Here's How You Can Help
While we don’t have the resources to run an organized volunteer program, there are several ways you can help and stand up to hate groups in your own community and across Canada. The most important thing is to organize with other likeminded people in your own community, collect information, and be ready to respond to hate group activity.
Monitor Hate Groups
We couldn’t do the work we do without dozens of community members across Canada that monitor the public social media pages of hate groups, taking screenshots and documenting examples of:
- Overt bigotry and racism
- Celebrations of violence and incitement to violence
- Death threats and targeted harassment
- Event planning
- Infighting and leadership changes
Read more about this vital and often invisible work done by anti-fascist and anti-racist members of your community and all across the country.
Some groups or collectives primarily monitor one group. For example, Yellow Vests Canada Exposed began by documenting and exposing the hundreds of examples of overt racism, bigotry and death threats shared by Yellow Vests Canada and its affiliated pages. Others, like Halifax Against Hate, focus on local groups, particularly when they plan events. We recommend this level of specificity rather than trying to cover everything at once. Pick a group and individuals (especially if they're active locally) that you find concerning and don't be afraid to switch focus as you learn more.
Archive.org is useful for saving individual pages, but it doesn't work on social media pages. We recommend copy and pasting entire Facebook pages and Twitter feeds into Word documents and taking screenshots of the most important pieces. Make sure what you find is well-documented and can be verified by other observers.
Keep your files organized, and please send an email to [email protected] if you hear about events, or find death threats or targeted harassment campaigns. Try not to work in silos - flag important information for our attention, but please also connect with others doing this work and share your publicly available findings.
Infiltrate Hate Groups
Some individuals take on the necessary work of infiltrating hate groups online, creating a false persona and posing as supporters to gain access to less public online spaces where hate groups often share the worst and most telling examples of hate and racism, and encourage and plan violence and events.
We will not recruit volunteers to infiltrate groups, but do conduct this kind of work in-house and will work with individuals already undertaking this necessary work. If you are infiltrating groups you must be responsible for your own safety. You should not attempt this work without first learning deeply about the group over several months and taking a number of precautions, including protecting your identity. We also recommend reading the Anti-Racist Canada blog to gain some insight into the methods used.
Cancel Hate Group Events
Individuals and groups have been very successful in getting hate group events cancelled by convincing venue owners to make the principled decision to cancel events. Be polite but firm. Start by speaking with the venue and providing information on the hate group that has booked their space. If they won’t cancel the event, talk to your friends and family and use local Facebook groups to encourage community members to send emails and make phone calls. It’s always in their best social and business interest to have a good relationship with the community, which you should emphasize. Stand by the venue if they receive any backlash, and be sure to thank and support them in the coming days if they cancel the event.
Read: We Convinced an Art gallery to Cancel a People’s Party of Canada Event in Winnipeg
Events held in public spaces are more difficult to cancel. While no city has an obligation to provide venue space (eg. a library) to hate groups, there’s less they can do when a group is planning an unpermitted event in front of city hall, for example. If you can’t get the event cancelled, the best way to disrupt and demoralize hate groups is to participate in a counter-demonstration with a coalition of anti-fascist and anti-racist community groups that use direct but nonviolent tactics and massively outnumber the hate groups and their supporters. We do not organize demonstrations, so we encourage you to find and connect with your local organizations.
Pitch us a story
We take story pitches that deal with hate groups, often about upcoming events or ones that just occurred, or explainers that will get our audience (and your community) up to speed on local events. Send a short email to [email protected] that explains the story, why it matters, and what information you have to back it up. We can pay $100 for stories from members of the community and $200 for stories from individuals with some kind of professional writing experience, i.e. writers/researchers/journalists.
Click here for a printable handout.