra., per McLachlin C.J. at paras 52 to 56 Caledonia Class Action Plaintiff’s Factum, Jan 12/07   

http://www.caledoniaclassaction.com/plaintiffs’ factum.pdf  


Why your morale is low   

We know that morale within OPP officers serving in Caledonia is low. It is low because you know that you are part of a culture that goes against everything you were ever taught about democracy. You know that what you are doing is wrong. You know, deep inside, that you are acting as enablers to senior officers who think they have the right to suspend the constitutional rights of non-native citizens as a convenient alternative to protecting them. You know it’s wrong, but you do it anyway.  

We are NOT the enemy of police officers or of law & order  

I have never met a single person involved in the struggle against Two Tier Justice who dislikes police officers. When I met recently with a representative from the Solicitor General’s office regarding my complaints against your Commissioner, I explained to him that if someone had told me a year ago that I would be involved in a struggle to get police officers to enforce the law I would have told that person they were crazy. Yet, here I am.  

We believe in the rule of law. We believe in equality before the law. We believe in the Charter of Rights & Freedoms. We believe in the Supreme Court of Canada. And…we believe in supporting police officers who honour their oaths of office. We want to support and honour you, but we cannot because you are dishonouring your oaths and subverting the principles of democracy.  

No, we are not your enemy. But, so long as you enable your superiors to subvert democracy and do nothing to help us resist them, we will continue to oppose your actions. All of us must be responsible for our actions, and you – as a police officer – accepted an even greater responsibility when you put on your uniform. Until the OPPA apologizes for their attacks on us and makes it clear that they are opposed to Two Tier Justice on behalf of all OPP officers, the responsibility for resisting this evil rests with each officer individually.  

We would prefer that you become partners in the struggle against Two Tier Justice, but so long as you continue to violate our constitutional rights and so long as the OPPA refuses to join the struggle we will be forced to continue to file OCCPS complaints and lawsuits against you, your force, your association and its leaders.  

History rejects the ‘I was just following orders’ defence   

My parents lived through the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War II, so I have read a great deal about that period. In 1935, long before the first gas chamber was built or the Final Solution was proclaimed, Nazi Germany decreed the Nuremburg Laws that were designed to exclude Jews from participating in German society. The horrors that would come barely five years later were made possible not by storm troopers, but by quiet acquiesence by low-level clerks, bureaucrats, police officers and judges who were ‘just following orders’ as they enforced racist laws they knew or ought to have known were wrong.  

I am not saying that your actions in Caledonia will lead to genocide, but I do believe that anarchy is a distinct possibility as more and more people lose faith in your willingness to enforce the law, and/or to do it fairly. You and your fellow officers have a duty to do whatever you can to prevent the rule of law from being lost. You and your fellow officers have a duty not to enforce laws based on race. No good can come from race-based policing.  

You may know that I have served with the Canadian Forces and the United Nations on a peacekeeping mission. We were taught that we had a duty – not a right or an option – to refuse to carry out illegal orders, so I reject out of hand the ‘I was only following orders’ excuse. I have said that I would rather be a bum under a bridge than an OPP officer enforcing Two Tier Justice in Caledonia, and I mean it.  

An appeal to all OPP front-line officers in Caledonia  

I call on you to join us. Help us by gathering and sending evidence anonymously as some of your fellow officers are already doing. Call the OPPA leadership and ask them to tell you the truth about us. Ask them to show you the ‘evidence’ against us. Then, when they cannot, tell them to defend democracy instead of attacking law abiding citizens.  

Am I saying that you should quit your job with the OPP? No, not if you’re doing whatever you can to resist. Not if you’re calling the OPPA to pressure them to fight for the rule of law on your behalf. Not if you’re sending evidence to those of us who can help expose the truth about the force so it can be reformed. Not if you’re speaking out against Two Tier Justice like Dave Hartless did.  

One day you will be judged  

question-mark_cartoon.jpegOne day you will be called to account for what you did or didn’t do in Caledonia by your God, by your courts or by your children. Will you be able to say that you did everything you could to defend Canada’s democratic institutions against injustice and abuse, or will you say, “I was just following orders.”?  

