Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 17:41:32 -0500
From: Lynne Moss-Sharman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: canada

Saturday, December 11, 1999
Harassment victim awaits compensation
By RACHEL BOOMER -- The Halifax Daily News

A Mi'kmaq who sued the British government after he was harassed by British army 
commandos on a flight to Halifax more than two years ago is still trying to get 
compensation. But Hubert Francis says although money will help his family, it won't 
make him feel better about the May 1997 incident. "You wouldn't think so, but it 
really does a number on your self-esteem," Francis said in an interview from his Big 
Cove, N.B., home earlier this week."You build yourself up to be somebody strong, and 
it only takes a couple of jerks to knock it all down."  Francis, lead singer for the 
band Eagle Feather, had just completed a goodwill trip to Germany and Switzerland when 
two members of Britain's elite Special Air Service, who were travelling to a 
sharpshooting contest, approached him on his return flight, he says.  The men, 
identified in legal documents as Sgt.-Maj. Denis and Officer Stewart, grabbed him by 
the neck, chanting and calling him an "uneducated savage," Francis says. His suit, !
d in May 1998, says the men continued to harass and touch Francis, despite flight 
attendants' pleas to stop.

It was only after the two were arrested by Halifax military police that Francis 
realized they were sharpshooters.  More than a year after his lawsuit was filed, 
Francis's lawyer is still negotiating with the British High Commission for 
compensation. He's not sure how much money he may get, and said he's disappointed Air 
Canada and the British government haven't offered him an apology.

Francis, a former reserve councillor, said he didn't run for re-election on the 
reserve, partly because he was still shaken by the racial incident. No defence has 
been filed in the lawsuit, which has been on hold since it was filed in May 1998.

Saturday, December 11, 1999 
NEWS      Teen to be sentenced in February

By Harold Carmichael/THE SUDBURY STAR

A 16-year-old youth charged in an accident that killed a Sudbury Regional Police 
sergeant in July tried to outrun police while driving a stolen car in late March, a 
Sudbury youth court was told Friday. In the March incident, the teen drove the wrong 
way and jumped out of the car while it was still moving to avoid being arrested, 
assistant Crown attorney  Fran Howe said. The boy, who pleaded guilty to three charges 
arising from the March incident, will be sentenced on Feb. 4. Howe told the court the 
Crown “is going to be seeking a significant term of secure custody.”Dressed in jeans 
and a blue shirt, the 16-year-old appeared emotionless during the court proceedings. 
When entering the court or standing in the prisoner’s box, he would put his hands in 
the front pockets of his jeans. The youth will return to court next month to face 
charges related to the July 28 deaths of Sudbury Regional Police Sgt. Richard McDonald 
and another teen. Police say the 16-year-old was the driver of !
a va
n that was being pursued by police on Highway 69, near the southwest bypass. McDonald 
was laying down a spike-belt to stop the van when the driver lost control, struck the 
officer and hit a pole.

Peter Noganosh, 17, of Magnetawan, a passenger in the van, was also killed in the 
accident. [note: "also" killed??]

The 16-year-old faces two counts of criminal negligence causing death, one count of 
possession of break-in instruments and one count of failing to stop at the scene of an 
accident.  A 15-year-old boy, a third passenger in the van, is charged with four 
offences, including failing to stop at the scene of an accident and possession of 
break-in instruments. McDonald knew the 16-year-old, as he was one of the arresting 
officers in the March 25 incident. Howe told the court Friday that two officers in 
plainclothes and in an unmarked police car spotted a stolen Plymouth Sundance on Jean 
Street. The officers lost sight of the car, but located it on Cambrian Heights Drive 
about 15 minutes later, stopped at a red light at the intersection at Notre Dame 

Howe said the unmarked car pulled up behind the stolen vehicle, while officers in a 
marked police cruiser drove up in front in an attempt to block the vehicle. Police 
could see four people in the vehicle: three female passengers and a male driver. But 
as the officer in the marked cruiser got out to talk to the teen driver, the teen 
suddenly sped away south on Notre Dame Avenue. Police in both vehicles then pursued 
the teen. “The cruiser tried to box the vehicle in,” said Howe. “The stolen car kept 
swerving into the centre lane and northbound lanes. It was trying to get around the 
cop car. It then proceeded into the northbound centre lane, passed a taxi cab and then 
into the parking lot of Ernie’s Signs.”

