Far-Right Hoping For Violence At Their July 1st Rally On Parliament Hill
Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada are co-opting the event
June 29, 2020
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Parliament Hill, Ottawa. Source: David Wilson. Wikimedia.
While planning for the rally began shortly after the 2019 election, there are numerous event pages on social media, making it difficult to predict what, exactly, is going to happen. That said, far-right organizers have never hit their ambitious turnout projections. They say they will have thousands, but less than a few hundred is much more likely. We have compiled together who is going, who is speaking, and their talk of violence.
Events have been created on Facebook with names like Unity - Rally For Human Rights And Liberty, Ottawa Freedom Rally on Canada Day, however the CDN Coalition For Liberty - “I’ll Meet You On The Hill” event is the largest we could find, with over 1000 people having clicked that they’re attending. The event organizer’s page displays the red ensign flag prominently; a common dog-whistle calling for the return to the days when Canada was mostly white.
Attendees claim to be fighting against tyranny, globalism, marxism and communism, buzzwords with antisemitic origins, and are calling for the removal or execution of Trudeau and the Liberal Party. They are also suggesting laying hands on journalists, which is a new development.
Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada are seemingly stealing the event away from the original organizers, prompting arguments between former PPC candidate Mark Friesen and other far-right organizers who believe that Bernier will distract from their grassroots anti-government message.
“I certainly hope this isn't a platform for the PPC...Hardly makes it about the people for the people then does it ??,” writes Sylvia Holowach.
Lottie Fraser says, “How wiil [sic] we get them to leave and who wsnts [sic] to listen to bernier, another crooked politician?”
The People’s Party of Canada is promoting the event on their website. In a now-deleted tweet, Bernier wrote: “Looking forward to seeing you too in Ottawa on Canada Day! Let’s take back our freedoms!” The tweet included a link to Friesen’s Forum for Canadian Sovereignty website. FFCS combines anti-lockdown rhetoric (“I refuse to live under a regime which bans hugs!”) and generalized far-right populist messaging (“Tyranny or freedom”). Friesen has promoted individuals like white supremacist vlogger Stefan Molyneux, and tweeted a racist cartoon aimed at NDP leader Jagmeet Singh during the 2019 election. It’s unclear whether Bernier will speak at the rally.
Canadian Combat Coalition (C3) have promoted the event, and president Dan Dubois has put out a call for their members to attend on the Canadian Combat Coalition National Facebook group. C3 is an anti-Muslim group and has associated with neo-Nazis like Kevin Goudreau.
The Three Percenters are encouraging their members to attend, calling for people to “enlist now and smash Trudeau’s fascists” on their Facebook pages.
Members of the Northern Guard, a violent anti-Muslim militia/outlaw styled group, are also attending.
The Ontario regulars are coming, like Ed Jamnisek of the Northern Guard and Lily, who last year were under investigation for harassing the Al-Soufi family. Ron Banerjee of Rise Canada and Pegida, who last year was forced by the courts to apologize to entrepreneur and philanthropist Mohamad Fakih for anti-Muslim statements, is reportedly attending, as is vlogger Derek Storie. Storie has interviewed neo-Nazi Paul Fromm along with Ed Jamnisek.
Hate preacher Artur Pawlowski and former Wexit leader Pat King are coming from Alberta.
Conspiracy vlogger Dan Dicks, who most recently has been disrupting Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Vancouver, will also be making an appearance.
On June 27th, Mark Friesen posted “Sounds like at least a thousand are coming from Quebec.”
Far-right vlogger Rick Boswick is reportedly speaking at the event. Boswick has been present at numerous far-right actions in Hamilton, including 2019 Pride, at which several people were violently attacked by the far-right. He and Lily were instrumental in instigating the harassment campaign against the Al-Soufi family, frequently sharing the address and contact information of the family restaurant.
