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Scared Shitless at Ipperwash - 6

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Why a Documentary Investigator - And everyone else - was Scared Shitless at Ipperwash in 1995...

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Bystoneder, Type 1 - Police Murder of an Indian

When a human being picks up sand as a souvenir, like General Rommel did in North Africa, or a stone, of a historic - people related - event, we begin the classification proper of stone relics.

This sand was from Ground Zero at Ipperwash, ON, where Dudley George, a Canadian Indian, was deliberately shot and killed, during a First Nations protest, in September 1995, by Ontario Provincial Police who attacked and shot up a group of unarmed Indian women, children, babies, and men, who were picnicking peacefully in a park. The OPP deliberately attacked at midnight, at a time they knew, when most Indians are up, and when journalist witnesses were all in bed.

It is the shabbiest chapter in the history of Canadian policing, mainstream media journalism, and could only happen in "Harper Country," where racist Ontario Premier Mike Harris came from.

It was "Mad Mike" Harris who was the source for the order to launch the shoot-to-kill operation, which he expressed, in a top level meeting on Sep. 6, 1995, where, his own Attorney-General Charles Harnick - giving explosive testimony to an inquiry (in 2005) - said that the Premier barked orders that he wanted people "to get those fucking Indians out of the Park." Only a few short hours later Dudley was dead. When the Premier barks the police jump. Said a top OPP officer, Harris wanted "to kick ass." They did; Dudley died.

(Though the Premier later denied he said it Justice Sidney B Linden found that he lied, and had said it.)

Below the site where the midnight attack took place and the memorial of boughs behind the fence where Dudley was assassinated. The police marched in from the road, top right, beside the buildings and spilled into this open space.

Soon this whole site was covered with shooting OPP officers advancing from the right against Indians along the left side. Police bullets were flying in all directions, killing and wounding Indians of all ages, and probably hitting a police officer or two as well.

And for all those who claim the OPP didn't knowingly target women, children, babies, and men, here is an OPP surveillance video shot from its own chopper only hours before it launched its armed attack against the Indians at Ipperwash.

OPP choppers took hours of video like this, endlessly flying at low levels following cars and blowing sand in people's picnic lunches, and scaring kids. But there was on inescapable benefit for the police. They were utterly sure of two things the videos made clear to them, in the hours before they launched their armed attack:

They had never seen a single gun or sign of a gun anywhere displayed by anyone anywhere in the park. Which is one reason they launched a frontal attack. They knew they were safe. They also knew they totally lied when they told the press the day after, that the Indians had guns, when they had clear evidence the Indians did not.

The police also knew they were dealing, not with armed desperadoes as they dishonestly told the totally gullible and toadying mainstream media, but family groups.

Here are women, children, babies and men picnicking, only yards from where Dudley was murdered. The OPP even knew the names of the people they were targetting. Right is Judas (waving) and Gina George and their kids and friends who never dreamed they were only hours away from being shot at in the worst act of police violence against Indians in Ontario's history.

Bystoneder Relic - Type 1, Ipperwash Beach, Murder Site of Dudley George, 1995
Orig. bystoneder - Size - cup full
Found - Ipperwash Beach, ON

Old News - To us Premier Harris' racist order, not revealed by the mainstream media till 2005, was ten years old. Chief Tom Bressette told us, in October, 1995, that the Premier had said that. Tom got the news the same day the Premier said it, in September, from a Queen's Park informant. In fact Queen's Park was abuzz with the news of the Premier's racist rant the same day he said it.

We reported it, in a massive document detailing huge and multi-level human rights abuses - every single detail of which was, years later, proven true in a court of law - to CBC TV executive producers, in December, 1995, as preparatory work for a documentary we were promised if we got "access" inside the camp no CBC, no other whites, or media were able to get. Which we had done in spades. After reading our report CBC execs abruptly cancelled our documentary project, by saying - an exact quote: "You are too much on the side of the Indians."

Shame on the Mainstream Media - It is just another sordid chapter in the media handling of this racist act carried out by the Premier and the OPP against Canadian Indians. Because the mainstream media - hell they heard the news of what the Premier said, too - kept quiet, for a decade, just to protect their sources - the police, the top Conservative operatives at Queen's Park, etc. "Hell," the Toronto Star's Peter Edwards told us on the phone when we castigated him for his unseemly tardiness at reporting the human rights abuse, "We can't alienate our sources. We rely on the police for information for our stories." For his loyal "hands-off" brand of journalism he was honoured with an Award - years later - for - you won't believe this - exposing the human rights abuses at Ipperwash... which he didn't start to write about till April 1996. This was many long months after we reported the human rights abuse to the CBC and had jump-started the new SIU investigation, escorted them into the camp, filmed them, and then were finally forced to leave the scene for a paying job, after spending 73 days behind the barricades, and paying for our motel bills ourselves, in our passion to expose this gross human rights abuse.

The CBC Returns - Months later in the late spring of 1996, when our spade work had opened the way for SIU investigators to get access to the camp, and other journalists started to get interested in the story again, we got phone calls from three different Indian sources telling us that the CBC, which had months before, turned down our documentary project, had gone behind our backs, and approached the Indians behind the barricades to do its own documentary. The agitated Indians reported CBC Producer Carol Off sought their cooperation as she wanted to do her own CBC initiated documentary on the story.

The Indians firmly refused saying strongly they "were happy working with the Goldis." Even though they were told "but we got all the Goldis stuff," as a come-on, trying to intimate that we were on side with the CBC initiative. Which was a bald faced lie; we'd been fired, accused of being too pro-Indian.

More serious than that, we had promised people in the camp that we would not release any of our footage to any other media outlet before clearing it with them. Which was why they were unhappy to hear the CBC say they "had all the Goldi's stuff." We had reassured them that we had not broken our agreement, and not shared our footage with anyone else - including the CBC - as our original agreement. The CBC producer's attempt to sabotage us behind our backs went nowhere. (We would try this story with the CBC again ten years later.)

Theft of Intellectual Property - Stealing stuff from independent producers - yep, even copyrighted stuff - and farming it out to its own stable of producers, has been standard operating procedure at CBC for decades. When an outraged filmmaker, during a CBC meeting with many independent producers, protested in exasperation, at CBC stepping on, or overstepping, the copyrights of independents, "But how can you do this?" Mark Starowicz barked back defiantly, "Because we are the CBC."


