Several media reports, including those by the Calgary Herald and Toronto Star, have reported on the Yellow Vests Canada Convoy, also calling itself 'United We Roll', without making any reference to the overt racism and death threats which have come to characterize the movement.
In response the Canadian Anti-Hate Network sent a press release to every newsroom in Canada. We hope this will contribute to more factual reporting on the movement and convoy as it continues towards Ottawa, arriving on February 19th.
Important context about the Yellow Vests Canada (YVC) convoy, aka ‘United We Roll’
For immediate release
February 14, 2019
• Convoy organizer Glen Carritt says his group still “identifies with the yellow vests” and are welcoming them to the convoy. YVC organizer Tyler Malenfant calls it a Yellow Vests convoy on their main Facebook page.
• The organizers of the convoy express support for anti-Muslim hate groups including Canadian Combat Coalition, Soldiers of Odin, and Worldwide Coalition Against Islam.
• The rebrand from a Yellow Vests Convoy to ‘United We Roll’ is diverting attention from the overt racism and death threats that have come to characterize the Yellow Vests Canada movement. We, Yellow Vests Canada Exposed and Anti-Racist Canada have documented hundreds of examples.
• The hate is mostly directed at Muslims, left-leaning individuals, government, media, and, occasionally, law enforcement. They share conspiracy theories such as: Muslims are behind the Fort McMurray wildfire so they could build a super-mosque. Oil and economic concerns are an issue, but not their primary concern.
• The Yellow Vests movement has been entirely co-opted by the far-right including most extreme anti-Muslim groups in Canada. Their rallies are attended by neo-Nazis like Paul Fromm and Brian Ruhe. The first Toronto rally was held by Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, who promotes the convoy on Twitter.
• Tony Green, a YVC supporter, was arrested on January 28th after allegedly pointing a firearm at an off-duty RCMP officer. They seized over 100 guns and explosive materials from his house.
• Gregory McNeil, who made death threats towards law enforcement on the YVC page, was sentenced to over five years in prison after pulling a weapon on RCMP officers in 2010. The RCMP found a hidden room full of illegal weapons at his house.
• Yellow Vests Canada represents a public safety threat, according to a briefing note authored by the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies – Vancouver.
• For more, please see
This context is important. Thank you.
For more information:
Using a wire service to send this news release across Canada cost the Canadian Anti-Hate Network $520. If you agree that this was a worthwhile effort, please consider helping us recoup that cost by giving at antihate.ca/donate.
Factcheck: CBC misrepresents Yellow Vests Canada movement, makes no mention of death threats
Yellow Vests Convoy leaves today for Ottawa
February 14, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
CBC interviews convoy organizer Glen Carritt. Source: CBC News: The National, YouTube.
On February 13th, CBC’s The National ran with a story about the Yellow Vests Canada movement and their plans to bring a convoy of trucks to Ottawa.
The CBC misrepresents the group as primarily being driven by legitimate economic concerns and omits the worst examples of the hatred and threats that have come to characterize the Yellow Vests Canada movement. The end result is an sympathetic take on a movement characterized as a public safety threat in a briefing note authored by the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies – Vancouver.
Reporting on hate movements and hate groups is difficult. Hate groups tend to misrepresent themselves and it requires either deep research and observation of their less public-facing spaces, and/or building on the work of organizations like Anti-Racist Canada or Yellow Vests Canada Exposed and using information that's been collected over months and years of monitoring. Yellow Vests Canada Exposed says a producer from The National "interviewed one of our admins for 40 minutes, and didn't use any of it."
"Four months after yellow vest demonstrators hit the streets of France over taxes and the high cost of living, similar movements have popped up around the world."
Unlike the French Yellow Vests movement, the Yellow Vests movement in Canada has been entirely co-opted by the far-right. Left-leaning individuals aren’t welcome and almost every anti-Muslim extremist group has found a home in the movement. According to CTV News, “Canada's ambassador to France says this country's yellow-vest protest movement bears little resemblance to the ‘gilets jaunes’ who started it all in France . . . the movement in Canada appears to have been appropriated by far-right extremists espousing racist, anti-immigrant views and even indulging in death threats against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau."