I look forward to hearing your answer.  

I will protect your identity  

I will do my very best to protect the identity of any OPP officers who wish to comment on this page. Since I have proven that I am more than willing to go to jail over my right to raise a Canadian flag, you can guess how far I would be willing to go to protect officers from reprisals for exercising their constitutional right to free speech.  


Mark Vandermaas, Editor
371 Vesta Place
London, ON N5Y 1G4


COMMENT: Haldimand County Officer – Anonymous  

I have read this with an open mind – being an officer assigned to Haldimand County. I was there on Sterling street last friday evening – and believe me, we all understand your frustrations and so do 99% of the officers currently assigned to the county. We are fed up with it too – we’ve seen the problems and we’ve seen the dangers.  

There is one part I whole heartedly agree with though – when you asked us to believe that you are not the enemy. Friday evening, i stood on the line, and then i drove in and out. I had my window down and i had a large male (i’m a fairly big guy myself) walking down the street directly in front of my cruiser. I had a civilian media rep with me (non native). This male refused to get out of my way – luckily I was only going 15 km/h… as I moved around him and pulled up outside, he felt the need to scream directly into my window and throw his hands into the cruiser towards me. Now, I’ll give other townspeople credit for asking him why he would do that – but that goes beyond being frustrated with the natives. I drove through the lines and back out again and I’ll have you know, we were called every single name in the book by several towns people. and thats no joke. How do you think the media personality I had with me felt about that? And how do you think that may make that person feel about reporting on issues in a non biased way?  

I personally stood on that line and turned 4 natives away that tried to cross. Don’t tell me I will or will not be judged by anyone for what I’ve done. What frustrated me and pissed me off more then anything that day? Being called a useless piece of shit by some guy on the front lines because I was driving out of there to protect the rest of the county that night.

If you are sincere in this email about anything you say about supporting the front line guys – the number one thing you can do is have these people who only come there to cause trouble with the police removed. Just keep in mind, almost all of the people manning the checkpoints and standing on the front lines now are permanent haldimand county officers. ones that are still gonna be there when this is all over.  

I know one things for sure – there is a few faces from that night I won’t forget – and they aren’t native.  

VoC REPLY: Thanks so much for writing HCO. Sorry to take so long to reply, but I’ve been really tied up. I’ll try to address each of your points as best I can:  

1. Thank you for reading this with an open mind. I can tell that you did so, and I think all of us appreciate that.  

2. I’m really glad to know that the officers in Caledonia, especially the permanent Haldimand officers, realize the dangers, and are fed up with the situation. That gives me some hope. I can’t tell you how many times we have wondered if any of you still knew the difference, or if you realized how close your leaders are to taking our province to the brink of anarchy. Thanks for that.  

3. I saw you and the other officers turn back that carload of natives, and we were grateful for it. I have to admit that I was tempted to put it down to ‘optics,’ but I decided to report it at face value.  

4. I appreciate very much you telling me that you believe we are not the enemy. My lawyer and I had a meeting a while back with Rod McLeod, a former deputy minister appointed by the Solicitor General to review our complaints against Fantino and report back to the minister. (The SG dismissed all our complaints before McLeod finished his report, but that’s another story.) I told McLeod that if someone had told me a year ago that I would be begging him to get police to enforce the law and do it equally, I’d have said they were crazy! (I also told him that the big mistake the OPP and government were making was treating a small group of native criminals as if they speak for all honourable native people.)  

I used to drive for the Toronto Transit Commission, and there were several occasions when I went to the aid of police officers who were being harassed by crowds. I promise you this: even given how I feel about the OPP policies and the refusal of individual officers and their union to speak out, I would be the first to risk my life to protect yours if you were attacked by native thugs or anyone else. I can say this because I believe that none of us should stand idly by and allow injustice to occur. Given what I know of Gary McHale, Jeff Parkinson and Merlyn Kinrade, they would do the same for you. Merlyn and I feel a special kinship with police officers because we both swore oaths to serve our country and we both wore a uniform that represented those oaths, just as you do now. It saddens me greatly that your leaders and your union think of us as enemies. We are not.  