In 2012 institutional racism - not the street variety - continues to be Canada's biggest problem, with some ethnic cliques enforcing their will on the body politic, both domestically and in foreign affairs, against the will and democratic rights, of the vast majority of the people of Canada. And Canadian Indians continue to be one of the biggest victims of institutional bigotry, at top levels of government, which dismisses their genuine rights and grievances, in favour of promoting the private tribal agendas of the rich and super-rich elsewhere, by manipulating a Prime Minister elected by a paltry 23.7% of the voters of Canada. (76.3% refused to vote for him.)

Midnight Madness - Right an original eyewitness drawing by one who saw this scene of the OPP beating a council member from the nearby Kettle Point Reserve to the point of death. He covers his eyes and pulls in his knees to protect his groin from metal batons from an enraged mob of OPP thugs.

In vain Bernard George below had come to try to defuse the growing crisis to prevent loss of life. First the OPP beat him to a pulp - only heroic medical intervention saved his life - and then moments later, cut loose with automatic weapons, on men, women, and children.

 

On the sands of Ipperwash, John Goldi far left, in 1953, only meters from where Dudley George would be killed, 40 years later.

He returned, as an investigative journalist filmmaker, to the haunts of his boyhood, only weeks after the killing in September 1995, and spent 73 days, with his producer wife Joan Goldi behind the barricades, to sleuth out the truth of what really happened there.

"Thank you so much for believing in us
when no one else would listen."

Cully George, sister of Dudley George
Aug. 2004
- to the documentary filmmakers
Joan Goldi & John Goldi csc

 

Did the Indians really have guns and shoot at the cops as the police said, and the government, the media, and the public all mindlessly swallowed? In the fall of 1995, and early months of 1996, they all believed "Good riddance. The goddam Indians got exactly what they deserved!"

His research uncovered the institutional racism, the illegality, the media complicity, and the scandal of it all. He reported his findings to the Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which was two days away from a press conference announcing it would lay no charges against the police. He protested strongly, and promised to facilitate its access behind the barricades if it would abort the news conference, and restart its investigation. It agreed. Its investigation, this time around, would lead to sensational charges against the police, and to a judge condemning OPP officers for repeatedly lying, and to find a cop guilty of deliberately shooting Dudley. Another inquiry exposed the racism of the Premier as well, and it showed that in modern Canada a racist from Harper Country could still become Premier of Ontario.

The documentary the Goldis made, would win the top Platinum Award at Houston Worldfest, the largest film and television festival in the world and would be the season premiere on the CBC's Passionate Eye in 2003. Amnesty International uses their documentary in its international awareness programs.

Go to Racist Murder at Ipperwash
True or False? Sleuthing Out a Racist Police Attack by a row of OPP Cruisers, smashing Indian families at midnight...

An OPP surveillance video, shot only hours before the midnight attack that killed Dudley George, and shot only steps from where he fell, clearly shows unarmed Indian family members sitting on picnic tables.

Right, an angry Robert Isaac stands by as Dave George throws rocks at a low flying OPP chopper which endlessly swooped in to take videos of Indian family picnics, sending clouds of dust and dirt into food, and terrorizing the babies and children.

The close-in chopper and video surveillance did prove one thing, conclusively though, to the police: that the most violent Indians only had rocks for weapons...

It proves beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that the police, from the highest levels on down, knew they were lying through their teeth when they announced at a press conference only a day later, that the Indians had guns and fired on OPP officers.

And is, in fact, exactly why the OPP chose, only a few hours after these videos were shot to deliberately make a massed frontal attack on the Indians, which would have been suicidal against any opponent who had guns. They knew they were completely safe, behind helmets, face guards, huge shields, body armour on chests, arms, legs, and boots, etc., even against the most angry Indians, Robert and Dave. And what could they, in their T-shirts, do against automatic weapons?

Like Dudley, Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman - And the OPP lied in front of the cameras, exactly because they knew they had the mainstream media in their pockets and could get away with it. Because, let's face it, the Indians had nobody whatsoever - media included - on their side. Even the white liberals were publicly onside, for many, many, months, going on almost a year, in this story, with the racist cops.

These video clips show what was supposedly, the scene that existed at Ipperwash Park, at midnight, the night before the shooting, when many Indian witnesses - young, old, men, women, children - kept telling us, in interviews only months later, that suddenly a wall of OPP cruisers crashed into them, sending panic-stricken people flying in all directions, trying to escape injury or death from a malevolently racist police attack with massed vehicles.

So, was there any truth, at all, to the charge that OPP cruisers would malevolently crash into Indian families picnicking?

There was no corroborative evidence of any kind. After all, the attack had supposedly happened at midnight when there would be no third party witnesses. There were no white witnesses. And the media had, long before, gone to bed. So it would have been a good time to do such an unspeakable human rights violation if it were ever to happen... You know, the kind of stuff that happened to Blacks in the racist heart of the American South in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s when police officers routinely participated in the killing of civil rights workers like Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman.

 
Scared Absolutely Shitless...

I'm a tough guy, hardly easily frazzled. I have faced death - real death - a number of times in a variety of remote wilderness mishaps, in summer, in winter, on land, and on the water, and escaped a fatal reckoning only because someone kept watching over me. I've had unnerving close calls overseas.

So I have been scared - very scared - a number of times in my life.

In Uganda, when a Black African in rags, whom I did not know, leaned into my car door window in remote northern village, and snarled into my face, "Comes the revolution, I'm going to slit your throat."

In Canakale, Turkey, in a small hotel when someone tried to pry into our room at night. We were petrified, waited till the coast was clear, grabbed our backpacks and ran for our lives into the night...

In Istanbul, in the crowded streets of the old market, where I turned to hit a guy on the back with my fist - the only person I have ever hit in my life - who in passing had groped up my wife's skirt. He and his five friends turned to take me on... One against five; not good odds. Till nearby shopkeepers shouted loudly in Arabic, and the young thugs turned away.

In South Africa, when everyone I met told my what I was doing was insanity - driving the rural areas alone with my wife, stopping my car - the second most hi-jacked car in the country - getting out, and flashing my video camera (while doing a documentary on the Boer War).

