|Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:48 am Post subject: Brendan William Cross: THE OBVIOUS TERRORIST? (08/11/12)
|SEE ALSO http://www.bloggingtories.ca/f.....html#99543
|Security had told me not to "approach the Prime Minister" but I knew protocol. When he came in the doors walking like he does towards me, I stood up and politely addressed him. "Prime Minister," I said. He was not happy to see me. Not in the least. In fact, he gave me the evilest glare I had encountered since my time in jail. I locked eyes with him and we came face to face, on the way to passing shoulder to shoulder. "Howdy," he said simply. As his face passed mine, and neither of us broke our stare, I was startled for a millisecond. With heels, he appeared to be six foot six and I am simply five foot seven. |
MY STRUGGLE AGAINST BECOMING THE OBVIOUS TERRORIST?
Saturday, August 11th, 2012.
Every pyramid has one person on the top. Quite often there are contingency plans which require the need for at least two people to be in place in the event of a death, sickness, incapacitation, kidnapping, coup, or just plain terror campaign. What many notice when they look twice at a pyramid is that the bottom half of a pyramid represents the larger majority. The triangle at the top is a mere third of what the bottom comprises. For some bizarre reason, people choose to recognize the authority or power of a few people at the top of the pyramid to dominate, control, or oppress them for a reward which consists of only temporal (or temporary) reward. It don't last long. As most power or authority in political, legal, executive, or military chain of command travels from the top down, the competition lies within those beneath to acquire that which is bestowed from their superiors. It seems bizarre to me. For the sake of preserving one's very life, would it not seem more logical for those who see themselves as filling a role over others to recognize that the further up the pyramid they travel, they are outnumbered face to face with those they try to command.
In 1993, I received a phone call from my high school guidance counselor a month after I was kicked out for causing a commotion during an assembly by striking the first four notes of "Great Balls of Fire" on a grand piano which incited the crowd to start singing along and rush the stage, knocking over chairs and ignoring pleas from the principal to stop and go back to the classrooms. Mrs. Schneider was the wife of Progressive Conservative candidate and former Mayor of Regina, Larry Schneider, and she wanted me to meet the Right Honourable Prime Minister Kim Campbell at her stop a week before the federal election. So my dad took me to the rally and I was ushered through the crowd and met the Prime Minister and had my photo taken with her. Within days she lost her seat in the worst electoral defeat of the past many decades. Of course, I never saw her again.
But, as my life progressed, while in bible college the new Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien came to Regina to rally his supporters and my fiancee and I decided to go and get a book autographed by him. I can still recall his entrance. Suddenly out of nowhere, we heard him cry, "Chretien is hee-yore!" at the top of his lungs again and again, while he shook hands ten people deep from side to side as he made his way through the crowd. I had two drinks of pop in my hands so when he came face to face with me, he stood in front of me looking 6 foot 6 (with heels) and put his hand out. "I can't. I have pop," I muttered and went to find my seat. Of course after his speech he came through the crowd again and the media set up a scrum/press conference area, and because I was young and dumb, I simply stood behind him trying to make sense of what he was saying. I was told that the television coverage on the news later that evening showed a stupid Brendan Cross standing behind him. I asked him to autograph the book and my fiancee took a photo of us.
Silly encounters continued.
In 2001, I went into The Hotel Saskatchewan for a coffee in the lounge and was told by Alec Docking that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was upstairs. He had just finished a speech. So I wandered upstairs to an empty second level. In the library there remained two people: RFK,Jr. and his assistant. So I introduced myself and we spoke very briefly about what we viewed our role to be in regards to advocacy. Of course, in 2005, I printed a handful of copies of my 100 page book about the First Nations Party and searched for Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine at a conference and gave him my gift and asked him whether he would support the creation of a First Peoples National Party of Canada, and days before the 2006 federal election was called, Elections Canada confirmed the party and the Fontaines stood with the interim leader in Ontario while announcing its existence. Chief Fontaine seldom said more than a few words to me, but I do recall him encouraging me that I "must be very persuasive" and calming some anxiety with a blackberry message once. "Don't worry. Take care. See you soon."
Just this last year, I asked the Holy Spirit while I walked in the snow, "Tell me something about the Lord." And I believe I heard: "His plan for you will not be dissuaded." For a second opinion, I responded by asking the Lord, "Jesus, tell me about your plan for me." And I believe I heard: "My plan for you will not be persuaded." So a lot of the time, I just walk step by step through my life knowing that from time to time incredible things will happen with no effort from me, and the majority of the time I simply walk through my life waiting for those simple times. They don't last long. For a couple minutes I stood with the Rt. Hon. Michaelle Jean, Governor General, when she visited the statue of the Queen in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature. I felt it would only be proper to hand the representative of the Crown a water-colour painting I made for her. My sister took me. And we stood eye to eye with her while I practised my French.