Former PPC candidate Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson will be speaking. Tyler Thompson has recently appeared with neo-Nazi Paul Fromm in Vancouver and has previously hired the anti-Muslim hate group Soldiers of Odin as her personal security at events. Tyler Thompson has been a vocal supporter of conversion therapy.
Kevin Johnston is reported to be speaking. Johnston is a well-known anti-Muslim activist on social media, and last year was ordered to pay $2.5 million to Mohamad Fakih for defamation. In the court decision, Ontario Superior Court justice Jane Ferguson declared Johnston’s actions were “hate speech at its worst.” He has been in and out of jail, and is still facing hate charges.
Some attendees are threatening violence
On a post about the upcoming rally, Stephen Rogerson posted “Picking 2 to take to Ottawa,” with a picture of a bottle of alcohol, marijuana, a telescoping baton, and a knuckle duster.
Rick Boswick shared a post about a citizen's arrest of an OPP officer, said “I think this tactic is in order for the wanted terrorists from the Eaton center riot. Let us see on July 1.” In the summer of 2019 Rick Boswick and members of various hate groups, including members of the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party, engaged in a brawl in Toronto’s Eaton Centre after a Pegida rally. Footage from Boswick shows that the far-right planned the fight in the Eaton Centre. Boswick has been re-posting his footage from that brawl, riling up his supporters.
Kelly Elizabeth wrote on Facebook, “Several of the groups coming are fully prepared for ANTIFA...And they have a few tricks up their sleeve.”
On the Canadian Revolution Facebook page, which has over 31,000 members, Chris Gamble wrote, “it may help a lot if everyone showed up carrying nooses.” A page admin, Miranda Remillard, responds, “have something they can show up carrying that’s better than nooses Stay tuned for that…”
Some attendees are looking to motorcycle clubs to defend them against any opposition. Kathy Paquette asked, “Anyone....do we have anything to fear with ANTIFA showing up? Do we have any Hells Angels or others? Not just cops to protect us?” Lorraine Armstrong replies, “There will be bikers in attendance. Not sure how many, but a couple of clubs I think. No, not just cops.”
On a post about the rally on the Canadian Revolution page Denny Driver suggests that people “be on the lookout for Antifa paid terrorists slipping into the crowds to use the protests as cover to start riots and cause mayhem.” Kelly Pengelly responds, “identify, confront, take down as a fellow Canadian, detain, de escalate, peacefully or combat, citizen [sic] arrest one of these fuckers. Cable tie kit with duct tape, pink spray paint, and rope and tags sus [sic] them and leave them laying for the police to pick up.”
Members of the media should also be on the lookout for attempts to disrupt their work or forcibly eject them from the event, as Rick Boswick has suggested. While there’s always been a very strong anti-media sentiment among the far-right in Canada, talking about laying hands on them is a new and concerning development.
Mindy Thomas wrote on Facebook, “Block their cameras with signs just like antifa does to us!! #defundthecbc.”
Many attendees are upset with the idea of the media being present simply for the fact that they feel they won’t cover Bernier’s attendance favourably. Valerie Leidal writes, “Absolutely mainstream media will be detrimental to Max, it is fake news, not real news, boot them out of the event, in fact do not allow them in! It is a free country after all, isn’t it, keep the puppets out!”
Not all attendees are upset with the media’s plans to be there. Mark Friesen writes, “I’m actually looking forward to seeing the media there. They can hear us denounce them as the globalist shills they are. Then we can also use their nonsense against them like we usually do.”
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Op-ed: In Defunding The Police, We Cannot Forget Black Womxn
Despite Driving Social Movements, Black Womxn Are Forgotten By Policy Makers
June 22, 2020
Source: AJ Korkidakis / Ricochet Media.
#BlackLivesMatter was started in 2013 by three Black womxn: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Opal Tometi. The Black Lives Matter Toronto chapter was also led by Black womxn, so too are many other movements worldwide. Black womxn are the blueprint. They are creators and organizers, they influence culture, develop theories and launch movements. Yet, when it comes to policy-making, legislative change and law reform, Black womxn’s lives are seldom considered or prioritized and are often forgotten. This is misogynoir. This is policy violence.
