The Video

It is just 52 seconds, but the hardhitting Doubleday promo video for Helpless shows just how committed they are to telling the terrible truth about Caledonia’s ordeal.

HelplessByBlatchford co-founder Mark Vandermaas emailed the publisher immediately with his emotional reaction when it was released Oct 13/10.

After watching the video, be sure to see the correspondence between Mark and the publisher below.

Mark’s note to Doubleday…

I can’t begin to tell you how emotional it is to watch that video. To finally watch Caledonia’s story and ours being told so well, so forcefully, so compassionately, so authentically…I hardly have words right now, and I know Merlyn Kinrade is going to feel the same. We military men are an emotional bunch for some reason; I guess it’s because we just care so damn much.

The photos in the video bring back memories: I was there on Jan 20/07 when the natives screamed insults at us and flipped us the bird as we stood silently with the Canadian flags the OPP wouldn’t allow us to walk down the road with or raise across from the occupation site. They left, frustrated, after 30 minutes without us saying a word in retaliation. It was a powerful experience, and a sign that Dr. King’s methods were going to work for us.

I was also there on Dec 01/07 when Gary was attacked (I was in a police car at the time of the actual assault because the police took me away to be questioned instead of the native driver who deliberately ran into my flag pole while going down the wrong side of the road through the crowd). I took photos of his injuries in the hospital. The natives assaulted me first (I wasn’t injured) and the police refused to arrest them, but they managed to arrest the resident standing quietly on the blocked road drinking his Tim’s.

Now, you have made these pictures permanent symbols of injustice that will shame the perpetrators and open the hearts of many as surely as the images of blacks being attacked with dogs and fire hoses did in Dr. King’s day. Well done. I’ve thanked Christie many times, but I must thank you all at Doubleday for having the courage to make this all possible. There were times when I wondered if I would be alive to see this day arrive.

We’ve just purchased the domain www.HELPLESSBYBLATCHFORD.ca and built a site to promote Christie’s book as an educational tool to help Canadians understand rule of law issues and encourage academic discussion, a call I made in my presentation to the 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum at Mount Royal University, Calgary on May 5th this year:

  • Listening to Victims: A Fresh Approach to Healing and Reconciliation [PDF 8.5MB, 21p]

Gary’s presentation was:

  • The Face of Aboriginal Sovereignty versus the Rule of Law in Caledonia [PDF, 8p]

This book can help us take a positive step towards healing and reconciliation, I believe.

Doubleday’s reply

“I am enormously proud to have had anything to do with Helpless. Of all the books I have worked on, this is the one I have most cared about seeing in the bestseller lists. And not for commercial reasons, for a change. I want Helpless to be a talking point all across Canada. I’m praying that the Canadian media use Helpless as an opportunity to tackle this subject properly at last. I hope – as you say – that the result will be to bring reconciliation a little closer.”

References

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