5. KEEPING OUT TROUBLEMAKERS, Part 1: Contrary to what you might have been told, we do not incite hate or provoke violence because we don’t believe in it. We ask people not to use racial slurs and not to swear even when they are provoked to the extreme. On January 20/07 a large group of natives on DCE screamed insults and obscenities at us for 30-40 minutes as we stood silently looking at them. Eventually, they realized we were not going to react and they just drifted away, rendered completely impotent by silent non-violence.  Afterwards, a native man who was there wrote to me and eventually expressed his shame at how his people had acted that day. You can read our exchanges in “She:kon Mark” – Karone:rorakwe shares thoughts from DCE with VoC.    

Unfortunately, we have no control over who shows up at an event any more than you have any control over whether we show up. So far, however, our marches and townhall events have been completely peaceful, and that is what we will continue to strive for.  

As far as last Friday at Stirling Street was concerned, we did not organize that event or promote it. We simply showed up to support the residents and the injured man.  

6. KEEPING OUT TROUBLEMAKERS, Part 2: If we (McHale, Parkinson, or I) had witnessed anyone swearing at officers or putting their hands in your car or blocking your car or even getting close enough to be threatening to you, we would surely have done our best to let them know that such antics do not help our cause. On Dec 16th, for example, I asked people to back away from the officers keeping us from putting up a flag so they wouldn’t feel threatened.  

Gary McHale has said many times that the moment people in Caledonia use violence against police officers or natives, the media will run the video clips for the next year portraying residents as the aggressors.  

7. KEEPING OUT TROUBLEMAKERS, Part 3: I think the people of Caledonia have been remarkably restrained in the face of unbelievable provocations from native thugs and a police force that has gone out of its way to enable them. I am sorry they swore at you, but at least they weren’t attacking you and your vehicles with baseball bats or violently occupying your police station, or threatening to shoot you, or ordering you not to police certain areas, etc.   

Still, your point is well taken. I’m sure the verbal insults hurt you as much or more than the physical threats. I will certainly continue to do my best to encourage people to treat OPP officers with the same dignity that any human being deserves.  

8. KEEPING OUT TROUBLEMAKERS, Part 4: A big part of the problem with getting a consistent ‘keep the peace’ message out to everyone in Caledonia is the role OPP and OPPA leaders have played in trying to discredit our peaceful, lawful efforts to oppose what the force is doing. Fantino and McLean’s emails show that there was a deliberate attempt to destroy our reputations and impede our efforts despite all evidence to the contrary that we are who we say we are, and that our methods and objectives are lawful.  

We suspect that these efforts have been part of a deliberate attempt to stifle opposition and to divide the town. At some level, this has been ‘successful’ in preventing a unified front against Two Tier Justice, but the price of the OPP’s ‘success’ is that residents feel that no one is listening to them, that they have no voice. Even worse, reasonable and honourable native people have been led to believe the worst about us and have made disgusting allegations about us. This, of course, discourages residents from speaking out and joining peaceful efforts such as ours. It also means that we have much less influence over them than you might think during an event such as last Friday’s where we were not the organizers.  

We are the ‘moderates’ in this struggle. Some people want to hide their heads in the sand and wait for landclaim lawlessness to suddenly disappear. Others want to fight. Their rage leads them to say and do things that do not help anyone. We are in the middle; we believe in direct, but peaceful confrontation. It is this confrontation that forces officers to violate our rights for all to see. We, in turn, can then file complaints, lawsuits and write stories to further our goals of ending Two Tier Justice (a phrase first used by Karl Walsh, by the way).  

Martin Luther King Jr. knew the power of direct, but peaceful action and we take a lot of our inspiration from him. If you’d like some interesting insights into how we think, have a look at these two items: one is a letter from well-meaning clergy asking Dr. King not to go to Birmingham, the other is an excerpt from his reply – his famous Letter from Birmingham jail in April 1963 when he was jailed for parading without a permit.  

Dr. King could have chosen to do nothing and remained an anonymous ‘outsider,’ or he could have chosen to use violence as some blacks were urging. History remembers him for choosing the middle road of direct confrontation.  