Every white man and woman I met in a two month period had a friend or relative murdered. Everyone, except me, carried guns for self-protection - I repeatedly saw them being openly flashed on the streets, at tourist locations, along the highway, in restaurants, or they showed them to me. A Black at a gas station leaned into my window, after seeing my car and the load I had inside, shook his head and solemnly intoned, inches from my ear, "You better be careful. Very careful." When I remet people again later, they genuinely marveled that I had not been hi-jacked or worse.

I stopped by the very remote rural tourist site - deathly empty as I drove up - where only weeks before a Polish man on his honeymoon, was murdered and his wife kidnapped and raped over a period of days before being set free. A bouquet of flowers marked the very murder spot.

Another woman told me how she and her boss killed a hijacker after he forced their car to stop on the main Pretoria highway and came up to their window brandishing a gun. They both cut loose with their pistols at the same time killing him. They were never charged with anything.

At a Ladysmith B & B, where I stayed a few days, the owner said the numerous murder stories we heard recounted around the breakfast table by businessmen staying over, were overblown. Yet the day before a neighbouring couple had been attacked in their house just after I was warned by a tourist operator, not to go to photograph a local cemetery as it was far too dangerous. Then to top it all off I found out that his own daughter's husband's father was murdered the year before.

Then a day later I came upon the scene of a car jacking, just moments after a woman in her car had just been abducted in the middle of town. A woman in hysterics told me she saw it happening; it happened to her mother.

Back in Pretoria, the police refused to accompany me to a cemetery I wanted to film. "Not possible; too dangerous for us," they replied when we asked. Hell the police were scared to go where I went alone with my wife... Which is why police stations I saw everywhere were surrounded by stone walls, topped by coils of barbed wire. Even in the downtown heart of big cities like Nelspruit. The same as all the houses in the better parts of Pretoria and Johannesburg. Some wire was electrified.

We got most scared when, of necessity, we broke the cardinal rule: Don't drive at night. I'll never forget the blue flashing light that followed us... So finally we were going to fulfill all the dire predictions. An attempted high jacking was underway in the night. And there was no one to help us and the guy we had hired earlier for two weeks and who always packed a Clint Eastwood .357 Magnum was gone...

After trying to outrun the following car - another cardinal rule; don't stop for anyone but head for the nearest police station - and avoid possible death in the dark, we stopped. In the gloom I looked at my wife helplessly, wondering if this was it for us. Suddenly a black face loomed up out of the pitch blackness of night. Not a hijacker. It was just a cop who wanted 1,000 rand as a bribe for not charging me with something. We gladly paid. Hell we had our lives...Then there was...

Still, I was never as scared as I was in Ontario, in Ipperwash, in December 1995, when I was totally petrified with fear. A cold wash came over me like I have read about but only experienced once in my life. In Canada; in Ontario. At a beach and camp where I had wonderful childhood and teenage memories.

Canadian Indian Dudley George, a jokester, much beloved by family and friends, was one of a number of Indians who have been killed because of Canadian police racism

It happened in 1995, while I was researching the killing of an Aboriginal, Dudley George, by the Ontario Provincial Police.

We were the only media allowed into Camp Ipperwash in the months after Dudley was shot Sept 5, 1995. Other media, outside Indians, and other whites, were barred from access by the Indians inside the barricaded camp.

The mainstream media didn't care, anyway, as journalists and whites everywhere believed the Indians got exactly what was coming to them for shooting at cops. So end of story; no story.

In our interviews with Indians who had been present when Dudley was shot near midnight, the same story kept cropping up, that the day before the murder of Dudley George, the families, teens, children, women with babies, etc. were sitting on picnic tables late at night having a good time. When suddenly OPP officers - apparently they had murder in their hearts - stormed up in police cruisers three abreast, and without warning, crashed into the tables, scattering women, children, babies, and men in all directions.

Wild screaming, yelling, pandemonium everywhere. So the story went, anyway...

When, ten years later, I started to tell this story to the Ipperwash Inquiry lawyers and investigators, who sat for two days in my house, looking at hours of historic video tape I had shot in the months after the shooting (the only video ever shot behind the barricades of Camp Ipperwash) I was rudely interrupted by Rick, one of the group, who stopped me, abruptly, as I started to tell this story to the four Inquiry people present.

"It never happened. We've heard this story. And investigated it. There's nothing to it. Forget it, it's nothing."

He obviously did not want me to continue and neither did anyone else.

The other lawyers, Derry Millar and Susan Vella, said nothing, but looked away. Clearly, they were onside with Rick. Absolutely weird, we thought.

Just what the hell were they all doing in our house?

This took us aback. Some kind of investigators; some kind of inquiry. They don't listen but tell respondents what to think, how to proceed, and what to tell. And when to stop. And what not to tell.

RCMP Inspector Rick Moss, standing on guard for policemen everywhere

Here Rick took a strong lead in prejudging and imposing his mind set on the evidence he was supposed to be gathering for the Inquiry with an open mind. Some listener! Just what the hell was his agenda? And the group's?

The obvious clarification came later, when - surprise! - we found out that Rick was not a lawyer like the others at all, but was in fact, an RCMP officer, Inspector Rick Moss.

Unbelievably he turned out to be the Ipperwash Inquiry's "Lead Investigator," a job in which Justice Linden wrote he "ably and professionally supported counsel."

In other words - what else is new? - a cop running interference for the cops. It was an utterly dumb move for the Inquiry to hire a passionate cop in harness, to investigate possible criminal deeds by other cops, that included OPP, CSIS, military police, even possibly an RCMP officer or two, or more. The Inquiry was supposedly set up to find out this kind of stuff, and who was guilty of criminal behaviour.

Now Right front and centre, someone was running interference to suppress evidence.

It was a classic case of what happens to evidence, and truth, and dare we say it, justice, when dumb investigative decisions are made and the fox is put in charge of the hen house.

Whoever picked or approved Inspector Moss as any kind of fair-minded investigator, instead of selecting an independent civilian who did not come with a mind already prejudiced to be on the side of the cops in the story, was dumber than a post.

(In an interesting Freudian slip the Inquiry does not list Rick's name or his picture anymore, just saying, in a one liner that the RCMP "provided investigative services." Hell, it was plain as day to us, that Moss was running interference, and anyone with half a brain could have predicted that, the day they hired him.)

