CBC TV Newsworld, Tuesday September 12 / 95, 10:15 AM PST
- transcribed by Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
[SISIS note: The following mainstream interview is provided for reference only. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]
Dr. Bruce Clark sought an injunction to prevent RCMP from further violence at Gustafsen Lake, pending a hearing on the issue of jurisdiction in lands beyond the treaty frontier. Canadian Chief Justice Antonio Lamer denied both applications.
CBC: Mr. Clark, exactly what was it you wanted the Supreme Court of Canada to do?
Clark: I wanted the Supreme Court of Canada to look at the existing constitutional law that prima facie precludes its jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of all the non-native courts in the unsurrendered Indian Territories - that law at the same time as it precludes the courts jurisdiction renders the assumption of the courts' jurisdiction treasonable, fraudulent and arguably complicitous in genocide.
CBC: Chief Justice Antonio Lamer said that he has never heard anything so preposterous and said that you were a disgrace to the bar. Are you surprised by his comments?
Clark: I'm dismayed by his comments but I'm not surprised by it - it takes the measure of the man. What he ought to have done as the senior judge in Canada was to look at the legislative words that I was putting before him and to say a mistake has been made here or here or here. The reason he didn't do that is because he can't do that. He can't do that and he's caught in a criminal activity. And so he blusters, and that's what you've just recorded.
CBC: Part of the reasoning as I understand it is that the Supreme Court wondered if you were in the right building in the first place - perhaps you should have been in the Supreme Court of BC?
Clark: Well that's absolute chicanery. It's complete nonsense. On July the sixth I brought a whole raft of cases from the Supreme Court of BC - raising the identical point of law - brought that raft to the Supreme Court of Canada - and then the Chief Justice Lamer held that the issue itself was not important, at least not of sufficient importance to occupy the court's time. Now to say that the clients should go back to the Supreme Court of BC level is just chicanery - legal trickery.
CBC: If this is essentially what you expected from this court, what was the point in taking up your time and the court's time with this?
Clark: Well in order to approach the appropriate international penal tribunal to apprehend the Canadian judges' complicity in genocide it is necessary to exhaust remedies in the domestic legal system. And I think if you were to take the time to look at the court record that has been compiled you will find that every stone that could be turned over has been turned over to persuade the domestic judges to look at the law. Invariably they simply refuse to look at the law.
CBC: So having turned over all the legal stones, as you put it, in this country then does that prepare you for the next move and if so what is it?
Clark: Well the next move is to proceed under articles 2a and b, 3e, 4, and 6 of the Covenant for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948. That particular convention to which Canada has attorned by its signature establishes the point in law that there is no-one in the society, even judges, who is exempt from the rules against genocide. In my view when one carefully and dispassionately looks at the history of this country the case is not difficult to make in terms of that particular legal instrument.
CBC: I would suggest that a lot of people in this country, including our political leaders, the RCMP certainly at Gustafsen Lake, would argue about the genocide aspect and suggest to you and the RCMP has said that what we're dealing with are criminals with a criminal agenda.
Clark: Well that is the issue and I agree they may wish to argue that. My only point and my clients' only point is let's argue that in accordance with the rule of law, which means we both put our arguments before an independent and impartial third party tribunal. It may be the RCMP and Chief Justice Lamer are correct. I don't think they are; if they were correct they would come forward with some legislative words that refute the legislative words I have put on the table. But they're not able to do that.
CBC: Mr. Clark, finally what we have here is a standoff that continues - shots continue to be fired. We saw more evidence of that yesterday. On a practical level is there anything that you can do to help resolve this and if you can extricate your clients out of this situation?
Clark: My clients' instructions to me when last I was in the camp...Their instructions to me basically were, 'who's putting the wool over your eyes Clark - the Supreme Court of Canada - they're the crooks, they're the criminals. They're not going to do anything on the 12th. You get to an outside court which will objectively look at it.' And my clients' instructions turned out to have been prophetically wise. They are now under circumstances where they may well be murdered over the next period of time and they have indicated that they're prepared to die for their principles. And I haven't received any change in my instructions which would authorize me to cease doing what I'm doing, which is again to try and get to this outside tribunal.
CBC: Lawyers generally advise their clients - do you have any advice for your clients then?