“I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against outsiders coming in. I am in Birmingham because injustice is here”  

“You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path? You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, non-violent tension which is necessary for growth.”  

Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963  

Our efforts do raise tension, but they do it in a non-violent manner in such a way that OPP leaders and the government cannot ignore the fundamental injustice of race-based policing forever.  

9. HOW DO WE SUPPORT YOU? As I said above, I tried to reach out to the OPPA and was rewarded with hateful accusations in a press release. In the absence of their voice on your behalf, how DO I speak out for you without compromising my fundamental belief in individual accountability? In my heart I know that if I were an OPP officer I would speak out and be prepared to resign rather than play any part in destroying the rule of law.   

The best solution is that you and your fellow officers convince your union to join this struggle. The OPPA’s silence on preserving the rule of law while attacking us is most puzzling.   

The other way would be to find a way to pass on comments from a group of officers in Haldimand in a way that wouldn’t identify them. I’m open to your suggestions. I would certainly be willing to meet with you or even a group of officers to listen, to answer any questions they might have about me/us, and to take your stories to the public anonymously. You tell me when and where. If there were enough officers willing to participate, we could overcome the OPPA’s refusal to speak altogether and get your message out that you do not agree with OPP policies. Send me an email at info@voiceofcanada, or call me. I’m in the London phone book.  

Thanks for writing. Be safe. Regards, Mark

6 responses to “OPP only

  1. I would like to add on to this request.

    I am a volunteer firefighter/BTLS Medic, and the President of the NOVFA.

    Guys, we all do the same job. We all protect the public. If our Chief or Captain makes a bullshit decision, the Senior Firefighter on scene takes charge and shows the guys how it’s done.

    Your Commissioner and I’m sure other higher-ups are making very bad decisions, one of you who has enough heart, soul, and seniority needs to stand up, take charge, and show the public why you’re known as Ontario’s Finest.

    Ty Ritchie,
    Northeastern Ontario Volunteer Firefighters Association.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for adding your voice to the call for someone – anyone – with a conscience in the OPP to step up and do the right thing for the good of our province and our country. I really appreciate it, Ty. Regards, Mark

  2. Anytime Mark. I love this province and I love this country. Canadian 100%

  3. Officer, I believe you are the type of officer I was speaking of. The kind who has the nerve. Who will speak up.

    Good job bud.

    VoC REPLY: You said it Ty. I really appreciate this officer writing in. I believe that when we understand one another by interacting, doors begin to open. Regards, Mark

  4. VoC NOTE: This comment was originally posted under ‘Bulletin: RCMP lead OPP arrest of 13 natives during crisis at Stirling Street development in Caledonia. I re-posted it here since the writer is referring to this page and a comment on this page from an OPP officer.

    Good morning Mark 🙂

    I am pleased to have found this site. I have a personal interest in the situation in Caledonia and have been following it avidly, and posting hither and yon on various sites and blogs. I find my posts disappear from sites with a native bent however.

    I wanted to comment that I find your site refreshing, and although it’s predictable that I won’t agree with everything posted, as we are all individuals, I do find your site to be less focused on being an anti-OPP site than some others, and more focused on the actual issues and it seems to have a less biased direction. While I agree there is cause for frustration with the OPP I am glad to see some recognition of the root of the problem being represented here.

    I was quite interested in your responses to the anonymous officer here, and found some backhanded type comments, the type where it reads like a laundry list of complaints and perceived offences while you still smile a fake smile and say “but we’re your friends” .

    I struggle to find a word, perhaps snide is the best I can come up with, but that can’t be *quite* right if I interpret your intentions correctly. Perhaps guarded (and understandably so) is closer to the feel I got.

    From the photo section, where there is no place to leave comments I did note that the picture illustrating “abusing the elderly” was maybe not the best representation to gain sympathy as the woman shown looks rather tickled… perhaps the feeling of victory that comes with having the perfect photo op overrode her facial muscles, however it ruins the effect. However I have pretty strong feelings about propaganda from any side, even if it’s in line with my own sympathies.

