A Response to Gary McHale’s March 22nd Smears Against Tom Keefer
This appeared on Solidarity with Six Nations.
Editorial Note: Gary McHale recently released a post on his forum discussion board as part of a smear campaign against FNSWG member Tom Keefer. Keefer replied to McHale’s attacks on the forum, but McHale swiftly deleted the post and banned Keefer from his forum. Since McHale won’t allow free and open discussion of the issues on his site, we are posting Mr. Keefer’s since deleted response to McHale below.
From Tom Keefer: As Gary has launched into his usual smear-a-thon antics against anyone who opposes him, I’m posting the response I sent out a few hours after Gary sent out his message above. For the record:
“Dear Minister Bartolucci, Commissioner Fantino, and Inspector Periversoff,
It would appear that Gary McHale is up to his usual tricks of trying to smear anyone who he doesn’t agree with. And it appears that I’m next on the block so to speak. I have attached the full documents from which McHale has selectively quoted so that you can see the full context of my writings and be able to judge for yourself the accuracy of his claims. Despite his insinuations to the contrary, I have no “history of violence” and nor do I have a criminal record.
It is true that I am on the left wing of the political spectrum, but when our non-native group of about 60 activists came to the anti-racist rally in Caledonia on March 21st, we broke no laws and acted completely peacefully in a spirit of constructive debate and exchange. From my analysis of the situation, Mr. McHale’s issue appeared to be that his flock of supporters were engaging in discussion with the anti-racists from our group and that they were getting another take on the whole affair. This loss of control would appear to explain his increasingly hysterical denunciations of me.
Irregardless of Mr. McHale’s attempt to slander and libel me, members of our group will continue to attend public events held by Mr. McHale and his group in Caledonia. While we have little interest in engaging with Mr. McHale (or Mr. Vandermaas, Mr. Kinrade, or Mr. Parkinson for that matter) we shall continue to enjoy our democratic rights to engage in peaceful and civil political discourse with his followers and to provide them with an alternative way of understanding the conflict. Over the past 4 years we have worked with a variety of native and non-native groups in Caledonia and Brantford to support dialogue and peaceful de-escalation of the conflict. It is our intention to encourage Mr. McHale’s followers to join us in working with these groups and to no longer partake in events organized by Mr. McHale’s group.
We have no intention in providing Mr. McHale with the atmosphere of violence or intimidation that he so earnestly seems to crave, as we are a peaceful group and we fully respect the full flow of debate and the airing of alternative views in our society.
If you would like to get in touch with me, you can do so at this email address or over the phone at 416-XXX-XXXX. More information about our group can be found at http://3903fnswg.wordpress.com/ and http://6nsolidarity.wordpress.com/
Attached you will find:
1. The full text of my submission to the Concordia Board of Governors appeal panel which re-instated me as a student in good standing after I was “excluded” from that university (where I was an elected representative of the student union) without due process.
2. My article on Six Nations and Brantford entitled “Declaring the Exception: Direct Action, Six Nations, and
the Struggle in Brantford.”
3. For the full text of my posting to Jeff Parkinson’s website please see http://caledoniawakeupcall.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/opp-fail-to-protect-residents-from-radicals/
And regarding Gary’s attempt to smear me as a supporter of “cop killers” to Ontario’s top cop and the Minister of Community Safety:
Gary, the whole point that I was making about Peltier, Jamal and Hayes, is that there is lots and lots of evidence that shows that they and many other members of the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement that were jailed were in fact victims of police set ups run through COINTELPRO or COINTELPRO-like programs.
So I don’t in fact believe that they are cop killers — we means that I’m not a supporter of cop killers, but rather a supporter of people who I think have been unjustly incarcerated. I maintain that there is lots of good evidence that shows that many of these activists are innocent, but have been targeted for their political beliefs. That was in fact the context of my remarks on this question that you edited out in your letter to Fantino and Bartolucci in your attempt to smear me.
I wrote: [in response to Vandermaas who was attacking me for supporting “Black Panthers”]
“If you were seriously interested in issues of racism and “two tiered” justice, I imagine that you’d be more familiar with the way in which COINTELPRO targeted the Black Panthers and the civil rights movement in America. So yes, we have no problem with supporting victims of state terror such as Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal or Robert Seth Hayes who have spent long years in jail on trumped up charges manufactured by corrupt and unlawful police agencies, and nor should you (unless you don’t extend your critique of two tiered justice and police misconduct to people with more melanin than you.)”
The point being that if you were actually a serious anti-racist you would support and defend all victims of “two tiered, race based policing” and not just those relating (as you claim) to white people. I should also add that it’s not just left wingers or “conspiracy theorists” who think that the FBI was corrupt and out of control, the US Senate investigated the FBI over COINTELPRO in the 1970s, and their investigation came to the conclusion that:
“Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that…the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO
So Gary do you denounce COINTELPRO and support the innocent victims of police frame-ups, or do you refuse to do so because these targets of illegal state repression have a different skin color than you and/or left wing politics? And if you do support them, then does that make you a “supporter of violence” too?