Video of the December 3rd 2011 Caledonia arrests

Read the comentary at Voice Of Canada.

This video raises a number of things that I have been wondering about.

For example, the uniformed police officers do not display their badge numbers, making it impossible to identify them.  Is this legal?  If so, should it remain so?

Another question:  what recourse does a population have if a police force either refuses to enforce the laws of the land or enforces illegal orders?

In my never-humble-opinion, the only way an organizational corruption of this scale can be tackled is by holding the individuals within the organization personally responsible for their actions, including holding them personally responsible for following illegal orders to the maximum level the law permits.  Yes, this would mean legal action against individual police officers – if not criminal, then civil – even if these police officers are nice individuals.  Still, if they follow an illegal order, they must be accountable for this breech of law.

Of course, these are easy words to type and there is a world of difference between writing this and actually doing something about it.  Still, one ought to gather as much information first…

So, if you are knowledgable on this topic, please, comment and educate me on the laws, rules and procedures – and any other options legally available.  It would be much appreciated.

Because to my way of thinking, this is not a ‘native/non-native’ issue:  this is a policing issue and equality before the law issue!


UPDATE:  Here is a comment posted by Mark Vandermaas, which, in my neve-humble-opinion, is important enough to bump it into the ‘body’ of the post:

The scary part of Caledonia is that all the organizations, gov’t and NGO, that should have been pro-active in protecting the rights of the innocent were unwilling or unable to help: Human Rights Commission; Ombudsman (wanted to help, but not allowed to get involved in police issues); the Opposition (oh, how we tried); the Federal govt (not only wouldn’t they help Harper annointed Fantino as PC candidate!); the OCCPS (old agency for Police Services Act complaints); Haldimand’s Police Services Board; Haldimand Council (other than former Mayor Trainer); Cdn Civil Liberties Association (repeatedly begged them for help to no avail).

It would be hard to list here everything we tried, but some of the key things that worked well were:

1. Dr. King’s methods of peacefully confronting injustice and forcing them to violate your rights (techniques that he learned from Gandhi to influence the media and the conscience of the nation. When one protests with dignity and is willing to be verbally abused and assaulted without retaliating there is very little defence to this approach. Using it we actually caused the union radicals, anarchists, anti-Israel groups and native militants to curb their violence and aggression because – as one of them said at an anarchist’s conference, we were making THEM look like the racists by applying Dr. King’s methods. Just as King did not demonize whites, we did not demonize native people as a group (the thugs would disagree, of course). We tried our best to ensure people knew that the thugs didn’t speak for the good people of 6N.

2. Civil Lawsuits to a degree. I say that because while there were some important court victories such as the $20M Caledonia Class Action, the Brown-Chatwell settlements and some victories achieved by us via the small claim and superior courts, the fact is that racial policing is still practiced and the gov’t, 6N and the OPP have never apologized or ammended their policies.

3. Private Prosecutions under the CCofC. You know, of course, that Gary M, despite not being a lawyer, convinced the courts to charge 5 individual police officers for offences such as Mischief, Influencing Municipal Official and Obstructing Justice, and even won a case at the Court of Appeal. This has reigned in their abuses quite effectively, but apparently, they still have more to learn.

We’ve tried just about everything during the last 5 years. in the end, it’s not one magic bullet. It’s ordinary people taking advantage of every opportunity when presented and, as Gary says, ‘withstanding the test of time’ (while you’re being vilified, assaulted, and arrested). And…don’t wait for anyone to come to help. But, that’s the wonderful thing! A small group of committed people with no money, no power and no connections really can make a huge difference.

Having said all this, there were some good people who did help and paid a price for doing so. At risk of leaving someone out and inadvertently insulting them, I won’t try to list them. But one guy who doesn’t get enough credit is lawyer John Findlay of the Class Action, a lawyer who represents us in several cases including one where he helped mediate a solution whereby the OPP union finally admitted in writing they had no evidence we were inciting hate and violence. Couldn’t have done it without him.

Sorry to go on so long. Thks for listening.

Readers who want to know more should visit the Caledonia: No More Nightmares page at which has videos and notes from our 2011 presentation of the same name in Ottawa – where you and I met. Thanks for being there, and thks for the coverage.

Mark Vandermaas
Editor, VoiceofCanada
Founder, Caledonia Victimis Project

John Robson interviews Gary McHale about the events at Caledonia