Jul 3/97: From Oka to Somalia to Gustafsen Lake

S.I.S.I.S. Bulletin



July 3, 1997

"It sounded like the noises of an ineptly butchered animal," said one soldier who heard the death cries of tortured Somali teenager Shidane Arone from across the Canadian compound at Belet Huen Somalia." These and other atrocities committed by Canadian "Peacekeepers" in 1993 were the subject of "Dishonoured Legacy," the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, released yesterday.

The inquiry was prematurely terminated by the same Canadian government that commissioned it "just as we were beginning to question the highest levels of leadership of the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence as to the allegations of cover-up," according to the commissioners of the truncated inquiry. (Globe and Mail, July 3, 1997)

Former Chief of Defence Staff John De Chastelain "more than anyone else...is to be held accountable". According to the report, De Chastelain "allowed monetary and political considerations to motivate important decisions regarding the Canadian contingent." De Chastelain became Canada's ambassador to Washington and currently serves as a "special advisor" to the Anglo-Irish "peace process".

General De Chastelain was also in charge of the Canadian Army's 1990 invasion of sovereign Mohawk territory in support of a golf course expansion. Mohawk prisoners were reportedly subjected to 'dry shootings,' beatings, and torture involving cigarette burns such as was practised in Somalia.

Likewise, General De Chastelain drew up the plans for "Operation Wallaby", the military's participation in the summer 1995 siege of Shuswap traditionalists and their supporters defending sacred Sundance and burial grounds at Gustafsen Lake. De Chastelain's "Rules of Engagement" against the elders, men, women and children of the Ts'peten camp were the first time in Canadian history the army was used against "civilians" without a review by either Parliament or the provincial legislature. Both Prime Minister Jean Chretien and BC's NDP Premier Glen Clark have thus far refused demands for a public inquiry.

A call for a similar inquiry into the murder of Stoney Pointer Dudley George faces comparable resistance from the Ontario government. George's murderer, Ontario Provincial Police sniper Kenneth Deane was convicted and sentenced to 2 years less a day for the murder. His conditional sentence will not see him serve any jail time.

By contrast Wolverine, the 66 year old Shuswap traditionalist, organic gardener and old age pensioner has already served almost 2 years in prison already and the BC Attorney -General's prosecution is seeking a harsh 25 year sentence for "mischief endangering life". This conviction arises out of Wolverine's attempts to stop a 14 ton military APC from running him down, by shooting at the tires. The message is that from Somalia to Stoney Point to Gustafsen Lake, it is open season on indigenous people.

The virulent racism within the Canadian military and police forces, especially the RCMP, has become increasingly obvious. At Gustafsen Lake for example, RCMP ERT members left racist death threats on "death cards" in the vicinity of the Ts'peten sundance camp. Also revealed during the recent kangaroo court proceedings was a failed plan pushed for by the RCMP ERT members to force native traditionalists to "surrender on their knees" to the white police officers.

Now the Somalia scandal has revealed a culture of white supremacy and racism within the Canadian Forces. Photos and video tapes were leaked to media showing Airborne Regiment members dressed in Nazi regalia and a "party" involving a black man on his knees with a dog collar and leash with his naked back smeared with excrement reading "KKK".

"Not just a few rotten apples but a system rotten to the core... we encountered a wall of silence, evidently a strategy of calculated deception," concluded the commission of the Somalia Inquiry. The Chretien government rejected the report of its own commission, which Defence minister Art Eggleton called "excessively critical...This happened four years ago. The time for pointing fingers is past."

The actions of white supremacist thugs such as OPP sniper Kenneth Deane, General John De Chastelain, the Gustafsen Lake ERT and their NDP masters, and any of the other racist, colonialist enforcers of the Canadian settler state must be vigorously opposed. The authorities must not be allowed to whitewash the ugly truth about "our home on native land" and how domination is maintained. Full and comprehensive public inquiries must be held into the actions of the authorities at Gustafsen Lake and Stoney Point, with the involvement of international observers to prevent a Canadian cover-up as witnessed by the Somalia inquiry.

We call upon good people everywhere, at home and around the world, to raise your voices in condemnation, to hold the Canadian authorities accountable, and to demand that the much vaunted 'paragon of human rights' begins to respect the elementary norms of civilized behavior.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Room 309-S Centre Block, House of Commons
Ottawa, Ont. K1A OA6 Canada
Phone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900
Faxing by email: remote-printer.Jean_Chretien@16139416900.iddd.tpc.int
email: pm@pm.gc.ca
WWW comments: http://pm.gc.ca/english/pmo/e_corres.htm

BC Premier Glen Clark, Room 156 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4 Canada
Phone: (250) 380-6506
Fax: (250) 387-0087
Ontario Premier Michael Harris, Room 281, Legislative Building
Toronto ON M7A 1A1 Canada
Phone: 416-325-1941
Fax: 416-325-374

For sample letters and more addresses, visit: http://kafka.uvic.ca/~vipirg/SISIS/gustlake/support.html

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