UPDATE, June 26/13: SUN News’ Brian Lilley praises Gary McHale for taking action. Video below.
Step 1: Gary McHale letter to Hamilton Police promising that he and his supporters would gather evidence and lay charges using Canada’s Private Prosecution provisions in the Criminal Code, including against police officers who might obstruct the gathering of that evidence:
“Starting next week we will, without notice, appear at the illegal occupation in order to video tape criminal behaviour, which includes mischief, and then file private prosecution charges against the protesters. Apparently these protesters believe they can block people from videotaping them – this, of course, is mischief as ruled by the courts.
“If your officers attempt to interfere in the gathering of evidence they too could be arrested and prosecuted on a charge of obstructing justice. Police cannot aid in criminal behaviour and they cannot interfere with the justice system.
At the bare minimum it is our goal to expose any police force that allows a two tier justice system to be institutionalized. Your department has forced a company to get an injunction solely because you decided not to enforce the law.”
- Gary McHale letter to Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire, June 26/13: Illegal Occupation of Enbridge Line #9 Pipeline [PDF]
Step 2: Hamilton Police enforce the law:
“The move [to arrest the protesters] by Hamilton police comes mere hours after an overnight email to Police Chief Glenn DeCaire from Gary McHale. McHale, a rights activist who played a major role in the Caledonia land claim dispute, criticizing Ontario Provincial Police for their lack of action, told DeCaire in the email that he and his supporters would converge on the Enbridge compound to monitor the behaviour of the protesters and the damage they may have caused. “
- Hamilton Spectator, June 26/13: Police raid nets 20 protesters at Enbridge pumping station (mentions Gary McHale/CANACE intervention)
- Toronto Star, June 26/13: Enbridge protesters evicted, arrested (commentary re Gary McHale/CANACE intervention)
- SUN News, Byline w/Brian Lilley, June 26/13: Accommodating activist thugs [VIDEO, 9:42] (great commentary about importance of Gary McHale/CANACE intervention)
- CBC Hamilton, June 26/13: Video: Protest at Enbridge’s Hamilton site ends with 18 arrests
- SUN News, The Source, w/Ezra Levant, June 26/13:Illegal Line 9 Protest [VIDEO, 12:27] (arrests + G20 link + charities supporting crime)
- SUN News, The Source, w/Ezra Levant, June 26/13: Enbridge Ideal Neighbours [VIDEO, 5:12]
- Hamilton Spectator, June 27/13: Enbridge moving forward with pipeline plan
Why Hamilton Police were right to take McHale’s promise seriously
Gary McHale and CANACE members have successfully convinced various courts to issue criminal charges against former OPP Commissioner Fantino, now-Commissioner Lewis, Superintendent Gentle, as well as two officers who were filmed helping native occupiers build a fence to keep the owner out of his own property in Hagersville.
McHale also successfully convinced the court to issue 9 charges of Extortion, Intimidation and Mischief against Floyd and Ruby Montour who were ringleaders in a Cayuga occupation before going on to participate in illegal occupations in Brantford and, now, at the Enbridge pipeline occupation.
Gary said this morning when we spoke that he told a reporter, who asked why he got involved in the Enbridge situation, “I saw the same things happening here that led to the breakdown of the rule of law in Caledonia and which posed a threat to democracy: First, police were refusing to enforce the law, thereby forcing property owners to obtain unnecessary court orders which were then also ignored by police; second, media were being intimidated…in the case of Caledonia it was native protesters using violence against them, in this Enbridge pipeline occupation, police were harassing some members of the media – SUN News – and preventing them from gaining access to report what was going on. Media are supposed to be the watchdogs of democracy; when they can’t do their job the public interest suffers. We can’t allow police to institute two tier justice or interfere with holding them accountable.”
Many thanks to the Hamilton Police for a job well done – a little late, but better late than never.
NOTE: Part of our story in fighting against racial policing in Caledonia was told in Christie Blatchford’s 2010 work, Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare Of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All Of Us. More will be told about how ordinary people confronted (and continue to confront) the injustices there in Gary McHale’s upcoming (as yet untitled) book, set to be released in the fall by Freedom Press.
POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas, firstname.lastname@example.org