“They're focused on the federal government's response to suffering in the oil industry tomorrow a convoy of trucks will drive that message all the way to Ottawa but they aren't the only ones laying claim to those yellow vests. Others want to spread a much different message, less about jobs, more about immigration.” CBC represents them, and allows them to represent themselves, as primarily focused on economic and oil issues throughout the story.
The majority of posts on the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook page are anti-Muslim, anti-UN, anti-immigrant, anti-Trudeau, and deal in conspiracy theories, such as the belief that Muslims are responsible for the Fort McMurray wildfire. There are hundreds of examples of overt racism and documented death threats. Relatively few posts are, in fact, about the oil industry.
The CBC says:
The Clann and Canadian Combat Coalition (C3) are alt-right groups.
While alt-right has been used as a term in the United States to refer to a large coalition of groups, here in Canada there are two distinct hate movements with limited overlap: the anti-Muslim and alt-right neo-Nazi movements. The Clann and C3 are anti-Muslim groups, not alt-right groups.
Update: We received screenshots showing at least one member of the Clann to be an alt-right type.
The CBC says:
“[The Clann has a] provocative message about Islam.”
The Clann is not only critical of the religion, but of Muslim Canadians. For example, the Clann Canada (@ClannOntario on Twitter) liked a tweet two days ago reading “Muslims r not special. I think they r dirty/gross &violent. That is MY opinion. If they come to my place of work. I will be respectful &help them cause it my JOB. Doesn’t mean I like u or want u here. Just like I can feel the hate and disgust flowing from their men. #GTFO”
“More than a hundred thousand members see messages like this targeting Trudeau the media immigration and refugees.” CBC displays a few of the more benign, but still hateful, images.
Yellow Vests Canada Exposed, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, and Anti-Racist Canada have documented hundreds of examples of overt racism, mostly directed at Muslims, and death threats towards Muslim Canadians and the Prime Minister. None of these death threats have been referenced in the story.
“The site was founded by Tyler Malenfant, since exposed for supporting racist rhetoric in the past.”
He wasn’t exposed as supporting racist rhetoric, but posting antisemitic comments, such as "Show me the 'evils' of the white man and I'll show you yet another Jewish lie."
Yellow Vests Canada attracts Nazis:
Nazis, including Brian Ruhe and Paul Fromm, are also attending (or speaking at) Yellow Vests Canada demonstrations.
...and has the support of the alt-right neo-Nazi movement:
The first rally in Toronto was led by Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, and she is promoting the convoy. Other Canadian alt-right neo-Nazi accounts have tweeted in support of the movement on Twitter.
Yellow Vests Canada supporter threatens to kill law enforcement, claims to have cache of weapons
Gregory McNeil of Kamloops, BC was charged in 2010 after drawing a gun on RCMP officers
February 12, 2019
Special to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Greg McNeil's Facebook profile. Source: Facebook.
Yellow Vests Canada Exposed has documented dozens of death threats on the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook page directed towards Muslims, the Prime Minister, and others; hatred directed at Muslims, left-leaning individuals, government, the mainstream media, and, occasionally, law enforcement; conspiracy theories; and support for the Conservative Party of Canada and Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada. Its main Facebook group has over 100,000 members and one of its main organizers has a history of posting racist and antisemitic comments.
Regardless of what the gilet jaunes movement represents in France, the Canadian Yellow Vests movement has been entirely co-opted by the far-right and includes almost every anti-Muslim hate group in Canada. It is characterized as a public safety threat in a briefing note authored by the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies – Vancouver.
In response to a post about storming parliament, Yellow Vests Canada supporter Greg McNeil suggests they carry out mass arrests, shooting anybody that gets in their way. McNeil posts, “Time to start killing all the protectors…Police, security…etc.” He also claims to have a cache of weapons and friends who are similarly armed.
The pictures on Greg McNeil's Facebook profile appear to match a picture of Gregory Warren McNeil, who was arrested in 2010 and charged with multiple firearms offences and harassment. McNeil threatened to kill bank employees, prompting a visit by the RCMP. He drew a handgun and the officers shot him. McNeil told investigators that he’s a better shot than most police officers and could have shot the officers if he wanted.