    I hope you don’t take my comments in a spirit they weren’t intended, I believe our hearts are in the same place with some outlying differences no doubt due to personality and circumstance. That is what makes Canada such a wonderful place, the diversity and the right to hold different opinions and different points of view being fairly represented… and the ability of most to accept and respect that, without having to change anyone else’s or their own.

    I’m cautiously optimistic that this is the kind of site that embraces that.

    Respectfully Christiane
    Proud Canadian
    Family member of OPP officer

    VoC REPLY: Hi Christiane. Thanks so much for writing. Thanks also for the compliments. While VoC is really an ‘activist’ site dedicated to restoring the rule of law, and not an unbiased media outlet, I work hard to make VoC a place of truth and fairness, as well as a place that documents the history of this struggle. So, let’s address your concerns:

    1. I don’t take offence at all that you voice genuine reservations about parts of my article or site; some of my proudest articles have originated because people – initially, much less kind than you – have vehemently disagreed or misinterpreted something I have written and took the time to tell me what they thought. Some of them are listed in Our Struggle under the heading, “Is the struggle against Two Tier Justice about racism towards native people?”

    2. Regarding the photo of the woman being pushed across the road by the officer: It was taken on Dec 16/07, shortly after Gary McHale and I were arrested, so I didn’t take it. In fact, she was right beside the police car I was being put into. The caption isn’t mine; it’s the photographers. Do I think the OPP were ‘abusing the elderly’ by moving her off the road? No, and neither does Gary McHale. In fact, we had a discussion about including the caption in my Police Act complaint, and decided not to do so. Still, a photographer, a protester himself and admittedly biased, took the photo, and in the context of the day – where 2 people were arrested while trying to put up a Canadian flag, the caption made sense to him, and I respected his decision to use it. Now, though, you’ve got me thinking. I don’t appreciate it when apologists for the DCE thugs put out disgusting propaganda saying things like “KKKanada is committing genocide,” so I will re-caption that photo. Caledonia has a lot to be angry about with the OPP, but ‘abusing the elderly’ isn’t one of them. Thanks for pointing it out. By the way, your observation regarding what appears to be an inappropriate smile on her face is most astute.

    3. I re-read my reply to the individual officer (as opposed to the original appeal itself) and I really can’t see anything unfair or mean-spirited that I would change. I tried to do my best to acknowledge his feelings and offer sincere appreciation for his comments without BS’ing him/her while trying to open a crack in the door just a little wider, a crack that was made possible by him/her writing to me. Can you tell me what part of my reply made you uneasy?

    4. Sorry if you thought my general appeal to OPP officers or to the individual officer to be on the ‘snide’ or ‘mean’ side. It was meant to encourage police officers working in Caledonia to reach into themselves as human beings with a fundamental sense of justice and encourage/provoke/shame (choose your word) some into doing whatever they can to help restore the rule of law to Ontario for the good of all citizens – native and non-native.

    I believe that no healing or reconciliation – whether it is non-native/native or police officer/civilian can occur unless it is based completely on truth, and there has been precious little of it with respect to landclaim lawlessness. The reality is that everything the OPP are doing in Caledonia is based on the lies of Ipperwash. My guess is that a lot of officers don’t know the truth of what happened there, and just how far the Inquiry went to cover it up. We are too darned close to the brink of anarchy to mince words.

    I tried to imagine what I would say to a group of OPP officers if I had the chance to meet with them privately, or this individual officer. Unfortunately, readers don’t have the benefit of hearing the tone of my voice, seeing the expression on my face, or – sometimes – the tears in my eyes, so it’s entirely possible that some might question my choice of words.

    Part of what you’re sensing, I think, is the absolute gut-wrenching dilemma all of us in this struggle feel in that – until Caledonia – we had great respect for all police officers and the price they and their families have to pay to protect the rest of us, versus our life-altering dismay that so many could be willing participants in perpetrating the injustice that is ripping our province apart.

    It’s really confusing when you’re fighting for rule of law, equality, respect for the Supreme Court and the Charter against police officers, their union, and police brass. Who has more of a stake in defending the rule of law than police officers? Yet, who is doing more to destroy it than police officers? The irony of it really eats at me. When Fantino came to town on Jan 20th to personally supervise the OPP and the London riot squad, he met with the criminals and their supporters on the Douglas Creek Estates, but he – as usual – refused to meet with us. None of his senior officers would meet with us, either.