In 2008, I was contacted by Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Patrick Brazeau and encouraged by Kevin Daniels to attend his appearance in Saskatoon at a local chapter election. I did nothing but wake up one day and shave and put on my 3-piece suit and hop into a van. I showed up, shook some hands, got elected with only 1 vote against me, and got my photo taken. But it led to a few opportunities to appear before people in powerful places. Chief Brazeau accepted my endorsement for his re-election a month later in Ottawa and both he and Kevin Daniels were elected. Of course, within a month he was called to the Senate by Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The week Vice-Chief Daniels assumed the national leadership I was flown to Ottawa for the Premiers Conference with the Prime Minister on economic issues which took place on my 33rd birthday. This time there was only a moment of disappointment which lasted only as long as the moment lasted.
You see, I had only encountered the Prime Minister once before. Once, years before, I was at Casino Regina drinking a free coffee, and I noticed that the Delta Hotel across the street was cordoned off with security, police, and vehicles at the entrance. Since I knew the Prime Minister was in town, and I had just recently joined the Conservative Party in Tom Lukiwski's riding, I naturally wandered over and finished my coffee in a nice chair in the hotel lobby. As expected, a seven-foot-tall plainclothed RCMP came over and opened conversation with me. When he asked my name, I simply introduced myself as Brendan. I was told that, indeed, the Prime Minister would be arriving, and if I was well-behaved, I would be allowed to remain in the hotel lobby. As the hour progressed, I was told to sit in a chair in front of the elevator. Security was talking on their communication devices. I was told after a few more minutes to sit in another chair, on the other side of the elevator.
And then, as expected, vehicles began arriving. Some staff got out of the vehicles first, and a few females smiled at me once in the doors of the hotel on their way to the elevators. Security had told me not to "approach the Prime Minister" but I knew protocol. When he came in the doors walking like he does towards me, I stood up and politely addressed him. "Prime Minister," I said. He was not happy to see me. Not in the least. In fact, he gave me the evilest glare I had encountered since my time in jail. I locked eyes with him and we came face to face, on the way to passing shoulder to shoulder. "Howdy," he said simply. As his face passed mine, and neither of us broke our stare, I was startled for a millisecond. With heels, he appeared to be six foot six and I am simply five foot seven. He got into the elevator.
So when I was in Ottawa on my birthday in 2009, eating supper in a side room on Sussex Drive, I asked an RCMP officer where the press conference room was and he told me, "Down the hall to your right after the bathrooms." I went and checked out the room by myself. Flags, a stage, and a podium with cameras set up behind a rope. I was excited. When National Chief Kevin Daniels' handler Al Fleming came into our dining room, I asked him how long it would be until the conference was over and whether we would be allowed to attend the press conference. He told me to wait and he would check. In and out he came and went. I should have known the result from the way I was received by the media cameras assembled in the hall when I walked side by side toward the dinner. As we walked by security, one fellow commented to another, "Like a machine." And when we came into view of the cameras, a cameraman asked his news director, "What should I do?" The reply was quick and simple. "Nothing."
So I was only a tiny bit surprised and a wee bit disappointed when Al Fleming returned and told our table to "come along, grab your jackets." We did and he led us to the main doors of the conference dinner room. I mistakenly thought we were going to either be ushered in, or assembled to meet the Premiers and Chiefs as they came out on their way to the media room with the Prime Minister. Not at all. Chief Daniels came out first, in a hurry, and Al Fleming broke into a quick walk leading us all down the long hallway to a waiting taxi. And we were gone. But it was a nice 33rd birthday. I often wonder what I might have done, or why we were ushered out so quickly. But there was not opportunity to see the Prime Minister face to face. Although my sister met him in the VIP section of the Grey Cup game in Calgary a couple years later and got her photo with him.
I have come, quite literally, face to face with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second. At the Hotel Saskatchewan one year. I stood by the grand piano in the lobby with about 50 people after a brief chat with CTV's correspondent Craig Oliver, who urged me to simply join a mainstream party and speak to Aboriginal issues from within. The Queen entered and didn't look me in the eye as she passed by me slowly. She was short, looked tired, and chose to walk up the stairs behind the piano instead of taking the elevator. Any interest I might have had in ever entering a discussion simply disappeared during that encounter. She is the Crown of Canada. And she is an old woman. So let her live her days. In peace, I guess, because although she is old, we are still young. I'll wait to deal with the Crown man to man.