The RCMP searched his home and found a hidden room full of weapons, ammunition and bullet resistant vests, as well as a B.C. sheriff uniform and a custom officer’s badge.
McNeil was sentenced to over 5 years in prison and has a lifetime ban on owning firearms.
The RCMP tells the Canadian Anti-Hate Network that they respect “[The Yellow Vests movement’s] right to peaceful, lawful, and safe protest. Should someone have concerns about their activities online or in person, we would encourage them to contact the police in the jurisdiction they live in, to report. The RCMP takes complaints of threats seriously.”
Greg McNeil is no longer a member of the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook group.
According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, law enforcement seized over 100 guns from Green’s home including a Bren machine gun, “homemade silencers, zip guns, prohibited over-capacity magazines, and untraceable firearms,” as well as explosive materials.
The Yellow Vests Canada movement have been holding demonstrations across the country every Saturday to protest immigration policies, what they believe is the United Nations takeover of Canadian sovereignty, and a host of other issues popular among the far-right. Now, they are planning to run a convoy of trucks from Alberta to Ottawa, which Tony Green promoted.
The ‘United We Roll’ convoy departs on February 14th and arrives in Ottawa on the 19th. Originally branded as a Yellow Vests event, organizer Glen Carritt claimed that the United We Roll convoy is no longer affiliated, citing “philosophical differences.” However, organizers of the convoy are also members of the Yellow Vests Canada group, and he has says his group still "identifies with the yellow vests" and they are welcoming them to the convoy.
Several of the organizers are also supporters of other hate groups such as Canadian Combat Coalition, Soldiers of Odin, and Worldwide Coalition Against Islam.
Both Yellow Vests Canada Exposed and the Canadian Anti-Hate Network have encouraged supporters to report the United We Roll GoFundMe page on the basis that the fundraiser supports the Yellow Vests Canada hate movement. Yellow Vests Canada Exposed has also encouraged supporters to contact the hotels where convoy participants intend to stay.
Yellow Vests Canada Exposed documents the overt racism, hate speech, death threats and calls to violence posted by members of the Yellow Vest Movement in Canada. Their work can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Quebec Mosque killer sentenced to life in prison
Canadian Anti-Hate Network says case demonstrates how hate poses real danger
(February 8, 2019 - Quebec) Today, Alexandre Bissonnette was sentenced to life in prison for murdering six men at a Quebec City mosque, Canada’s first mass killing at a place of worship. He could be eligible for parole after 40 years.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Francois Huot provided a lengthy judgment this morning which made note of Bissonnette’s “professional, measured and hateful” executions and recognized the attack as a hate crime, contrary to the defense’s claims.
The Judge noted that January 29, 2017, will be a date forever “written in blood” in both Quebec, and Canada’s history, and how the act tore apart the very fabric of Quebec and Canada.
“The severity of the sentence reflects how heinous Canadians view hate-motivated crimes, ” says Amira Elghawaby, board member at the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. “We hope today’s sentencing brings some measure of closure to the families of those forever impacted by this devastating act of hate and terror. We understand that the families and the community do not feel the sentence goes far enough.”
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network says the attack on the Quebec mosque was not only a hate crime, but an act of terrorism motivated by right-wing extremism. Legal academics including Professor Kent Roach of the University of Toronto have suggested the same.
“We hope this case makes it clear that hate can be a precursor to the worst imaginable crimes,” says Bernie Farber, chair of the network. “It’s absolutely evident that Mr. Bissonnette meant to terrorize an entire religious community and the Judge certainly reflected that in his comments about the wide impact of the shootings, and in analyzing Mr. Bissonnette’s stated motivations. However, it’s disappointing that he stopped short of calling this terrorism.”
Judge Huot did note the shooter’s explanation that he attacked the mosque because he feared terrorists would kill his family and that he “lost it” after learning that the Prime Minister had tweeted that refugees were welcome to Canada.
While Bissonnette has now been sentenced, those platforms that allow alt-right neo-Nazi and anti-Muslim hate to be shared and the propagandists on those platforms have once again escaped their share of the responsibility.