On June 5, former MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes tweeted: “It seems like the hashtag Black Lives Matter has been used by just about everybody [...] Before there was that handle, there was some powerful Black women who were standing up and calling out injustices [...] and they were dismissed. Often by those same influential people who are taking a knee today.” Across Canada, we have witnessed elected officials take a knee while nickel and dime-ing funding initiatives that support Black womxn specifically. Across Canada we have also seen organizations scramble to put out diversity statements (likely written by Black womxn) without proper acknowledgement or compensation. We have heard of Town Halls being put on by organizations about “anti-Black racism” in which Black womxn are being made to share and relive their traumatic experiences, despite fear of losing their job or facing other disciplinary actions for speaking their truth.
The reality is that Black womxn continue to (and have always) put their lives on the line for change. They are working front-line jobs, sustaining their communities, and leading movements while also being policed via criminalizing legislation and criminalized by well-funded institutions that terrorize them on a daily basis.
On May 30, Gisselle Rodriguez and other Black womxn from #NotAnotherBlackLife led a Toronto rally and march for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, whose mother claims Toronto police are responsible for her daughter’s death. Thousands of people showed up for Regis, Black womxn, and Black lives. Our hope as Black womxn, is that this movement goes beyond this moment. That allies do not show up for us only when we are hashtags and for photo ops, but when we are alive too. Our hope is that those responding today, like elected officials who have taken a knee, organizations that put out statements, organized town halls, and hired Black consultants to do Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training, and others, continue to do so past this pandemic and past next week.
The word “defund” has been getting a lot of global attention as of late, specifically in the context of defunding the police. According to Merriam-Webster, searches for “defund” are up 4300 per cent. Defunding the police literally means removing funds from the police. With respect to how to approach it, Broadbent Institute has pulled together a number of resources, most of which illustrating that money spent on police is better spent on services that meet community needs.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has responded to the call to defund the police by announcing new policing reforms which includes shifting funding from the NYPD to Youth and Social Services. In Minnesota, the Minneapolis City Council members have announced their intent to disband the Minneapolis Police Department and invest in community-led public safety. We must thank protestors and organizers for this. Most importantly, we must thank the Black womxn who are often starting these conversations, leading the charge and leading change.
City councillors across Canada must take calls to defund the police seriously. Notwithstanding countless reports, community consultations and lives lost, our tax dollars continue to fund policing, a practice that disproportionately targets and kills Black womxn and disproportionately takes Black and Indigenous lives. When money is defunded from the police and invested in Black womxn, you are supporting their Black communities. When alternatives to policing are supported and put into practice, you’re not only listening to Black womxn, you are valuing Black lives.
Black Lives Matter Toronto is calling for a 50 per cent reduction to the Toronto police budget, but the most being considered by some Toronto city councillors is 10 per cent, which would go towards social services. This is not enough. Mayor John Tory says he won’t support what he calls “arbitrary” cuts to the police budget regardless of reports proving that Black people are more likely to be injured and killed by Toronto police.
In the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, Mayor John Tory stated, “Eradicating anti-Black racism – although difficult – must be our goal in Toronto, because it stands as an obstacle to building a truly fair and just city.” Tory also acknowledged the importance of recognizing the impact that anti-Black racism has on mental health. In his Black Mental Health Day Proclamation he stated “The City of Toronto is at the forefront of efforts to eliminate anti-Black racism and all forms of discrimination.” Yet, keeping 90% of the police budget in policing dismisses the evidence of countless reports and deputations that Black folx have participated in. It ignores the decade-long calls by Black womxn on the front-lines to give them more than crumbs from a hefty $1.22 billion police budget.