But I have also met the heir to the throne, His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, and only briefly. Our words were simple. The content and context impacted me. "There's always tomorrow, isn't there?" he asked me. To this day, I think about tomorrow. A distant tomorrow. Time to waste and get better. And patience come to those who wait. So I walk through life. Step by step. From time to time, I am happy. I play the piano and do what I do. I make plans for the future which quite often come to naught due to circumstances which are, many times, beyond my control. But I always know that there is a perfect plan for my life and I was created for a reason. I know that I know people from the bottom to the top, and I have been at the bottom of the totem pole at times in my life. But I have also been to the top the pyramid and met those who represent the authority of the Crown, if not the very Crown itself.
It only makes logical sense to power to clamp down. And I mean literally. The Crown exerts its power downwards. It has taken centuries and has even meant at times that the most powerful military and industrial power on the planet, The British Empire, entered into Peace Treaties, making sovereign bands of savage natives who were shooting the Northwest Mounted Police off there horses. Indeed, the history of the colonial conquest of North America has at times worked its way into the most personal, private aspects of Indian subjects who were promised this and that in exchange for the very land which sustained us. We are all aware that it continues to this day. While many are comfortable in their situations, or reap benefits from their station in life, there are those of us who are absolutely incensed by the intrusive nature of clamped-down control into our own sovereignty. I speak for myself when I say let the slaves build the pyramids and pay taxes. I will play my music while Rome burns.
I would love to bring down the Crown. It is not an unrealistic possibility. There have been models of example throughout history. And most often, those models of revolution have the fingerprints of God all over them. All Moses ever did was tell his brother Aaron what to say to Pharoah in Egypt because Moses himself did not speak well. Aaron warned Pharoah. And Egypt was destroyed piece by piece as Moses expected. Joan of Arc believed she heard God and rode into battle holding a flag-pole standard at the front of the French forces. Miracles ensued. And the French won. With the Indian National Congress, Gandhi connected with his people through hardship for years, even spending collectively over more than a thousand days in prison. All the while instructing the Indian people on methods of non-violent resistance to oppressive British laws. In the end the British just gave up and left. Nelson Mandela believed as a boy that he would be the President of Africa and told his Elders. They told him to say nothing. He became a terrorist and spent 27 years in prison after his time with the African National Congress. But he became President in 1994. Get that.
Politics is always a churning sea which changes and moves from day to day. A New World Order is always being ushered in. But the new world order will only get as far as it goes. For that to happen, it requires those at the perceived top of their respective pyramids to "clamp down" on those beneath them and extend their authority and control on those who accept their order. Their power travels downward, which really should mean that they are losing their power as that occurs. For those of us who choose to accept their control or orders, the reward is not real. There is no freedom. But it can easily be reversed. Because I will assure you of this: When you come face to face with a person who is commanding you or demanding you do this or that, and they are outnumbered by even a couple people who are with you (or "with you"), reality kicks in. Non-compliance can sometimes mean walking away, but sometimes it means standing up. Freedom must require freedom of will and action together. Together.
I know this from experience. And what I will describe to you might make you laugh. So I will not read much into it.
There have been times that I have been frustrated or harassed by simple circumstance. I have rarely gone up the ladder to rectify a perceived problem, choosing to ignore much or simply endure things. But from time to time, I have gone all the way up the ladder to get my will. Most recently, in my poverty, I did not receive a $100 GST credit and I was kind of pissed off. Yes, you can laugh. But how I dealt with the situation made me laugh. I simply looked in my wallet and phoned the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff and announced who I was. "This is Brendan Cross from Regina." I told them what was up. And they listened. I was directed to the office of the Minister of National Revenue and told them what was up. The next morning they followed up by phoning my house and telling me everything would be taken care of. And it was. Simple as that. I went to the top.
Once I was being called by a collection agency for a petty debt. I asked to speak to the agent's supervisor, who came on the line. I yelled and got no result. So I asked to talk to the President of the company. The CEO came on the line and I could tell I was on speakerphone. I explained that I would simply not be paying off the debt under any circumstance because I was aware that the banking system could at any time create the worth of new money by simply assigning that worth to a loan given out to anyone they chose. It is not as though they would be going to a vault and pulling out a gold brick or a stack of bills to hand over to that person. No, they would simply punch a few keys on a computer and the worth of the loan would be entered as a dollar figure. Then they would collect that money, plus interest, from that person and be making money in the transaction. If it was defaulted, the bank would take the worth of the transaction in booty. Maybe a house, or a car. So I told them to hit $0.00 on the computer and leave me alone. They never called back.
