May 3/97: Harris called a liar in Stoney Point murder


Brother of slain Indian activist demands inquiry

Toronto Star
May 3, 1997
Phinjo Gombu - Staff Reporter

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]

The brother of an unarmed Indian protester killed at Ipperwash Provincial Park says Premier Mike Harris is lying about his role in the Ontario Provincial Police handling of the occupation.

"To me, he's lying," Pierre George said during a news conference at Queen's Park yesterday.

Don Hogarth, the Premier's press secretary, when told about George's comments, said, "I think Premier Harris has, since this incident first occurred, been very upfront and open and honest about the position of the government and his own position.

"I'd like to leave it at that."

The news conference was held just four days after a judge found Acting Sergeant Kenneth Deane of the OPP guilty of criminal negligence causing death in the Sept. 6, 1995 shooting of Anthony (Dudley) George.

George was shot when provincial police, in full riot gear, moved in on the Indians who had occupied the park after Labor Day, saying it contained a sacred burial ground.

Pierre George said only a public inquiry will clear up a number of questions about the raid, some which lead directly to the Premier's office and cast doubt on Harris' repeated assertions that there was no political pressure to clear the Stoney Point Indians out of the park.

Some of the questions include:

* Why was Deb Hutton, a top Harris aide who works out of the Premier's Office, at an emergency meeting of various ministries just hours before the shooting? What was her role?

* What was Marcel Beaubien, the Tory MPP for the area, doing at the OPP command post outside the park the day of the shooting?

* Who knew, authorized or encouraged the heavy military buildup by OPP tactical squad officers against the unarmed Indians?

* Why did the move on the park take place that night, when a court hearing on a government-sought injunction to remove the Indians was set for the following morning?

"Only a public inquiry will tell the truth," said George, his voice breaking at one point. Pierre George drove his dying brother to the hospital in Strathroy after the shooting.

He was joined in his call for the public inquiry yesterday by Stoney Point resident and spokesperson Marcia Simon, Joanne Bender of the Coalition Against Racist Police Violence and Dudley Laws of the Black Action Defence Committee.

Harris, under pressure from Indian groups and opposition MPPs at Queen's Park, has repeatedly denied any involvement in the raid and refused to commit to a public inquiry, saying it would compromise various legal proceedings still under way.

These include two criminal trials and one civil lawsuit, as well as a possible appeal by Deane of his conviction.

The complainants accused Harris of using legal proceedings as an excuse to avoid calling the inquiry.

"We can be tied up in proceedings forever," Simon said. "Does that mean we have to wait until then?"

"I would like Harris to quit his stalling and beating around the bush and give a commitment to a date for the inquiry as soon as possible," George added.

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