CASNP. 9-Jul-97. Twelve people from a Coalition Against Racist Police Violence are locked behind government doors. They are waiting to meet with Ontario Attorney General Charles Harnick to ask for an inquiry into government involvement in the events leading up to Dudley George's murder. Among the protesters are Pierre George, brother of Dudley George, Maogosha Pajor of CASNP, Joanne Bender of the Coalition, Dudley Laws of the Black Action Defense Committee, Ethel LeValley, Secretary Treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Roger Obonsawin of the OI Group, among others. Protesters are also outside the building and are asking others to join them.
The protesters arrived at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, July 9th, in front of the Attorney Generalís Office at 720 Bay St. and proceeded into the building. After 12 people went in, the guards closed and locked the doors of the building disallowing the protesters and workers to enter or leave the building for most of the day. When a door opened to let someone out, a protester would rush in to join the others. At this point the protesters are still inside the building.
Background: The Stoney Point People peacefully re-occupied Ipperwash Provincial Park after it had closed for the season in 1995. They were protecting sacred burial grounds located there. None were armed. On the night of September 6th, after a meeting of government officials, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) opened fire on the Stoney Pointers, gunning down and killing Dudley George. Why do Ontario Premier Mike Harris, AG Charles Harnick and Solicitor General Robert Runciman refusing to call a public inquiry?
Judge Hugh Fraser found OPP Officer Kenneth Deane guilty of criminal negligence causing death on April 28th 1997. He found that Deane had "concocted a story... in an ill-fated attempt to deny the fact that an unarmed man was shot. (Deane was) not honest in (his) statements to police investigators, to the SIU (Special Investigations Unit) and to this court". Yet Deane faces no prison term, only 180 hours of community work. Will he be sent to an Aboriginal community? He is even allowed to keep his job. This sentence makes a mockery of Canada's justice system.
This sentence sends a message that to the Canadian elite Indian life is cheap, that the establishment condones attacks on defenceless elders, men, women and children, and that there are two judicial systems operating in Canada, one for themselves and another for Aboriginals and people of colour. In contrast Wolverine, the 66 year old Shuswap traditionalist, organic gardener and old age pensioner has already served almost 2 years in prison and the BC Attorney General is seeking a harsh 25 year sentence for "mischief endangering life". This conviction comes from Wolverine's attempt to stop a 14 ton military APC from running him down, by shooting at the tires [during the Gustafsen Lake standoff -- S.I.S.I.S.]. There is blatant racism within the police forces, especially the OPP and RCMP. The Somalia scandal has revealed a culture of white supremacy and racism within the Canadian Forces who were behind the scenes in Ipperwash and Gustafsen Lake. In all confrontations Aboriginal sovereignty and title to North America is the issue. Canada has decided to deal harshly with those who question their sovereignty and jurisdiction on Aboriginal lands.
Good people everywhere must demand to know the ugly truth, with involvement of international impartial observers to prevent a Canadian cover-up.
Prime Minister Jean ChretienContact: CASNP (above); Anti-Racist Action 416-631-8835; Black Action Defense Committee 416-656-2232; OPIRG York 416-732-2100; Toronto Coalition Against Racism 416-530-0262
Rm 309-S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0A6 Canada
Ph. 613-992-4211 Fax 613-941-6900
WWW comments: http://pm.gc.ca/english/pmo/e-corres.htm
Ontario Premier Michael Harris
Rm 281, Legislative Bldg., Toronto ON M7A 1A1 Canada
Ph: 416-325-1941 Fax: 416-325-3745
On Wednesday, July 9, the Coalition Against Racist Police Violence held a press conference outside of Ontario Attorney General Charles Harnick's office. The Coalition, along with Pierre George of Stoney Point and the Ontario Federation of Labour, demanded that the sentence given to Acting OPP Sergeant Kenneth Deane be appealed. A full public inquiry into the shooting death of Anthony O'Brien "Dudley" George, of Stoney Point First Nation was also demanded at the press conference.
On July 3, Deane was given a sentence of two years less a day to be served in the community for criminal negligence causing death. Deane shot and killed Dudley George on September 6, 1995.
The press conference turned into an occupation of the Ministry of the Attorney General when individuals present entered the building to book an appointment with Attorney General Charles Harnick. Police Officers and private security were immediately on hand to block the entrance to Harnick's offices. Eight demonstrators then stayed inside the building until 5:30 p.m. demanding a written commitment from the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat (ONAS) that they would speak with the Attorney General's office about setting up a meeting.
Demonstrators were shuffled to ONAS because, AG Harnick, the Deputy Minister, and any assistant or secretary capable of booking a tentative appointment were all on holidays... uh-huh! Yet the head of ONAS was in the building and refused to speak with demonstrators.
