by Kevin D. Annett
I don't remember a lot of my dreams, but last night's was stark and unforgettable. My murdered friend Billie Combes came and spoke to me.
He looked as sad as ever, but his eyes were sharp, like his tone. Billie barked at me,
"You're forgetting about all the children, Kev! They're still waiting for you. They're waiting to come home. They want to speak. Don't fail them! Don't!"
As in life, so in death. Billie never forgot the children. Whenever he stumbled into the studio of my radio program in Vancouver, he'd break down on the air and sob about the horror he refused to let go of: the memory of watching children be slowly tortured and killed, and then buried in secret by catholic priests at the Kamloops and Mission "Indian residential schools" during the mid 1960's.
"They stretched one little girl on that rack and raped her until she died. I heard her scream and scream for help, I'll never forget her screams. She got buried with the rest of them at Kamloops, in the orchard. I saw Brother Murphy dump a bunch of those little stiff bodies into the same hole one night."
Billie Combes was a conduit for the screams of those lost and betrayed kids, like any prophet is, crying out the only note he could to a deaf and blind world. His refusal to do what a guilty society orders and requires, and "have closure and move on" kept the crime alive.
That made Billie a risk to those responsible, and so it led to his own murder by lethal injection, on February 27, 2011, in St. Paul's catholic hospital in Vancouver.
Maybe my failure to save Billie causes me to still dream about him. I know that my sleepless nights come, too, from my own refusal to "heal" and allow those mass graves to become snugly out of mind. But the bigger truth is that my friend's appearance last night was meant for more than me.
How easily hundreds of us will flock to protests about abstractions like aboriginal treaty rights, but never demand with equal passion the return of those small bones, and the prosecution of their churchly killers.
And how is it that not a single aboriginal "leader" will do what tradition and justice demands, and honor the dead by opening up the soil over the mass graves of their own relatives, killed by church and state?
Why am I alone in this active concern? Where is the "grassroots movement" to hold a Nuremberg Tribunal for Canada's War Crimes?
And why, o why, do the survivors of Canada's Holocaust continue to beg for morsels or acceptance from the Church Psychopaths who sodomized and sterilized and electrocuted little boys and girls for pleasure, or profit?
Does it matter to you? Do you too hear the screams that never stop?
If you don't, then stop reading this, right now. But if you do, then you already know that there can be no relief for you except to do the justice that the dead children are crying out for.
One day, if you believe the Bible, a big fight broke out among Jesus' friends and followers. They couldn't agree about who and what mattered the most on earth, and in the "kingdom of heaven".
Jesus cut through the hassle with a simple action. He took a small child and placed her in the midst of all the squabblers, and said to them,
"Here is the one who matters most in heaven"
Being a complete realist, Jesus didn't add, "and on earth too", for he knew that then, as now, children are the chattels of others, and are always the first to die.
Reminding us about who really matters is what I and a few others keep trying to do over the years. But the child we are placing in front of all of you is not just the one who is blood-soaked and unmoving. She is also the one who suffers tonight, towards whom we are equally as heartless: the living and tortured children of a Canada that is a world leader in child rape and trafficking, and in the official and legal encouragement of both.
In 2007, Delmar Johnny, a Cowichan friend on Vancouver Island, told me,
"Before the whites arrived, our people used to kill anyone in the village who harmed a child. Just like that. No second chance. Because we knew that if our children were damaged and broken, our people had no future. But now, after residential school, our children don't matter anymore and the child rapists sit on our band councils".
What can Delmar expect, after all, from a Christian Canada that still teaches that the world and our children are born depraved and incomplete, and are in need of forcible "correction"?
How can any of us survive a deliberate corruption that is so powerful that it dulls and destroys our most basic instinct: the urge and ability to protect our young against all who would harm them, including those in power?
Child rapists in Canada do on average less than one year in prison before being released to destroy another young life. More than a million kids are trafficked every year by the government, many of them into the homes of violent offenders. And in 1999, UNESCO named Vancouver, Canada as one of three major centers in the world where organized child trafficking goes on "with unofficial police and judicial protection".
And so it's small wonder that Canadians don't care enough about the mass graves of residential school children to unearth them and ask who put them there.
In the land now called Palestine and Israel, a people called the Canaanites worshiped a great Fire God they called Moloch, who thrived off the sacrifice of new born Canaanite babies. All of the law-abiding, religious folk back then dutifully tossed their kids into the flames to insure a good harvest and keep the system working.
Some things never change.
Apparently, the Canaanite parents had the option of handing over their children to professionals to immolate, sparing them anguish and doubts about the system. In the same way, Canadian parents hand over their own children at birth to a Moloch system to register, process, "educate", care for and ultimately use those innocents like cattle, including by routinely culling and slaughtering them.
I was going to say that none of this crime has to be. But of course it does. The violation of our innocence and our children is a cornerstone of a corporate hierarchical society. For in the words of the founder of modern public relations, Edward Bernays,
"Is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? Is it not the case that only by crushing and re-forming the will of the majority at a tender age that a small ruling class can direct millions of otherwise independent people?"
Don't think for a moment that all of this suffering and exploitation of children is some big accident or failure of the system. On the contrary: it's how the system works. And that's why none of it will ever stop until that system and the spirit and attitude behind it comes crashing down.
Perhaps, one day, our latent capacity to fight and die for any child and thereby ensure our future will indeed become "Idle No More".
And yet, the mass refusal of Canadians, regardless of their pigmentation, to win justice for 50,000 dead Indian kids is their honest acknowledgement of this hard fact about how their society works. Children are raised to be expendable. For that to change, our very thinking and daily life has to be uprooted in the manner prescribed by Jesus himself: by bringing down the mighty from their thrones, and raising up the lowliest among us.
So let's stop putting off the inevitable confrontation and begin dismantling all that enslaves and destroys us and our children.
Bring home the innocents who have died and lock up their killers and those of church and state who helped them.
Stop paying taxes and obeying the laws of a child-murdering Canada and the churches it shields.
And pull the still-living children out of the schools and social services and economic system that is indoctrinating them to become tomorrow's faithful killers.
Know, however, that as with Billie Combes, doing all this will likely cost you your life. But if the life of a single child isn't worth such a sacrifice, then ask yourself: what is?