Category Archives: John Robson

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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