So it was later that I realized why he had attacked me so quickly and rudely. In fact I had earlier prefaced my remarks to the group with stories of anti-Indian racism by RCMP, that I had personally witnessed, or were told to me by RCMP officers - who were personal friends - themselves, in the many years I had lived in remote Aboriginal villages in the Canadian north.

In fact it was exactly this long background and knowledge in RCMP Indian policing which made us alone, of all the mainstream media, to question the honesty of the police, after the shooting, and why we were the only ones interested in investigating the truth of events in the fall and winter of 1995. When the mainstream media had, long ago, stopped publishing any articles on Ipperwash.

My stories - like of the RCMP constable who had shown me his huge signet ring which he bragged he filed to a razor sharp edge and chuckled that "it took seven stitches to close the wound after I hit that Indian," had obviously pissed Rick off, big time, and he struck back at me the first chance he got, hoping to shut me off from telling about another "hate crime" carried out by police.

Derry wasn't smiling then...

No wonder Derry Millar and Susan Vella looked away in embarrassed silence as I started to tell this story.

Unlike me, they knew Rick was RCMP, and they didn't want to hear more "bad" police stories in deference to their colleague sitting on the couch beside them. And they clearly weren't happy that I persisted with what they clearly considered an act of "social gaucherie" on my part.

Neither asked questions or prompted me to go on. Clearly neither wanted to overrule Rick's obvious demand for me not to continue with my story. To us it seemed clear: the cop seemed to run this Inquiry.

His colleagues were mute to a fault while they were being paid millions to conduct an inquiry by supposedly listening to all the people who had relevant facts.

And who could match our 73 days of on-site research, in the months after the killing, as the only media allowed behind the barricades at Ipperwash, and our hours of video interviews with the victims of the police attack.

Or our key role when, on September 8, 1995 at SIU headquarters, we insisted the agency re-activate a second investigation, just as it was about to close the books on its first, without charges against any cop, at a press conference it had scheduled to make the announcement as mandated by provincial law, on Dec. 11.

This failure to report on an investigation within the mandated 90 days was never explained in the media which was dumbfounded a week later when the SIU made no expected announcement at all. The mysterious silence is now explained publicly, for the first time.

Susan wasn't smiling then...

In spite of Rick's dismissive and rude interjection, and Millar and Vella's obvious discomfort, I persisted with my story... I owed it to Truth and the Stoney Pointers of Ipperwash.

Of course I didn't believe the cops would crash their cruisers into families on picnic tables at midnight. I'm a properly raised, well educated white guy, like Vella and Millar. Cops don't do that where I, or you, come from. Right...?

But then neither you, nor they, have spent eight years totally isolated in remote Aboriginal villages among only a tiny handful of whites, like I have...

Still, I ignored the story line of the picnic tables, and went looking for more believable stuff. But it crept creeping in, at different times, from young and old.

Until, being a historian, it suddenly struck me: what about evidence? There would be evidence of such an event, with automobiles smashing picnic tables. Wouldn't there? Smashed up tables...

But the murder site, where the picnic incident supposedly happened, and where I had been many times, was cleared. There were no tables there or remnants of tables.

And it was now a full four months since the event. What evidence of police brutality would there possibly be this late on?

Still... Without telling anyone, my wife and I began to drive around, big time, to look for banged up picnic tables everywhere, that might fit the bill, but found nothing.

So we decided to go to the Ministry of Natural Resources compound in the nearby Pinery where they stockpile all the park tables from the area during the winter - it was now December. Perhaps the tables were there. Piled up or getting fixed.

We drove to the Pinery and walked the compound, checking hundreds of tables for signs of trauma. Like what one would expect if a car forcefully hits heavy picnic tables. Broken 2 x 4s, smashed seats, broken legs, chunks ripped out, etc. We tried to imagine.

But we could find nothing that could remotely fit the bill.

We had little choice but to conclude all our respondents were just mistaken for some reason.

Probably the result of hysteria.

I mean how would you feel if your family was having a midnight picnic when 100 cops suddenly loom out of the dark and cut loose with automatic weapons and fire on you and your kids?

So no evidence; no story. It was as simple as that. (go to above right)

 

It was now getting towards twilight so we turned for home.

As we drove past the turn-off, down a side road, to the remote murder site - it's what the Indians called it; court findings later would prove them to be correct - where we had been many many scores of times, something made me turn in, just one more time.

I stopped beside the memorial of boughs to Dudley and tried to conjure up, again, the scene of picnic tables there, of families laughing, and then of OPP cruisers coming in and smashing them to smithereens, kids flying in all directions, screaming, and women shouting. And cops, what else is new, probably laughing...

But, I mused, all just another fanciful historic conjecture that would disappear in the mists of time. Not proven... Not provable...

I turned away from the murder site, and followed the road out, taking the same route along which the police had fled in panic after they had fired off hundreds of rounds of automatic fire into the night - often, it became clear years later, at each other. The shooting had frazzled them so much they ran, scared shitless, for their lives... from each other.

No one lived along this remote beach road. On one side was just bush, on the other some beach cottages that had been empty for months after the shooting, the owners scared too shitless to return. No one was about, as far as the eye could see. We met no cars on this lonely road. None passed us.

I tried to picture the scene of pandemonium on the road ahead of me that night... Over 100 heavily armed and utterly panicked OPP officers jammed into a narrow road. Running wildly away from the Indians, shouting in a frenzy, their hobnail boots pounding on the pavement; shields, guns, metal batons, clashing against each other. Utterly unbelievable... but what witnesses said they saw, and court testimony revealed.

200 yards on I came to an open parkade in the bush, which I knew was where the police had parked their St. John Ambulance command trailer from which OPP commanders had directed the armed assault on the picnicking Indian families.

I stopped to take in the scene, one more time.

And then I got a shock...

There, piled up on the side, were some dozen dark brown provincial park picnic tables.

Not 200 yards from the murder site.

Naw, it couldn't be. It wasn't possible.

I decided to get out and have a closer look.

I got the shock of my life.

I had found the evidence we had spent hours and driven miles to look for. Right in our back yard...

The tables had four and five inch legs snapped in half, two by six seats broken in half, table tops were broken apart, and everywhere huge chunks of wood had been gouged out of planks. Everywhere the freshly exposed garishly yellow wood laughed at me, set off glaringly against the dark brown paint.

I couldn't believe it. These tables had obviously been smashed violently apart by some powerful force.

