Canadian Anti-Hate Network
A far-right member of the European Parliament is on a cross-Canada tour that includes stops at protest events, speeches, and $250 a plate meet and greet dinners.
Titled the “What Would Christine Anderson Do? Tour,” Anderson already spoke in Alberta, arrived in Ontario this week, and had planned to end her tour in Quebec. A firebrand speaker who lived and studied in America, Anderson has a resume littered with climate change denial, Islamophobic activism, and is a member of one of Germany’s most far-right political parties.
“Do not try to get people at a point where they haven’t arrived yet,” Anderson told an audience during a Q-and-A on Saturday from a Calgary concert hall. “All of the information that you all have that I have, that we all have, if we just slam people with that information, they are completely blown away. They will just turn around and they will just declare you a nutcase.”
“It’s not that you are a nutcase, but in their mind you are.”
Fielding questions on a variety of subjects, sometimes from tear-eyed supporters, she encourages those attending to fight the “democracy illusion,” several times equating health requirements with dictatorships.
“In Germany, there’s a saying, home is where you do not have to explain yourself. Seeing this crowd here, seeing you, I’m home. I don’t have to explain myself to any of you.”
Representing Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative For Germany – AfD), Anderson is also part of the Identity and Democracy Group (ID). Both the German political party, AfD, and the EU alliance, ID, are unabashedly opposed to the EU economic pact.
Far from only opposing the EU, both these political bodies, and Anderson herself, are much more than Euroskeptics.
“Abortion, climate change, gender delusion,” Anderson told the EU in a translated German video released to her YouTube channel, “what you call ‘defence of democracy,’ I call ideological bullshit” which – under the abolition of democratic principles – you intend to impose.”
The words, a response to the EU’s 2022 human rights report, are far from the only time Anderson has used the bully pulpit to push far-right and often racist views.
Her political party, the AfD, marks 10 years since its founding this year, and lost its position as the official opposition in a 2021 federal election – though did pick up one seat in a Berlin state election this month. Since its inception, the part has taken numerous anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant stances.
While Anderson told the public after her election in 2018, it was her plan "to lead Germany out of this EU nightmare," she joined AfD after, according to Der Spiegel, time as an activist for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamicisation of the West (PEGIDA) – an anti-Muslim advocacy and street protest group with chapters across Europe and North America.
The Canadian iteration has not been able to mount a significant protest in a number of years and the group is largely defunct. PEGIDA Canada is now probably best remembered for organizing a protest that saw some participants brawling with antifascist counter-protesters inside a downtown Toronto shopping mall.
Much like in Germany, the Canadian branch of PEGIDA believes western countries are being deliberately invaded by Islamic extremists in a plot to subvert democracy and replace the population.
After the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan, Anderson told the EU it should “call the devil by its name,” blaming Islam as a whole for the treatment of women under the Taliban regime. .
Anderson first drew attention in Canada’s far-right circles after she unleashed a flurry of criticism against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a visit to the EU in 2022. Responding to health measures imposed during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the then-recently put down “Freedom Convoy” protests and blockades, she told Trudeau he was a “disgrace for any democracy” and to “spare us your presence.”
Her comments were echoed by Independent Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakušić and another AfD MEP, Bernhard Zimniok.
The comments were covered by numerous mainstream Canadian media outlets, while also appearing to have received little coverage in Germany or Europe. A report from Press Progress at the time notes how little of the Canadian coverage discussed the far-right allegiances and backgrounds of the politicians in question.
Regardless, the comments spread Anderson’s name and grew her profile in Canada, already boosted by her full-throated support for the Ottawa and border blockade protests, as well as the smaller subsequent convoys that took place in Europe and New Zealand.
During the short Alberta stop of her tour, she met one of the February 2022 Ottawa protest organizers, Tamara Lich. Lich, and several other central figures in the blockades, are currently awaiting trial for charges related to their participation. Though since released, when Lich was held in custody without bail, Anderson took to social media calling her and fellow organizers “political prisoners.”
Christine Anderson (left) and Tamara Lich (right). Source: Instagram
After leaving Calgary, Anderson held a dinner event in Toronto beginning at $250 a plate, though $500 buys an hour of facetime with the MEP. Over the weekend, Anderson also attended a protest in Cambridge, Ont. to not only endorse but literally embrace a teenage activist who is credited with staging a series of protests against family-friendly drag events after being suspended from a school in an Ontario Catholic board.
The young activist claims the suspension is due to him following his religious beliefs, while a parent of a transgender student at the school told City News her child was being harassed.
“You know what guys, this is what we need,” Anderson said from the stage before hugging the boy. “Young people standing up for what they believe in.”
Appearing in Whitby, Ont. on Wednesday, Anderson seems to be making an unexpectedly early end to her tour. Initially scheduled to continue on to Montreal, this last event has been cancelled, according to the venue’s website.
Antifascist activists in Quebec had committed to protesting the event beforehand.