Tag Archives: Blue Beret protests

Mark Vandermaas letter to London Free Press editor

110703, Day 11 Blue Beret vigil re London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn Boat to HamasFrom: Mark Vandermaas
Sent: Monday, July 11/2011  9:34 PM
To: Joe Ruscitti
CC: Gary McHale

Subject: letter re tomorrow’s protest – requesting your side of the story

Mr. Joe Ruscitti, Editor
London Free Press
.
Dear Mr. Ruscitti:
.
Earlier today I sent out an email (cc’d to you) confirming that my protest at the London Free Press tomorrow would go ahead as planned from approx 11:15-1:00pm. I have spoken to Cst Holland at the London Police Service CORE Unit to let him know about the protest, and to confirm I’m not anticipating any issues. We will keep the sidewalks clear and we will not be harassing your employees in any way other than handing out literature.
.
(8.5 MB) Mark Vandermaas presentation to 2010 'New Directions in Aboriginal Policy' forum, May 01/10, Mount Royal University: Listening to Victims: A Fresh Approach to Healing & Reconciliation (NOTES W/SLIDES) I understand you are upset with me printing our emails and those of Leila Paul regarding your need to consult with Muslims before publishing her article. If the situation were reversed, I know I would feel the same. It was not something I did lightly, and I have never done it before. We have worked with media for years during the Caledonia crisis and I well understand that we need journalists on our side, not angry with us. Unfortunately, I had to weigh the public good against the consequences of burning my bridge with London’s only major daily. I’m sorry, but I would do it again in a heartbeat because the stakes are just too important.
.
If the London Free Press believes it is acceptable not to report fundamental facts countering the anti-Israel hysteria, and the the role of a religious institution in our community - no matter what the denomination - in supporting a mission which, if successful, will ultimately result in weapons getting in the hands of a terror organization sworn to exterminate Jews, then I must take exception.

Is free speech at London Free Press now subject to Muslim approval? The ‘Leila Paul’ emails

The ‘Leila Paul’ emails:
.
UPDATE: Masters of Deceit (Leila Paul), July 07/11: True Patriot Love – Standing Up To London’s Mosque
————–
Click image to learn more about Leila PaulOn Day 13 of the Blue Beret vigil to protest the London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque’s support for the Canadian Boat to Gaza, I released a statement announcing that the London Free Press had informed me that, despite two interviews (one by phone, one on site), and despite their publishing of several stories about the anti-Israel side of the London connections to the Tahrir, they were not going to report my vigil, or the evidence that led me to begin it:
.

On Day 14, I published my email exchange with the editor of the London Free Press, Joe Ruscitti:

  • Mark Vandermaas – London Free Press emails:  [PDF].

A former journalist named Leila Paul contacted me through a mutual friend and gave me explicit instructions to publish her email interaction with Editor Ruscitti in which he states – among other things – that he will not publish her opinion piece about the alleged terrorist connections to the funding of an Islamic Chair at Huron College at the University of Western Ontario until after he has had a chance to meet with the Muslim community to try to persuade them to also write a piece.
.
Ms. Paul’s piece was never published by the London Free Press, but you can read it here in her original email to Editor Ruscitti along with his explanation of why he won’t run it:

  • Leila Paul – London Free Press emails [PDF]

About Leila Paul

Leila Paul was born in Bethlehem in 1945 and baptized in the Church of the Nativity. She grew up believing she was a Palestinian Arab, yet became increasingly uncomfortable, feeling somehow that she did not belong.

It was this long ago feeling that would eventually bring her to the decision to speak out about her experience with the London Free Press after seeing the the paper’s decision to cover the anti-Israel London connection to the Canadian Boat to Gaza,  yet not report the evidence and facts behind my Blue Beret vigil

I asked Ms. Paul if she would tell readers why she decided to speak out now.

