By renowned social media and data sciences expert Megan Squire.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is concerned about demonstrations being held by far-right groups on Parliament Hill in Ottawa this weekend, July 14-15, 2018.
The demonstrations, being promoted as a ‘Canadians for Canada’ rally and a ‘Unite the Right’ rally are being organized by the Canadian Combat Coalition (C3). The leader of C3 claims it will include groups like Storm Alliance, Soldiers of Odin, Sons of Odin, the Canadian Jewish Defence League, the III%ers, and Northern Guard.
Members of La Meute, Storm Alliance, and other groups at a previous demonstration on Parliament Hill.
As originally reported by Anti-Racist Canada, part of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network team, the Soldiers of Odin and Northern Guard have leaders and members with demonstrated ties to white supremacy and neo-Nazism.
Members of the Canadian Jewish Defence League have been charged with a hate crime in the United States for their role in the beating of a Palestinian professor at the AIPAC conference in 2017.
The III%ers are an anti-Muslim ‘militia’ group which is stockpiling weapons, conducting paramilitary training and staking out mosques. In the United States, members of a III% militia group plotted to blow up an apartment full of Muslim immigrants. The Canadian leader, Beau Welling, has posted “The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim,” on Facebook.
Speakers include Kevin J Johnston, a Youtuber from Mississauga who is currently charged under S 319 of the Criminal Code for spreading hate propaganda. His videos often target Muslims and LGBTQ+ persons.
Far-right groups use rallies and events to network in real life and build capacity. This event continues a pattern of far-right groups claiming they aren’t racist while standing shoulder to shoulder with groups that are overtly and demonstrably hateful.
The event will run on both Saturday and Sunday. One of the organizers of a connected ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ event has said he “really wants to get in mainstream media’s face” and they may march on the nearby CTV office on Sunday. According to Hope Not Hate, Robinson is a "Far-right Islamophobic Extremist." He has been put in jail for breaking contempt of court laws in the UK.
Update 2018-07-13: Members of La Meute tell the Canadian Anti-Hate Network that they won't be attending the C3 rally. "We don't want to be associated with the mess of Saturday," says Sébastien Chabot, a member of La Meute.