Category Archives: Journalists

Caledonia, Canada lose heroic watchdog of democracy as Haldimand Regional News closes

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UPDATE: National Post, Feb 10/12: Christie Blatchford: Caledonia loses brave, feisty voice as Regional shuts its doors
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UPDATED — It is a sad day for those of us who have fought for justice in Caledonia, and for those who value the role of journalists as the watchdogs of democracy.

The heroic Caledonia-based Regional News is no more. It published its last edition today.

A voice of freedom and justice has been silenced todayDuring the past 5 years the Regional News was a journalistic beacon to those of us desperately trying to get mainstream media to cover the Caledonia crisis.

Its publisher Chris Pickup and her reporters never backed away from controversy, never let political correctness get in the way of telling the truth or taking a stand whether it was against the foibles of town council, wind turbines or the abuses of OPP racial policing.

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Gary McHale on SUN TV’s Michael Coren show tonight

Michael Coren SUN NEWS TVUPDATED: Gary McHale will be talking with Michael Coren tonight on SUN TV’s ‘The Arena’ about his multiple arrests at the hands of the OPP during the past five years of fighting against race-based policing in Caledonia. 

The Arena airs from 7-8 pm EST. Other show timings can be found here:

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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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Christie Blatchford profiles Caledonia hero Merlyn Kinrade

Merlyn Kinrade, arrested Dec 03/11 as one of 'Caledonia Eight.' PHOTO by Steve Scheffer, Never Again Group “Caledonia, Ont. — The fight for justice in Caledonia has cost him at least $40,000 and an incalculable toll on his health but even now, at 76 and with the cancer in his bones, Merlyn Kinrade is unrepentant and without regret.”

  • National Post, Christie Blatchford, Jan 04/12: No regrets in the battle for justice in Caledonia

070120 Merlyn Kinrade holds Cdn flag for Mark Vandermaas near Cdn Tire in Caledonia.Christie Blatchford, author of Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us, has published an inspiring profile CANACE co-founder Merlyn Kinrade, a staunch ally in the struggle for justice since Jan 20/07 when he — as described in Helplessfirst clambered up the side of a hill near Canadian Tire when I asked for a volunteer to hold my Canadian flag (photo, L) while I gave my ‘Blue Beret’ speech.

Through Blatchford, Merlyn reveals publicly what we have known privately for some time: he is battling cancer that is spreading through his body, and that he has no regrets whatsoever about taking time away from his wife and daughter to fight for justice in his community and country.  

Merlyn Kinrade, arrested Dec 03/11 as one of 'Caledonia Eight.' PHOTO by Steve Scheffer, Never Again Group

Blatchford’s article references a day when he blocked traffic for 40 minutes (after the road was first blocked by native protesters) even though he was sick with hives. This was Dec 01/07, the day we were attacked by Six Nations smokeshack supporters at a protest against one of the illegal ventures…when Gary McHale and Jeff Parkinson were sent to hospital, and I was also assaulted (but uninjured). The picture below is of Merlyn holding a sign that day (which  I made) that says, ‘TWO TIER JUSTICE VICTIMIZES NATIVE PEOPLE TOO!’ I use this image as part of my header at the Caledonia Victims Project site where you can read more about it.

071201 Merlyn Kinrade holding sign during anti-illegal smokeshack protest, Caledonia. 'TWO TIER JUSTICE VICTIMIZES NATIVE PEOPLE TOO!'

Photo credits

Blatchford’s National Post article includes two photos of Merlyn being arrested as one of the Caledonia Eight on Dec 03/11. They are credited to Never Again Group member Steve Scheffer who has come to Caledonia on several occasions to support our protests. 

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National Post hammers race-based sentencing of Caledonia attacker

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UPDATE 0024 hrs Jan 06/11: I’ve received a tip that on SUN TV’s ‘The Arena’ Show tomorrow Michael Coren will be talking to David Menzies about the light sentence given to Richard Smoke.
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Richard Smoke, the man who was convicted of nearly murdering builder Sam Gualtieri in Caledonia and leaving him with permanent brain damage, received a total sentence of only two years and eleven months because he had the good fortune to be born of a favoured racial minority.

The National Post editorial board and their reporter Christie Blatchford — author of Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us — have decried the shameful law that has allowed this repugnant situation to exist:

See also:

VoC Comment

For five years I and my associates have done our best to try to follow in the footsteps of Dr. King’s non-violent approach as we confront the injustices of racial policing in Caledonia. In the long run, it is the path to victory over the racial supremacy enshrined in our justice system that says, in effect, that a human life doesn’t matter as much if it is destroyed by someone with aboriginal blood running through their veins. 

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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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Caledonia good news catch-up

applause.jpgI had no idea of just how time-consuming the Blue Beret vigil would be when I started it. Not an exaggeration to say that I’ve been going on 3-4 hours sleep per night trying to keep up with all the writing and behind the scenes developments that I can’t talk about, all the while monitoring and reporting on the stunning developments in the Caledonia crisis. Normally I like to cross-post material from the Caledonia Victims Project here on VoC, but while I was covering it in my daily updates to the Blue Beret vigil, I just didn’t have time to re-post.

That was why I was sending out updates on the vigil to my ‘Caledonia list’ and if you were following them you might have gotten a sense of just how related the issues were as the vigil progressed. If not, go back and have a re-read. Or, you can catch up here. 🙂 

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