“If we truly want to prevent any such acts from every happening again, we will have to hold online platforms to account and target hate propaganda at its source,” says Elghawaby. “There is still no clear strategy on how to address online hate in this country and this will continue to harm various communities. Hate in Canada is sadly on the rise.”
Media inquiries: email@example.com
Le tueur d'une mosquée du Québec condamné à la prison à vie
Le réseau canadien anti-haine dit que la peine envoie un message fort
(8 février 2019 - Québec) Aujourd’hui, Alexandre Bissonnette a été condamné à la prison à vie pour le meurtre de six hommes dans une mosquée de la ville de Québec, le premier massacre commis au Canada dans un lieu de culte. Il pourrait être admissible à la libération conditionnelle après 35 ans.
Le juge de la Cour supérieure du Québec, François Huot, a rendu aujourd'hui un long jugement dans lequel il a pris note des exécutions «professionnelles, mesurées et haineuses» de Bissonnette et a reconnu l’attaque comme un crime motivé par la haine, contrairement aux affirmations de la défense.
Le juge a souligné que le 29 janvier 2017 serait une date «gravée dans le sang» dans l’histoire du Québec et du Canada, et que l'acte déchirait le tissu de la société civile du Québec et du Canada.
«La sévérité de la peine reflète à quel point les Canadiens rejettent les crimes motivés par la haine», a déclaré Amira Elghawaby, membre du conseil d'administration du Réseau canadien anti-haine. «Nous espérons que la condamnation d’aujourd’hui peut apporter un certain apaisement aux souffrances des victimes et leurs familles.»
Le Réseau canadien anti-haine dit que l'attaque de la mosquée à Québec était non seulement un crime motivé par la haine, mais également un acte de terrorisme motivé par l'extrême droite. Des académiciens juridiques, notamment le professeur Kent Roach de l'Université de Toronto, ont suggéré la même chose.
«Nous espérons que cette affaire montre clairement que la haine peut être un précurseur des pires crimes imaginables», a déclaré Bernie Farber, présidente du Réseau. «Il est tout à fait évident que M. Bissonnette voulait terroriser toute une communauté religieuse et le juge en a bien tenu compte dans ses commentaires sur l’impact considérable de la fusillade et dans l’analyse des motivations énoncées par M. Bissonnette. Cependant, il est décevant qu’il n’ait pas qualifié comme un acte de terrorisme.»
Le juge Huot a pris note de l'explication du tireur selon laquelle il avait attaqué la mosquée par crainte des terroristes qui tueraient sa famille et qu'il l'avait «perdu» après avoir appris que le premier ministre Trudeau avait tweeté que les réfugiés étaient les bienvenus au Canada.
Bien que Bissonnette soit maintenant condamnée, les plateformes qui permettent la haine néo-nazie et anti-musulmane de l'extrême droite sont partagées et les propagandistes de ces plateformes ont échappé une nouvelle fois à leur part de responsabilité.
«Si nous voulons vraiment empêcher que de tels actes ne se reproduisent, nous devrons demander des comptes aux plates-formes en ligne et cibler la propagande haineuse à la source», a déclaré Elghawaby. «Il n'y a toujours pas de stratégie claire sur la manière de lutter contre la haine en ligne dans ce pays et cela continuera à nuire à diverses communautés. La haine au Canada est malheureusement à la hausse.»
Mr. Paul Stoyan
15 January 2019
On behalf of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, we write to express our deep concern about a presentation that took place at Gardiner Roberts' offices on December 6th featuring an individual named Dr Martin Sherman whose presentation was titled "Israel's Stark Option: Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev":
Our concern stems from the fact that Sherman's presentation at Gardiner Roberts shares the same title as the attached written article published by him dated 18 November 2018 in which he closes with a call for Israel to engage in the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Gaza:
“The solution to the problem of Gaza is its deconstruction—not its reconstruction. For, at the end of the day, it must face a regrettable but unavoidable dilemma: Eventually, there will either be Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev. In the long run, there will not be both!”