When imagining what allocating money to services that directly support Black womxn would look like, Yusra Khogali - a Toronto based community organizer, educator and artist - says that Black liberation movements that are pushing for changes in our communities and in our society are a “pattern repeating itself.” To change this, she notes that we must recognize that there is misogynoir in organizing and that Black womxn experience the brunt of violence. The unfortunate result of this is that Black womxn end up being spoken for, their demands get “white washed, liberalized and made palatable,” and then money often gets funneled into “perfect victim” organizations. To interrupt the way in which power impacts Black womxn then, is to ensure that Black womxn at the margins are being centered and included. Khogali explains that who gets funding should not be chosen by people who have political interests, as to do so actually inflicts more harm on Black womxn. Instead, grassroots folx must be at the negotiating stage to ensure that resources are funneled to them.
There are so many Black womxn and queer led organizations doing incredible work that actually support Black womxn in very meaningful ways - organizations that do not perpetuate and replicate systems of harm, oppression and misogynoir. Black Women in Motion, The Most Nurtured, and Hill Studio, to name a few.
This call to action is nothing new. It has been said time and time again by Black womxn in Toronto including the Black Women’s Collective. The African American Policy Forum has mapped #SayHerName, revealing a sad reality of police violence inflicted on Black womxn. Here in Canada, Robyn Maynard has also revealed a long legacy of “egregious violence” against Black womxn in Canada. We must say their names and ensure that no more Black womxn’s lives are lost at the hands of police. Defunding is just one step toward true liberation. In the words of J Mase III, “there is no Black liberation without Black women & Femmes.”
Samantha Peters graduated from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law with specializations in public law and dispute resolution & professionalism. She most often engages in work at the intersection of law, education and policy ranging from law reform to legal education to legislative research.
Danait Mehreteab is an Equity Educator with a background in Health and Peace Studies from McMaster University and International Development from Humber College. She has an extensive background working with youth and is passionate about mental health and wellness.
The opinions in this piece are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
Almost One Third Of Chinese Canadians Report Being Physically Attacked During COVID-19
The Angus Reid survey is a rare - and welcome - example of directly asking people whether they have suffered a hate incident.
By Steven Zhou
June 22, 2020
Racially motivated attack on a 92-year-old Asian man with dementia. March 13, 2020. Source: Vancouver Police Department.
A new report suggests that almost 30% of Chinese Canadians have been physically attacked since the COVID-19 crisis began.
The Angus Reid Institute and the University of Alberta surveyed over 500 people of Chinese descent in Canada and found that 8% of them have faced “frequent” physical attacks. Another 21% responded that they’ve faced “infrequent” physical abuse from strangers since the start of the pandemic.
“Yes, the data is indicating that 29% of those surveyed have experienced at least some kind of physical altercation during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dr. Kimberly Knowles, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Alberta who worked on the report, titled “Blame, bullying and disrespect: Chinese Canadians reveal their experiences with racism during COVID-19.”
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As part of the survey, those surveyed were asked whether they have personally been “physically attacked by strangers” during COVID-19. Respondents were asked to pick from a scale of one to six; one being “not at all/never” and six being “always” experiencing such attacks. 8% picked four, five, or six. 21% picked two or three.
“The findings don’t come as a surprise to us at all,” said Amy Go, President of Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice. “We already know from one of our own surveys that up to 14% of Canadians think Chinese people for sure have COVID-19 or that they probably have it. That’s the attitude already, so why are we surprised?”
Go’s organization launched an online form specifically for Chinese and other East Asian peoples to report any physical, verbal, and/or online abuse related to COVID-19. Since February, they’ve received over 300 reports.
The study also notes that, “Half (50%) report being called names or insulted as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and a plurality (43%) further say they’ve been threatened or intimidated.”
Moreover, the survey also shows that, “three-in-ten (30%) report being frequently exposed to racist graffiti or messaging on social media since the pandemic began, while just as many (29%) say they have frequently been made to feel as though they posed a threat to the health and safety of others.”
