The Canadian Anti-Hate Network
After a statue of Egerton Ryerson hit the ground outside of the university that currently bears his name, footage and video of the act resonated across the internet.
Fallen during protests in Toronto over the 215 children’s bodies found on the grounds of Kamloops Residential School located by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, reports indicate the statue's head was also removed by demonstrators and even briefly dipped into Lake Ontario, before being hauled out using rope.
The head now resides on a spike at the site referred to as 1492 Land Back Lane, according to the CBC. Bordering the town of Caledonia and the Six Nations reserve, Haudenosaunee-led protestors have staged multiple actions to disrupt residential development in the area.
A representative for protests, Six Nations of the Grand River member Skyler Williams, reportedly told the CBC the head will stay where it is, unless someone else "is wanting to take it on tour."
Ryerson is credited with developing the country’s early education system, as well as the concept of residential schools that would later be run by both the Catholic Church and Government of Canada. Residential schools existed to violently force Indigenous children to adopt European and Christian ways of life. Children were taken from their homes by force, and abuse and neglect were rampant, resulting in intergenerational trauma.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada declared in its 2015 report that the residentials school system was a cultural genocide.
Objections to Ryerson’s toppling are in no short supply, especially in the hate sphere.
In an article posted to his personal blog, Candian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm posted an article that appears to be copy and pasted from the Toronto Star. Taking liberties with the headline, he dubbed it “Indians & Anarchists, White Haters All, Trash Our History, Vandalize and Topple Ryerson Statue: Cancel Culture.”
“I can't sit around and wait for a collapse that isn't going to happen.”
This appears on his Facebook alongside a post congratulating George Floyd for being drug free for a year, posted shortly after the anniversary of his murder by police officer Derek Chauvin.
Fromm has made himself a fixture at most far-right dissident protests and movements for decades. Most recently seen appearing at anti-lockdown protests, usually with a Red Ensign flag in tow, Fromm is a disgraced school teacher and founder of an array of white nationalist organizations -- dating back to the Edmund Burke Society -- and has been linked to violent gangs like Blood and Honour. He continues to network within the white power movement, appearing as a speaker at events and even staging a written defence of the Christchurch shooter’s motivations for the cold blooded murder of 51 people in a newsletter.
Failed Canadian Nationalist Party candidate and neo-Nazi Gus Stefanis weighed in on the statue removal. In a series of posts to his Facebook page, Stefanis made reference to two foundational texts in modern national socialism and white power.
“You may think rallies are pointless but the truth is nobody is doing Turner Diaries or Siege and the wrong thing to do is nothing,” he wrote. “I can't sit around and wait for a collapse that isn't going to happen.”
While an updated version includes an article for a local news source, the caption was initially posted included an image declaring “White Pride Worldwide,” with a celtic cross. The image and motto is an established symbol of neo-Nazism.
Siege is a compilation of a series of newsletters written by James Nolan Mason and collated into a book that is part manual for organizing a decentralized terror network and part ideological primer for the movement. The Turner Diaries is a work of fiction by William Pierce, on-time leader of the US-based National Alliance. Posing as the diaries of a guerilla fighter of future significance, the book has served as the inspiration for real life groups and acts of terror.
The Christian Identity group The Order based its criminal and terrorist operations off of Pierce’s work, while Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh borrowed from its pages for his act of mass murder.
“There's going to be a day of the rope but it will be for White European Canadians if we don't do something to defend ourselves,” Stefanis added, referencing a day taken from the same book, when race traitors face execution.
Later posts seem to deny that any children died at all.
“They all jumped to conclusions about 215 Native children,” he wrote. “How did they get this number with a scan and no investigation? Residential schools fed, clothed, sheltered, and educated Native children so they can just bury them in a mass grave? Doesn’t make sense.”
Stefanis also posted a news story about the head being relocated to the Land Back Lane site. Though he left the post without a caption, his followers made their feelings on the matter clear.
“Look at the march in Yellowknife, they look like a bunch of overweight lazy mongolians,” wrote an account under the name Gavin Bronson.
For his part, Stefanis posted a link to one of Fromm’s blog posts, this one with the title “Native Indians As ‘First Nations’ Is Nonsense: The First Settlers to the New World Were European Solutreans.”
Not content to let the “patriots” take up the issue alone, some of Canada’s overtly fascist collectives are subjecting the rest of us to their opinion.
A video shared by one of the many White Lives Matter channels on an encrypted messaging app has been making the rounds in both local and international spaces. The video shows Ryerson’s likeness bouncing off the pavement.
“Anti-white activists pull down the statue of Ryerson at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario,” the poster wrote as their caption. “They hate us because we are white and do not hate ourselves. They only like ethno-masochistic whites, and only then if they can use them to hurt other whites.”
WLM has had a mixed run as far as responses in both the United States and Canada. Many organizing rooms in the US were revealed to be honey pot accounts, designed to collect the information of white power supporters by antifascist activist.
The Canadian iteration of the group appears to be connected to another legitimate WLM movement in Florida. By their own telling, live streams by the Florida organizer are produced by a Canadian who goes by the pseudonym “McLeafin.” He has claimed during broadcasts to be the one organizing monthly WLM protests outside the Ontario legislature.
Alongside his on-the-scene videos of three person protests, the WLM Toronto group also shared the video of the statue falling. One commenter in the Toronto group suggested covering the statue in their propaganda overnight.
The former-Proud Boys and current accelerationist cell referred to as Canada First also weighed in. Reposting the same footage as WLM, writing “They'll destroy everything they can until they are made to stop.”
Commenters across Canada’s hate ecosystem have shared and commented on the video, but its reach has not been restricted to our borders.
Astoundingly, removing statues of figures responsible for the death and dehumanization of millions of Ingigenous Canadians remains a point of contention for those outside of the country.
Jack Posobiec shared video of the event posted to the account of a local anti-fascist activist on his Twitter account. With a profile that places his location in “Weimar, Germany” -- the republican government that took the place of the Kaiser before Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s, Posobiec pushed the video out to his 1.2 million followers. Making little mention of the 215 bodies recently discovered, Posobiec instead blames the monument’s removal on “left-wing activists.”
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” he wrote in a reply with a link to buy his book.
The Post Millennial’s Editor-at-large Andy Ngo shared the same footage. He used his caption to refer to Egerton Ryerson as a “19th century Methodist minister” who “helped design Canada’s education system.”
Beyond this, no mention was made of the residential school system, the suffering inflicted therein, and Ryerson’s hand in creating it.