My Response to Accusations Made on Occupy Toronto Facebook Pages

Dave Vasey (wearing top-hat): Is he working for the 1%?

When Dave Vasey confronted me at the beginning of the last Occupy Toronro Action Committee meeting we had an agreement that I would post my letter to the people of OT to each committee through the mailing lists. Then, when it came time to send out my mail I noticed I was banned- despite the fact I have not used those lists to cause any interruption.

It confounded me that someone like Dave, who has worked his whole life pursuing social and ecological justice would have made the accusations he did. It confounds me more that some (there are many more good & honest than there are bad) people decided to shut me out from telling my side of the story. Something is rotten in Denmark…

So, considering I am unable to respond to attacks against me on the Facebook page, I will use this space to approach the accusations made against me:

It's ad-hominem madness tonight!

Traditionally, Marshals are supposed to be people who keep order during pubic events. Unfortunately, it seems something has gone wrong with this group- they have mutated into some sort of secret police. Not all of them though, At least one is standing-up and insisting that I am allowed to speak before my crucifixion.

Please note, that if anyone wishes to specify details behind any incidents where it is alleged I engaged the police, I will be happy clear-up the situation by giving the police authorization to release (non-existent) records of the event. There is only one situation where I ‘called-in’ the police, and it is explained in this posting:

Here are my answers to the accusations made against me:

1.) Calling the Police for Cannabis Use

This is ridiculous on so many levels. First, it is an ad-hominem attack– there is no information to quantify, only a broad accusation. Next, calling the Vancouver police because someone was smoking marijuana would be about as effective as calling the police because someone bumped against me in the supermarket- the VPD wouldn’t even bother to show up.

Last, I strongly believe that smoking marijuana is a victimless crime, and that it should be legalized. I lived and worked in Amsterdam for a number of years and have seen how it works there. Prohibition of marijuana only makes it more attractive to the people who the laws are trying to protect from it…

2.) Threatening to Have the Police Take Away People’s Children

This is equally ridiculous. First, like the previous allegation, it is ad-hominem. Next, I would never imagine messing with a kid’s life due to a personal conflict. Anyone who knows me will back me on this. I challenge the person who made this accusation to provide details of when and with whom I did this. It simply didn’t happen.

3.) Calling Someone’s Employer to Have Them Fired

I have never “called anyone’s employer ‘to have them fired”. I have, however, registered an official complaint with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) about one of their employees- but, only after deep introspection and conversations with other people who have encouraged me to do this.

When I moved to Cortes Island, an occupier from Vancouver wrote a letter that stated I was dangerous and mentally ill (both are false, I’m sane and I am a notable pacifist). This letter was distributed to a number of influential people on the island, and had a serious impact on my ability to settle there. The person who wrote this letter is a mental health professional who works for VCH- if you Google her name, this is the first piece of information that comes up.

Besides the personal impact this had on me, I firmly believe that anyone who abuses their power in this position and takes an action like this is not only a danger to me personally, but to the community at-large. Simply put, this needs to be stopped, and the person who committed this infraction should never be enabled to do this again.

There are a number of other occupiers who agree with me- as do some people who are influential in this profession. Once again, I didn’t take this decision lightly, and there was no sense of vengeance in doing so. I had no personal conflict with this person of any kind- it appears they were doing this on behalf of someone else’s agenda. It makes me sad it came to this situation, but I felt as if there was no other choice.

3.) Targeting a young woman of colour with constant harassment in the context of being a large, tall, older white man who uses the police to eliminate his opponents.

I believe that the wording of this accusation really speaks for itself. But, I’ll take the bait, and try to specify some of the issues that it states. The issue in question here is my asking Harsha Walia to clarify here standing on violence at Occupy Vancouver. I provided a detailed explanation of the situation in my last posting on this blog.

First, let’s approach the issue of Harsha’s race, gender and age. It what way is this related to my asking her to clarify her ambiguity on the use of violence? Would it somehow be more acceptable to the person who wrote this if she was a “tall older white man”? It appears to me that the person who wrote this was being racist themselves. The only place where race and gender are relevant in this discussion are where Harsha told Derrick O’Keefe that his opinion on violence was inconsequential because he is a privileged white male. Do you see a pattern here?

They were also being somewhat cowardly, hiding behind the administrator account and not identifying themselves- were they not? And, last, as I stated previously, the only time I engaged the police to take action was to protect occupiers from an outside threat…

4.) We feel the accounts of his conduct are credible, the petition against his behaviour from Vancouver containing over one hundred signatures is real, and he poses a threat to the safety of our fellow occupiers, our marshals, and the wider occupy movement.

First, as I explained in my previous blog post, there is not a single signature on a piece of paper- simply a list of names someone put up on an anonymously created website.

Next, every single accusation they have made is an ad-hominem attack that has no basis in evidence. If the writer truly believes that this is a “real threat” based on the evidence provided then they have a seriously poor sense of judgement, and should not be allowed to have the responsibilities of a Marshall. Either that-   or, is it possible they have an agenda here?

Does Bev really believe this?

Bev Thornton is making this judgement about me based on what evidence? Once again, is this an agenda, or is she simply lacking the skills to exercise clear judgement? And, as for her last statement, I’ll once more refer to my previous blog posting where I provide solid evidence that I have contributed much to this movement.

Bev, we’ve never met, and you have no basis to judge my character- as I have little basis to judge your’s. That considered, I won’t hold this against you in the future- will write it off to the fact that you are caught-up in a cyclone of craziness that has come out of this situation. Peace, love & solidarity sister.