The conclusion was inescapable. The Indian men, women, and children, had not made it up; they didn't imagine it; they had not lied.

Instead they had given Canadians an insight into the state of Canadian policing.

Clearly OPP cruisers had smashed into them, as they sat on these very tables with their families, at midnight, when the media were all asleep...

Servile Toadying Mainstream Media - In fact, every bit as racist, and what has to be the lowest point in Ontario - if not Canadian - journalism, has got to be the utterly repugnant "herd instinct" of the sleeping mainstream media on this story of the gross human rights abuse of a non-white minority population, and how it played a key role in perpetuating this story of systemic racism against Canadian Indians, with no one doing investigation or publishing articles on the story for many months after the shooting. All mainstream media journalists mindlessly trumpeted the racist and false police line, of shooting, hostile, law-breaking Indians. Articles only started to appear again, months after we escorted the SIU behind the barricades in Feb. 1996, and its investigators started reporting their findings from its second investigation.

It was pretty clear that police racism was so deeply ingrained and the fear of consequences so remote, that they just brazenly moved the tables only a couple of hundred yards from the scene of the crime.

That's just like the local Good Ole Boy southern US sheriff accidentally dropping his badge at the site of a Ku Klux Klan lynching in the 1930s, saying, "Hey, no problem. I'll just buy another one."

They too left the evidence of their viciously racist attacks against Indian women, teens, children, babies, and men, right beside where their command headquarters had been. None thought it was a problem. No superior officers could foresee a problem.

Unbelievable... but true.

And this was Canada in 1995. Not the American south in 1930.

I was literally shaking. I just could not believe what all this meant about Canada in 1995, Ontario, the state of Canadian policing, the kind of country Ontario is for Indian people, and how white people like me just have no clue about the degree of systemic racism that pollutes civilian life in Canada for Indian people, or non-white minorities in general.

Though I had known that "driving while Black" is one of the more common crimes in Canada.

The light was fading so I quickly got out my video camera and took shots of the tables showing all the broken parts.

Then in the silence, and the fading evening light, I packed up.

We were just stunned at our discovery in this remote little parkade.

"Let's come back tomorrow morning first thing. I want to get some better video, when there's more light."

We just couldn't believe it. For four months these tables, mute but powerful witnesses to one of the worst racist attacks of OPP officers in Ontario history, had just been left lying there, literally at the scene of the crime.

We could hardly sleep, and got up at the crack of dawn, eager to document our historic discovery more fully.

And turned up the remote road to the former police parkade

Again, like the night before, no one was about.

As we pulled up I got a shock I will never forget.

The tables were all gone...

I got a cold douche I will never forget, that suddenly washed over my shoulders and down my spine. My knees turned to rubber, I was so dumbstruck.

And now as the reality sank in of what I was confronting, scared. Absolutely scared shitless...

The tables had been there for four long months. No one moved them. Parks probably thought: "hell, leave them for the winter, we'll move them during spring clean-up."

We had filmed them around 8 in the evening, the night before, and had seen no one. And no one had seen us...

We had told absolutely no one what we were doing the previous day, where we were going or what we were looking for. We had told no one what we had found in the parkade. In the whole world only my wife and I knew what we were doing, what we had found.

Now, when we returned at 8 a:m the tables were all gone. Every single table, plank, and broken chunk. All the evidence of a police hate crime.

And again, like the OPP cruisers crashing these tables, the later killing of Dudley George, and now the removal of the tables, it was all done under the cover of total darkness. The Heart of Darkness.

It became obvious that someone had been following us surreptitiously, possibly CSIS, possibly the OPP surveillance operatives, or the RCMP, in the trees, since there were absolutely no vehicles we could see in the area. And none had been following us, as we watched.

(Both the OPP and CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) had armed guerrilla scouts in camouflage hiding in the bush spying on the Indians all during the Ipperwash confrontation, many of them quite illegally inside Ipperwash Park itself. Both OPP and CSIS denied this illegal activity by its members but lots of evidence recounted by Stoney Pointer's own security forces showed the police were lying about this as well.)

The OPP officers had repeatedly openly taunted Dudley: "Dudley you're going to be the first who gets it." They were as good as their word.

Filled with race hate, they deliberately targeted him and murdered him at night.

Now they were clearly targeting us and our activities. Was there a scope trained on me as I stood there?

Who would possibly think what I was doing was a threat of such major proportions? What were they afraid of?

How far would they go to prevent our story from getting out?

I clearly felt a rifle targeting my back... The parkade was remote, totally surrounded by brush. No one could see what was happening there. No one was around to help us.

It was the first time in my life I felt overcome by wholesale terror.

Now I had personal experience of the kind of fear that Canadian Indian women, teens, children, and men face from the white police forces that often and routinely, victimize them unjustly and illegally.

In fact the OPP had forced Indian women, who had nothing to do with the protest group, face down into ditches and on to the ground, miles from the site.

I could hardly hold the wheel, I was shaking so badly as we peeled rubber away from an assassination site where they had shot Dudley to death and 16 year old Nick Cotrelle in the side.

I had no interest in becoming number 3.

The Sound of Silence - After I completed telling this story to the Ipperwash Inquiry, sitting in my living room, and showed them the pictures - clear, hard-core evidence of a police hate-crime that added another powerful and compelling layer of police wrong-doing against Indians - there was not a single question from Rick or any Inquiry lawyer as a follow-up on any level.

Clearly Rick's earlier objections to me telling this story had been totally demolished and exposed his Heart of Darkness. The silence was telling. And neither Inquiry lawyer wanted to ask anything because it would have embarrassed their colleague. Establishment loyalty took precedence. Not justice for Indians. Or rooting out racism in the system.

That's how interested this Inquiry was about seeking out information about potential police criminality. But it published lots of stuff from white cottage owners complaining about Indian criminality, break and enter, drunkenness, theft, vandalism, harassment, etc. But the OPP got a pass on this heinous midnight cruiser attack on Indian families. Establishment racism always gets a pass...

You Go Girl - It would not be for another ten long years before Susan Vella and Derry Millar would come on the scene and start billing tens of millions for themselves and their law firms.

Shabby Chick - I might add that Susan Vella summonsed me to appear before the Inquiry in Forest, Ontario, which I did. But she deliberately shut me up. Like Rick had tried in private - running cover for Establishment and police wrong-doing - she did in public.