    I understand why I have to fight corrupt, self-serving politicians who would allow Ontario to descend into anarchy rather than admit their Ipperwash Inquiry was a cover-up and that its recommendations are actually victimizing native people as well as the rest of us, but I don’t understand why I have to fight police officers in order to get them to enforce the law and do it equally. I have actually made phone calls and sent letters to the London Police Service to introduce myself to them, to explain my actions and to offer to open my email/phone records up to them just to counter OPP/OPPA lies that we were inciting hate. This is bizarre to me, considering that I/we have presented a consistent message of non-violence and respect for the law, and for all human beings.

    5. The ‘duality’ of my words you are sensing also comes from an absolute commitment to destroy race-based policing in Ontario even if it means taking on police officers themselves as we have to date. I swore an oath to defend this country and its values, and I will do so no matter what price I have to pay. We have been threatened with death, kidnapping and torture by native extremists. We have had our reputations destroyed (almost) by people who should know better. We have been arrested for trying to raise a Canadian flag, and are prepared to risk our freedom again, if necessary. And, finally, we struggle financially with limited resources as we work full time at this without pay as OPP officers refer to Caledonia as ‘Cashedonia’ because of all the overtime they’re getting.

    Despite all these obstacles, we are still here. I think what I’m saying is that Two Tier Justice WILL be destroyed, and it would be nice to have some help from OPP officers to hasten that happy day. So far, with very few exceptions, they have been silent. The OPPA has been silent. Why? Let’s assume that there isn’t a single officer who is prepared to speak out and is prepared to resign. Could they write a letter to the editor? Could family members collect comments from officers and publish them without including identifying information? Are officers calling the OPPA and telling them to speak out against lies like the Ipperwash Inquiry and against race-based policing? If I knew that OPP officers were doing everything they could to resist, I’d feel a lot less conflicted.

    We are just ordinary citizens doing our very best against almost impossible odds. What is at stake here is nothing less than the survival of Ontario, and even Canada as a peaceful democracy ruled by laws. It is time for officers to make their views known, irregardless of the risks. It is the least they can do to help. We have an election in 2 weeks. Now would be a good time to speak out.

    One day this sad period in our history will just be a bad memory. I would love to be able to tell the story of how police officers fulfilled their oaths of office, not by blindly following orders to commit acts of injustice against our Constitution, our Supreme Court and fundamental human rights, but by doing everything they could to help the citizens of Ontario resist those who gave the orders. Hamilton police officer, Dave Hartless, did it, at risk of his career, and he will be remembered for his courage.

    If the majority of officers truly are unhappy with what they are doing, I would love to be able to share their comments or stories. Imagine if we had just 100 officers sharing their disgust with what their leaders are doing. If you have any ideas on how to make this happen, I’m all ears. Send me an email at info@voiceofcanada.ca.

    6. You referred to the root cause of the problem being discussed here. Based on my work on The Ipperwash Papers, I think the root cause is the OPP/DND failure to uphold the law in Ipperwash in the years prior to Dudley George’s death. Eighteen months prior to his death, the Sarnia Observer ran an editorial saying ‘Police must enforce laws.’ Nine months before the near fatal attack on Sam Gualtieri in Caledonia the Toronto Star called for a return to the rule of law in their editorial, “Time for a reality check on Caledonia.” The town of Bosanquet blamed George’s death on the refusal of DND to enforce the law. We’re going to have land claims for a while. They should be settled fairly, but both sides must negotiate in good faith, and the use or threat of violence cannot be tolerated.

    Again, thanks so much for writing. Regards, Mark

  5. Thank you for your indepth reply Mark. Your response has validated my initial impression of your site and motivation.

    “While VoC is really an ‘activist’ site dedicated to restoring the rule of law, and not an unbiased media outlet, I work hard to make VoC a place of truth and fairness, as well as a place that documents the history of this struggle.”

    I find few people are able to be a true activist and yet maintain the ability to be truthful and fair with documenting their cause. Not to fear, there is no chance of misinterpreting your cause or purpose (lol) yet I do believe you are making an effort to see the entire “big picture” albeit through your own lense.

