Rebuttal to Toronto Life – My Interview with Gary McHale

Posted: August 5, 2007 in Appeasement & Cowardice, Caledonia, DCE, Election 2007, FantinoGate, Gary McHale, Headlines, Home Grown Terrorism in Canada, Jeff's Blogs, Land claims, McGuinty, Natives, OPP

Having just finished reading what at a glance looked like it would be an excellent article in Toronto Life, I find it unfortunately necessary to rebut some complete untruths being told by this Mainstream Media Outlet.

The article is entitled “Promised Land, portrait of a community under siege” and is written by Marci McDonald. It contains an excellent section on Ann Marie Vansickle who spoke at the first March for Freedom in 2006 about the suffering her family has endured as a result of the Terrorist occupation of DCE, and then quickly degenerates into an incredibly biased piece of work. The author is clearly convinced that there must be both “good guys” and “bad guys” on both sides of the occupation, and she has chosen Gary McHale to be the “bad guy” on the non Native side.

Before we get to the article itself, it’s important to understand a bit of the background of the author Marci McDonald and why she would have such a biased point of view. From another article in the same magazine comes the following background info on McDonald.

” Not only did she witness the mental and physical carnage at Grassy Narrows in 1976 on another assignment for MacLean’s, she became a voluntary hostage in a rebel takeover of a band council office on a Stoney reserve outside Calgary, watched over by a teenager with a crowbar who called himself The Enforcer. ”

  • – Source: Page 19, Toronto Life magazine, August 2007 issue.

Now that we have established solid grounds for her bias toward the Native side of the issue, we can get into the article itself and some of its astounding inaccuracies.

She starts out painting a suitably grim portrait of the situation in Caledonia, then quickly uses the tone it has set to attack Gary McHale and Caledonia Wakeup Call (which includes myself so I have every right to speak about this) making us sound responsible for the chaos in Caledonia. No blame is to be placed on the illegal occupiers of course and particularly not on Janie Jamieson who came up with the idea and executed the first protest at DCE and who continues to be a spokeswoman for the Terrorists behind the shabby barricades. She is painted as a hero for being willing to illegally blockade construction crews from doing their duties on privately owned land.

In her second paragraph, McDonald sets the pace by going from the death of a police officer at Oka, to Gary McHale coming to town for the October 15th March for Freedom last year. The idea of course is to paint a picture in the mind of the reader of the tension level at Oka and then infer that Mr. McHale coming to Caledonia created the same level of tension. Apparently she thinks those who read Toronto Life are extremely naive.

” At first the OPP were worried about the truckloads of Mohawk Warriors from Quebec who had flocked to join the occupation clad in camouflage fatigues, bandanas pulled high over their cheek bones – an unsettling echo of their 1990 armed insurrection at Oka that left one Police Officer dead. But now another interloper had inserted himself into the tense plot line. Gary McHale a glib, computer-savvy maverick from Richmond Hill had scheduled a provocative march through town protesting the Ontario government’s refusal to oust the natives. On his website he had promised to muster a crowd of 20,000 that risked a bloody showdown with both aboriginals and police. For days the OPP had been pleading with curiosity seekers to spurn McHale’s march, implying that its officers bused in from across the province might not be up to keeping the peace. There seemed no reason to doubt that damning admission. Two months into the standoff…”

Okay, there’s her opener and we quickly see 2 tricks being played on the readers. First the quick jump from Oka to Gary McHale, and then some mildly clever backtracking to LONG before Mr. McHale was ever involved in Caledonia. When properly mixed with some propaganda that nobody can verify because it’s all untrue, this is designed to completely mislead the readers.

Time for some facts: Gary McHale did not say the March for Freedom was to protest the province refusing to oust the occupiers from DCE. The March for Freedom was to protest 2 tiered justice in Caledonia which is selective (at best) enforcement of the law by the OPP based purely on the race of the criminal.

The OPP did not (in any press release I saw and there were plenty of them in the news) plead with people to stay away claiming they might not be able to keep the peace. They warned (BIG difference) people to stay away or face dealing with a Police force which they assured us would be out in massive numbers ready to handle any situation that may arise.

There was at no time any mention of attempting to confront the occupiers of DCE or the OPP. Gary spoke of plans to give people a bus tour of Caledonia, and of an offering of roses to OPP officers identical to that which was given to them by Natives as a gesture of peace after their Terrorist attacks on the town earlier that year. Every plan Gary came up with to peacefully educate the public, the OPP refused. He said in very clear English that if the OPP would not agree to some plan for the event he would march to DCE. The OPP did agree to a planned route for the day and marching on DCE was aborted long before a single spectator came to town that afternoon.

Some brief background on how I came to be involved in this situation which is what gives me my perspective on this topic (for those who don’t already know):

I attended the first March for Freedom in October 2006 thoroughly outraged at what the Natives were being allowed to get away with and as ready as anyone else there for a fight with the Natives that day. It was the statements made by Gary McHale about how we absolutely can not win this fight by resorting to violence, racism, profanity etc which changed my outlook. McHale was not there inciting violence, he was there to prevent it and he did an excellent job of it. Because of him, I was able to take the energy of my anger and put it into something productive which is working within peaceful, law abiding means to try to end this nightmare. Nothing Marci McDonald can ever say will change the reality of what happened and what did not happen on that day.