We note that the International Criminal Court cites ethnic cleansing - the deportation or forcible transfer of population as a crime against humanity.
Whether this individual’s presentation at your firm included such material or not, it is difficult for us to understand how Gardiner Roberts can reconcile providing a platform to someone who only weeks earlier publicly called for a crime against humanity when as lawyers in Ontario you have sworn to “champion the rule of law and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all persons.”
We urge Gardiner Roberts in the strongest possible terms to ensure that any speakers at your firm in the future are consistent with upholding this fundamental obligation.
cc: Malcolm Mercer, Treasurer, Law Society of Ontario
Toronto business owner donates $25,000 to confront hate in Canada
Announcement comes fresh on the heels of apology by local anti-Muslim activist
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Mohamad Fakih (left) presenting Bernie Farber with $25,000.
(Toronto - Monday, Dec. 17, 2018) Mohamad Fakih, owner of Paramount Fine Foods, is donating $25,000 to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network today.
The donation will bring the network closer towards its first major fundraising goal – to hire an additional full time investigator to monitor and report on hate groups in Canada.
The donation comes just as Mr. Fakih received an apology from Ron Banerjee, a regular presence and bit-player in the anti-Muslim movement in Toronto.
In August 2017, blogger Kevin J. Johnston and Ron Banerjee made videos in front of Paramount Fine Foods during an anti-Muslim demonstration and made comments that were overtly hateful towards Muslims and specifically targeted Fakih and his business.
Fakih launched a defamation suit against both individuals, resulting in an apology from Banerjee.
“I am grateful that I was able to confront this hatred, though it has taken a significant emotional toll," says Fakih. "Not everyone is able to do what I felt I needed to do. It is for this reason that I will be marking this moment by further supporting efforts to combat hate in Canada. We need to protect our rights and freedoms so that everyone can fully contribute without fear of discrimination or hatred.”
“We are immensely grateful for this generous donation. This donation will help us to do even more critical work in calling out those who fuel hatred and division in our communities,” says Bernie M. Farber, Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
“Mr. Fakih demonstrated a true sense of courage and civic responsibility. In standing up to this virulent Islamophobia, Mr. Fakih spoke out on behalf of all who have suffered racism, bigotry and hatred. He made it clear that anyone promoting hatred can and will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law."
“We’re all in this together.”
"We are pushing for new tools to hold individuals who spread hate propaganda responsible for their actions," says Evan Balgord, Executive Director of CAN. "That hard work should not always fall on the shoulders of the targets of hate and defamation."
The suit against Kevin J. Johnston, a blogger who makes videos targeting Muslims, women and LGBTQ+ persons, continues. Johnston is also facing a separate criminal charge for the wilful promotion of hate.
To see the Mr. Banerjee's apology to Mr. Fakih, click here.
For further inquiries, please contact:
Evan Balgord, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bernie M. Farber, email@example.com
Ron Banerjee represents RISE Canada - the same 'group' that at one time included Jennifer Bush, the woman who heckled Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and later went viral for yelling at Jagmeet Singh. RISE Canada is, however, largely a one-man group of Ron Banerjee.
Banerjee identifies as a Hindu nationalist and is a regular presence at the near-monthly anti-Muslim demonstrations in Toronto alongside groups like the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, Jewish Defence League, and the III%ers, an anti-Muslim self-styled militia group.
Banerjee has been active for years, and for a fuller history of his actions, visit https://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com/search?q=banerjee
Mayor Dale Bumstead
MLA Mike Bernier
MP Bob Zimmer
Dawson Creek RCMP
We represent the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (antihate.ca), a non-profit organization which monitors hate groups and their activities in Canada. We deliver information to the public and media and we provide information and evidence to law enforcement, and have done so on several criminal investigations across Canada.
Our advisory group is made up of Canada’s leading experts on hate groups and hate crimes, including human rights lawyers, academics, journalists, court-recognized experts, and leaders in targeted communities.
We are writing you this public letter today because we are deeply concerned by reports that the Soldiers of Odin are active in your community, engaging in volunteerism and participating in civic events, seemingly with the tacit acceptance or support of some public officials.