    I would be hard for me to copy and paste specific excerpts from your reply to the officer, it is rather a tone and pattern which is perhaps unique to those who have a gift for writing, a gift sometimes referred to as saying f*** you with a smile. There is also the aspect you mentioned about not being able to reference someones actual tone and facial expression and demeanour stricly through writing. And finally there is of course my reading the response through my own lenses. I am willing to recognize that with those issues it’s possible I may be involuntarily misreading and misinterpreting.

    I find I am in an interesting position with this cause sometimes as it can’t really be pigeon-holed into any existing group (that I have managed to find at least). I am not as naive to have some sort of notion that at this point there can be anything but clear cut sides, and herein lies my quandry. The lines have been drawn and I find myself straddling several of them, from strange directions. I am absolutely unable to get on board with the native radicals. I am apalled and disgusted. I strongly believe they are terrorists, plain and simple. Perhaps that and love and concern for family within the force combine to lead me to believe that all of the natives involved (and any non-native who has aided them or committed any sort of terrorists offences on their behalf) should be dealt with by military force. Where IS the government? I wouldn’t expect a local or provincial police force to, for example, enforce bylaws like rounding up stray cats. That would fall on by-law officers. By the same token I would not expect them to deal with terrorists. Which leads me to not being able to get fully on board with the non-native groups such as this who are so vehemently anti-OPP.

    I really have no right to comment on the feelings or state of mind of any officers, but I do hope you get to talk to some Mark. Despite the appearance in their full gear and how their demeanour comes across while on duty and in the face of adversity, they are real people under those uniforms, with thoughts and feelings in regards to the situation individual to each officer no doubt. They are people with families and loved ones who not only spent countless wakeful nights fearing for their safety at the hands of the native terrorists, but with the added concern of the possible actions of outraged and frustrated citizens, who are constantly being barraged with propaganda and anti-OPP sentiment. When I pray for the officers safety, it’s not just the nativethreat I’m worried about.

    You invite officers, actually you urge them to speak out, be willing to resign. To step up and do the right thing. Are you hearing crickets yet? You may be, although I hope it’s not always that way. I think the force in Caledonia must be feeling defeated in the morale department. If you mention Caledonia to many officers from one side of the province to the other and they have similar reactions. Caledonia?! Thats the absolute worst hell hole for a cop, God help the permanent officers there.

    Why this sentiment? Because it’s no win. The natives claim they are being kidnapped by foreign forces if they are arrested for lawlessness, and the non-natives can’t be appeased with anything. Either they aren’t doing enough, didn’t do it fast enough, there’s always some discontent.

    I have a great deal of anger, frustration and disappointment for the government, and the decision makers at the OPP. I am very saddened to see it projected on the officers. And here is where it goes back to your stance that they should take a stand and be prepared to resign. And I can’t completely disagree with you. Yet I can’t judge or condemn those that don’t.

    As for the root cause issue. I am in partial agreement with you, Ipperwash plays into it imo. Where you take it along the path of how the police failed in that circumstance, I take it along the lines of how for years, far too many years we have had a government and society who are far too politically correct for our own good. We (general “we”, as a country we) are so terrified of being seen as racist, and not sensitive to culture that we have handed the natives anything they asked for, on a silver platter. They believe they are above the law because they have been treated like they are. The government just can’t seem to stop apologizing and feeling the need to make amends for things hundreds of years in the past. What other group can you possibly think of who has not been treated unfairly or oppressed in the course of history that has been recompensed and compensated so generously? Yet it is never enough. Government handouts in countless forms overflow to the natives. Perhaps the governernment should be employing psychologists instead of politicians to deal with native issues. They would be more likely to tell it like it is…. It’s never enough. If you make a group above and exempt from the laws and standards of a society there will always be people who exploit it, and it -will -never -be -enough to appease them. I see the government is throwing more money at the problem in recent days. I eagerly await the day when we have a government in power who doesn’t believe that throwing money and special treatment doesn’t unring a bell. Suck it up people. No one took my land. No one has forced me to live on a reservation. No one has ever in my life mistreated me or even approached mistreating me as a native. The only time my point of view has been unwelcome has been with other natives sadly.