The best trick at this point in her article is the following statement “There seemed no reason to doubt that damning admission. Two months into the standoff…”  Excuse me? Let’s look at the timeline for a moment. The March for Freedom took place on October 15th, 2006. Two months into the standoff would be April 2006. On the May 24 long weekend, residents and natives clashed due to the tension the OPP and McGuinty government had been helping to ferment in Caledonia. There was a fist fight in a field and that little piece of footage has been played over and over by the media as though it’s a daily occurrence in town.  

Back to the article:

“Behind the manned security booth that guards the driveway to his Richmond Hill Condo, Gary McHale was sitting in his sixth floor suite stewing over his expanding enemies list. All winter, his Caledonia rallies had turned him into such a contentious presence that he’d managed to upstage even the native occupiers whose crimes he was devoted to cataloguing. In December he had even gotten himself arrested and thrown in a Cayuga jail overnight – released without charges the following morning – for trying to plant a Canadian flag directly opposite the reclamation site. A month later, he was back in town on another flag planting mission, marching to the OPP command post, where he challenged the forces new boss Julian Fantino to come out and explain why he’d been prevented from exercising his Charter rights. By then McHale had become the chief thorn in the side of the OPP, which had seen 32 officers injured in the conflict and its costs soar to more than $21 million “

Gary lives in an apartment complex which has security at the entrance. What exactly is that supposed to prove? Mr. McHale has lived in the same place for many years and the security was not set up for his protection after he started Caledonia Wakeup Call. In large cities, it’s not uncommon for such places to have some sort of security.

Stewing over his expanding enemies list? I’ve spent plenty of time with Gary McHale and I can assure you he does not “stew” over anything. In the event of any kind of problem, he quickly figures out a solution and that’s the end of it. He’s probably the most decisive human being I’ve ever met. As for this list of enemies, he doesn’t sweat his enemies. When you consider the kind of work we do, having enemies simply means we’re making an impact. The more enemies we gain, the more of a threat we know we are becoming to 2 tiered justice and the corruption that drives it.

All winter, his Caledonia rallies…” How many rallies does this person think we had? One in October, one in December, and one in January. If memory serves me correctly, winter carried on somewhat past January this year despite our lack of further rallies. We did gather one more time in Caledonia late in the winter, but that was to muster public support for Caledonia citizen / Hamilton police officer Dave Hartless when Fantino tried to have him fired for exercising his right to free speech as a Canadian citizen. At no time did we attempt to approach DCE.

December 16th, 2006 Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas were illegally arrested and detained against their will by the OPP in Caledonia. In a weak effort to intimidate Mr. McHale he was illegally held overnight in a Cayuga Jail and forced to appear before a justice of the peace the next morning at which time the prosecutor explained that there were never any charges against him and he was immediately freed.

– for trying to plant a Canadian flag directly opposite the reclamation site.”  Gary McHale was standing on the side of the road with 2 police officers and a flag in his hands some 300 feet away from DCE and after 15 minutes waiting for a senior officer to come and explain why the Canadian flag was illegal, the officers handcuffed and arrested him without cause. They refused to disclose to him or his wife at any point what charges he was under arrest for because there was no charge by which they could have legally arrested him. They forced him to remain in jail overnight, at which time a judge ordered him to be released as the OPP had never laid any charges.

For all of you who are rolling your eyes right now ask yourself this: If the OPP had any sort of legitimate means to prosecute Gary McHale for something he has done, wouldn’t they take it?

January 20th 2007 was a landmark day that the media failed to cover and Marci McDonald clearly did not attend. On January 20th, Caledonia residents led by Gary McHale stood (despite the best efforts of the OPP) no more than 20 feet away from the DCE occupiers and simply looked at them silently as the occupiers hurled the most foul and vicious language and insults they could muster at us all in an effort to provoke a fight. The real story of the day is that Caledonia Wakeup Call and Caledonia citizens stood together face to face with the DCE thugs for about an hour and nothing happened. The “Warriors” screamed at, and taunted us until they literally burned themselves out and got bored and not one person on our side made a single obscene gesture, or said a single word to any of them. The peace was NOT kept by the OPP that day as we were on private property and they had no means to get in our way. The person who kept the peace that day was Gary McHale.

Yes he did go to the OPP station and try to ask Julian Fantino why it is that he was not allowed to hang a Canadian flag on the same hydro pole that Natives had put several on earlier the same day. Mr. Fantino stood in the doorway looking out the window at us while officers outside told us there was “nobody here” when asked if there was a superior officer we could speak to. The commissioner of the OPP hid from Gary McHale and peeked out a window at him. What does that say about Fantino and the OPP in general? Shortly after that, I accompanied Gary as he put his flag up next to the others and a busload (no exaggeration) of OPP officers poured onto the scene of the exercising of his guaranteed Charter rights scrambling for an excuse to arrest him. Unable to find one they had to let us go, but within minutes the flag was stolen by an OPP officer who freely admitted to doing it and said it was “to prevent a breach of the peace”. Somehow Gary’s flag was going to cause a breach of the peace, but the one erected by Natives earlier that day was not. The only injury was a resounding smack in the face of Justice and Democracy that day by the OPP.