In her own words…

THE LEILA PAUL STORY

For years I tried to remain aloof from the issue after I started having doubts about the real, long term motives of Islamists. It’s only when I acknowledged the truth after Rory Leishman’s column [London Free Press, 'Media Ignores Islamist Extremism, Sept 30/11 - also spiked by Editor Joe Ruscitti, leading to Leishman's resignation] that I finally admitted I’d been wrong. Once the wall had collapsed, everything cascaded through. I did a second ancestry test and began to study the anthropology and archeological evidence to discover my instincts were right. My belief is that there is no Palestinian ethnicity but they’ve been indoctrinated by years of Arab Islamic domination. In fact, I’d long suspected that some of my ancestors were Jews and later converted to Christianity.

(FINAL) DAY 26 UPDATE: ‘Blue Beret’ vigil at London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque re support for ‘Canadian Boat to Hamas’

________________________________________________
The ‘Blue Beret’ vigil ended Monday, July 18th (Day 26).
________________________________________________

July 02/11, Day 10 of Mark Vandermaas's 'Blue Beret' vigil to protest London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn. Boat to Hamas, London, ON, CanadaABOUT THIS PAGE: This page is for updates and photos related to former U.N. peacekeeper Mark Vandermaas’ campaign of daily protests against the support given to the Canadian Boat to Gaza by the London Muslim Mosque.

For background and supporting references, see:

STANDING OFFER TO CANCEL ‘BLUE BERET’ PROTESTS – See Day 7 update for details.

 INVITE MARK VANDERMAAS TO SPEAK -  I would love to share the ‘Blue Berets for Peace’ message with your church or organization:

Blue Beret vigil in the media

PROTEST INFO: Blue Beret vigil ended Monday, July 18th (Day 26)

Final days of Blue Beret vigil:
.
  • Monday, 10:00 – 11:00 am: daily Blue Beret vigil
    London Muslim Mosque, 151 Oxford St. W., London, ON [MAP]
  • Monday 11:30-1:00 pm: London Free Press
    369 York St., London [MAP]

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MARK: If you decide to join me…

The purpose of these protests is to share the truth about Israel’s unique United Nations creation and its fight for survival  by doing so in a positive, peaceful, firm fashion so others will understand what it will take to truly bring peace between Israelis and PalestiniansBirmingham_may04-63_dogs, and protect innocent civilians in the interim. I would appreciate it very much, therefore, if you would please review these 2 items before deciding to participate:

  • Blue Beret protest guide: ‘OUR GOALS TODAY’ [PDF]
  • Provoking Violence? Lessons from Dr. King and the Little Rock Nine‘ [LINK] [PDF] [VIDEO, 9:24] (Mark Vandermaas speech, March for Freedom, Caledonia Lions Park, ON May 24/09)

VoC 21 minute course: ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA 101

Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians or a struggle for survival against genocidal anti-Semitism?

In this short course, which should take you no more than 21 minutes or so to complete, you’ll learn how to distinguish fact from fiction before entering into any debate on the Middle East issue, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you will most likely be the most informed person in the room:

Photo Credits: click here

(FINAL) DAY 26, Monday, July 18/11

110718 (FINAL) Day 26 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press.A terrific lady who has been with me nearly every day of the Blue Beret vigil joined me at the mosque from 10-11am. Just before leaving the lady with the hat and almost-matching vest to mine (photo R) came by for the first time to talk, offer support and get her picture taken with us.
.
One final protest at the London-Not-So-Free Press
.
110718 (FINAL) Day 26 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press.We then headed off, after a quick refreshment break, to close the vigil by spending an hour in front of the London Free Press – the paper that published 3 ‘puff pieces’ for David Heap (UWO) and Muhammed Humou (former Ops Mgr of the London Muslim Mosque), the two ‘delegates’ on the Canadian Boat to Hamas, but steadfastly refused to publish any stories about the Jews, Christians and others who came from as far away as Hamilton, Binbrook and Caledonia to help me hold the mosque accountable for their support for the mission to break the Israeli blockade keeping weapons from Hamas.
.
Just to refresh your memory, this is what the LFP published about the Canadian Boat to Hamas:
.
This is what they refused to publish:
.
What did the Blue Beret vigil accomplish?
.
  • 110718 (FINAL) Day 26 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press.Allowed me a daily opportunity for nearly a month to do what I could to counter the anti-Israel fabrications from the Boat to Gaza operators in my own small way (If you haven’t seen it yet, take this 21-minute course – ‘Anti-Israel Propaganda 101′).
  • Exposed the London Free Press editorial bias against Israel, and the importance of the role of alternative media in countering that bias.
  • Exposed – with key help from former journalist Leila Paul – the undue influence of Muslims in controlling editorial content at the London Free Press.
  • Mark Vandermaas (blue beret) w/supporters during Blue Beret vigil, London Muslim Mosque, June - July 2011Exposed – with key help from investigative blogger Blazing Cat Fur – the role of London Muslim Mosque in aiding war instead of peace via its support for the Cdn. Boat to Hamas.
  • Created network of relationships and sense of unity. Plans are being made to build on the Blue Berets for Peace initiative.
  • Brought Jews & non-Jews together to help public understand truth about Israel.
  • Shared thoughts re Israel & Middle East with a letter to Canada’s Ambassador to U.N. on Day 25 [PDF, 3p]
  • Provided training for new activists. Comment from one regular participant: “I feel much more comfortable now taking a truly activist role in whatever it is that concerns me.  That’s thanks to you and Gary [McHale].”
  • Obtained media coverage in mainstream (non-London) print media, local broadcast media, and key online outlets. The protest was covered by the legendary founder of the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington, and by Canada’s largest Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Tribune.
  • Had a lot of fun meeting new people, and learning from them.
Many thanks to…
.
  • London Police Service CORE unit. I kept my promises and I kept them informed; in return they didn’t interfere with what I was trying to do, and I knew if I needed them they’d be there. Thanks to the OPP PLT for the introduction to the LPS unit.
  • London Muslim Mosque, taken during Blue Beret vigil/protest re support for Cdn. Boat to Hamas, June 2011London Muslim Mosque: I had absolutely not a single confrontation or even a hint of one from the mosque. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you seeing me there each day, but I appreciate the respect you showed for my right to protest.
  • Everyone who came out to support me: Jews, Christians, others from London and as far away as Hamilton, Binbrook and Caledonia. Thanks especially to the amazing Blue Beret ladies, especially one who was with me nearly every day right up to the end. Thanks to the Never Again Group for making 3 trips to London. Thanks to Jacob Peretz for being the first member of London’s Jewish community to stand with us. Thanks to Al Gretzky and Mary Lou Ambrogio of the the International Free Press Society. Thanks also to Pesach Ovadyah, Chair of the Jewish Defence League in London.
  • Rabbi Jonathan Hausman from Massachusetts for his very kind and very generous words of encouragement on Day 4, and for his offer to come to Canada to speak at an event with me.
  • Gary & Christine McHale support Blue Beret vigil, London Muslim Mosque, June-July 2011Gary & Christine McHale, Merlyn Kinrade, Bonnie Stephenson – the Caledonia contingent – for repeated trips to London. I’ve spent the last 5 years travelling back and forth from London to Caledonia, so it was wonderful to see Caledonia faces supporting the Blue Beret vigil in London.
  • Pat Woolley from Caledonia for making time to come out all by himself to be with me/us last Saturday (Day 24) to see the ‘divine invitation’ to attend the funeral service for a former RCR U.N. peacekeeper brother in arms — offered by a woman driving past us. Glad you got to witness that little miracle, especially given your role in leading me to become a Christian.
  • Mark Vandermaas w/supporter during Blue Beret vigil, June-July 2011Former journalist Leila Paul for her courage in allowing me to publish her emails between her and LFP Editor Joe Ruscitti which showed how editorial content in the paper was subject to undue consideration of Muslim interests.
  • Thanks to all of you who provided coverage that ‘mainstream’ media in London) refused to provide. Blazing Cat Fur; Kaffir Kanuck; Gary & Christine McHale/CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com; Bob Metz & Robert Vaughan of the ‘Just Right’ Show at CHRW 94.9FM at UWO; The Jewish Tribune; Peter Worthington of the Toronto Sun; Moose & Squirrel. (I’d put in links, but I’m falling asleep at the keyboard, guys and won’t last much longer.)