Saturday, December 11, 1999
Bruce: no truce
Lawyer has long tilted at windmills. Now he says he's a refugee from Canada, 
perpetrator of the world's 'nicest genocide' Jonathon Gatehouse National Post

HALDEN, Norway - Bruce Clark's latest home is a shabby, four-storey apartment block 
with peeling beige paint that the locals call the "Indian reservation." Hard by the 
highway, it is the only residence for refugees in this coastal milltown, about six 
kilometres from the Swedish border. Halden, with a population of 9,600, could pass for 
any of a hundred communities in Canada, were it not for the imposing 17th-century 
fortress on the hillside where King Charles XII of Sweden died in 1718. The cleaning 
schedule posted on the door of the communal kitchen is dominated by names like Aziz, 
Mohammed and Barim: individuals fleeing war and tyranny in such international hot 
spots as Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Pakistan. The smell of exotic spices suffuses the 
hallways. And in the midst of these traumatized exiles are two Canadians: Mr. Clark, 
55, and his wife, Margaret, 51. They are here because of his latest quixotic quest. 
Extraordinary though it may seem, the Clarks are hoping to become t!
he f
irst-ever Canadians to be granted convention refugee status on the basis of political 

Bruce Clark's career has been filled with such attention-getting moves. Like the time 
he brought 15 birchbark canoes into a Toronto courtroom in hopes of proving an Indian 
band's lineage. Or the time he accused the Supreme Court of Canada of complicity in 
genocide (a statement Chief Justice Antonio Lamer characterized as an "utter farrago 
of nonsense," adding that "in my 26 years as a judge I have never heard anything so 
preposterous and presented in such an unkind way"). Or his performance at Gustafsen 
Lake, where he represented native protesters in their standoff negotiations with the 
law and ended up being wrestled to the ground by a sheriff's deputy, after a screaming 
match with a judge who failed to accept his arguments.

Given his history, it was not entirely surprising that Mr. Clark was disbarred in 
March for "conduct unbecoming" by the Law Society of Upper Canada. One might have 
thought that this would mark the end of his two-decade-long guerrilla war against 
Canada's legal system. And, of course, as is so often the case in matters concerning 
Mr. Clark, one would be dead wrong. Far from retiring from the fray, he is as busy as 
ever. His latest book, Justice in Paradise, "part memoir, part jurisprudential 
adventure story," has just been published by McGill-Queens University Press. Then, 
too, he keeps himself occupied with this intriguing refugee claim in Norway. To say 
the Clarks' Norwegian hosts are a bit bewildered -- even skeptical -- is an 
understatement. When the couple arrived at the Oslo airport in June, after a First 
Nations benefactor bought them two airline tickets with his frequent-flyer points, the 
initial response was not favourable. "We said we were refugees. They looked at our!
sports and said, 'Ha, ha, that's funny, you're joking.' "

He's not. It is his long-held contention that the law, when it comes to the First 
Nation peoples of Canada and the U.S., is a sham that has abetted the world's "nicest" 
genocide. And as far as he is concerned, that makes him a marked man. "The envelope in 
Canada is very large for what you can say and you can do. But don't be under the 
illusion that there isn't an envelope," says Mr. Clark. "And when you step outside of 
it, the system can be just as vindictive as any petty dictatorship." The famous 
futuristic black-framed glasses that, combined with his bald head made him look like a 
curious amalgam of Mr. Clean and Darth Vader, are gone now. He abandoned them for 
"less confrontational" wire frames last Christmas after two pipeline workers in a 
Saskatchewan bar took exception to his eyewear and left him in a snow-filled ditch 
with several broken ribs.

But though the glasses have changed, the eyes behind them haven't. When he holds forth 
on the law, the blue orbs glow with intensity. And when you fail to understand, or ask 
a question that suggests you doubt him, they fill with pain and disappointment. Today 
the Clarks are building a new life, while the Norwegian police and the foreign 
ministry investigate their contention that they risk arrest and imprisonment if they 
return to Canada, a process that could take two and a half years. Every day they make 
the trek to the town's library to exchange e-mails with supporters back home and their 
three university-age children, who live in Ottawa. They've joined a health club and 
spend two hours a day on their Norwegian lessons -- none of their neighbours and few 
of the townspeople speak English -- and generally try to make ends meet on the $800 a 
month they receive courtesy of the Norwegian taxpayer. This leaves them plenty of time 
to ruminate on the past, pondering how a successful !
l-town lawyer found a cause to believe in, took on all comers, and lost. Big time. The 
client who would change Bruce Clark's life walked through the doors of his Haileybury, 
Ont., law offices in February, 1973. In the two years since he had been called to the 
bar, the young lawyer had built a healthy practice tending to the legal needs of local 
residents, good enough in fact to justify a branch office in nearby New Liskeard, a 
big house on the water, a 100-acre farm outside town, a nice boat, an airplane and a 
Corvette Stingray.

