Category Archives: Doug Fleming

David Strutt photos: Caledonia 8 make history on Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia

Welcome to DCE 120218Professional photographer and graphic artist David Strutt drove from his home north of Toronto to be with members of the ‘Caledonia 8’ and our supporters on Feb 18/12 when we became the first non-natives since Feb 28/06 to walk onto the Douglas Creek Estates with United Nations and Canadian flags without asking permission from the native occupiers who terrorized Caledonia while the province’s police and Liberal government ran interference for them, and bought the site so they could remain after a judge ordered their eviction. 

Strutt is also the gifted cartoonist/artist who has created the editorial cartoons found recently here on VoiceofCanada, and was a Freedom Party candidate in the last provincial election.

Read an interpretation of Davids photos below…

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David captured the deflated faces of the occupiers, etched with the dawning realization that somehow, everything had changed for them in one day. ‘One day’ that took five years for a patient, determined McHale to bring about.

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McHale arrested in Caledonia because Native man assaults 77 yr old former Navy vet/UN peacekeeper & OPP officers

LAST UPDATED Feb 28/12

Only in Caledonia.

VoiceofCanada, Feb 06/12: David Strutt cartoon: new logo for ‘ONTARIO PARTISAN POLICE’Only in Caledonia do the police let the native thugs who attack their officers and peaceful non-native people (one of whom happens to be an elderly, cancer-ridden veteran of the Canadian Navy and a UN peacekeeping mission) go free, and arrest the peaceful leader of the non-natives for standing quietly on a county road. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Today seven of the Caledonia Eight, along with a number of Caledonia residents, supporters and spouses, did what no one has done since Feb 28/06 when the occupation there began. We walked through the gates of the Douglas Creek Estates, down the county road that runs through it, to within 100 feet or so of the only house on the site.

The visit was a surprise for the occupiers and police, who were warned shortly before we left the Lions Hall in Caledonia to drive to the site.

120218 History made as OPP arrest native on DCE; 1st arrest ever during commission of crime. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE MCHALEAlthough history was made today by both the visit itself into Dalton McGuinty’s forbidden no-go zone via the county road that runs through the site; and by the first-ever arrest of a native person during the commission of a crime (an assault on Gary McHale), we clearly demonstrated once again that racial policing is very much alive.

The OPP arrested Gary McHale for the sixth time because a native man assaulted OPP officers and 77 year old Navy war veteran & UN peacekeeper Merlyn Kinrade who was wearing his blue beret and holding a UN flag.

Sadly, he also happens to be suffering from cancer. It happened right beside me. The police let the attacker go, and then arrested the non-native — Gary McHale — because he refused to leave because he wasn’t doing anything illegal. Why the arrest then? Because, according to the police, it was Gary McHale – one of the 120218 OPP ask Caledonia 8 to leave DCE even though things are quiet after arrest of native woman. Caledonia 8 members (L-R): Mark Vandermaas (blue beret), Gary McHale, Merlyn Kinrade (holding UN flag)peaceful non-native victims of an earlier assault – who was inciting a breach of the peace.

One observer who has never attended one of our protests sent me this comment:

“I’m still trying to get it through my head that Gary was arrested in order to stop the natives from continuing to break the law. This is just ludicrous.” Continue reading

Charges dropped against Caledonia Eight, but OPP undeterred

120203 Dunnville Chronicle reporter lines up Caledonia Eight for photoOn Friday (Feb 03/12) all charges against the Caledonia Eight – arrested Dec 03/11 for ‘trespassing’ on a county road running through the occupied Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia – were dropped by the specially-chosen prosecutor brought in to handle the cases.

The McGuinty government had threatened to arrest non-native protesters who attempted to enter the natives-only ‘no go zone’ which even the OPP cannot enter without permission from the occupiers. Eight of us lined up, one-by-one, to be arrested for refusing to obey the OPP’s order to leave the road known as Syrie Street.

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‘No Blacks, Whites or Jews Allowed by Order of McGuinty’ – by Gary McHale

120127 no whites no jews no blacks - photo by Jeff Parkinson

“…the law in Haldimand County operates as the law in America’s Deep South once worked, where there was one law for the white man, who could break it with impunity, and another for the black man. In Haldimand County, since the occupation began, there has been one law for natives and another for non-natives.“

What does the term ‘Non-Native’ really mean? ‘Rights for Whites?’ Or ‘Rights for All?’

For five years we have been engaged in a struggle to end OPP race-based policing directed against “non-native” people.  During that time many journalists have used the ‘non-native’ term, including Christie Blatchford, author of the Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us, in which she laid bare much of the damning evidence proving that OPP officers were given, and followed, orders to conduct racial policing. 

On May 04/11, barely six months after release of Helpless Blatchford wrote a story after witnessing the shocking testimony of an OPP officer attempting to justify why the force was again trying to exclude Gary McHale from certain areas of Caledonia after arresting him on a trumped-up assault charge (later dropped by the Crown prior to trial) in which she wrote the words above comparing the law in Caledonia/Haldimand County to the blatantly biased workings of the racist Deep South.  

