Citizen’s Arrest of Alleged War Criminal George W. Bush in Canada: Trial Underway
SPS versus “W” in Court Hearings in Calgary
By Carol Brouillet
March 7, 2010
DailyCensored.org from Project Censored
Dacajaweiah, John Boncore, or Splitting the Sky, is not a man of few words. If you read his hefty 653-page autobiography, it is very clear that he has lived an extraordinary life and has survived more than his share of violence, to find deep within himself a well of energy and spirit enabling him to not only endure hardships, but to serve his people and the land in the timeless struggle against oppression and tyranny. From the Attica Rebellion to Gustafen Lake to Calgary in 2009, when he attempted a citizen’s arrest of George W. Bush, “Dac” has consciously taken a leadership role to politically challenge the powerful forces that dominate the North American continent. Brutally arrested for his action, he earned his “day in court” to voice not only his defense, but “to highlight the hypocrisy and criminality of the Canadian government for allowing Bush into Canada, and to firmly establish the legal defense of ‘civil resistance’, the duty of citizens to act when our governments and their agents are derelict in their duty. This will be very useful in the future to rein these criminals in.”
Prior to Bush’s visit, the group Lawyers Against the War asked Canadian officials to bar entry or try Bush for his suspected crimes since Canadian Law prohibits “people suspected of any involvement in torture or other war crimes and crimes against humanity from entering Canada for any period and for any purpose. The most recent report of the War Crimes Program affirms the necessity of barring war crimes suspects from Canada: ‘The most effective way to deny safe haven to people involved or complicit in war crimes or crimes against humanity is to prevent them from coming to Canada.’”
Lawyers Against the War and protesters implored the government to do their duty and arrest Bush. “Dac” was carrying papers detailing the evidence against George W. Bush, which he had planned to serve him with on behalf of the victims and the people of the world, and he raised his hands to show that he was “non-violent.” Dac was then thrown down, stomped on, kicked, handcuffed and led off to be brutalized in a Calgary jail.
Monday, March 8, 2010, he will have his opportunity to put forward his case and present evidence, with support, testimony and affidavits on his behalf from respected scholars, including David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, and Michel Chossudovsky, as well as from former US Congresswoman, outspoken human rights advocate, and former Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. Professor Anthony J. Hall, author of The American Empire and the Fourth World and founding coordinator of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge, stated last December:
“Splitting the Sky’s action in Calgary highlights the abject failure of law enforcement agencies to do their job. It highlights the unwillingness of police and those who direct them to apply the law equitably and independently…
“As the Nuremberg principles make clear, the implicated law enforcement officers cannot claim in their defense that they were merely following orders in deciding to arrest Splitting the Sky rather than George W. Bush.
“I propose that the trial of Splitting the Sky presents a platform for the elaboration of a new set of juridical rules and protocols to be known as The Calgary Principles.
“It has been six decades since the UN general assembly agreed to a succinct refinement of the principles that emerged from the trial of some of the top Nazis, as well as their juridical, medical, and industrialist accomplices. During those decades, there has been an intensification of the culture of impunity that immunizes those at the top of the hierarchy of wealth and power from any legal accountability for their crimes.
“Like the Tokyo trials of the defeated leadership of imperial Japan, the Nuremberg Trials were a classic example of victors’ justice.
“As long as the power politics of victors’ justice continues to protect the likes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the rule of law remains a fraud. Under present conditions, the rule of law is a sad hoax designed to disguise the role of law enforcement agencies as protectors of the ill-gotten wealth often stripped from the branches of humanity that Frantz Fanon once labeled ‘the wretched of the earth.’
“The elaboration of the Calgary Principles will have to entail the quest for new language and juridical concepts to capture the full extent and complexity of international crime in the twenty-first century…
“Consider, for instance, the nature of the crime that takes place when whole populations are sentenced to endless futures of disproportionately high rates of genetic deformity through the saturation of their mother lands with depleted uranium. Consider the nature of a crime that would see a drug company covertly introduce a new disease strain in order to market a prepared antidote of vaccine to cure the disease it had disseminated.
“What names, what prohibitions, and what punishments do we need to respond to and discourage crimes that infect populations, deform populations, and even destroy whole ecosystems, making the renewal of all kinds of life, including human life, impossible to sustain?
“Hence it can be said that these days the most important agencies of the military-industrial complex and the national security state are the media conglomerates. These agencies of propaganda for an aggressive war bombard us on a daily basis with mental missiles of psychological warfare.
“The constant barrage of messages we receive that peace is to be found in war, that freedom is to be found in slavery, that wealth is to be found in indebtedness, and that truth is to be found in lies, is pulling humanity away from our fragile inheritance of reason, rationality, and enlightened discourse on the real menaces we face…”
Splitting the Sky’s action mirrors the actions of countless people in countless demonstrations that are taking place across the world where lives, land, forests, lakes, jobs, homes, species, and communities are threatened by powerful forces, making decisions in luxury and comfort, protected by men with guns from citizens trying to make their voices heard to protect that which they love and care deeply about. The trial will illustrate whether or not Canada is ruled by laws or by fear. Whatever happens, the struggle for truth, justice, and peace will continue.
For Anthony J. Hall’s entire article and speech, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16377.