The Soldiers of Odin are an anti-Muslim hate group. They were founded in Finland by a self-identifying neo-Nazi who has been found guilty of racially motivated assault. It’s well documented that the Canadian organization has attracted white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Several political parties and figures in Canada have disavowed the support of the Soldiers of Odin, like the United Conservative Party in Alberta. Others have found associating with the Soldiers of Odin to be a setback to their political aspirations. There is a growing recognition of what the group represents.
The statement by the RCMP that the Soldiers of Odin are not a concern is incorrect. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network and others have documented overtly racist statements targeting Muslims and other groups, and posts celebrating or encouraging violence.
Whether the local chapter engages in these behaviours is besides the point – you wouldn’t welcome a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in your backyard even if they were doing garbage pickups and promised never to burn a cross. By using the same name, engaging in volunteerism, and finding the tacit acceptance of prominent figures in your community, they are whitewashing the Soldiers of Odin brand Canada-wide.
We call on you to send a strong message that you do not support hate groups such as the Soldiers of Odin operating in your community, and that they will not be part of any community policing plan.
Bernie Farber, Chair
Richard Warman, Board Member
Amira Elghawaby, Board Member
Evan Balgord, Executive Director
Large coalition of far-right, anti-Muslim groups in Ottawa this weekend
They are holding a protest against the UN agreement on migration, the newest cause célèbre of the far-right
December 4, 2018
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Top left: III%ers; top right: La Meute; bottom left: Northern Guard; centre: Darren Jones, former Saskatchewan VP for the Northern Guard posing in front of Nazi flags; bottom right: the Soldiers of Odin
On December 8th, a collection of far-right groups are going to hold a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest against the United Nation Global Compact for Migration. The compact, which aims to promote human rights and make conditions safer for migrants, is not legally binding. However, the far-right have labeled it, among other things, a ‘suicide pact’, and have made it their cause célèbre of the past few weeks.
A petition against the Compact sponsored by Maxime Bernier and shared by far-right and alt-right neo-Nazi figures has garnered nearly 35,000 signatures, led by Ontario which has contributed 11,000.
On November 24th, Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, held a similar, but only 40-strong, rally in Toronto. They were counter-demonstrated by an equally large crowd of anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators who were loud enough to ruin Goldy and her supporters’ livestream broadcasts.
Two different event pages are promoting the far-right rally on December 8th - one in English hosted by the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, and one in French hosted by representatives of several far-right and anti-Muslim groups.
One of the organizers claims to have an event permit, which would require approval by the Committee for the use of Parliament Hill.
According to the French Facebook event page, fifteen far-right groups are involved and have convened a ‘round table’ including a leader from each group. While La Meute says they aren’t organizing the event, they are arranging for transportation and sending a ‘security team’. The rally plans to include groups such as Storm Alliance, Northern Guard, the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, Le Meute, “Patriote” (likely Patriotes du Québec) and the III%ers.
All of the above groups are a regular feature of anti-Muslim demonstrations. While the anti-Muslim movement and its associated groups claim to only be critical of Islam, in both their public, but especially their private, online spaces, they have been exposed as overtly racist. Many celebrate or promote violence towards Muslims. Some, like the III%ers, are proudly militant. The III%ers are an armed militia-style group that have stockpiled weapons, conducted paramilitary training, and staked out mosques. Several groups also have ties to neo-Nazism, like the Northern Guard, an anti-Muslim group with a biker aesthetic.
Last week La Meute denied any association with Patriotes du Québec following revelations that a member of ‘Patriote’, who may also be a member of La Meute, was discussing creating “a fake terrorist attempt” to “scare the hell out of Quebecers,” according to an article in the Montreal Gazette.
La Meute spokesperson Slyvain Bouillette tells the Canadian Anti-Hate Network that several groups use the 'patriote' name and claims that, despite there being a ‘round table’ of leaders organizing together, that doesn’t constitute an endorsement of any other group.
Anti-fascist and anti-racist activists in Ottawa are planning a counter-demonstration on December 8th.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network would like to thank a contributor from Ottawa for their help in researching and authoring this article.
