Aug 31/95: Gustafsen Lake-Bruce Clark goes into camp



Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty (S.I.S.I.S.)
August 31, 1995

After being stonewalled by police yet again this morning, Dr. Bruce Clark, lawyer for several of the Defenders of the Shuswap Nation, gave the police an ultimatum: either let him into the camp to see his clients, or send him home. Police did neither, so Dr. Clark went to the airport and prepared to fly home to Ottawa.

Police have claimed they could not let Clark into the camp for his own safety; Clark replied that it was ludicrous to think that his clients would fire on their lawyer. He also pointed out that safety concerns did not prevent the RCMP from letting Ovide Mercredi into the camp. According to Clark, police attempts to prevent him from meeting with his clients while continuing to discuss "negotiations" was a "manipulation of public opinion".

Shortly before Dr. Clark was to board the plane in Williams Lake, two RCMP officers arrived via police helicopter and pleaded for Dr. Clark to return to the camp. An RCMP officer said, "Frustration is understandable". Clark replied, "frustration is not the problem. Deception is the problem. Bad faith is the problem". After the RCMP promised to let him into the camp at 2 pm, Clark agreed to return to the camp.

At approximately 6 pm, Dr. Clark came out of the Defenders' camp. In his hands were a handful of bullet casings and an affidavit sworn by an independent journalist inside the camp.

According to Dr. Clark, the casings and the affidavit show that police have been firing directly at people inside the camp. The affidavit reads:

[transcribed from CBC TV 6 pm news broadcast]

I, Trond Halle, freelance cameraperson, of the City of Vancouver in the Province of British Columbia, make oath and say:

1. Exhibit A hereto is a 223 casing which can be fired out of an M-16 assault rifle, such as is issued to the police tactical units.

2. There is no weapon at the Gustafsen Lake Indian encampment that is capable of firing a 223 shell.

3. Exhibit A was found on the road after a police tactical unit officer fired his rifle directly at persons from the said encampment.

4. Exhibit B is a high-8 video tape that from behind bushes records the following sequence of audio events:

a) warning shots fired into the air, apparently by persons unknown from the said Indian encampment,

b) fire from the police directly at and narrowly missing persons from the said Indian encampment, and

c) return fire, apparently issuing directly at the said police.

5. A 9 mm shell casing was also found on the road from where the police were located. It was found in the vicinity of the aforesaid 223 casing, and it also must have issued from a police weapon, since there is no weapon in the said Indian encampment capable of discharging a 9 mm shell.

6. Exhibit C...

[cut off by CBC reporter at Williams Lake]

The persons at the said Indian encampment are not going to relinquish their defensive position until they hear from Bruce Clark that the petition to their protector, Queen Elizabeth II, dated 3rd of January 1995, and accusing her judges, government, and police of misprision of treason, fraud and complicity in the genocide of the aboriginal peoples has been addressed.

Sworn before me at the Gustafson Lake Defenders' camp this 31st of August 1995.

Trond Halle

CBC reporter: So we're back to square one?

Clark: No, we're not back to square one.

CBC reporter: So how does this help negotiations?

Clark: This helps negotiations by making available to the public the other side of the story.

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