More details about Splitting the Sky are posted at http://www.splittingthesky.net/.
Anthony Hall sent the following earlier this week:
Citizens Respond to the Organized Crime of War Profiteers: Background and Context on Splitting the Sky versus George W. Bush
Here is Professor Anthony J. Hall’s interview with Scott Stockdale for the Canadian Charger. Please post and disseminate as you see fit.
“Anthony J. Hall gives context and background on the trial of Mohawk activist, Splitting the Sky. STS attempted a citizens arrest on George W. Bush in Calgary, AB, Canada on March 17th 2009.”
And Joshua Blakeney sent the following report on the first day of trial:
Judge Manfred Delong Meets Splitting the Sky
by Joshua Blakeney
Media Coordinator of Globalization Studies
University of Lethbridge
Today the trial of Splitting the Sky commenced. Splitting the Sky attempted a citizens’ arrest on credibly accused war criminal George W. Bush on March 17, 2009, and was arrested and jailed for doing so by police. Try as its representatives might to disguise their motivations with the kind PR spin doctoring we witnessed in the court today, the Calgary Police, the RCMP and its contractors were under the Harper government’s strict political orders to protect the Alberta home turf of the current minority government that came to power as the holder of the Bushite franchise in Canada. Some have termed this historic proceeding as “The Trial of Splitting the Sky versus George W. Bush” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP6DSMCXKLg). From what I witnessed firsthand on day one, the government attempt to manage this highly volatile convergence of law and politics was an exciting affair.
The morning’s proceedings were mostly filled with the testaments of the policemen involved in protecting Bush and arresting STS. Amazingly, when one of the policeman was asked why he had arrested the Mohawk activist, the official contended that he “was protecting STS” from Bush’s henchmen. He went on to say that Bush’s protectors carry “lethal weapons” and that they would in all have used them to kill the accused man. Rather than seek further information on Bush’s private-Blackwater-style militia, the lawyers on both sides of the case passed over this startling revelation.
The presiding magistrate, Judge Manfred Delong, initially appeared, in my view, to be siding with the Crown prosecutor against STS’s lawyer, Charles Davison. Davison’s initial submission asked the court to allow for a distinction between “Obstructing a Police Officer” and “Preventing a Police Officer from Performing his Duty.” Davison’s argument was disallowed by Judge Delong. From that point on, Mr. Davison appeared to be improvising in a defence on which the hopes of many in the anti-war activists are riding.
Certainly the turning point of the day came when STS took the stand to testify in his usual flamboyant, surprising and erudite manner. STS reminded the court that it was the same laws which the minority government eschewed vis-a-vis Bush which were invoked to keep British peace activist George Galloway MP out of Canada last March. STS opined: “All Galloway had been doing was bringing medical aide to Palestinians in Gaza, 2000 of whom Israel had massacred, but they barred Galloway from Canada using the same laws which they should have used to ban George W. Bush.”
My perception was that until STS testified, Judge Delong was more inclined to the Crown’s side of the argument, namely that the police were “keeping the peace” in a law-abiding manner by arresting STS. Once STS had outlined his justifications for seeking the arrest of Bush, the judge perked up markedly. Charles Davison’s main contentions revolved around the characterization of STS’s understanding at the moment he attempted the citizen’s arrest. STS informed the court that three documents most influenced his decision to arrest Bush. The first was a statement disseminated prior to Bush’s lecture date by Lawyers Against the War. It was directed to a number of law enforcement officials right up to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In a concise yet rich and detailed intervention, LAW detailed why George W. Bush was inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (see: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12668).
The second document submitted to the court was a letter of solidarity written by former US Attorney-General Ramsay Clark. Over three decades Clark and STS have developed a deep and fruitful collaboration going back to the days when the latter was charged with killing a jail guard in the Attica prison debacle of 1971. The third document to be placed before the Court is entitled “Bush League Justice: Should George W. Bush be Arrested in Calgary, AB, and Tried for International Crimes.” It was authored by STS’s friend and colleague, Anthony J. Hall (http://www.voltairenet.org/article159233.html#article159233). I noticed that Judge DeLong, who had been particularly statue-like and expressionless prior to reading Hall’s essay, suddenly metamorphosed into an engaged human being apparently interested in this highly significant case in Canada’s history.
Not long after the period when Judge Delong had listened to STS’s impassioned oratory and viewed Professor Hall’s essay, the court was adjourned. The judge concluded by stating he was willing to stay until Thursday (i.e. for the full four days allotted for the trial) plus an extra day if necessary. The Judge’s looking ahead to a week-long trial can be deemed a victory for STS and his supporters as a five day event should allow for more evidence to be brought to light in a legal proceeding which is certainly one of the most significant trials ever to take place in Calgary. Judge Delong has been presented with a chance to create a beacon of a hope in a world afflicted with the prospect of never ending military strife as set in motion by the Cheney-Bush regime’s fraudulent Global War on Terror.
Tomorrow is the second day of the trial and STS’s lawyer may be calling Professor Anthony J. Hall to the stand to testify. Cynthia McKinney will arrive in Calgary on Tuesday evening. It is hoped the the court will give this indefatigable freedom fighter the green light to testify on Wednesday.