The client's name was Gary Potts and he was the elected chief of the Temagami Indians 
from Bear Island. Mr. Clark was enlisted by him to help stop the province's plans for 
an $80-million ski resort at Maple Mountain, which the Ojibwa considered sacred and 
claimed as their own. In an audacious manoeuvre, the young lawyer filed cautions -- a 
legal instrument that warns of a dispute over title -- on all 9,600 square kilometres 
of land claimed by the band, effectively freezing development until the matter was 
resolved. The case came to occupy more and more of his time. Recalls Richard Grant, a 
New Liskeard lawyer: "It became obvious that at some point Bruce's relationship with 
his client stopped being a professional one.... He endorsed their lifestyles and 
values.... He lost the handle." By 1978, Mr. Clark, his second wife and their young 
children moved to Bear Island so he could work full-time on the case (and escape his 
creditors). It finally came to court in 1982 and lasted mor!
e th
an two years, at which point a judge found in favour of the province, ruling the 
Temagami band had no legitimate claim to the land. Mr. Clark and the band parted ways, 
acrimoniously, and when the Temagamis later reached a tentative settlement agreement 
with the province, the lawyer threw his support behind a group of dissenting native 
sovereigntists campaigning against the deal. The agreement was defeated in a community 
referendum, and the claim remains unresolved. "One of the results of Bruce's inability 
to let go of the situation was the destruction of what we were trying to do," says 
Mary Laronde, a former band negotiator who worked closely with him in preparing the 
case. "He lost touch with reality, he was blinded by his own opinions."

Life-altering epiphanies are rare, rarer still in law libraries, but that is precisely 
what Mr. Clark says occurred one day among the dusty stacks at Aberdeen University in 
Scotland. At loose ends after the Temagami case, he returned to school, at 41, earning 
first a master's degree in aboriginal history at the University of Western Ontario, 
then a PhD in comparative aboriginal rights in Scotland.

While researching his thesis, Mr. Clark found what he believes is the Holy Grail of 
aboriginal law tucked away in a weathered volume titled Appeals to the Privy Council 
from the American Plantations. The document, handed down in 1704, was the British 
Crown's response to a petition that a group of Mohegans had sent to Queen Anne asking 
for help resolving a dispute with Connecticut over land in the Hudson River Valley. It 
called for the establishment of a special third-party British court that would 
adjudicate future disputes between natives and colonial authorities. The concealment 
of this document, maintains Mr. Clark, is "the single most important fact in the 
history of aboriginal rights in North America."

Mr. Clark contends that because this long-ago ruling has never been revoked, North 
American natives remain subject only to the authority of this forgotten sub-branch of 
the British judiciary. Thus, any land that wasn't explicitly sold or deeded to the 
"newcomers" over the past three centuries is still theirs, and the burden of proving 
otherwise should rest on the state, not the First Nations. The case is so obscure it's 
hard to find anyone other than Mr. Clark qualified to comment on it. Mark Walters, a 
Queen's University law professor who specializes in aboriginal issues and knows the 
document, says Mr. Clark has a point: "He's right, it is a very significant case. It's 
just a matter of interpretation about the scope of this decision and what it really 
means," though Mr. Clark's interpretation is one of many. If the British courts once 
thought that Crown and native sovereignty coexisted in the New World, the 1982 
Constitution's guarantee of "existing aboriginal treaty rights"!
ld prove broader than anyone has imagined. "I think it's a very, very interesting 
argument. I'd like to know exactly at what point it ceased to be valid in Canada," 
says Professor Walters.

Similarly, Tony Hall, a University of Lethbridge professor of native American studies, 
[note: a white guy who illegally abducted his sons from their Ojibway mother in 
Thunder Bay] says Mr. Clark is "an authentic scholar. ... It seems to me that in a 
society like ours, the principled high ground should at least be articulated. ... His 
argument is an engaging and an important one. I think sooner or later it's got to be 

Professor Hall compares Mr. Clark to Louis Riel, both being figures who pushed the 
limits of acceptable dissent about how Canada treats its native peoples. "When 
challenged, society will sometimes overreact and create a martyr," he says. Mr. Clark 
returned to Canada in 1990 eager to put "the truth" to the test. He approached the 
Mohawk Warriors during their long standoff with the Surete du Quebec and the Canadian 
army at Oka, Que. But their enthusiasm for a defence based upon the assertion that the 
courts had no jurisdiction quickly waned when more pragmatic lawyers pointed out it 
would likely lead to a long stint in the stony lonesome for the Warriors. He was 
instead hired by a group of traditionalist Lil'Wat Indians who had been arrested for 
blockading a road running through a B.C. reserve. But at trial, the judge refused to 
entertain the notion that he and the Canadian justice system had no business trying 
natives. Mr. Clark's request for a judicial review of the decision w!
as t
urned down, as was his attempt to interest the B.C. Court of Appeal in his troubles. 
As his frustration grew, the level of civility at the Lil'Wat trial tumbled. The judge 
refused to let him address the court because he was not a member of the B.C. bar. Mr. 
Clark tried to effect a "citizen's arrest" and lay a charge of treason on the judge. 
Sheriffs dragged him from the courtroom.