By 5:30 on Wednesday Bruce Malloch, Communications Director for ONAS, promised to speak with the Attorney General's office about setting up a meeting and to call the demonstrators back the next day, Thursday.
At approximately 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, one of the people who had been inside the Ministry of the Attorney General received a call from Malloch. He stated that a meeting with the Attorney General was impossible because the matters were still before the courts.
Yet, no appeal has been filed and until there is an appeal, the matter is no longer before the courts.
Malloch also said that Murray Seguel, Senior Officer in the Crown Law Office-Criminal is responsible for appeals and that a meeting should be set with him.
An appeal of the sentencing can be filed up to 30 days after sentencing. Those involved with the press conference and occupation on Wednesday will take further action on the demand that Deane's sentence be appealed.
Anti-Racist Action (Toronto)
P.O. Box 291
by phone: (416) 631-8835
In Toronto, tune into to "Radio Antifa", around 7:30 every other Monday night on CKLN 88.1 FM.
Following is a mainstream report from the Toronto Star about yesterday's press conference turned occupation. We had planned to request that a meeting be scheduled with the Attorney General, but were denied acess to his office and told that usual procedure to book a meeting is to call or write a letter.
Also participating in the demonstration inside the building were two members of the Black Action Defense Committee, a grassroots organization which has consistently spoke out against racist policing since its formation in 1988. It is revealing that the media did not report that BADC was present, nor would security allow Dudley Laws of BADC to visit protesters on floor 11, although other demonstrators on the main floor were permitted to do so.
Participants in the press conference and demonstration will meet to discuss our next step.
It is imperative that action be taken. There are only 30 days from sentencing for an appeal of the sentencing to be filed. We are demanding that this "non-sentencing" of Deane be appealed.
A small group of demonstrators occupied the lobby and a top-floor office at the Attorney-General's building for several hours yesterday demanding a public inquiry into the fatal police shooting of Dudley George at Ipperwash almost two years ago.
George's brother, Pierre George, one of the protesters at the 11-storey building on Bay St. just north of Gerrard St., said he also wants Attorney-General Charles Harnick to appeal the sentence imposed on the Ontario Provincial Police officer who killed his brother.
"I want justice," George said.
Acting Sergeant Kenneth Deane was sentenced last month to two years less a day after being found guilty of criminal negligence causing death in the Sept. 6, 1995, shooting death of Dudley George.
Instead of going to jail, Deane was ordered to serve the sentence in the community along with performing 180 hours of community service.
About 40 protesters, including members of Anti-Racist Action, the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native People, the Ontario Federation of Labor and the Coalition Against Racist Police Violence, took part in the day-long demonstration.
Although several Metro police officers stood by, security staff at the building allowed the demonstrators to stay inside while arrangements were being made for them to speak with senior representatives of the Native Affairs Secretariat.
The protest ended around 5:30 p.m. following an hour-long meeting where government representatives agreed in writing to try to arrange a meeting for the group with top officials in the Attorney-General's ministry.
"They'll get an answer tomorrow," said Bruce Malloch, a director in the communications branch.
George said he was disappointed at not getting a face-to-face meeting yesterday, but understood the minister was not in.
"I want answers," he said. "I want to start putting my own life back together."
Before entering the government offices, George, 43, told demonstrators the sentence given Deane was "a total sick joke."
He said he came to Toronto to demand an appeal of the sentence and ask for a full public inquiry.
"Out of decency and fairness for everyone they should get to know what really happened," George said. "I want to know what they are hiding."
He said he felt like he and the other demonstrators were getting the runaround, but he's prepared to wait until today to see what sort of response the government gives.
"I've learned to be patient," he said.
Joanne Bender, of the Coalition Against Racist Police Violence, said they are supporting the request for an appeal and public inquiry.
Bender said there was government involvement in the shooting.
"It's a cover-up, plain and simple," she said.
She also told demonstrators that Deane was given preferential treatment even though he lied to investigators and while giving evidence at his trial.
"This sentence is more like a pat on the back than even a slap on the wrist," she said.
Bender also said government officials met every day and demanded the police get the protesters out of the park.
She suggested Premier Mike Harris, Attorney-General Charles Harnick, Solicitor-General Robert Runciman and the local MPP in the Ipperwash area, Marcel Beaubien, are implicated in the shooting.
"Beaubien was present at the OPP command centre up to three times before Dudley was shot," Bender said.
She said it has also been shown that Beaubien had communication with the Premier's office, the Attorney-General's office and Solicitor-General's office before the shooting.
"They can't say they didn't have involvement in what happened at Stoney Point," Bender said.
For links to politicians' emails, sample letters and more ideas on how to help, see:
The petitions posted on the S.I.S.I.S. site demanding inquiries can be signed by email: send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org reading "I support the Stoney Point petition" along with your name and city/province of residence.