Native violence becomes blameless
Ipperwash report effectively legitimizes illegal protests
Andrew Coyne, National Post
(I have skipped the first part of Coyne's piece as I have no interest in Lib-Cons politics or National Post - Toronto Star competitions.)
Well now. If Mr. Harris was not personally to blame for Mr. George's death, who -- or what -- was? Judge Linden names a number of culprits, notably the OPP for its mishandling of the occupation and the federal government for its failure to live up to a promise to return to local natives land it had seized during the Second World War for a military base. He also takes the provincial government to task, for being too "impatient" to see the occupation resolved and for fuzzy lines of command that allowed the "perception" of political interference to arise.
All of which is true enough. Some OPP officers are caught on tape making appallingly racist comments, far worse than Mr. Harris's exasperated (and disputed) declaration to his advisors that "I want the f--king Indians out of the park."
The Judge found that he said it. Police, lawyers, judges, their job is to determine who is telling the truth. Watch the tape, Coyne. Shifty-eyed, perspiring, stuttering Harris is lying. It is said that when he was told of Dudley George’s death, he said “I didn’t tell them to kill anybody!” If that is true, sounds to me like HE thought he had given an order. hmmm
Operational commanders made a series of misjudgments, culminating in the disastrous decision to deploy the crowd control unit -- not to clear the park, but to force the natives, who had spilled out into an adjoining parking lot, back inside it. The federal government, though it had announced its intention to return the expropriated native land, had failed to do so, 50 years after the war's end, fuelling native frustration. The commissioner's criticisms of the Harris government are also well taken, as are his suggestions for how such situations might be better handled in future.
Yes, yes and yes. But while we are listing those to blame for Mr. George's death, is there no part that should be apportioned to the native occupiers themselves? Whatever their grievances, and however justified these may have been, there is little dispute that the occupation was illegal. Indeed, the provincial park, where the fatal confrontation took place, was not even formally in dispute, being a different parcel of land than the military base.
It is irrelevant that there was no “formal” land claim.
They have a Constitutional Right to assert “existing Aboriginal Rights and Treaties”.
Yup. Read it again. I said they have a Constitutional Right to do it.
“Assert” means they declare them to be in effect.
Once that is done, the government has a legal duty to negotiate an agreement with them.
In the meantime, the government (the ‘Crown’) also has a “duty to consult and accommodate” them in relation to all development on the traditional or treaty land where they have asserted title.
If they say no development, it is no development until the negotiations are completed.
Welcome to the TRUE law of the land.
The natives who seized the park had no mandate to do so from the local band council, and indeed faced active opposition from other band members for having done so.
That is not very surprising. The Band Council is an agent of the Canadian government.
Many of those who participated were not even from the area, but had travelled from as far away as the
This is irrelevant, but it may serve your purpose of scaring people.
They say racism is based in fear.
No formal warning was offered that the park was about to be occupied. No grievance was clearly articulated beforehand, other than a vague, disputed and intermittently advocated claim that the park contained a native burial ground.
Boy, you really outdid yourself in minimizing that sticky issue!
Yes there is a burial ground there and the government knew it. Harris was told.
Even after the occupation began, the protesters refused to communicate in any way with the police.
To say what? We are having a picnic in the park?
And did the police communicate with them to let them know what they were doing and why they were making that horrific noise by bashing their shields with their batons? I believe the judge had something to say about that.
And in almost every case where police and natives clashed, the violence was initiated by the natives. While the beating of Cecil Bernard George at the hands of several OPP officers, the proximate cause of the events leading to the other Mr. George's death, was clearly deplorable, it came only after the first Mr. George had whacked an officer with a six-foot length of pipe.
The report says “… Cecil Bernard George was EXCESSIVELY BEATEN ON HIS HEAD AND FACE”. “Excessively” means it was not justified, beating someone about the head is never justified in police procedures, unless in self defence, and criminal charges can be laid, should be, but can’t be of course because no one will identify the offending officers. Some of them were not even in the assigned arrest party. It was a free for all … police batons and boots … on an elder! I hope they fuckin die still haunted by what they did, beating an old man like that! 78 blunt trauma wounds. HEAD AND FACE!!
The fatal shooting -- again, as wholly unjustified as it was -- came after natives drove a bus at police.
Teenagers …and a dog … trying to rescue the elder. The bus backfired and seven OPP snipers opened fire on the bus, targeting and wounding the teenage driver.
So the police badly mishandled the occupation, yes. But had this particular group of natives not taken it into their heads to break the law, defy their band council, and seize the provincial park, they would never have come into conflict with the police.
Have you ever gone into a provincial park when it was closed for the season? Did anybody call the cops on you? Did they call the CMU and TRU? Set up a command post? Run at you screaming and beating their shields? Kick your dog? Beat your grandfather half to death?? Open fire on your car? Shoot your brother AND LEAVE HIM TO DIE?
Yet throughout his report, Judge Linden takes the existence of this and other such native occupations as a given.
Yes they are a given. The feds acknowledge that. Ask Barbara MacDougall.
They simply "occur," as if by acts of God,
Actually ... acts of Gov.
Justice Linden was pretty clear in his report about who causes these things to happen. It is the Governments of
The Indigenous Peoples of
The problem isn’t that our government ‘occasionally’crosses the line of the law:
The problem is that that they have never even bothered to catch up to the line of the law!
rather than being the result of conscious decisions by morally responsible adults.
Morally responsible adults who made a morally correct decision to act on their own behalf where the governments have completely failed to uphold the law.
At no time does he call into question the advisability of such a strategy, let alone its acceptability in a democratic and law-abiding state.
The Government is not law-abiding.
Indeed, by his silence, he implicitly ratifies it. What we have here is nothing less than the normalization of lawlessness, the legitimization of violence as a means of political protest. And by a judge!
About time somebody put the screws to the feds!
The law means nothing to them.
The developers in the Haldimand Tract know their titles are not clear, because they searched them all the way back. So they are doing business with the Confederacy, because they don’t want to wait for the government to ‘decide’ what they already know.
Haldimand County Council is only now coming to grips with its legal responsibility to “consult and accommodate”, after the third stoppage of construction. Slow learners, and still in denial.
Native radicals elsewhere can only take the appropriate cues, and be emboldened.
Yes, they have reason to be bold. They know the law. They are well within their legal rights.
And they are right. We cannot continue to destroy the land.
This is a turning point in history.
Andrew Coyne and the National Post - that allows or encourages this sick, whining, racist diatribe - are clearly creatures of a bygone era with little of use to offer the people of Canada in a land where Aboriginal Rights DO exist, and laws are upheld.
Kinda reminds me of ...
JohnTory JohnTory .... Pass me the cheese!
"But we have one in Caledonia that is affecting children, affecting neighbours, affecting businesses that's been going on for 400 days, and they won't insist that that come to an end or be phased out in order to continue the negotiations."