It was another crazy day in Caledonia. If you remember, last December OPP wrongfully arrested eight peaceful protestors on one of the town’s public roads. After their acquittal, Gary McHale, one of the organizers of the protests against the illegal native occupation in Caledonia, announced another protest planned for February 18.
Originally, the event was scheduled for 2 p.m., but Gary decided to move it to 11:30 a.m. The reason was to make the protest really peaceful – every time before, when the Caledonia people showed up to demand equal justice for all, they were faced by a large number of aggressive natives, their lefty sidekicks and an indifferent police force.
This time Gary called 911 to notify the police that the time was changed. Shortly after that, the protestors gathered in front of the Lion’s Hall before heading to the disputed area.
When we arrived, the place was empty, as you can see in the picture (at the far left are the only two reporters, who showed up to cover the event).
Mark Vandermaas, a veteran peacekeeper, showed up wearing his blue beret and carrying the UN flag.
As more people arrived, they walked in following the road (which was established in court to be a county property). The few policemen, who just arrived, had no other choice but to follow them.
The group stopped at the fire hydrant – that was remarkable, because no people other than the occupiers have been able to go that far in the disputed land. The police were still watching and no natives were at the scene (apparently, they were still sleeping).
Meanwhile, we saw more and more police cars arriving with officers quickly heading toward the protestors.
By that time, the first few natives came out of the house. That house is the only structure remaining from the original real estate development. It now houses an unknown number of natives with all hydro and other expenses paid by the Ontario taxpayers (courtesy of Dalton McGuinty).
McGuinty’s “tenants” were a strange bunch – they looked like a group of addicts furious to be disturbed. The protestors were treated to a strange Indian dance. The short native woman in jeans will play an important role later:
Emboldened by the police presence, the natives started to display their usual behaviour – shouting insults and trying to assault the people. The police used the increasing tension to try to end the event. The officers pressured the participants to leave. It didn’t work – Gary and Mark told them that they were standing on county property and are not doing anything illegal and in fact they could walk even further. And so they did, reaching the area near the house:
At the same time, things turned ugly. After an altercation, the police had to detain the unruly native woman. That by itself was a miracle – before that no native person has ever been arrested in Caledonia for violent behaviour during the commission of a crime against non-natives, let alone on the occupation site.
Since she refused to walk, four officers had to carry her holding her arms and legs:
They put her on her legs when they came closer to the police van. As you can see, they seized from her a piece of pipe with sharp edges (I don’t know what she was going to use the lamp shade for):
As a side note I need to say that I have never heard a woman talk like her. She was hurling insults at the officers, some of the mildest of which were “motherfuckers”, “assholes”, “racists”, etc. I heard similar things from other natives, who arrived later. Apparently, the militant type of Indians has an amazing proficiency in the vulgar English slang.
Eventually, she was handcuffed and sent away in the van (still shouting):
Meanwhile things got even uglier at the rally. An aggressive native man tried to attack a police officer, another one attempted to assault Merlyn Kinrade, a 77-year old Canadian Navy veteran who served as a UN peacekeeper during the 1956 Suez Crisis. The police refused to deal with them, alleging they didn’t have enough officers (although the police outnumbered both the protestors and the natives put together).
While this was going on, more and more natives started arriving in cars from the fields. I had a nasty encounter with some of them telling me that they’ll break my legs, if I don’t leave their land. Since the police were busy with the big group, I had to leave the road to be safe (not that the police would’ve helped me, if they were around).
As it is usual in the weird world of the Caledonia conflict, the police made another strange decision. Instead of arresting the aggressive natives, they detained Gary McHale, who didn’t do anything to deserve that. That was Gary’s sixth unlawful arrest.
The natives brought even more people and blocked the entrance of the area with cars. Here is another woman making points, which are unprintable:
… and taken away in the police van:
At the time one of the major figures of the illegal occupations in the area – Ruby Montour – was already there. During the December rally she had a complete control over the police, telling them whom to arrest. This time she looked very disappointed:
At the entrance, Mark Vandermaas made a short speech about the conflict. He condemned the provincial government’s indifference to native violence, from which the native people suffer just as much as the residents of Caledonia and other towns.
Ironically, while Mark was speaking against violence, the natives made every effort to silence him – honking, shouting “liar”, “racist” and other unprintable words.
They even yelled at the police, because the officers “disappointed” them. One of the natives was overheard as saying that they should block the highway again.
So far, it was a good event – nobody was beaten up or injured by the natives.
After lunch we drove back to the occupied area to see who showed up at 2 p.m. It was already 3 o’clock and probably most people had already dispersed, but we still saw a few union activists with their flags. As I mentioned before, they are some of the major supporters of the native lawlessness:
There still was one issue to be resolved: where was Gary McHale?
We went to the police station where he was held – it was shortly before 4 p.m. and he still hadn’t been released.
A few minutes later, Gary emerged from the lower floor of the station. He showed up wearing only his underpants (I will spare you that picture) and my first thought was that he was strip-searched. However, when I talked to him later, he explained that he took his clothes off as a form of protest against the unlawful arrest. He did the same in December of 2006 , while under arrest in similar circumstances (with Mark Vandermaas in the next cell). Here is he just after being released:
We couldn’t leave immediately, because he needed another piece of vital information – the policemen who dealt with him, promised at his request to provide him with the name of the officer, who made the decision about his arrest. After waiting for nearly half an hour and knocking on several doors (the station looked deserted), somebody showed up and said that they can’t provide that information. So much about their credibility – I guess the case is heading to court as usual.
While we were waiting, a reporter from Dunnville’s Chronicle showed up at the police station. He was tipped off that a native woman was assaulted at the rally. As with all false accusations coming from the natives, Jeff Parkinson had the irrefutable evidence to debunk this one as well. Jeff is a videographer who meticulously films every protest event and his footage has helped many times to expose lies in court. The reporter was patient enough to go through Jeff’s video recording to find the truth. Then he interviewed Gary.
We took a picture at the entrance of the police station:
As a sign that the conflict continues, we saw outside two native girls. They took (not very discreetly) pictures of everybody and wrote down the licence plates of our cars. I guess we may expect a visit from Ruby’s henchmen…
On the way back I interviewed Mark Vandermaas about the meaning of those protests. His main concern is that the people in the area don’t understand the gravity of the situation. The lack of property rights protection means that everybody’s house or business could be seized, if the natives make a claim against the land (even if it’s false, like in the DCE case).
If the DCE is handed over to the Six Nations, that would mean an economic disaster for Caledonia. The natives will be able to open restaurants, stores and other businesses, operating tax-free. Although they’ll be required to sell only to Status Indians, they’ll sell to everybody (as they currently do on the reserve and in the illegal smoke shacks). That will drive out of business most of the entrepreneurs in the town. It will also mean lost tax revenue, because, judging from the government’s actions so far, they have never confronted a native “business”.
It looks like this will be another nail in the coffin of McGuinty’s jobless Ontario…
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