Anti-Muslim blogger facing hate crime charge ran for mayor of Mississauga and came in second place
Kevin J. Johnston’s next court date is later this month
November 8, 2018
Kevin J. Johnston selling Faith Goldy for mayor t-shirts.
Elections in Ontario last month drew international media attention to the failed candidacy of Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement. Although she ended the Toronto mayoral race in distant third place, she received more than 25,000 votes, or 3.4 per cent of the total ballots cast.
In nearby Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest city, anti-Muslim blogger Kevin J. Johnston came second in the mayoral race, securing 13.5 per cent of the vote — despite facing a hate crime charge.
For many, Johnston may have been the default protest vote against Mayor Bonnie Crombie. The third-place candidate received less than 4 per cent of the vote.
Police charged Johnston in June 2017 with wilful promotion of hatred against Muslims following a five-month investigation. The case is still before the courts. If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison.
Johnston’s record of anti-Muslim activism goes back several years.
In 2015, he led a racist campaign against a proposed mosque in Mississauga. On his website StopTheMosque.com, Johnston claimed without evidence that the Meadowvale Islamic Centre would lead to an increase in vandalism and sexual assaults, and that the mosque’s presence would erode free speech and women’s rights. He published an article on his website in 2016 baselessly accusing Muslim high school students of widespread sexual assault against their classmates and inciting Mississauga residents to “take the law into your own hands.”
Johnston publishes daily videos on his website, where he has called for violence and harassment against Muslims. In early 2017, he offered a $1,000 bounty for videos of Muslim children praying in Peel Region schools. In another video, according to the Toronto Star, Johnston said it was time to “take our masculinity back and beat the living hell out of Muslims.”
“Pin them down on the ground, and beat them until they pass out. And when they’re passed out, you beat them further; and when they’re on the ground passed out, kick them, break a kneecap, break an elbow, press their hands backwards turn their wrists sideways, start breaking these guys down,” Johnston said in the video.
Leila Nasr, the communications coordinator for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said such quotes underline how disturbing it is that Johnston received 16,079 votes for mayor.
“Mississauga is an incredibly diverse community with a significant Muslim population, which makes the vile sentiments expressed by Mr. Johnston even more concerning to us,” Nasr told the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. “Like many in the community we are very troubled that these elements not only exist, but have increased in prominence so quickly.”
Johnston also regularly attacks women, the LGBTQ+ community, and others. His videos rarely receive more than a few hundreds views online, and his crowdfunded Patreon account receives a paltry $31 a month from supporters. Johnston has appeared on Rebel Media shows and until at least December of 2017, he co-hosted a YouTube series called Rebel Yell with Rebel correspondent David Menzies. He has also been a guest on the far-right conspiracy outlet InfoWars.
Johnston previously ran for mayor of Mississauga in 2014, when he came in 11th place with 741 votes, comprising 0.5% of the final tally. His second-place finish last month marks a dramatic increase in support.
Johnston’s campaign appeared to downplay his inflammatory views. On his campaign website, Johnston listed housing, crime, and transportation issues as some of his top priorities. Johnston claims he would have won if the media covered his campaign. He was not invited to the main election debate, held at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus. The Mississauga News published an op-ed by Johnston about his campaign that didn’t mention his hate crime charge and ran without any sort of editorial note.
In an interview with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Johnston said that while his campaign website highlighted local issues, he did not hide his views about Islam and other social issues during private conversations with Mississauga voters. He claims to have taken part in over 100 public speaking engagements.
Unlike in 2014, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie did not face an established opponent in the election and won re-election with 77% of the vote, suggesting Johnston benefited as the default alternative or protest vote against the incumbent from voters who may not have been aware of his record.
“In the better part of 15,000 people I spoke to over the course of five months,” says Johnston, “everyone said the same thing - they hate Bonnie Crombie - they just didn’t know who the alternative was.”
Johnston continues to produce videos targeting Muslims, LGBTQ+ persons and others and said he plans to run more political campaigns in the future, as well as finish a documentary that denies Myanmar is carrying out a campaign of what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority. Johnston was allowed into the country to work on this ‘documentary’, escorted by military handlers, while Reuters journalists were imprisoned.
