Tag Archives: Bonnie Stephens

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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CAUGHT ON TAPE: Native occupier threatens non-native woman in Caledonia’s ‘no-go zone’

UPDATE: VIDEO: The Caledonia Eight Arrested

CANACE’s videographer Jeff Parkinson caught a threat made against Bonnie Stephens by a native occupier while she was waiting for police to arrest her during our Saturday protest in Caledonia where eight of us were arrested for ‘trespassing’ on a Haldimand County road. The man can be heard clearly saying, “Come again and the cops won’t be here to protect you.”

  • CANACE video, Dec 03/11: If you come again, the cops won’t be here to protect you [VIDEO, 0.03]

VoC Comment

Even after 5 years of work in Caledonia, even after I and my associates were smeared and assaulted (several put in the hospital) and our property stolen and destroyed by Six Nations militants who ripped apart the community I must confess to still being surprized at just how much violence permeates the attitudes of some of the occupiers. Imagine – threatening a non-native woman for simply daring to stand on a county road! A road that has been declared off-limits to non-natives (and police!) by violent racists whose delusions are backed up by our province’s police force and the Ontario government.  

I am reminded of Christie Blatchford’s observation:

“…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.“

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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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