    In fact I have written no less than 20 posts and emails to various sites owned and run by native groups and I have yet to have one allowed by the moderator, or left up after being posted.

    It’s very much you are with us or you are against us type deal.

    I will never take a dime from the government because of native status. I will pay taxes like any other Canadian citizen. My children will go to university because of good grades and work. I will never use the race card to gain employment. I will abide by the same laws as everyone else in this country. I will live in a home in the suburbs of a beautiful city because I choose to not live on a reservation. If I did choose to live on a reservation I would not sit and whine and complain about my choice. I will not trespass and put up barricades on someone elses property simply because some terrorists with a common heritage do.

    It seems that makes me a racist to many natives.

    So although we don’t share the same underlying cause for frustration and outrage at situations like Caledonia, we do share the feeling of frustration.

    Thank you again for you time in replying to my post. I hope something presents itself to you, that you are able to see with open eyes that the front line officers are doing the best they can in a difficult situation.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks so much for writing back. With respect to hearing “the crickets,” I’m kind of inspired by Bobby Kennedy’s words, “Some men look at things as they are and ask why. I see things as they could be and ask, why not?” Besides, the crickets aren’t so loud anymore – just this week I’ve had an officer write in to share his/her feelings and we’ve got an OPP family member (you) trying to understand my/our dilemma while I try to understand yours. I think the sound of the door squeaking open a little is drowning out those darn crickets.

    Don’t be discouraged with being called a ‘racist.’ Namecalling is the last resort of someone without a cogent argument to back up their repulsive acts or words. We have a saying, “If you haven’t been called a racist or white supremacist in the struggle against landclaim lawlessness and Two Tier Justice, it’s because you ain’t doin’ nothing.”

    Are OPP officers doing their best? Since writing my original reply to you, we have been provided with a copy of the Statement of Claim for a $12M lawsuit filed against the OPP and Ontario government for the disgusting things that have been done to and around Dave Brown and Dana Chatwell, and – really – every other Caledonian. It even mentions us! We’ll be releasing the entire 54 page claim in a few days. It tells a shocking, outrageous story of negligence, illegal acts, and “misfeasance’ on the part of OPP officers and government officials. The allegations have not been proven in court, but I can tell you, based on our very extensive experience with the OPP and the evidence we have, I have absolutely no reason to doubt them.

    I would ask OPP officers to read the excerpts that are now published here and on CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com and ask themselves what they or their brother or sister officers could have done to stop this insanity? As you’ll see in one incident, at least a few officers did speak up to try to stop a false arrest, but what about the rest of the illegal acts? How did it get this far?!? I’m really sorry, Christiane, but the evidence shows that OPP officers at every level from the front line to Inspectors to Commissioners are or have participated/condoned illegal acts that contravene almost every law in the book, including those in the Police Act and so it is with great regret that I cannot agree that they are doing their best. If every OPP officer in Caledonia is doing their best, God help our country. It is time for officers to make a stand for truth, justice and the law, no matter what the cost. We have risked our lives, our reputations, our freedom and our financial well-being for these values to the point of exhaustion and bankruptcy, so we’re not asking them to pay a price that we haven’t paid ourselves.

    Thanks for writing again. I’m really glad to ‘know’ you, Christiane. Don’t be discouraged by my seemingly uncompromising words. Let’s not stop what has been started here – let’s work together and help find a way for OPP officers to speak out at this very dark time in our history. Justice in a democracy needs advocates for all parties – how about you be an advocate for the good OPP officers who hate this evil? Help me tell their stories. We’re going to need these officers when all this is over, and I’d really like them feeling good about the fact that they spoke out rather than being bitter at how they were treated by residents and people like me.

    You seem to have a unique combination of circumstances, birth and experience that could make a real difference. I sense a ‘specialness’ about you, and I think you know by now that I’m not in the habit of BS’ing people.

    Regards, Mark

  6. Mark, don’t worry about how your comments toward the OPP sound, I’ve said much worse. Trust me. heheh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s