She steered me deliberately and totally away from introducing this story or discussing this evidence of police human rights abuse in any way before the media and the inquiry. She was clearly interested in protecting the police as much as she could. She was unhappy with my story; she was unhappy with me. As a result of her running interference, like her RCMP colleague had, this story has never been discussed by the mainstream media or exposed to the public.

Inquiry Witness Per Diems - In fact, to punish me for my insubordination, Susan Vella refused to pay me even the minimal amount of per diems to appear there that she paid all other witnesses, or to pay me a nickel for gas to get there, as others got.

And that was after she had spent two whole days at my house watching many of the high quality videotaped interviews I had conducted with all the principals who had been on site during the shooting. In fact one of the most powerful witnesses had since died and was no longer available to her. But she got his gripping eye witness testimony from my videotapes.

She learned from my valuable historic tapes who all the key people were, and what they had said, ten years before, only a few months after the shooting, during the 73 days of totally unpaid work we spent doing research and filming behind the barricades at Camp Ipperwash.

While she drew on a huge paycheck and expense account, she wrote furiously, the whole time, cribbing all my hard work and copying down all the questions I had asked the men, women, and children, and all the answers they gave me.

She had the whole script for the Ipperwash Inquiry, detailing the people, places, and events of September 1995, in her pocket when she left my house.

Multi-Million Dollar Justice - The White Establishment made a ton of money - what else is new? - from an Inquiry that dragged on for years bringing its lawyers and their firms tens of millions of dollars, while the family of Dudley George had to agree not to sue for a single cent, and got not a single nickel for wrongful death compensation of any kind.

The White Guys have a great system set up: they always win; the Indians always get screwed...

The other Indians of Ipperwash - old women brutalized, mothers forced down on the ground, children terrorized, a teen shot, a councilor beaten to a pulp, none of them got not a nickel of compensation either.

And nope, not even a single word of apology to Bernard George, from the OPP Commissioner, for his officers beating this Kettle Point councilor close to death, even though the Inquiry's Justice Linden recommended it.

Julian Fantino, former OPP Commissioner (the commanding officer), and now a minister in the Harper Government, whined that he "wanted" to do it but missed the chance because Bernard subsequently died... So - what else is new? - delaying things, a common bureaucratic tactic, helped solve an unpalatable problem for a man and an organization of which far too many members stem from the racist Heart of Darkness in Harper Country. And posturing to make it look like Bernard was guilty for the racist lapse, not Fantino.

Racist Heart of Darkness - In the ultimate embarrassment that exposed the overwhelmingly awful depths of systemic racism in the White Establishment, the mainstream media exposed the awful truth that Bernard was not dead at all but an Aboriginal councilor in his town. And that Fantino was just - what else is new for a former Canadian para-military leader? - lying through his teeth to create truths that have no relationship to the reality out there.

A bigger shock - racist lying politicians have led Canadians for years - is that it took three whole long weeks for this story to come out in the mainstream media. And the main culprit: the Toronto Star's Peter Edwards, who made a reputation as a so-called publicist for Ipperwash and wrote a book on it. Why was he not publicizing this story three weeks ago, instead of breaking it, three weeks late?

Truly Unforgivable - Well, he's vastly improved his reporting speed on Ipperwash. In 1995-96 he had an unforgivable time lag of 7 months, after the racist human rights abuse had happened, before he started to publish about the truth of what happened at Ipperwash. And then only because of new revelations of the second SIU investigation which we had jump-started on Dec. 8, 1995. Edwards would start publishing the following April, 1996.

Canada's National Broadcaster - Edwards and the Toronto Star were at least better than the CBC, which cancelled our right to publish our findings on the National Broadcaster in December 1995, censoring us sternly with being "too much on the side of the Indians." And breaking its promise to give us the documentary if we only "got access" behind the barricades. Which, of course, no one else could do and we had done in spades. Too much so for the racist Heart of Darkness which also lurks among top echelon bureaucrats at the CBC.

And they had no excuse whatsoever for not believing our story. They had the damning evidence in front of them, in a huge report we had filed with them. Conclusive evidence which no other media outlet, not The Star, not Peter Edwards was privy to. These two could rightly claim ignorance, for their tardy response in reporting a gross human rights violation. CBC executive producers had no such defence.

We appealed over the heads of the two CBC Executive Producers, who had made, then broken, their promise, to the head of CBC Newsworld, Slawko Klimkiw. We knew it was dumb to appeal to the top bureaucrat, about a dumb decision made by his underlings, but it was our only choice. We owed it to Truth, to the people of Ipperwash, to journalistic integrity, hell to the people of Canada. Slawko, as we had predicted, showed where his sense of fair play, and his ethics were in all this, by siding with the Heart of Darkness.

It was damningly clear that Indians, Dudley George, nor Canadians, would ever get their justice from the CBC and its conspiratorial top executives.

They would all have to wait for two more years, and millions of dollars spent on the courts, for a judge to come to all the same conclusions - without a single variation - that we had presented to the CBC in December 1995, only three months after the shooting. And which it refused to publish.

In fact we believe that CBC executives had decided this story was too important to be left to the independent producer who had uncovered it. They were determined to just steal it - which CBC routinely does - and, using our huge report, do it "in-house" with its own staff producers.

Apparently Carol Off was chosen, as three different Indians called six months later that she approached them, trying to strike a deal, reportedly trying to con them into cooperating with the CBC directly, and side-stepping the Goldis, by telling them she "had all the Goldi's stuff."

She had, in fact, done this a year earlier, with another Goldi project, this time with more success, being given a massive and gripping proposal One Man's Obsession: The Search for Franklin, which we had submitted in the spring of 1994, to Mark Starowicz as a CBC Witness documentary proposal.

The title was a clever double entendre, paralleling amateur historian and archaeologist Barry Ranford's obsession with finding Sir John Franklin's bones, with the equal obsession of Franklin to find the North West Passage across Canada's arctic.

It was a subject we knew well. We lived for two years in the area where the disaster had occurred, had walked and camped where Franklin's men had stumbled to their deaths, and had found our own bone souvenirs. Coupled with being a professional historian who knew the documentary story as well made us produce an irresistible documentary project proposal.

We had fleshed out the approach In meetings with Barry, who was extremely keen to doing a major documentary with us on the main passion in his life. His wife was just as keen on the project.

Mark Starowicz was also suitably impressed with our proposal. As soon as he got it, he passed it on to Carol Off and detailed an in-house team gear up for production.

They then bribed our major documentary actor - Barry Ranford - with $2,000 for plane fare to cooperate with them, rather than us, to make a documentary on the search for Franklin's bones. Barry, who was not rich, found the $2,000 irresistible to help pay for travel in the most expensive part of Canada. Barry didn't tell us about this till the fall...

Carol Off and a CBC crew joined Barry on his summer trip and ended up producing a truly shitty little documentary for the flagship CBC's the National. They hardly used Barry at all, and tried to pump up the crappy documentary by adding in celebrities like Pierre Berton and Margaret Atwood...! (It's common in the TV business that when you know your program is crappy you bring in a celebrity, or if it's really bad, two...)

Barry was utterly disappointed, as we all were, with the CBC's minimal "reality show" program that Off produced.

He was crushed when we told him he had blown it by taking the CBC bribe, that CBC would never, now, do a quality Witness program which we had proposed to Mark Starowicz. We told him game over for his Obsession, and our documentary which we had spent weeks writing and researching.

He was defensive believing because the CBC show ended up being so poor, that a quality show was still needed. We said true, but not with CBC.

I still remember the disgusted look on his wife's face, when we explained to Barry the giant boner that he had pulled at taking CBC pocket change to circumvent our participation in presenting his story. Clearly there was a history there for her; she left him shortly after. CBC ruthlessness and his utter mishandling of the Franklin file and taking a paltry $2,000 which all went for plane fare - he got nothing for himself - was the final nail in their relationship.

In 1997 Barry committed suicide. His Franklin obsession and the CBC's Machiavellian undermining of his dream had broken him down beyond repair.

Move those Damn Indians...

The OPP wanted to move the Indians out of the Park; Fantino wanted to move Bernard to the grave; Peter Edwards wanted to move them to - maybe into - Lake Ontario.

That's what he wrote right, on June 1, 2012, when they have always lived far to the north, way up on Lake Huron.

It's called journalistic license.

Not so; the next day the Star apologized for Edwards' error.

But then, so much Toronto Star news is farmed out to stringers in India who do the research online and then have it signed off by a Toronto based journalist.

So Peter probably just signed this story, and didn't read it beforehand...

The Unforgivable Gap - The picnic table incident of September 1995, the CBC incident of 1995, Edwards in 1995, and in 2012, shows clearly the huge gulf between Indian societies in Canada and the overwhelmingly white owned and operated mainstream media. If a white town councilor had been declared dead, by a Harper minister at noon, Edwards would have outed him on the five o'clock news.

Because Bernard was only an Indian it took the media weeks to discover that he was still alive, a thriving and productive community leader, and to publish that the minister was, not only colossally ignorant, but a total liar, making up any excuse to avoid making an apology he never, ever, had any intention of making to an Indian.

It also shows how totally rotten and racist the Ontario Provincial Police is as an organization with a corporate culture that reflects a man who was picked to head it up for years. Which of course, Justice Linden had written in his report below.

After 2000 the OPP refused to investigate the mysterious death of numerous Indian school boys from remote villages attending boarding school who ended up dead in the river in Thunder Bay. Further west, the RCMP were racially negligent, for years, in never pursuing the investigation on who was killing over 500 missing Indian girls and women across western Canada. Giving Robert Pickton a free hand to butcher over 40 of them on his farm in BC.

 
OPP Site - Primed to Kill - OPP Perps - Right the day before the shooting, OPP officers taunting the Indians - safe behind the fence of Ipperwash Provincial Park, from which OPP were barred by law - to come out and fight on the road. It's the exact spot where Dudley George was warned he was going to "get it" first. He just laughed.

Below an OPP sniper at the OPP Command Post table site, ready with a bullet for Dudley, for an Indian of any kind, perhaps even for a nosey journalist...

OPP officers didn't give a damn who...

Which is why they attacked Indian family groups with automatic weapons close to midnight, when it was too dark to make out targets.

Whether is was women, children, babies, or men... All of whom were on site. See below.

Clearly, they didn't give a damn. Any Indian would do with a police organization which is systemically hostile to non-whites, especially to Indians and Blacks.

And the darkness gave a multi-level cover-up. If they did end up killing a baby or two, which was a distinct possibility, the OPP could always say, "Well, it's not our fault. it was accidental. It was too dark to see. So don't blame us."

Postscript: It is telling to note that the Indians are still in possession of the land across the fence above, in 2012. A later provincial government agreed it was theirs all along, like the Indians had claimed for over 50 years. The OPP tried to provoke them into committing a crime and come out to fight, so it could evict them by force, like the Premier wanted, from their own land. Dudley died protecting that right against a rogue police force and the rogue Government of Mad Mike Harris.

OPP Site - Scared Shitless - OPP Perps - It's easy to see how a racist, human rights violation of such major proportions can occur. Take a bunch of uneducated, small town boys, with little or less cross-cultural experience, but with a predisposition for bashing heads, train them in violence, arm them with automatic weapons and metal batons, clothe them in helmets to wall them off from contact with their environment, put them in bullet proof vests - you know, against Indian gun fire -, bunch them up into a mob, turn them lose in total darkness, have them banging batons on shields, and send them out - ra, ra, ra - to "get the fucking Indians out of the Park."

No police group in Ontario history had been so primed, prepared, and pumped up for racist murder.

Ingrained with years of cultural input about Indians, watching them in movies portrayed as massacring, scalping, whites, etc., the mind set of these boys was teetering on the edge of a disaster waiting to happen.

Clearly one or two trigger-happy perps shot off their guns by mistake, either when they panicked or stumbled when jostled by an equally scared colleague. (One need only remember that Canada's top general in Afghanistan fired off his rifle by accident and he wasn't even in a "kill zone," not under attack, or under stress of any kind, like these scared kids were.) And these kids were not only poorly trained, they were primed for racial violence. Exactly like in a fascist state, or in a Banana Republic.

Racist Police Trophies - The racist intent of the White OPP in crushing and breaking of the "fucking Indians" arrow, was proudly memorialized when OPP officers, in the weeks after the killing, ordered all manner of celebratory mugs, glasses, and T-shirts emblazoned with a variety of racist triumph symbols. Above is only one sample.