The key points that she is trying to pass off as facts are quite volatile and are as follows.

  1. Gary McHale is a White Supremacist or supports them and is a racist.
  2. Gary McHale has some secret control over who can attend his public events.
  3. Gary McHale is motivated by racism.
  4. Gary McHale is trying to incite violence in Caledonia to achieve his goals.

Interestingly, there is not one quote from him to be found anywhere in her article despite her having interviewed him while writing it.

So that the record can be set straight by the only person who truly has the answers to these questions, I contacted Mr. McHale for an interview and he was more than willing to take the time to answer these very basic but very important questions. Without further a due, here is that interview.

Q. Mr. McHale, are you a white supremacist or a racist?

A. I am obviously not a white supremacist or a racist. I often quote from Martin Luther King as the best example of peaceful protest for civil rights, what white supremacist would quote from a black leader?

Q. Why do you allow them to attend your events in Caledonia?

A. They are public events. The OPP, Haldimand County, and the Natives have all tried to stop me from coming to Caledonia, but in a democracy I can go into Caledonia and do a peaceful protest. If all of them can’t stop Gary McHale from coming to Caledonia then Gary McHale can’t stop other people from going to Caledonia. However, at our event on January 20th, we were on private property, and the few white supremacists that had shown up were told to leave which they did.

Q. Why have you placed your entire life on hold to fight for this cause?

A. Because in life there are things far more important than money. Truth & Justice are more important than whether or not I get a plasma TV, or a new car. All societies especially democracies depend upon average people taking a stand for truth and democracy. Truth and justice must be upheld.

Q. According to Toronto Life Columnist Marci McDonald and many of your critics, you are trying to incite violence in Caledonia. Do you believe in the use of violence to achieve goals?

A. I have consistently presented to the public that non violent protest is the only way to win the hearts and minds of people in Canada and the only way to have lasting change.

My thanks to Gary McHale for his time and candor.

Please note the following statement issued before the January 20 2007 Caledonia rally directly from the website of the Northern Alliance which is known to be a white supremacist group.

First off I want to say that I fully support and will be at the rally on the 20th to raise the Canadian flag. However, I do not support Gary McHale after reading his editorials from his web site on Jan.1 & Jan.8th when he compares the Klan to the Indians and when he compares all movements like this one to the Muslim terrorists. So the march I support, Gary…I don’t. He even compares himself to Martin Luther King.

Could it be that Marci McDonald who once volunteered to be a hostage for Natives during a criminal takeover of a band council office had a hidden agenda in her reporting? Or is Gary McHale a monster for trying to expose the truth that no one else dares to show you about Native occupations, our own Police forces, and our government? Ultimately, that’s up to you to decide.

Jeff Parkinson
Caledonia Wakeup Call
  1. Jim Anderson says:

    Hi Jeff:

    Thank you for the excellent editorial.

    I was also lured to the first October Rally because I saw the injustice and stupidity of the McGuinty Government and OPP’s handling of the occupation and their condoning the extortion in Caledonia.

    As I stood beside Mayor Trainer and listened to the passionate speeches by the victims of this criminal activity and heard the wisdom of Gary McHale’s speech about peaceful protest and the rule of law I was transformed into a peaceful protester.
    I was so moved by some of the speeches that tears welled up in my eyes.

    I vowed on that day to become a force with those that cared to end the two tiered justice and have since attended all of the organized protests and marches.

    I can attest to the integrity of Gary McHale and his demonstrated intentions have always been very evident to those that take the time to listen and observe the travesties that are occuring in Caledonia.

    Regardless to what the OPP, McGuinty and especially Fantino espouse to discredit Gary McHAle the truth always seems to rise above their lies and Gary emerges triumphant over them.

    I am saddened as to the extent the Police, the politicians and especially Fantino have demonstrated that they are prepared to go to discredit Gary McHAle in order to justify their inaction to deal with this crisis.

    I am also angry that the police and politicians are so readily selling out our Charter rights in order to appease a gang of terrorist bent on extorting money from an inept Premier.

    One thing is certain though we did meet all of our objectives on Sunday at Fantino’s home.

    We gave Fantino an excellent opportunity to stand up and face us off and meet with us over friendly dialogue to have some of our questions and concerns addressed.

    A true leader would have grasped the opportunity and talked with us but Fantino showed his true colours and ran to Caledonia in a childish tantrum to try to minimize our ralley.

    Unfortunately for Fantino and his buddies in the legislature the media saw through his antics.

    No one watching in Ontario was Fooled by Fantino’s antics but the FOOL Himself.

    Keep up the good work Jeff. I plan to stay with the group for the long haul and continue to be inspired by the leadership of caring individuals like Gary McHAle, Mark Vandermaas and yourself.

    Jim Anderson

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