Simon Cledwyn Board, I leave you with the same message as I did for Bev in the previous paragraph. You are making assumptions that have no basis of reality. I forgive you though. That said- if you wish to provide some evidence behind your accusation, I’ll gladly address it.

Camilla, what you are saying here is more of the same ad-hominem. And, I can say confidently that the accusations against Suzy’s character are beyond ridiculous. Is this a tactic you are using, or do you have something to back these accusation up with?

And “tagging a known harasser on posts discussing his harassment”? What is this- a Kafka novel? Is this the sort of thing you came to Occupy to accomplish? Because, it would be a step-backwards from where we are in Canada today…

Oh dear Bev- what’s going on in your mind there! Did you not understand what you were reading, or are you deliberately twisting things around? Your credibility is seriously at-risk at this moment. Let me debunk your accusations of my writing ‘to alienate from Occupy Vancouver’ a number of organizations:

Pivot Legal Society: There is not one single thing I said about Pivot that can be perceived this way, the article had not a single connection to Occupy Vancouver, and was entirely about Hollyhock. The video reminded me of my stay there during January, and the guy from Pivot was sitting on some driftwood at a place where I say myself many mornings.

CUPE: First, like all of my writing, I was speaking for myself here. This is my personal blog, and does not represent any particular occupation. I’m not sure how long you have been involved with the Occupy movement (I’ve been with it since before the first day we broke ground) but, you may misunderstand us- no single occupier speaks for the group.

But, yes, I have asked CUPE some very serious questions– as it is my right to do so. I have genuine concerns that they are not acting transparently with our movement. And, I stand behind my statement that they don’t appear to “walk-the-walk.” The only response I got from CUPE was from the president of one of their locals who made harsh character judgements based on 89 words I wrote about his organization.

United Steel Workers: I’m assuming you are implying that I was ‘alienating’ USW from Occupy Toronto? Because, I never saw any representation of them at Occupy Vancouver. Regardless, if the questions and comments of a single individual caused the USW to be alienated, I would seriously doubt they were much of a partner in the first place.

Witness to a Police Murder: You obviously didn’t read the story- did you? The guy lied to the police about what he witnessed. Also, he caused such a disturbance to Occupy Ottawa, that if I somehow did alienate him from any other occupation, I am post probably doing a public service to the movement- no?

Vancouver Media Co-Op: This is an organization that publishes pro-violence content on a massive scale. We are a non-violent movement, are we not? And, as far as their having solidarity with us? Not a chance! Look at the article they published about Occupy Toronto before I became involved! This article is the exact opposite of solidarity!

Presenting Occupy Vancouver As An Unsafe Place: I have presented my argument on why it is unsafe– many people, like myself, have been the target of unsubstantiated attacks at OV. I’m not the only person who has been subject to such attacks. Also, someone died at OV, and there have been multiple instances of Black Bloc violence. If you wish to disagree with what I say, please avoid using ad-hominem attacks- they are meaningless, and such behaviour discredits your accusations.

My Blog is Intentional Sabotage: Once again, an ad-hominem attack- I’m sure you can do better than that! This blog covers both the good and the bad things about the Occupy movement. If anything, I have added much credibility to our movement- people outside the movement trust what I say because of this balance, as do many people inside too. But, you are free to quantify that statement if you wish…

Okay, this posting is just beyond silly. First, the statement “any further sharing of harassment related information with a harasser” is not only truly Kafkaesque- but, it completely discredits this person’s credibility. This is probably why they are hiding behind the administrator account. Here’s a true coward for you…

Next, the person they are referring to is the exact opposite of the accusations against her. There is not one basis of fact- this is purely ad-hominem, ad-nauseum.

Last, is it Suzy who is the threat to Schrodinger’s Cat– or, perhaps, is it the device put inside the box there the cat has been locked inside? The truth is that we’ll never know the truth on this one- it is a paradox we’ll never be able to solve. ;-)

In Conclusion:

I have written 2615 words in this essay that address each accusation that has been made about me. Each of them was answered in-detail, with an honest and open heart. If anyone wishes to ask questions about issues where they need clarification I am open to answering anyone who genuinely needs something cleared-up.

That said, if it is in-relation to an ad-hominem accusation- I will first ask that you provide a quantification first. Any further of these sorts of accusations will be ignored, and you will only look either foolish or as if you have an agenda.

I’d like to say thank you to the many people at Occupy Toronto who stood-up against this abuse over the past couple of days. And, want the rest of the world to know that these people vastly outnumber the minority who have decided to risk their reputations, or who didn’t fully comprehend what was happening here.

And, Dave Vasey, you need to explain yourself. You brought this mess to everyone, and used your position of respect and authority to convince a number of genuinely good people that they are true. I really don’t know what to say about this- you are someone who should know better.

As things stand, I can only think you did this because your motivations aren’t pure. So, I must ask, is there any relation to your initiating these attacks and your relationship with organizations funded by George Soros and the TIDES Foundation? Are you working for the 1%?

Specifically, I am referring to your connection with the Ruckus Society and the Indigenous Environmental Network. Please note that this is not an ad-hominem attack, but questions that have been quantified by real research. I also have to ask about your relationship with any other organizations that may influence your participation with Occupy Toronto. This is your opportunity to come-clean.

I have not made-up my mind on if you are, or are not, working for outside interests. But, if you are, I ask that you please come-clean and disclose your motivations. Because, you have compromised yourself in the way you attacked me, and it is now time for you to come clean.

It is the occupy way to forgive each other for our mistakes and errors in judgement. So, if you are hiding something, and are willing to come-clean, I will stand behind you and ask the collective to forgive you.

Solidarity My Fellow Occupiers!

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