The overall findings describe much higher frequencies of either verbal or physical anti-Chinese attacks than the data released by local police departments would suggest. This is consistent with research that police-reported hate crime numbers massively under-report the true rate of hate incidents in Canada.
The Vancouver Police Department, for instance, disclosed last month that they’re investigating 29 incidents of anti-Asian hate in B.C. since March, up from just four for the same period last year. Total hate crimes being looked at by the VPD are also up from 53 in 2019 to 77 this year. The rise is still significant, but not nearly as significant as the findings of the Angus Reid survey, which paints a much more alarming picture.
Furthermore, the police numbers seem pedantic considering just how much hate is being spewed online. Moonshot, a UK-based tech company that monitors online extremism, noted in a recent report that online searches from January to April for violent right-wing extremist content went up significantly across six Canadian cities since their respective COVID-19 lockdowns began.
According to Moonshot, “average weekly searches for violent far-right radio and podcasts increased by 330%, and 324% for video games” for these six major cities, which include Vancouver and Toronto.
“We’ve been asking the government again and again to at least officially recognize that there’s systemic, targeted anti-Asian racism in Canada,” Go said. “This needs to be incorporated into the national anti-racism strategy. It should also make Chinese people more empathetic to the anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism that has gone on in Canada for hundreds of years.”
How Canadian Hate Groups Are Reacting To George Floyd Protests
As in the United States, we need to be on the lookout for members of hate groups infiltrating the protests
June 2, 2020
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
May 31st rally against police violence in Vancouver, BC. Source: Suzie King / Ricochet Media.
Today marks a week of protests in the United States following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Protests in solidarity have brought out tens of thousands of demonstrators in cities across Canada.
Stickers from the UK-based white-supremacist propaganda group Hundred Handers were put up near where Regis Korchinski-Paquet died. Her mother alleges Toronto police are responsible for her daughter’s death. Proud Boys posted photographs of the sticker campaign to their Telegram.
Neo-Nazi Tomas Liko watched the #JusticeForRegis demonstration in Toronto wearing his Skrewdriver shirt. Skrewdriver is one of the most infamous neo-Nazi bands, with lyrics like “if you see this n*****, kick him in the f****** head.” Its front-man founded Blood and Honour, a terrorist group. Liko was confronted and ran off.
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Canadian hate groups regularly attach themselves to the most heated issue of the day, whether that’s opposing Wet'suwet'en solidarity demonstrations and threatening to kill demonstrators, spreading COVID-19 conspiracy theories, or the Floyd protests.
We’re seeing conspiracy theories in groups like the Canadian Combat Coalition alleging that the murder was staged by crisis actors, that the protests aren’t organic and a result of hundreds of years of anti-Black racism, but rather directed by ‘globalist’ forces and Antifa, or that this is the left starting a race war.
“Stop this BLM bullshit the government is trying to create mass rioting so they can involve the military its all about CONTROL,” writes Jim Mannila on the Yellow Vests Canada page.
They are frustrated that their demonstrations never attract nearly as many people.
Some anti-government types within the hate groups are dismissing any racial factor to the murder, instead framing the the demonstrations as being generally against a corrupt police and a corrupt system and thereby appropriating the demonstrations as aligned with their anti-government values.
Many are praising Donald Trump for calling anti-fascists terrorists. “Can we have Trump as PM please?,” writes Greyson Wolfe on a Wexit (western seperatist) Facebook page.
Canadian Conservative Party leadership candidate Derek Sloan likewise promised to designate anti-fascists as terrorists.
Conspiracy vlogger Dan Dicks, formerly attached to the anti-lockdown demonstrations, tweeted that he would be “covering one of these antifa, I mean terrorist organizations rallies later today in Vancouver.” He later acts offended that he was unwelcome. He was surrounded, and asked to leave. Eventually he was escorted away by a police officer.
Donald Smith, a notorious Vancouver doxxer of anti-racists and anti-fascists, went to take photos of demonstrators.