Over the next five years, Mr. Clark crisscrossed North America taking up land claims 
and criminal cases involving natives, travelled to Central America and Europe to 
foster links among the indigenous peoples of the world and tried to interest the 
International Court of Justice and the UN in Canada's "complicity" in genocide.  And 
above all, he kept true to his vision, presenting the same legal argument about 
jurisdiction, and seeing it dismissed, time after time.  The court cases took on a 
numbing pattern. Native clients were wowed by their knowledgeable and aggressive 
lawyer. Judges initially seemed receptive. The argument was introduced and quickly 
rejected. Mr. Clark accused the bench of treason and participating in genocide. He was 
thrown out of the building or placed in a jail cell. "I couldn't believe these guys 
wouldn't respect the law," Mr. Clark says, looking out the window at snow falling on 
Halden. "Show me where in those cases the judges ever addressed the issue." !
afsen Lake was his last stand. For the media, he cut an irresistible figure, a 
trash-talking lawyer with a mercurial personality.

Dr. Mike Webster, a B.C. psychologist working for the RCMP, spent several days talking 
with Mr. Clark, trying to "bring him on board." At first, he recalls, "I was impressed 
with his intelligence ... and his irreverence. He believes things so intensely. But 
when people are that intelligent they always have some adjustment problems with their 

As a go-between, Mr. Clark was a disaster. He would reject proposals out of hand and 
spouted off to the media at every opportunity. When he finally did go behind the 
barricades, he emerged with a tape recording that he said proved the RCMP fired the 
first shots. Even today, Mr. Clark says the police set out to smear him, with the 
willing participation of the media and courts. And some natives agree. Says John 
"Splitting the Sky" Hill: "They assassinated his character in order to justify -- to 
build up public opinion for -- a bloody incursion."  As the standoff wound down, Mr. 
Clark seemed to be spinning out of control. There was his disastrous appearance before 
the Supreme Court of Canada.

And, finally, there was the scuffling and the screaming at 100 Mile House, B.C. He was 
convicted of contempt (for shouting at the judge) and assault (for scuffling with the 
sheriff's deputy), and committed to a mental hospital to undergo a psychiatric 

The framed document certifying that Mr. Clark is mentally competent is one of the few 
possessions the couple brought with them to Halden. He knows he isn't crazy. But he 
thinks Canadian society is, and patiently explains his vision of a society based on 
truth, justice and equality.

The law governing land claims and native rights is a hodgepodge, he says, as evidenced 
by such recent events as the Marshall decision and the Nisga'a treaty. "The judges are 
putting on more and more Band-Aids to cover up the cancer. ... It's not working," he 
says.  The solution, he says, is to start again. "We have to rescue the justice system 
for humankind," says Mr. Clark. "Canada really could lead the way if they did it and 
got it right." The Clarks are hoping that Norway will prove to be their "paradise," 
where "justice and the rule of law intersect." Mr. Clark says he would like to take up 
farming, and is looking into the possibility of lecturing at European law schools. 
There are also the makings of a fourth book stored in their laptop computer. "Bruce is 
a philosopher, a genuine thinker," says his wife, Margaret. "He can't be lost to the 
world. ... He's got such a big brain."

If pressed, they will allow that there is little chance that their Scandinavian hosts 
will risk an international diplomatic incident by agreeing that the Canadian 
government is persecuting its citizens. But then they could move on.  Where they live 
isn't that important. "Since Bear Island, it's basically been, the cavalry's coming 
over the hill, so let's get on to the next Indian reservation or whatever," says Mr. 
Clark. Their thoughts are already turning to the next safe haven where they can carry 
on the battle. China, Pakistan, the Amazon jungle. Or maybe somewhere with windmills.

               "Let Us Consider The Human Brain As
                A Very Complex Photographic Plate"
                     1957 G.H. Estabrooks

                    FOR   K A R E N  #01182
                   who died fighting  4/23/99

                   [EMAIL PROTECTED]

    For people like me, violence is the minotaur; we spend our lives
        wandering its maze, looking for the exit.  (Richard Rhodes)
                   Never befriend the oppressed 
                    unless you are prepared to 
                    take on the oppressor.   
                        (Author unknown)

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