Freedom Flyer Fall 2000 Cover

Freedom Flyer 34

the official newsletter of the
Freedom Party of Ontario

Fall 2000

Article electronically reproduced from:

Scene Magazine

January 27, 2000


Free society threatened by bizarre police behavior

Ontario's Solicitor-General's office has recently written to the Freedom Party, advising that they are unaware of any legislation that requires police to interrogate citizens about their beliefs

Robert Metz

ON NOV. 29, Freedom Party leader Lloyd Walker wrote to Ontario's Solicitor-General David Tsubouchi, requesting a list of political beliefs (both left- and right-wing) "that are considered 'extreme' and would result in a call from a police department in Ontario."

Walker's request was prompted by a Nov. 1 letter written by Detective-Superindendant David Lucio of London's Criminal Investigation Division of the London Police Service. Addressed to "Members of Northern Alliance" the hand-delivered letter required its recipients to attend London Police headquarters on Sun. Nov. 21 at 2 p.m.

"The London Police Service has identified you and several others as members of the Northern Alliance, an organization which holds extreme right wing beliefs," wrote Lucio. "The London Police Service has organized a meeting with you and other members of the Northern Alliance to allow you to express your views."

The letter contained no specific reference to any particular view or action that might be considered "extreme" but did explain that police were planning to make public statements about the Northern Alliance and "its connection to other extremist groups."

None of the letter's recipients attended the police meeting as "required." Raphael Bergmann and Tyler Chilcott, however, showed up at the Freedom Party office on Nov. 22. (Others who did not wish to be identified came forward over the following several days.) Claiming they were told by the police they could not bring a lawyer to the police station, and fearing repercussions for failing to appear, they were unsure where to turn for help.

In addition to wondering why they were being required to explain their beliefs, they could not understand why the police were preparing to issue public statements about a group (Northern Alliance) that no longer existed and which was never organized in the traditional sense of the word.

According to Bergmann and Chilcott, there were no members, no dues, nor any official connections to any other groups. When active, they simply held informal political discussions, open to anyone who wished to attend.

Their previous claim to fame occurred with their peaceful Straight Pride Walk held last July, on the same day as the Gay Pride Parade. Referring to that event in a Dec. 3 Free Press article (Cops fear racism may ignite), Detective-Superintendant Lucio described Northern Alliance as "urban terrorists" with right-wing connections to the Heritage Front, the Ku Klux Klan and the World Church of The Creator. He told Free Press reporters, Hank Daniszewski and Brodie Fenlon, that the group meets regularly, recruits members and is potentially violent, even though its chief organizer, Ralphael Bergmann has never been charged with an offence.

In a Dec. 8 interview with CJBK Radio's Steve Garrison, Lucio described Northern Alliance members as "skin-heads" who "dress in baggy clothes," stressing the importance of the public knowing what they looked like: "They wear certain tattoos and they wear things on their clothes which denote what it is that they believe in, slogans and pins and things like that."

The description is bizarre, given that none of the five recipients of Lucio's Nov. 1 letter who have visited Freedom Party's office, fit this image. Such misleading physical descriptions and the reference to last July's Straight Pride Walk, as the only activity organized by the Northern Alliance, do not make for a credible public information campaign --- one that's supposed to warn us about "urban terrorists."

So what's going on? Why have police explicitly referred to "criminal" and "assaultive" behaviour by those who received a copy of the police letter, without offering specifics? Raphael Bergmann, the chief organizer of the protest, insists he has no criminal record. Why were those identified as Northern Alliance mcmbers told they couldn't bring a lawyer with them to a Nov. 2l meeting ordered by the police? Why are police warning the public that "racism may ignite" in London? What acts of urban terrorism have Londoners been subjected to? And what "extreme right-wing beliefs" are unacceptable to the police?

Solicitor-General Tsubouchi's office has written to Freedom Party's Lloyd Walker, advising that they are unaware of any legislation that requires police to interrogate citizens based on their beliefs.

The ultimate irony in this fiasco is, what could be considered more "extreme right wing" than requiring citizens to come to police headquarters to discuss their beliefs?
Robert Metz is president of Ontario's Freedom Party and can be heard on 1290 CJBK Radio's Left, Right & Center show which airs Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

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