There have been a lot of bizarre and unlikely characters who came to Canadian Occupations- people of every type. Some were innocent, and some more sinister. We had people coming from feminist and anarchist groups who tried to hijack the movement. Then, we had Kevin Annett- a man who brought a magical story about imprisoning the Queen and the Pope.
Originally, Annett was clergy in the United Church. He was assigned to a few churches, but he walked-out of each church he was assigned to. In the end, after having a divided flock, the United Church felt the need to intervene. They asked him to attend a psychiatric assessment and he refused. They went through a lengthy process and intervention before he eventually left the church.
Somewhere around this time Annett assigned himself as a (false) saviour to the world’s indigenous people, and victims of Canadian residential schools. This is also the same time that Willie Blackwater, one of the first brave survivors, began to share his story with the world. Blackwater asked him to stop representing survivors and Annett called him a ‘Dimestore Indian’ and a government schil. It appears he has forged the signature of residential school survivor and respected activist Harriett Nahanee.
Annett has left a trail of pain in his wake. He’s stolen the stories of many brave residential school survivors and used them to promote his sideshow. Each time someone asked him to stop what he was doing he publicly attacked and defiled their reputation in public forums. Kevin’s labelled so many people as ‘agents of the Vatican and the state’ that it’s hard to keep count. Some of the people he attacked were very honourable people- residential school survivors, indigenous elders, an RCMP officer and innocent people who helped on the periphery.
Annett came to Occupy Vancouver around week three. He had a harebrained plan to get people to invade churches in retaliation for what happened at residential schools. Luckily, the people at Occupy Vancouver pretty quickly saw through the idiocy of his plan. His proposal for Occupy to sponsor his activity was blocked.
Next he went to the Six Nations reserve in Brantford Ontario. He then did an illegal dig at a site that was claimed to be a mass grave of cut-up children’s bones. It was a horrible image he brought to people’s minds, one the must have given a lot of pain to some of the survivors.
Annett magically found some bones very shortly after starting his highly unscientific dig. The bones were less than two feet below the surface of the ground. The bones looked to big to be children’s bones. They also, according to one person, still smelled like rotting flesh. There were only a handful of the bones and the only way to identify if they were human would be to get a DNA test.
He took the bones to Occupy Toronto, carrying them in the pocket of his winter coat. He then pulled them out of his pockets, waved them around in front of a crowd, and yelled out to the crowd “I’ve got the bones of children!” It was probably one the must vulgar moments of the Occupy Movement.
Annett never did get a DNA test. He said that he had sent bones to the Smithsonian in Washington DC- but he refuses to say who he was working with there. He says that this person told him that the bones were too small to get a DNA test. But, anyone who knows how a DNA test works understands it only takes a scraping. Kevin was challenged on the DNA test on a radio show and eventually hung-up when the heat got too hot for him. It only costs $450 and takes 7 days to get DNA confirmation.
Kevin has been thrown-out of multiple indigenous communities, and has been asked to stop by scores of indigenous people. The vast majority of the people who have supported Annett have now stepped-away- including many of his most ardent supporters.
He’s also gotten support and/or been promoted by a number of high-profile people. At one time he claimed to be supported by Noam Chomsky- but this was proven to be a lie. But, he has been supported by people like George Galloway, Ryerson professors Judy Rebick & Winnie Ng, Barry Weisleder and Alex Jones. Kevin was one of the original members of Canada’s International Socialists (IS).
In July Annett teamed up with a man named Jason Bowman. They both faked filing a case in Toronto’s Federal Court- he was caught and blamed the situation on government agents. Eventually this deception was exposed.
Annett is now announcing that, today, he is launching a mystical international court that will reclaim church land away from them over the next few weeks. He seems to genuinely believe that he is going to single-handedly take on the Pope, the Queen and every other contemporary figure of power. At best, Annett is seriously deluded- at worst, he is intentionally using these stories to defraud people.
Either way, he is hurting many people who are around him while simultaneously causing further pain for survivors of the horrors of residential schools. He has expropriated the voice of the indigenous people and used it to extend his fantasy of being their saviour. It’s a dark, cruel thing that Annett is doing to the people who he purports to be saving.
Yesterday Annett released a video declaring that people will be invading churches in Vancouver and other cities today. The Vancouver police have been notified about these plans- documentation of the alleged forgery and bank transfer receipts from his donors have been sent to one of their investigators.
At the very minimum, they could charge him with Inciting A Riot. Derek Soberal was given that charge for something a lot less nefarious. Certainly, if Kevin is inciting people to overtake churches and ‘defrock’ priests, they must be able to give Annett the same charge for what he has been doing.
Annett is currently in Europe where he claims that he will be delivering subpoenas to the Pope and the Queen. There’s a question now of whether he will come back to Canada or not. The last time he was in Europe he asked one of his supporters to fund his moving to exile in Ireland. So it is entirely possible he will be at-large and subject to extradition.
This is one chapter of the Occupy saga that looks like it will be closing very quickly…