It’s widely known that the remaining hangers-on at Occupy Toronto are a clueless bunch, as I described them yesterday, they’re a lot like the Japanese soldiers who were found hiding away a couple decades after WWII who didn’t know that the war was over. If you’ve ever wondered how stupid (or corrupt) OT’s remaining members are, today’s story will make that very clear.
Today the people running the Occupy Toronto Livestream (dodgy) fundraiser had a ‘special’ guest on their show- Kevin Annett, a widely exposed con-artist who’s famous for his widespread abuse of indigenous people across the country. Adding insult to injury, his appearance came just before a leader of Idle No More Toronto gave them a cash donation.
And, curiously, all this happened on the campus of Ryerson University- a school with three professors who have been burned by their connection to Annett. One of them, Judy Rebick, is scheduled to speak on the OT’s fundraiser this weekend…
Kevin Annett is a con-artist who’s been appropriating the voices of indigenous residential school survivors for many years. There have been countless articles written about his fraud by a number of reputable publications. The first substantive article, Truth And Native Abuse, was published in The Tyee back in 2008 outlining his pattern of lies, tall tales about residential school students being used for medical experiments, and unproven stories of mass graves. But, despite this story (and coverage of his lies in publications like the Vancouver Sun) a number of desperate (and corrupt) continued to support and promote him.
Willie Blackwater was one of the first survivors to bring the residential school to public attention. He, and 30 other victims, filed a suit against the United Church for the abuse they faced in the schools- ultimately their case led to the government’s first public apology. Blackwater realized quite early that Annett was up to no good. When Blackwater spoke out and asked him to stop appropriating the survivor’s cause, Annett very publicly responded with unconscionable levels of vitriol, slander and hate. Blackwater was a hero, Annett defiled him.
In the winter of 2011 Annett came out with one of his wildest claims ever- that he discovered a mass grave of residential survivors at the Six Nations reserve in Brantford, Ontario. Annett (and a group of cult members whose leader believes he’s the second coming of Christ) showed up at the reserve, dug about one foot down and magically discovered what he called the bones of small children. A small number of people from Occupy Toronto were also involved.
A few days later Annett showed up at an Occupy Toronto meeting in front of City Hall. Professional activist Sakura Saunders introduced him to the crowd saying that he was “going to announce something very important”. Annett stepped in-front of the crowd, pulled some bones out of his pocket, and announced “these are the bones of small children”. If the bones actually were real, his treatment of them would have been incredibly disrespectful. Saunders, and other Activistocrats completely ignored this distasteful act. Here’s a video:
Around that time, our three Ryerson university professors got involved. Judy Rebick headlined with Annett at a conference, and her publication Rabble.ca enthusiastically promoted him. Professor Winnie Ng invited Annett to speak on campus. She wasn’t able to be there when he arrived, but wrote a glowing letter promoting his work. The letter was read out by professor Lynn Lavallee- here’s a video:
The conference Annett was speaking at was sponsored by the CAW Sam Gindin Chair of Social Justice & Democracy. Rebick was the previous leader, Winnie Ng was the chair at the time. This was very curious because, far in the past, Annett worked with the CAW trying to recruit United Church ministers to join the union. The CAW has been actively involved radicalising native communities for many years.
In 2012 the truth began to come out that Annett’s claims of discovering a mass grave were fraudulent. He promised to get DNA tests on the bones, but they were never completed. He then claimed to have sent the bones to the Smithsonian Institution for testing- but, after some investigation, this was found to be untrue. Then, in May, a group of elders from Brantford produced a video denouncing Annett’s poor behaviour:
As the word began to get out about Annett’s fraud, indigenous people across the country (and in the US) joined the Brantford elders and claimed that Annett was up to no good. In November the Aboriginal People’s Television Network broadcast a comprehensive story explaining his fraud and the trail of pain he left behind him. The leaders of Occupy Toronto eventually ceded too and admitted Annett was a disreputable man.
So, it was a complete surprise today when members of the OT Livestream team announced that Annett would be joining them today. There were two key people behind this. The first was Carrie Lester, an anti-nuclear campaigner who works closely with ‘enviro-punk’ Zach Ruiter. The other was Gary Wassaykeesic, an indigenous man who was recently arrested for breaking & entering at the occupation of Enbridge’s Line 9 pumping station in Westover, Ontario.
Annett called-in and was broadcast on the Livestream through a speaker phone. He told his usual set of lies with Lester and Wassaykeesic enthusiastically agreeing with everything he said- including Annett’s claim to have done an exorcism that caused a tornado to damage the Vatican. Despite the ridiculousness of his statement, nobody on the Livestream team bothered to challenge it. Something is very wrong.
It may, or may not, be a coincidence, but it appears that Judy Rebick is scheduled to appear on the Livestream this weekend. She, nor her fellow two professors, have never spoken out to fix the damage they did promoting Annett. It will be interesting to see if she does now. Annett has caused great pain to indigenous people and communities across the country. It’s time for the people responsible for promoting this monster to speak out and fix the damage and take action to stop the monster they helped to create…