Category Archives: Caledonia – May 24/09

Caledonia breakthrough: Canadians allowed to walk past DCE with Canadian flags

opp_000682UPDATED 1126 EST June 23/09: Video footage of marchers put to music courtesy of Jeff Parkinson.

I am very pleased to report that I sent the following letter to the OPP on behalf of CANACE to thank them for their role in yesterday’s ‘Support Randy Fleming‘ rally.

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June 21, 2009 

Commissioner Fantino, Ontario Provincial Police
Superintendent Gentle
Inspector McLean
Sergeant Carter
Sergeant Michaud

Dear Gentlemen:

Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade asked if I would pass on thanks from CANACE to you and your officers for your assistance, your honest communications and your decision to protect and respect the rights of non-natives to walk down Argyle Street with Canadian flags past the DCE. I know this was a big step for the OPP and I know that Sgt. Carter could not have helped make it happen without the support of the OPP leadership. For this we are truly grateful to you all.

Before leaving Lions Park I told the crowd that the officers of the OPP have had a rough three years, too and that no matter what has happened in the past, or will happen in the future, today they made the decision to do the right thing for us. I asked them to thank every OPP officer they met that day in the hopes your officers would go home to their families to tell them that perhaps life will be getting better for them, too.

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History in the making as OPP promise escort for Caledonia protest

justice_gavel_cdn-flag.jpeg

Last night OPP Sgt. Phil Carter called Merlyn Kinrade to confirm that the force will be providing an escort for the Support Randy Fleming flag march down Argyle Street tomorrow past the occupied Douglas Creek Estates.

If the OPP keep their word, we will make history together by forcing them and the Province to recognize that the rights of non-natives cannot be unreasonably suspended or denied during a land claim dispute simply because they find it easier than confronting the intimidation and threats of native protesters.

Even if we are betrayed this time, even if native gangsters mobilize to block us, it changes nothing but the date that the Rule of Law returns to our province. History is on our side. Justice is on our side. Racial policing will end, we just don’t know the date.

While the struggle against Race-Based Policing is far from over, tomorrow will be a very, very good day, a notable mile marker in the long journey ahead of us. 

Bring your flags tomorrow!

Let’s say ‘thank you’ to the OPP

As we march tomorrow with our flags, can I suggest that you look each OPP officer squarely in the eye when you pass near and say, ‘thank you.’

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Merlyn Kinrade made them ‘believe’

Click for hi-res image and info re Barb Patterson-Tuck's award winning painting. Merlyn is at the top of the maple leaf in the middle facing left.

UPDATE 1847 EST June 13/09: Belleville Intelligencer editorial: Six Days too long to end protest no one wanted. REPRINT.

See also, ‘Proof positive native extremists have lost PR battle’
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Is the OPP really changing?

After three years the people of Caledonia may find it hard to believe that OPP attitudes towards them are changing. One resident told me not to trust the OPP saying, ‘Once a snake always a snake.’

I understand where such skepticism and cynicism comes from given what the police have done to them – and to us, but here is why I believe that the OPP will not renege on their agreement with us to allow us to march down Argyle Street past DCE on the 20th in support of Randy Fleming.

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BREAKING NEWS: US Marines shut Akwasasne border, Six Nations threatens Caledonia

I am ashamed of my country today.United States government sources have informed CANACE that the U.S. considers the Akwasasne/Cornwall border to be ‘undefended’ now that Canada has abandoned the post due to threats by Mohawk Warriors and, under international law, has sent or is sending United States Marines to stand guard against criminal/terrorist activity.

Background info:

CANACE assists U.S. authorities

When the Canadian government refused to cooperate with U.S. authorities, CANACE founders met with them to provide evidence to aid in the conviction of Trevor Miller for assaulting a U.S. law enforcement agent in Caledonia in 2006.

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Regional News editorial: Caledonia politicians give your heads a shake!

regionalnews-logoLast week Regional News reporter Bill Jackson ran the editorial below in response to the criticism by Haldimand politicians about our May 24/09 flag raising protest in Caledonia.

  • VoiceofCanada category: Caledonia – May 24/09
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    REGIONAL NEWS THIS WEEK
    May 27/09

    Comment
    by Bill Jackson

    Some people see flag raising events in Caledonia as disruptions to a quiet town on a Sunday afternoon. Others see them as driving at the root of two-tier justice that has inhibited economic development and inflicted much bigger wounds than anything occurring last Sunday.

    Sure, cars took it slow to make sure that they avoided a few dozen people who were standing on the shoulders of Argyle Street South. But while frustration and hostility were in the air, acts of violence and major confrontations did not occur.

    After all, why would they? People only wanted to raise a few Canadian flags in Caledonia. In Canada.

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    Regional News letter: Sloat should apologize

    justice_gavel_cdn-flag.jpegMerlyn Kinrade and I are very pleased that Caledonia’s Regional News today published the letter below from us regarding comments by Haldimand Councillors Grice and Sloat about Merlyn’s May 24/09 flag raising protest

    Many thanks to a great newspaper which has decided to give a strong voice to those who struggle for justice. Don’t miss today’s Regional News column by Gary McHale: ‘Of Mice and Men.’

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    REGIONAL NEWS THIS WEEK
    June 03/09

    Councillor Sloat should apologize
    by Merlyn Kinrade & Mark Vandermaas

    We would like to thank Mayor Trainer for publicly defending our right to peacefully oppose racial policing by attempting to force the OPP to respect our right to raise a Canadian flag across from DCE. I hope she will take comfort in knowing that she is on the right side of history. 

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    Randy Fleming arrest photos: OPP Race-Based Policing alive & well

    Sachem-Dring Randy Fleming May24-09

    Photo by Neil Dring, The Sachem http://www.sachem.ca

    UPDATE, Oct 04/19: Supreme Court of Canada rules that Randy Fleming was illegally arrested, that police have no right to arrest law abiding people as a means to preventing violence by others. This is complete vindication of everything we have been fighting for since 2012!

