Mother of injusticebusters!
who died while fighting the Saskatchewan Injustice System.
Marie was very much alive when her son Rick wrote this letter to Premier of Saskatchewan Roy Romanow.
I had met Marie Klassen a few times, at Court and at demonstrations. I knew she was in a wheelchair and that she was sick. Rick kept telling me that I should go and see her but I resisted this because there were others visiting her who were unfriendly to me and I didn't want to cause a scene.
On a Friday in the fall of 1994, I went to Regina to the appeal hearing of T.S., the "young offender" in the Martensville debacle. After the hearing, Rick and Kari and I drove to Weyburn to meet with Michael's grandparents, the parents of his deaf mother. These people had been part of Sgt. Dueck's initial investigation: Michael and his sisters had named them during the interrogations in the soft room at the Saskatoon Police Station. It was a fruitful visit. We videotaped our interview with them. We learned that these people had also made every attempt to get to the bottom of the debacle; that their daughter was in jail (she spent two months in jail because although her lawyer had filed her appeal -- which she eventually won -- he had neglected to get her out on appeal bail!) But more about that later. As we were leaving Weyburn, Rick once again urged me to visit his mother, Marie, when I got back to Saskatoon. I did.
Marie was gracious and hospitable. She agreed with how Rick and I were handling our defenses against the criminal defamation charges from Dueck. She told me how Dueck had come to her house, insulted her and made her walk to the car. She told me of the many indignities she had suffered in the course of being falsely charged with sex crimes against children.
She had just learned she had an aggressive inflammatory cancer in her breast and the prognosis was not good.
Marie's last years of fostering were spent with tiny babies who were going through withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs and needed constant holding. She had seen many babies through this critical time in their lives and she remembered them all.
As winter set in, Marie enjoyed company in the evenings. Family and friends came by to play a dice game and she laughed with us and made sure we had a good time. If I failed to show up (as I did sometimes because other friends of hers were telling her they could not be her friend if she continued to associate with me) she would call me and assure me that no one told her who she could or could not associate with. She always found time to call. These were the evenings when Dueck was trying to pin twenty-year old molestation charges on Rick regarding the Stonechild (Beck) children who had been fostered by Marie's mother as many years ago! We spent many hours tracking with her just exactly when Rick might have seen the Beryl and Hughie and how old they would have been.
Marie was proud of Rick. She gave me her view of his teen-age rebelliousness. She was grateful to have someone in the family who had previous experience with the justice system and was able to guide the rest of the family through the dangerous times when they were arrested and held in custody on charges of hideous sex crimes. She encouraged him to seek justice from those who had wronged them and was proud he had launched a lawsuit.
Just before our preliminary hearing, Marie called lawyer Ed Holgate to the house and signed papers giving Rick power of attorney over her share of the lawsuit. We promised her we would use the money to further injusticebusters' cause, and came up with the idea of a restaurant.
The cancer had become very aggressive by the time Rick and I went to provincial court for our preliminary hearing on the defamation charges. She was pleased to hear that Rick had cross-examined Sgt. Brian Dueck.
Marie's pain became intense; she lapsed into a morphine haze and died shortly after our prelim. She stiffed SaskTel for a huge phone bill accumulated from accepting collect calls from her husband who was incarcerated in Bowden, Alberta.
We miss her.
It is six years since Marie's untimely death. If she was still alive, she would be right beside us in the fight to bring Sgt. Dueck to justice. When he is brought to justice, how on earth is Dueck ever going to explain the way he treated this disabled woman? We need no further proof that he is a sadistic cop who must be stripped of his stripes, his badge and any authority. He must serve jail time! Feb. 9/99
Feb. 1, 2001: Six years have almost passed. Dueck is now Superintendant. Rick is fighting for justice from his Manitoba home. Dueck (through a lawyer on the City payroll) went to court last month and had the gall to say that inJusticebusters were vigilantes who put him in fear for his life! He persuaded a judge to issue a far-reaching gag order against us and said he would toss the lawsuit against Dueck if we didn't comply. How wonderful it would be to go over and sit at Marie's coffee table right now and ventilate! She would know, as we know, that it won't be long until we bring him down!
January 30, 2002: A lot has happened in the last year. We have learned a lot more about just how dirty Dueck's "investigation" was. He actually gave prosecutor Matt Miazga the criminal record of another Marie Klassen (different birthdate) in his efforts to show that this was a "bad" family. The fifth estate update has been seen by even more people and outrage is growing. Ed Holgate is no longer representing Rick. He had the nerve to suggest two years ago that Marie be dropped from the lawsuit! He "lost" the papers Marie signed giving Rick power of attorney and then suggested that signing hadn't happened. I was there and I witnessed it.