But, what does the term ‘Non-Native’ really mean?

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VIDEO: The Caledonia Eight Arrested

UPDATED Dec 09/11 — CANACE’s Director of Multimedia Production Jeff Parkinson has released a short movie that tells the story of the arrests of the Caledonia 8 on the Douglas Creek Estates on Dec 03/11.

Jeff himself was arrested, but handed the camera over to Christine McHale when it was his turn line to wear handcuffs so she could continue documenting the scene. Jeff is shown kneeling in the photo below.

111203 Jeff Parkinson (kneeling) with the rest of the Caledonia 8 at OPP's Caledonia sub-station following arrests. PHOTO BY STUART LAUGHTON

The Caledonia Eight (L-R): Randy Fleming, Doug Fleming, Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale, Jeff Parkinson (kneeling), Jack Van Halteren (w/hat), Merlyn Kinrade, Bonnie Stephens. PHOTO by Stuart Laughton, taken at OPP Caledonia sub-station after arrests.

TRIVIA: You’ll see a rather humorous scene where I’m bent over trying to get into the paddy wagon but the door is too small for my shoulders and it was almost impossible to twist sideways with my hands cuffed. As you watch me try to get through the door you’ll hear me say, “If the van doesn’t fit you must acquit” (with apologies to Johnny Cochran).

MORE TRIVIA: While we were inside the van Jeff asked if anyone knew any civil rights songs so I led the seven of us (Gary McHale was taken by other means of transport) in ‘We Shall Overcome,’ so that’s my voice you first hear singing from inside the van. I didn’t see Bonnie so I assumed she had been taken away with Gary, but she was, in fact, with us in another part of the paddywagon:

There was a separate, small cell built into the van directly behind the front passenger side seat.  I was sitting in there, but I could see out because there were rows of small holes in the side, sliding door that closed off the approximately 4′ x 4′ “cell” where I was.  I could hear you guys behind me in the back.  I heard you talking to each other, but I couldn’t make out all the words.  I heard you singing and I joined in, and I heard Randy Fleming most clearly, so that might help you figure out where I was in relation to yourself.  I think that you were on the driver side, so I was across from you. I might add that I was quite proud of my calmness because I am very claustrophobic.” 

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The Caledonia 8 – arrested in non-Native ‘no-go zone’ occupation site

111203 The Caledonia 8 at OPP's Caledonia sub-station following arrests. PHOTO by Stuart Laughton.

UPDATED – VoiceofCanada editor/Caledonia Victims Project founder Mark Vandermaas was one of eight people arrested yesterday while walking on the occupied Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) in Caledonia.  The protest was organized by Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE) to draw attention to the racially-segregated site owned by the Ontario government and Haldimand County, a ‘no-go zone’ for non-natives and police.

According to Gary McHale, Executive Director of CANACE, the goal of the protest was to remind the OPP, the McGuinty government and Haldimand County that citizens will never surrender their freedoms and rights to OPP racial policing policies.

111203 Caledonia 8 - Bonnie Stephens. Threatened by native occupier on Douglas Creek Estates 'no-go zone.' Click image to read story.Rule of law activists from London, Richmond Hill, Binbrook and Norfolk lined up quietly with Caledonia/Haldimand residents to wait their turn to refuse OPP orders to leave the road into DCE. We were then arrested, handcuffed and loaded into a paddy wagon which took us to the Caledonia OPP sub-station where we were issued tickets and released. The photo above of the ‘Caledonia 8’ was taken in front of the station after our release. Additional photos can be found below.

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Caledonia milestone: Occupiers & OPP respect non-native right to place Truth & Reconciliation monument at entrance to DCE

Gary McHale, DCE occupation site, June 19/11

“I believe the greatest reason the OPP both acknowledged our Charter Rights and then protected them this past Sunday was because we have maintained a clear message of Equality under the Law for all people, that the Rule of Law demands all people obey the Law and that we have remained peaceful even in difficult situations.” – Gary McHale

Something changed in Caledonia yesterday. In a way never before seen in the history of the Caledonia crisis both the OPP and the occupiers of the Douglas Creek Estates displayed great respect for the rights of non-natives at yesterday’s CANACE/Caledonia Victims Project Truth & Reconciliation Rally yesterday, and that respect resulted in us being able to place our symbolic Apology/Reconciliation monument on the paved entrance to DCE while we made some short speeches and answered questions from the media.

The contrast between the conduct of the OPP and the occupiers yesterday compared to our Feb 27th and March 27th attempts to place our monument couldn’t have been more stark. During those attempts the OPP stood by as occupiers bumped, assaulted, and screamed insults at us from inches away, and falsely accused us of assault. During the March rally officers watched as our monument was stolen from us by occupiers, destroyed and then burnt with our Canadian flag. Yesterday’s event, however, was nothing short of remarkable.

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