I owe a small student loan to the Canadian Revenue Agency which I will never pay back for two reasons. One, my education is a treaty right as I am a status Indian and I was stupid to borrow money from the bank in the first place. And, two, oh, did I say the BANK? Gee, if my memory serves me correctly, when I signed the long-form and had to have every letter, jot, and tittle perfect (and get the damn thing signed by a notary with a stamp), I distinctly remember reading who the loan was between. It was between Brendan William Cross and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. I was borrowing money from the Crown (who I have a Peace Treaty with) to pay for my free education, and pay back (with interest!) to the bank. And all they ever did was make electronic transactions which transferred dollar figures on a computer screen and watch the balances go back and forth in their favour.
I am one person who will not go along with the stupid game.
If I had the brevity to bitch out the PMO or Minister or Mayor, I can assure you there are those down the ladder between them and me who would not want to cross me by creating too much discomfort in my life for no good reason. What it comes down to is that there are good friends and there are bad friends. And I hope that most people would rather make a good friend than be a bad friend. And when they really look at two subordinates in the face and think about their own bed to sleep in at night, and family they love, and things they cherish, what is the reward to create discomfort in the lives of two subordinates? Have they heard of Brendan William Cross? You might not have to DO anything except look them in the eye after practicing the brendancross "evil glare" which requires you don't blink, nor look away, nor feel fear. And you would be plural.
When I was in jail being transported from the prison into the city for court, I would often talk to inmates in transport or holding cells (although I always preferred my own solitary cell) and tell them, "Blame it on Brendan Cross." We would laugh. I would explain: Say it was me. They would have to prove it wasn't. I might even tell them it was indeed me (because I am crazy. And they would have to prove it wasn't.) By that time, our stories would be so confused I would have to cave and say it was indeed me. The element of doubt. How could they prove it wasn't Brendan Cross who did the crime or came up with the idea in the first place? At that point in my life it was a silly joke. But I struggle every day thinking about our future. And I don't know what will happen. I am creative and come up with ideas so quickly I am sure you might entertain some simply for my sake or yours own, or just consider some of my ideas an alternative to boredom.
If more and more people began practising what I call "non-violent non-compliance" and stand up to their superiors if there is discomfort in your lives, the diminishing number of people at the ever-shrinking upper-levels of the pyramid might recognize we are real people who know their names and those of their friends and families, and the choice is before them to either continue being a bad friend, or make two (or three) good friends. You (plural). The clamp DOWN can be reversed in favour of goodwill and the sake of peace. No threat needs to be spoken. They will become isolated within the personal pressure from those they are paid to control. And their superior would become isolated up the chain of command. Always go to the top. That's what I have learned at times of trouble. Skillfully make new friends with the very people who are creating the discomfort in your life by loving your enemy (or intimidating the shit out of them). Give them the evil glare.
For there will indeed be people who will know of the Brendan Cross evil glare. Instead of looking at their job and the orders or reward from their bosses, they might gain more energy from recognizing their social standing is on the line. The alternative is living in terror. Their own personal terror. Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggested he would rather "do evil than be evil" while conspiring to kill Hitler in Germany as a Lutheran minister. I would rather be evil than do evil. I could come up with a thousand plans in a day if putsch came to shove. All would be evil. Many would be clever. Some might even be excellent. A few would impress. None would oppress. But the plans would target the minority at the top. Level by ever-shrinking level. Eventually, the Crown might even come face to face with the madman like before. If our lower levels united in pressure upon our superiors and enforced our will in outright personal intimidation, the converted would certainly understand the empowerment of "non-violent non-compliance." Don't act. Don't react. Be. Evil.
I struggle against becoming The Obvious Terrorist. All the time. All I would do is come up with ideas. (Which I already do quite often.) I would probably even email them to the Prime Minister's Office and other authorities so nothing would be secret. And to be safe, I would write my ideas as messages & warning about what "not" to do. But the ideas would be grand. By all means, "don't" talk to your friends about inequality or pressure you are experiencing from a superior in your workplace, institution, or circumstance. By all means, "don't" ever phone or confront somebody up the chain of command and yell at them about the discomfort they are creating in your life. By all means, "don't" let them know they are outnumbered by people who are in the same boat as you who are choosing "non-violent non-compliance." By all means, "don't" investigate who is ultimately responsible for your discomfort and plot how to hold the powers over you accountable. By all means, "don't" isolate them or intimidate them as a group in person face to face.
And, by all means, "don't" ever tell them Brendan William Cross told you to do it.
Unless you want to. Because I'll be at home playing my piano.
Brendan William Cross
The Obvious Terrorist
Brendan William Cross, President of the Regina chapter of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples in 2009.