Johnston livestreamed our interview on his Youtube and Facebook channels. In the same video he says that “LGBTQ laws” would legalize the rape of four-year-olds by adult men. At other points in the interview and his subsequent monologue, Johnston said Islam is not a religion but a political ideology, and that he refuses to eat halal meat or fly on airplanes with Muslim pilots. In response to a viewer question, he encouraged parents to train their children to respond to bullying with extreme violence such as breaking bones, adding that the children’s criminal records would be expunged at age 18 anyway. In arguing for the superiority of “Western culture,” Johnston said: "African culture right now is to just walk around the country and kill white people. Rape them first, then kill them second." He described new immigrants from Muslim-majority countries as violent “psychopaths.”
"We have imported 100,000 psychopaths into this country and they're going to choke you, they're going to hit your kids, they're going to lift your daughters' skirts up and grab their asses," Johnston said.
Johnston says his lawyer was recently in court to receive disclosure from the crown regarding the hate crime charge and that there will be another court date at the end of November to review that disclosure.
Asked about the election result, Mississauga Mayor Crombie said the city remains a place where diversity is respected: “I think we can all be more vigilant to call out hate and discrimination and to better vet our candidates for office.”
The United Conservative Party and the Soldiers of Odin
Controversy in Alberta sparked by UCP nomination candidates posing for a photograph with the Soldiers of Odin, an anti-Muslim group with ties to neo-Nazism. Here's what you need to know.
October 23, 2018
UCP candidates pose with Edmonton-based Soldiers of Odin on Oct 5. Source: Facebook.
United Conservative Party nomination candidates were photographed at an early October pub night in Edmonton with members of the Soldiers of Odin, a militant anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant group.
The Soldiers of Odin was originally founded in Finland by Mika Ranta, who has a conviction for a racially-motivated assault and self-identifies as a neo-Nazi, according to The Times of Israel.
In Canada, the Soldiers of Odin have leaders and members with demonstrated ties to white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The organization splintered throughout 2017, but chapters with dozens of members are still in operation.
The UCP pub night was held at Brown’s Social House in Edmonton on Oct. 5. In attendance were three UCP candidates running for the party’s nomination in the Edmonton-West Henday constituency who posed for photos with Soldiers of Odin members wearing branded Soldiers of Odin shirts, hats, and vests.
Two of the candidates have since said they were also unaware that members of an extremist group had attended the pub night.
“Had we known at the time, we certainly would not have had our pictures taken with these individuals,” Nicole Williams and Leila Houle said in a joint statement.
The third candidate in the race, Lance Coulter, was disqualified by the party for defending the Soldiers of Odin, saying he was aware of their white supremacist views but found them “polite” and “cordial” at the event. In a Facebook post on his campaign page, Coulter accused Williams and Houle of lying in their statement.
"I was disqualified because I refused to lie when the party asked me to, unlike the two other candidates," he wrote in a Facebook post.
The UCP constituency association condemned the views of the Soldiers of Odin and said party representatives would have asked them to leave had they known what "S.O.O." represented. UCP Leader Jason Kenney described the Soldiers of Odin’s appearance at the party function as an act of “political mischief.”
The UCP has blamed the appearance of the Soldiers of Odin on Dave Bjorkman, an organizer for the fringe Alberta Independence Party. However, Bjorkman also appears to be a UCP member, based on screenshots of emails he shared on Facebook which included his membership number and an invitation to the pub night. The party did not respond to questions from the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
"This is not an isolated incident," says Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley, who attributes the incident to UCP's dog-whistle politics.
The Soldiers of Odin group in Edmonton whose members attended the UCP pub night announced it was renaming itself the Canadian Infidels. A spokesperson for the group told the Canadian Anti-Hate Network the group will continue its activism, including street patrols. They claim the Canadian Infidels are open to everyone, and that it is a "pro-Canadian" group that stands against terrorism. On its Facebook page, the group continues to share anti-Muslim and anti-immigration messages.
A different Soldiers of Odin group in Edmonton continues to operate as the ‘Soldiers of Odin’ and disavows any connection with the rebranded splinter group.