The Martlet - Editorial
October 9, 1997
In case you missed it. In a buried article in the Sept 26 Province, Joey Thompson suggests the media should apologize for the way it reported and didn't report the Gustafsen Lake standoff. Too little too late. Joey Thompson wrote: "When it came to covering the events clouding the 1995 Gustafsen Lake fiasco, the RCMP took reporters for a ride. We bought the Mounties' take on what was going down during that tense month-long summer siege. A lot of what we got -- and dutifully reported -- was crock. It's time we conceded that and apologized to the natives and citizens of B.C." Sweet sentiments, but like sugar, they are meant to cause decay -- memory decay -- by attempting to cleanse the media for its supposed nonaction. The reality is that the media's actions actually reveal an agenda of collaboration with the RCMP. In the 50-plus hours of RCMP videotape, there is evidence that shows some of the "cherry -picked" media as Thompson calls them, were actually spying for the RCMP by handing over information before releasing it to the public.
So why the apology?
Because the trial yielded evidence of the RCMP's lies and tactics, the media collusion, and the reality of international law as pertaining to unceded Indian lands, it looks bad for the BC media to stay silent like they were during the trial.
So they slip in this little article which absolves them of their collusion and at the same time report some truth: "The fact is camp members weren't the terrorists RCMP made them out to be. Nor did they invite the shootouts the police press releases claimed."
The reality of the Gustafsen Lake standoff still eludes everyone in this "province". Eighteen people risked their lives to show the world that settler governments have no jurisdiction over sovereign Indian nations.
In resource-rich "BC", resistance doesn't go over well with the settler state.
It was that simple.
"The CO commented and I agreed that we need to clean them out entirely and not have any hanging issues similar to what occurred at Oka." - notes of RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brown August 10,'95
"Have you found someone that can help us with a disinformation or smear campaign?" Dennis Ryan RCMP 'Crisis Management Team' on RCMP videotape.
"It was necessary to ensure that the public perceived a continued threat from the people in the camp." RCMP Commander Len Olfert, court testimony, Jan. 6, 1997.
August 26th 2130 hrs "We have to get the Ministers in line to ensure that they have the proper perspective. Stephen Owen called and I briefed him on Mercredi feedback. He will advise the Attorney General and the Premier to ensure that politically they are in line." Notes of Assistant Commissioner Brown August 26, 1995 2140hrs. Notes disclosed during trial.
"The coverage reminded me of CNN's handling of the Gulf War, with the reporters locked up in steady contact with the generals and the military's spin doctors...The rush to sweep the Gustafsen Lake and Ipperwash affairs out of the news the moment the physical standoffs were removed, shows all the signs of a classic coverup." Dr. Tony Hall, in Canadian Dimension, Dec.'95
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