So, what now?

First, some time away from the computer to rest, catch up on sleep & recharge batteries. I thought it would be easy to stand every day for an hour and then get on with the rest of my work on the Caledonia issue. I was wrong(!).

After some R& R…

1. I’d love to present ‘Why I carry a Palestinian flag in my pocket‘ to your church, synagogue or organization. Email me at mark@blueberet.ca, or call 519.457.0709. You can find my ‘resume’ here.

2. Given Rabbi Hausman’s offer to come from the U.S. to speak at an event with me, I would like to use it as an opportunity to build on the Blue Berets for Peace initiative to create an event called, ‘Israel: The Case For The Defence‘ that would be presented in Southern Ontario universities this fall as a counter-point to the repulsive ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ events. If you can help with venues, sponsorship or promotion, let me know.

'6N' (SIX NATIONS) APOLOGY - Truth & Reconciliation monument 3. And, of course, there’s still plenty to do in Caledonia:

Thank you for following the Blue Beret vigil. I’ve been overwhelmed with your interest and support. If you’d like to be on my mailing list send an email to mark@blueberet.ca to let me know.

Mark

DAY 25: Sunday, July 17/11

110717 Day 25 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada.Just my wife and me today on a quiet Sunday morning. How I love that woman!
.
One more day left
.
Tomorrow will be the 26th and final day of the Blue Beret vigil. 10-11 at the mosque. 11:30-1:00 pm at the London Free Press building on York St. Addresses and maps above.
.
Have you taken VoiceofCanada’s 21 minute course: ‘Anti-Israel Propaganda 101′ yet?
.
Now recommended by Christians for Israel via Twitter, and Gary McHale who called it “…the best post I have ever seen on the topic – quite amazing.”
.
My letter to Mr. John McNee, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations re anti-Semitic Richard Falk cartoon + related issues
.

PHOTOS: ‘Blue Beret’ campaign vs. Cdn Boat to Hamas

Click here to see photos taken during the 2011 ‘Blue Beret’ Vigil vs. London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque support for the Canadian Boat to Hamas.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1. Christine McHaleChristine McHale takes photo of Mark Vandermaas taking her photo, 'Blue Beret' protest vs. Cdn. Boat to Hamas, London Muslim Mosque, June 25/11

In this photo, Mark Vandermaas is taking her picture as Christine takes a picture of the crowd of supporters for one of his ‘Blue Beret’ vigil/protests across the street from the London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, June 25/11.

Christine and her husband Gary (photo, below) were honoured by award-winning journalist & author Christie Blatchford with an acknowledgement in her 2010 groundbreaking book, Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us for their extensive assistance to the book.

Helpless tells of how Christine has been an unwavering partner for Gary’s quest to end racial policing in Caledonia against incredible odds. She has been there at every step of the way. On Dec 01/07 she by his side when Six Nations smokeshop supporters viciously swarmed and attacked Gary sending him to the hospital. Incredibly, instead of blaming those responsible for the violence, former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino told the public that it was Gary’s fault and ordered his officers to target him for a criminal charge – and not to “get bogged down with legal nuances” to do it.

100421 Gary & Christine McHale on steps of Hamilton courthouse after Crown dropped infamous 'Counselling Mischief Not Committed' chargeThis photo of the two together was taken April 21/10 on the steps of the Hamilton Courthouse after the Crown dropped the infamous ‘Counselling Mischief Not Committed’ charge eventually laid against him – which took place shortly after two senior OPP officers – including the present commissioner Chris Lewis – were ordered by a judge to face charges of Obstructing Justice in his case. The story about the OPP’s persecution of Gary McHale is a favourite of Blatchford’s when she is invited to speak.

2. Mark Vandermaas

July 02/11, Day 10 of Mark Vandermaas's 'Blue Beret' vigil to protest London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn. Boat to Hamas, London, ON, CanadaMark’s ‘Caledonia CV’ can be found here: