(en)Canada: Gustafsen Update: Bruce Clark returns

Wed, 19 Feb 1997 11:56:15 -0500 (EST)

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Your support is urgently solicited to protect the person of Dr. Bruce Clark. Clark has announced his return to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, arriving at Vancouver Airport on February 18, at 11:55 PST on Canadian Airlines flight #911. He plans to appear in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Surrey the following day, FEBRUARY 19 at 10 AM, "for the purpose of speaking to the draft petition / motion / constitutional question delivered to the crown attorney and the court yesterday (Feb 12) in the trial in progress of Regina v. William Jones Ignace and others." Clark is counsel of choice for Secwepemc (Shuswap) traditionalists currently on trial in connection with the month long standoff and siege by the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on the Ts'peten Sundance and burial grounds on unceded Secwepemc territory at Gustafsen Lake, near 100 Mile House in central BC. He has been prevented from appearing in BC, so several of the defendants in this trial are now self-defending. When Dr. Clark attempted to represent them at their first appearance on September 15, 1995, the RCMP denied him access to or communication with his clients, literally locking him out of the courtroom. When he finally gained entry, the presiding judge refused to hear him or to permit him to file a motion outlining that court's lack of jurisdiction beyond the treaty frontier. Clark was then assaulted by police, dragged away in shackles and leg-irons, and subsequently ordered by the judge into a compulsory fourteen day "psychiatric assessment". When he was certified sane and ordered to appear on charges of contempt of court and assaulting a police officer, he fled Canada on the instructions of his clients, to exile in the Netherlands, and eventually to New York. Sergeant Peter Montague, Chief RCMP media liaison in BC, confirmed that Clark is still wanted for contempt of court, assault, and failure to appear. Montague said the warrants against Clark are province wide, meaning Clark would be returned to Williams Lake to face charges if he were apprehended in BC. Given that Montague and other senior RCMP were disclosed to have planned a "smear and misinformation campaign" against Clark and the Gustafsen Lake Defenders, and that the chief RCMP negotiator Dennis Ryan is also on video stating RCMP Command wanted to "kill this Clark and smear the prick and everyone with him", there are fears for Dr. Clark's safety. Human Rights organizations world wide condemned Canada's outrageous abuse of indigenous rights at the time of the Gustafsen Lake siege. It now appears that the "crisis" was manipulated and deliberately provoked by BC's ruling New Democratic Party (NDP) as an election strategy designed to appease anti-Native voters. Attorney General Dosanjh, deputy AG Stephen Owen (ironically a former legal advisor to Amnesty International) and assistant deputy AG Maureen Maloney, coordinated the Gustafsen Lake "crisis" with senior RCMP officers and federal politicians. Regrettably, government sponsored native organizations like the Assembly of First Nations collaborated also. Dr. Clark is returning to BC at the request of his clients, including Shuswap elder Wolverine (William Jones Ignace, currently imprisoned without bail). They want Clark to present to the jury the evidence which will establish the "fraud, treason and genocide" of the Provincial and Federal governments' unlawful invasion of the unsurrendered Indian Territories. So far the non-native legal system has acted with panic and viciousness at the threat this law presents to the powerful vested interests involved. In a letter dated September 26, 1995, regarding the treatment of Bruce Clark by the Canadian legal establishment, the prominent US human rights spokesperson and former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark advised BC Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh and BC Chief Justice Allan McEachern: "You have created the appearance of an outrageous abuse of judicial power to deprive persons accused of crime of their counsel... Have you no sense of judicial ethics or common decency?...You give the appearance of an arrogant and hateful tyrant determined to humiliate Indians and destroy the professional and personal reputation and the livelihood of their lawyer. Do you expect Indian peoples to believe they can receive justice in your court? And where will Indians obtain independent, courageous and effective counsel to represent them in your court.?" The Law Society of Upper Canada dismissed attempts by the BC legal establishment to have Clark disbarred, ruling that: "the genocide of which Mr. Clark speaks is real...we are sympathetic moreover to his assertion that the Courts have been unwilling to hear his argument." The Gustafsen Lake Trial, the longest and costliest in Canadian history, has produced stunning revelations of a criminal conspiracy on the part of the BC and Canadian establishment, to resort to state terror, smear and disinformation, political chicanery, judicial thuggery, and a complete trashing of the rule of law to forestall the exposure of a its corrupt corporate colonialism. It is crucial for the international community to focus its watchful eyes on the Gustafsen Lake trial. Domestic remedies are precluded. Local media are corporate controlled and openly antagonistic.

Please contact your own ambassadors, political representatives, media, labor organizations and human rights groups. Advise them of the Gustafsen Lake Trial, and the anticipated further sinister intentions of the NDP government of BC, towards the Ts'peten Defenders and counsel Dr. Bruce Clark. Please contact the Canadian officials listed below and let them know you are aware of their ongoing colonial practices, and their continued refusal to decolonize and recognize the international protocols and or agreements on the rights of indigenous nations to self determination and sovereignty. Demand for a start the right of the Ts'peten defenders to their counsel of choice Bruce Clark. A brief sample letter is included, or you can send your own on behalf of organizations or as an individual.



I wish to protest in the strongest possible way , the continued unacceptable treatment of the Ts'peten Defenders, and the continuing colonialistic behavior of Canada and the NDP government of BC. The continued incarceration of Wolverine as a political prisoner is an international disgrace. Similarly the denial of Counsel of choice Dr. Bruce Clark must end.

Attorney General of B.C. Ujjal Dosanjh Phone: (250) 387-1866 Fax: (250) 387-6411 EMail: nlane@galaxy.gov.bc.ca cc: Canadian Human Rights Commission Communications <info@chrc.ca>, Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs <la_clerkcom@galaxy.gov.bc.ca>, Prime Minister Jean Chretien <remote-printer.Jean_Chretien@16139416900.iddd.tpc.int>, Governor GeneralRomeo Le Blanc <remote-printer.Romeo_Le_Blanc@16139931967.iddd.tpc.int>

J Ray Hall Regional Crown Counsel Criminal Justice Branch Ministry of the Attorney General Room 463 1011 4th Avenue Prince George BC V2L 3H9 Canada

RCMP Public Complaints Commission Phone: (604) 666-7363 or 1-800-665-6878

Media inquiries:

Ts'peten Defenders Spokesperson Splitting the Sky ph/fax: (604) 543-9661

Gustafsen Lake Legal Team:

Manuel Azevedo fax: (604) 687-0241

Dr. Bruce Clark: Box 140 Robinsonville New Brunswick,EOK 1EO, Canada fax: (506) 753-7315 (until Feb. 18 )

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