    1. Ruling: Supreme Court of Canada, Fleming v. Ontario [PDF]
    2. National Post, Christie Blatchford, Oct 4/19: Justice At Last For Caledonia Man Arrested For Carrying A Canadian Flag
    3. Hamilton Spectator, Oct 04/19: Supreme Court Sides With Caledonia Protester Over Unlawful Arrest By OPP

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    Don’t miss the photos of Randy Fleming’s May 24/09 arrest while peacefully holding a Canadian flag in this report just issued by CANACE Executive Director Gary McHale:

    The sequence of photos in this report were captured from a video of Fleming’s protest, and clearly shows he did nothing more than calmly walk down the road and then a few feet onto DCE.

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    OPP lied to Kinrade at Caledonia flag raising

    UPDATE 1627 EST June 02/09: see CaledoniaWakeUpCall May 24/09 protest feature page for links, photos, video and text of speeches.

    UPDATED 1000 EST June 01/09: Click on photo below to see video footage of Sgt. Carter lying to  protest organizer Merlyn Kinrade as to why non-natives were not allowed to put up Canadian flags. Also includes a short clip from an illegal Hagersville occupation in which Carter threatens to sue CANACE videographer Jeff Parkinson. Carter was present while two OPP officers – later charged with Mischief thanks to Parkinson and Gary McHale – helped natives build a barricade to keep out the legal owner. See, ‘Thank you, Jeff Parkinson!’
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    “If I feel that way and I think that way, it makes it so.”

    Sgt Carter at Cdn_Tire May24-09
    Instead of telling Merlyn Kinrade the truth – that native racists threatened to breach the peace if OPP allowed Cdn flags to be raised, Sgt. Carter tells Merlyn Kinrade non-natives can’t put up flags across from DCE in Caledonia because of the arrest of a non-native man who dared to walk onto DCE holding a Canadian flag. (Video link to follow)

    In ‘OPP line up to stop Canadian flag raising,’ regarding the May 24/09 protest in Caledonia, I related how Sgt. Carter blamed the lack of a deal allowing us to put up a flag on the arrest of Randy Fleming, a resident who was brutally taken down by the OPP for daring to calmly walk onto the Douglas Creek Estates (provincially-owned land) holding a Canadian flag. Carter blamed Fleming’s actions on Kinrade, and told him the deal he originally offered (that Kinrade would be allowed to put up a flag on another day) was off because of the arrest.

    Not true! The REAL reason for not respecting the rights of non-natives, as it turns out, is that the OPP went, cap in hand, to the natives occupying DCE who outright refused to grant us ‘permission’ to exercise our right to put up flags.

    Racists make threats against non-natives to OPP!

    The DCE occupiers not only refused to ‘allow’ non-natives to raise flags, but went even further by threatening to directly interfere with our rights by breaching the peace should the OPP allow us to do so against their wishes. How do we know?

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    VoC speech: Lessons from Dr. King and the Little Rock Nine

    Little_Rock_Nine

    Little Rock Nine, circa 1957-1960 (click on image for Wikipedia.org citation)

     UPDATES & MILESTONES:  

    Gary McHale asked Regional News publisher Chris Pickup to publish my speech from last Sunday’s flag raising event  in place of his column in this week’s paper. (Don’t miss reporter Bill Jackson’s coverage of the protest as well):  

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    PROVOKING VIOLENCE? LESSONS FROM DR. KING AND THE LITTLE ROCK NINE 

    by Mark Vandermaas
    Caledonia Lions Park, May 24/09 
    [Regional News, May 27/09] [PDF] [VIDEO, 9:24] [Dial-up

    Why is it so important for us to insist that we be allowed to place a Canadian flag in a place where the OPP do not want it? Are we provoking violence? Are we wrong to oppose the OPP position that we take our protests elsewhere? 

    In 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Despite this decision, in 1957 Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called in the state’s National Guard to stop 9 black students from attending Little Rock Central High. His excuse for ignoring the Supreme Court? He was preventing potential violence threatened by white segregationists. His real reason was to make himself politically popular by appeasing racist voters who supported segregation. 

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    OPP line up to stop Canadian flag raising

    Mark-Merlyn May24-09

    VoC (right) w/CANACE co-founder Merlyn Kinrade, formerly of the RCN (HMCS Haida), former UN peacekeeper, longtime Caledonia resident and community contributor.

    UPDATE 0933 EST June 03/09: Tekawennake reporter Erin Tully took issue with my characterization of her story as mentioned in this post. I offered to publish any rebuttal she wished to make in full, unedited, in a new, separate post and I even offered to allow her to choose the title. She refused.

    UPDATE 1627 EST June 02/09: see CaledoniaWakeUpCall May 24/09 protest feature page for links, photos, video and text of speeches.

    UPDATE 1757 EST June 01/09: Native occupiers threatened trouble if non-natives raised flags on May 24/09. See ‘OPP lied to Kinrade at Caledonia flag raising.’
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    On May 24/09 the OPP once again called out 150 officers and a helicopter to stop Canadian citizens from peacefully walking down Argyle Street and putting up Canadian flags on hydro poles across the street from the occupied Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia.

    This was the fourth time OPP have stood against non-natives to prevent them from exercising their right to put up Canadian flags in Caledonia: Dec 16/06; Jan 20/07; Oct 08/07 and now, May 24/09.  

    OPP make last minute offer

    During meetings with the OPP in the weeks leading up to the protest, organizer Merlyn Kinrade and Gary McHale were told the OPP was not going to allow non-natives to exercise their right to put up flags across from DCE. 

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