Clark: Yes, my advice to them is that they are in the right. That when an independent and impartial tribunal looks at the words of the constitution, there is no question. Until there's a constitutional amendment those people at Gustafsen Lake are in the right - the police are in the wrong. That's simply what the law says.
CBC: All right Bruce Clark that's our time. Thank you for this.
Clark: Thank you.
[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]
100 MILE HOUSE, B.C.
Bruce Clark fought the law - and the law won.
The controversial Ottawa native-rights lawyer was handcuffed Friday and taken to a holding cell for the weekend after a bail hearing for five Gustafsen Lake protesters turned into a wrestling match.
"I'll see you in court in Williams Lake on Monday," said Provincial Court Judge Nick Friesen, who cited Clark for contempt.
It took seven Mounties and four sheriffs to corral a squirming and swearing Clark and remove him from the courtroom. Clark did not take kindly to being handcuffed from behind.
He dived under a table at the front of the courtroom and tried to resist police efforts to capture him.
All the while, he swore at police and rebuked the court system.
"This kangaroo court will not succeed," Clark said.
"Filthy god damn fascist goons. Just following orders is not an excuse for genocide since 1948."
The commotion began about 9:40 a.m., when Clark burst into the courtroom and demanded to speak.
"Open the God damn door," he shouted. "Who's the Crown attorney here? I'm sitting at the counsel table."
Clark's anger rose when he realized the courtroom had been locked and only the media, police, court staff and a few natives were present.
"Are you mad?" he said. "Since the Magna Carta, courtrooms have not been locked."
Friesen refused to allow Clark to continue, saying the lawyer was not a member of the Law Society of B.C. Clark, who said he was acting for his clients on a pro bono basis, threw a nine-page document at the judge.
The document was a notice of motion seeking the immediate release of the five people.
Clark said the police have denied him access to his clients and he has not been able to obtain "fresh instructions" from them.
He accused the court of being guilty of treason, fraud and complicity in genocide.
The struggle began when Clark told officers standing behind him to "back up".
That's when one of the officers handcuffed Clark and the wrestling ensued. Nobody appeared to be hurt.
Things returned to normal after Clark was escorted from the courtroom.
The doors were opened and the bail hearing for the five began. All are charged with mischief and forcible detainment.
Edward Dick, Glenn Denault and Sheila Ignace, who is related to rebel camp leader William Ignace, were released on their own recognizance. They will be back in court Oct. 3. Ronald Dionne and Brent Potulicki were remanded in custody and will return to court next Tuesday.
RCMP Sgt. Peter Montague said Friday evening that Clark was behind bars at the 100 Mile House RCMP detachment. He will be transported to Williams Lake Monday.
Clark will also face charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer, Montague said.
Meanwhile, Shuswap negotiators were able to convince another native male to leave the camp at Gustafsen Lake, Montague said.
He said police were interviewing the man at headquarters at in 100 Mile House. His name was not released.
Montague said John Stevens, a Cree spiritual leader from Alberta, will enter the camp today to speak with the protesters.
Stevens is an acquaintance of Percy Rosette, the protester who brought the Sundance ceremony to 100 Mile House, Montague said.
The protesters, who call themselves defenders of the Shuswap, say the Gustafsen Lake site is sacred. Sundance ceremonies have been held there.
Earlier this week, Arvol Looking Horse, a Sioux holy man and keeper of the Sundance ceremony, met with the protesters in the camp.
Tom Dennis, a Shuswap spokesman, said Looking Horse was able to soften the tension surrounding the camp and move the peace process forward.
CBC Radio: Early Edition with Hal Wakes, October 19 / 95, 7:16 AM PST
HW: It's now sixteen minutes after seven o'clock. This is the Early Edition on CBC radio, 690 on the South Coast. My name is Hal Wakes.
HW: Native rights lawyer Bruce Clark failed to appear in a Williams Lake Court yesterday to face charges of Contempt of Court and assualting a police officer. The charges resulted from a scuffle in a Williams Lake courtroom last month. Clark is perhaps best know for representing the Gustafsen Lake rebels during their standoff with the RCMP last month. We've reached Bruce Clark in Amsterdam where he says he is living in exile.
