Victory against planned anti-Harper rally at Western Fair District in London, Ontario

Capture1UPDATED Sept 27/15: LeadNow denies any connection to anti-Harper event, but facts show otherwise!
UPDATED Sept 25/15: anti-Harper event moved off WFD property.

Israel Truth Week is pleased to announce it played a key role – after being tipped off by a supporter – in shutting down a planned anti-Conservative rally set for this Saturday, Sept 26 at London (Ontario)’s Western Fair District Farmer’s Market, a public-private partnership that has 3 London councillors on the board of advisors for programming.

The rally was organized by David Heap and ‘hosted’ by the Council of Canadians. Heap is a Western University professor who was one of the so-called ‘delegates’ on-board the failed (but no less shameful) 2011 ‘Boat to Gaza’ which was trying to break Israel’s blockade of weapons to the Jew-murdering Hamas terrorists.

The event was set to take place between 12-2pm. We were very concerned about this venue being used for partisan politics and wanted to ensure that the WFD knew what was planned and had given their permission. They hadn’t.

“When the market operators were made aware of the information you provided they stated that they do not support or endorse any political party and would speak with the organizer to shut the event down.”

It is clear that the main purpose of the ‘#BeTheChange Rally and Community Bike Ride,’ (https://www.facebook.com/events/942163945843649/) was a politically-partisan event to promote an anti-Harper message. The leftist organization LeadNow.org (funded with help from U.S. lobby groups such as the Tides Foundation) has launched a strategic voting campaign at VoteTogether.ca to get voters to pick the strongest anti-Harper candidate so the leftist vote doesn’t get split. They are mounting a targeted campaign between Sept 24-Oct 1 to unseat Conservative MP Susan Truppe. This event was clearly meant to build on that by taking advantage of unsuspecting visitors to the Western Fair District Farmer’s Market:

“People want change at this election. From Mrs. Universe to Neil Young to David Suzuki to your average Londoner, people are fed up with a decreased standard of living, and loss of international reputation under Stephen Harper’s leadership. This rally will encourage the steps people are taking to create change and bring us closer to new governance this fall!

“You are cordially invited to a festive rally with new and old friends who share your values for change.”

“[…] Leading up to what has been called the most important election Canada has ever had, come sing, network and inspire others for change. Listen to speeches by local leaders like Patti Dalton, London District Labour Council president & Jeff Hanks, Co-Chair of London Health Coalition, sharing their reason for change. Enter the ~Speak the Truth~ speaker’s corner to share what you believe is the most important reason for change.”

They even planned entertainment:

“Enjoy blues and folk tunes with local musicians, Dave Dillon and Margo Does. Free animal balloons by London’s Town Crier, Bill Paul. Together, we can protect our environment, our jobs, and our democracy when we #BeTheChange at this October election.”

Western Fair District was misled… and shut down the event

According to the WFD Director that ITW’s Mark Vandermaas corresponded with… the organizers told the Farmer’s Market they only wanted to “set-up a table outside the market to promote the importance of voting, with no political affiliation. When the market operators were made aware of the information you provided they stated that they do not support or endorse any political party and would speak with the organizer to shut the event down.”

Hopefully, the event will indeed be shut down, but just to make sure ITW and other supporters of the Conservative Party will be there to check…and protest if necessary.Capture5-change-of-venue

UPDATE, Sept 25/15, 10:38am: Reply from WFD director

The following is from a Director at the Western Fair District after being informed that that the organizers’ Facebook page still showed the WFD Farmer’s Market as the venue:

“It is my understanding that the organizers have been contacted by market and WFD representatives and are aware that political campaigning in our facilities, or on our site, is not allowed. They have agreed to not hold the event on our site. Checking the link you provided I see that they have recently changed the location to another address on Dundas which is across the street from our venue and no longer under WFD jurisdiction.”

UPDATE Sept 27/15: LeadNow accuses Israel Truth Week of “factual inaccuracies.’

Although this article does not list LeadNow as an organizer of the rally, their Eastern Field Organizer Corrigan Hammond sent ITW founder Mark Vandermaas an email accusing him of factual errors as well as denying any connection to the rally:

“We did not participate in nor organize the Sept 25th event on the Western Fair Grounds. The organize of the event did not notify our organization that this event was even happening. David Heap is not an organizer, spokesperson or volunteer on our campaign. I’ve never met him. Whenever we have held events in the city of London we have worked with venues to ensure they are away of the nature of our campaign and that we are compliant with all applicable rules, laws and municipal regulations.”

We never said LeadNow was an organizer or participant. It’s interesting, though, that while Mark was taking pictures of the relocated rally of about 20 people a very nice LeadNow organizer in a purple LeadNow t-shirt came over to him, gave him a slick LeadNow card entitled ‘WANT HARPER OUT? let’s VOTETOGETHER‘ that was printed specifically for London North Centre. She then asked if he would like to sign a ‘VoteTogether’ pledge. But, we are asked to believe that LeadNow was completely in the dark about an anti-Harper rally in the very riding they are targeting for a strategic voting campaign where one of their volunteers was handing out their propaganda. It seems the lady doth protest too much.

Another accusation:

“Why did you say Vote Together is a targeted campaign between Sept 24-Oct 1st? That notion is ridiculous and absolutely false. Vote Together is a targeted campaign that began in 2013 and continues until Oct 19th. I’ve personally been working on Vote Together in London since May and would appreciate credit where credit is due…”

ITW REPLY:

“Ridiculously false”? You publish your events on your website 5 at a time for each riding you’re targeting with old events dropping off as the dates pass. The current events for this targeted riding are right here: http://www.votetogether.ca/riding/35052/london-north-centre/ . At the time I published the story, the time period I cited was completely accurate. How am I to know how many dates before and after you published the ones I initially saw there are? I’m not your cheerleader and I’m not here to give you ‘credit.’

Thanks to WFD

We thank the Western Fair District for doing the right thing. If you’d like to thank them, please send an email to contact@westernfairdistrict.com saying, ‘Dear WFD: Thanks for not allowing yourselves to be used for partisan politics. Thanks for shutting down the anti-Harper rally at the Farmer’s Market.”

Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party – 100 Reasons…

From a local London perspective, it was concerning to see people trying to use our Western Fair District for partisan political rallies during an election, but at a national and international level, it was doubly distressing to see it used to smear a Conservative government that has stood for freedom and justice in Ukraine and in the Middle East, in addition to its many impressive accomplishments at home:

Screen shots:

Disclaimer: Israel Truth Week and its founder Mark Vandermaas have never donated to the Conservative Party of Canada. Mark has never been a member, employee or volunteer for the party. He and Israel Truth Week cannot and do not claim to speak for the Conservative Party.

POSTED BY: Israel Truth Week Admin, mark@israeltruthweek.org