All featured a broken arrow - clearly symbolizing the Indian casualties - the dead Dudley, the wounded teen Nick, the beaten councilor Bernard - as proud accomplishments of a race war.

When these celebratory OPP trophies became public knowledge, its public relations section went into overdrive to try to hide and destroy these clear examples of white police racism run amok.

Americans would, of course, have much preferred to cut off Dudley's ears as souvenirs, instead of fabricating such a tame souvenir of a racist triumph.

But the OPP officers there couldn't do this since they literally ran from the scene immediately after the killing. Who knows what they would have done had these poorly trained perps not run from the field like scared rabbits?

One accidental discharge triggered other perps into firing "in self defence," believing the massacre they had been led to expect, had begun. Soon the whole bunch were firing at anything that moved, mostly at each other, as the Indians were lying on the ground to escape the bullets. Many cops admitted, years later they saw, and fired at muzzle flashes, which it turned out, were all, without exception, from police weapons. These poorly trained idiots were firing at each other.

They ran, from each other, faster than they had arrived at the murder site, now scared totally shitless, back to the police Command Post parkette.

Still, for all the white guys, Ipperwash turned out to be a great gig. The cops made multi-thousands in overtime pay and expense claims. And the lawyers made tens of millions in billing hours...

The actual moon from the murder site hides its face in shame. The actual lamp over the murder site was turned off to make it totally dark so no outsider might see the murderous police rampage.
The actual ground at the murder site as it looked with witnesses saying OPP flashlights were actively seeking out Indians to shoot in the dark. The road down down which the OPP fled in total disarray after they shot off their automatic weapons immediately behind this camera position...
OPP Site - Scared Shitless - Indian Victims - Only hours after unarmed Indians had their families shot up by automatic weapons fire by some 100 OPP police, their women and children brave the racist guns of the police once more at the OPP command post site.

In looking at news video right shot the day after the shooting, when families marched on the OPP command post, as a protest against police racism and murder, one can see the police run and drive away in a panic from the scene of their crime, never to return. One can actually make out the smashed tables in both backgrounds.

They had been piled up there only hours earlier. And would stay there for four months, till we discovered them.

No one thought to remove them until the very moment the Goldis started to film them while they were researching the killing of Dudley George. It's called removing evidence of a "hate crime."

But hate crimes are fine, just as long as they're done by the Establishment...

We hadn't told a soul where we were going, or what we were doing... and yet...
As they were from Sept 4 to late December
As it looked 12 hours after we took the earlier pic
OPP Site: Scared Shitless - the Journalist - As a child, for years I had swum with my family only 100 yards from here. As a teen cadet I spent a wonderful summer only a couple of hundred yards away. As an adult the most fearful I have ever been, in my life, after many adventures in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America, was when I returned to this small parkade at Ipperwash only months after the shooting.

Someone had overnight, decided to "take out" the tables. The police had already taken out Dudley. Were the Goldis next? I didn't stay to find out.

The police command trailer was against the trees on the far side of the pile of tables. That's were the people above are walking. As I took these shots, in this remote, isolated, and lonely spot, we were being scoped by police spies from the trees in the distance.

Clearly the human rights conspiracy, and the cover-up, between Provincial Parks and the OPP, that had claimed the life of Dudley George, was continuing...

And Susan Vella was loyally doing her bit at the Inquiry, in a cover-up all her own...

Isn't it truly amazing, what lies behind a single bag of sand, a bystoneder to history - albeit a truly sordid history on many levels...?

 
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Bystoneder - Marking an OPP Hate Crime

The night of the OPP police attack against Indian women, children, babies, and men, the gunfire they let loose on them was so intense some of the men and teens cowered behind these stone blocks to escape the deadly fusillade.

They were originally alterstones - created out of concrete to act as blocks to stop cars going up certain roads.

They heard lots of OPP taunts against Indians, hundreds of gunshots, maybe even a ricochet or two, and the scared panting of Indian teens thinking it was their last day on earth.

The gunfire at night was actually so intense that within minutes, the OPP broke and ran, literally in a panic to escape annihilation à la Custer's Last Stand, which must have gone through more than one of their minds. Right the block as it looked when JT lay behind it hoping to dodge the bullets coming at him out of the dark.

In fact ALL the gunfire that night, without a single exception, came from the guns of rogue OPP officers, in utter panic, shooting at each other in the dark.

Dudley was not so lucky and died at the right of the picture by the hand of an OPP assassin who sought him out specifically for elimination as several had promised to do during the days before.

Numerous Indian witnesses identified OPP officer Ken Deane, the "little guy with the mustache," who was later found guilty of killing Dudley, as the same officer who had taunted Dudley across the fence telling him "You're gonna be the first to get it Dudley."

Right 14 year old Leland George crouched protectively on top of his dog on the floor of a bus, trying to shelter his pet from the fusillade of bullets, as they ripped through the glass and metal around him.

And yes, the danger was real enough. 16 year old Ugga Cotrelle inset, also in the bus, was not so lucky, he received a bullet in the side.

Bystoneder-Alterstone Concrete Blocks, Ipperwash 1995
Orig. concrete - Size - 1.5 x 2 ft
Found - Ipperwash, ON

14 year old JT Cousens was one of several 14 year olds on site hiding from the police fusillade of bullets.

JT crouched behind the near stone as bullets spat around him, kicking up sand, glancing off concrete, and buzzing overhead. JT saw Dudley go down just to the right of the trees.

Go to J'ACCUSE - The faces of Ipperwash



Right, all camoed up, and with murder in their hearts, some of the snipers - it could have been OPP, CSIS, RCMP, military MPs - who were everywhere in the woods around the indian demonstrators, just waiting for a reason to cut loose.

They had all heard that the premier himself, Mad Mike Harris, had given orders to their bosses to "get those fucking Indians out of the Park."

Where these the same kind of spies hiding in the trees who observed us in exactly the same spot filming wrecked picnic tables?

They knew that the jig was up...

How itchy were their trigger fingers for an uppity journalist, who was so unlike the usual "hands-off" fawning mainstream media types they were used to dealing with, and who usually, loyally, bought their propaganda handouts, "hook, line, and stinker." To preserve - you know - access...

Go to the Ipperwash Alterstones, Bystoneders....
 
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