HW: Good Morning.
BC: Good Morning.
HW: Why didn't you appear in court yesterday in Williams Lake?
BC: Well, first in your introduction you said the charges resulted from a scuffle, that's incorrect. The charges did not result from a scuffle. The charges against me resulted from the fact that I accused the judge of misprison of treason, fraud and complicity in genocide, which is a charge I can substantiate in terms of hard law. In response to that charge, the judge became hysterical and had the police officers assault me at the counsel table in court. I defended myself. Now, having sort of clarified the factual basis for the charges, the reason I'm in exile is because in order to cover up the crimes in which our Canadian judiciary are engaged, this one judge has cited me for contempt of court. That is basically he is insisting that I recant the truth, apologize and if not the threat is I will be kept in jail until I do that. This is absolutely an outrageous overturning of every principle on which the rule of law is based. I don't propose to sacrifice the interests of my clients in pursuing justice by allowing the criminal court, and that is the judges who are behaving in a criminal fashion, to essentially silence the messanger by keeping me in jail indefinitely. That's why I'm in exile.
HW: Why did you choose Amsterdam?
BC: I chose Amsterdam because it was the cheapest flight available.
HW: What kind of extradition treaty does Canada have with the Netherlands?
BC: I do not know.
HW: Had nothing to do with the decision to go to the Netherlands.
HW: You as a lawyer, I guess you might be able to help me with this, I think you are an officer of the court, are you not?
BC: That's right and it is precisely because I'm an officer of the court that I am under a duty to inform the court when it is engaged in criminally unconstitutional behaviour. When I can carry out that duty to the court because the judges are hurt by the truth, embarrassed by the truth, they become hysterical and cite me for contempt. I am carrying out my duty as an officer of the court which is the reason the charges are against me.
HW: What are you going to do in the Netherlands? Presumably this is the end of your legal career.
BC: It is the end of my legal career only in so far as its ended for practical purposes in Canada until such time as the Canadian judiciary starts to behave in accordance with the rule of law. Now this isn't an unusual situation in the world. Almost every country goes through growing pains and various stages where high officials in it form the impression they are above the law.That has happened in fact with our judiciary at the present time. Where that happens and where their pretence has genocidal consequences, traditionally, what right thinking people do who are under a duty is flee the country and attempt to make their plea to the international community of nations and the to the international legal community. That's what I'm doing. In a legal capacity, I'm representing my clients interests by explaining to the international community the travesty of justice of genocidal consequence that is being played out in British Columbia Courts today.
HW: We have a system of law that provides for all kinds of checks and balances and rights of appeal and courts of appeal and different individuals involved at all of those levels. What you're suggesting is a kind of grand conspiracy throughout the whole legal system to somehow stamp out your right to express your point of view when in fact many people would see you simply as a law breaker who is refusing to face the issue in court.
BC: Well whether or not I'm a law breaker depends upon the law at which you are looking. My point is that in order to address the law you have to look at the whole law, the same as when you look at the facts, you have to look at the whole truth. Now the whole law in this case consists of the constitutional law and the criminal law. The constitutional law upon which this country was founded since the 18th century says that where judges assume jurisdiction in unsurrendered Indian territory by definition they are guilty of misprison of treason and fraud. The fact is that occured in British Columbia, notably in 1864, Judge Begbie had hung a group of Chilcotin Indians. In hard constitutional law, that was an act of murder by the judge. Now when you say we must look at the law and we must follow these judicial processes that is exactly my point. The difficulty is that when I go into our courts and ask the courts to address this constitutional law, the words of which are absolutely clear and plain, they read those words but they won't address them publically because they know what the truth is. They become hysterical. In their hysteria they cite inferior law, that is law of the criminal code which is a law inferior in status to the Constitution. That is they willfully blind themselves to the Constitution in order to silence the messanger and the criminal weapons that they use in this process is the criminal law process.
HW: You could be making the argument in court rather than ...although I know you have...rather than.....Thank you......
BC: But that's the point. When I made the argument in court, I was cited for contempt.
HW: Thank you for taking our call.
BC: Thank you for cutting me off.
HW: Bye bye.
BC: Bye bye.
HW: Bruce Clark is a native rights lawyer who has gone into exile in Holland.