The Proud Boys are celebrating a man in Brampton Ontario who was caught on video tearing down a Black Lives Matter sign and throwing it in the trash.
Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed “propaganda arm” for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, says George Floyd got what he deserved, as did Trayvon Martin and other Black people killed by police. Ultimately, however, she believes it’s all orchestrated: “Blacks on this chessboard are all pawns, being corralled by masters of strategy in government, media, and the Satanic orgs which seek to subvert and control our civilization - who, lets face it, aren’t Black.”
Canada’s Far-Right Licks Trump’s Boots
Canada's so-called patriot groups use Trump's language, harass his targets, and defend him when he tries to block lifesaving equipment from Canada during COVID-19.
April 6, 2020
When Trump calls COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” and claims that “shutting down the border” to China saved American lives, Canada’s far-right took notice. Now that’s what they’re calling it too, and it’s playing into their racist narratives that Chinese persons are dirty, dangerous, deserving to die, or collectively responsible for how China’s government handled the outbreak.
Members and supporters of Canada’s hate groups often echo xenophobic rhetoric from the United States, and especially from Trump. When Trump was dismissive of the pandemic, calling it a “Democrat hoax” that conspiracy was quickly spread by the far-right in Canada. They continued to downplay the significance of the pandemic until the reports from Italy made many of them concede that COVID-19 was no hoax. They repeat everything Trump says, including promoting unproven medical treatments. And pushing the racist trope of the diseased immigrant, far-right Canadians have demanded that we close our borders to certain non-white immigrants permanently.
Trump’s name has also been invoked by Canadian QAnon conspiracists who believe that COVID-19 is a ruse to cover for the arrest of a cabal of Satanic pedophiles which they believe includes Justin Trudeau, George Soros, and Tom Hanks, among others.
The far-right in Canada blame the crisis in Canada on either a UN-led conspiracy, or an inept Trudeau government that didn’t close the border to immigrants and refugees coming from “shithole countries” (another alleged Trump phrase used by the Canadian far-right for years now). That many of those who returned to Canada from overseas are in fact Canadians themselves is irrelevant to racists:
“News heading in Toronto Sun says to expect "Social Distancing" as VIRUS spreads. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Fatal results of multi-cult race-mixing ????? If it makes even those in our tough White Right camp nervous........imagine how our forever fence-sitting relatives feel.....perhaps messing their pants in absolute fear ? Too bad eh .”
At least one individual in Waterloo, Ontario has taken it upon themselves to put up flyers claiming that COVID-19 affects races differently and suggests that Canada would “be a safer place . . . if it had a lower concentration of Asian people.”
Criticisms of the actions of the Chinese government are fair game. But when blame, disgust, and retribution are attributed to individuals because they are Chinese (which is what happens when you label it the “Chinese virus”), it leads to people being hurt. Some members of far-right groups are bragging about harassing Chinese people. Other hate groups have used the crisis to attack the concept of immigration and multiculturalism in flyering campaigns found a number of Canadian cities including Edmonton and Port Credit, including ones that read “Open Borders Spread Disease," “Migrants Accepted, Now We’re Infected,
and “Nationalism Would Have Prevented This,” amongst others. Calgary police are investigating threats to a Chinese restaurant they believe at linked to COVID-19.
Is Trumps rhetoric to blame? Only partly.
For years the far-right in Canada have mimicked extremist groups from outside of the country as vehicles for home-grown racism. Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements Pegida Canada and the Soldiers of Odin (as well as their subsequent splinter groups) are attempts to copy European groups. American-based militias such as the III%ers have found a fertile home in Canada among Islamophobes who invoke the same conspiracy theories as their American counterparts. European identitarians and American accelerationists have gained a significant foothold in the country; examples include ID Canada, the Base, and AWD. Even movements such as the French Yellow Vests have been co-opted by Canadian groups and bastardized into anti-immigrant and anti-refugee movements in Canada.
Canada’s far-right activity isn’t simply the result of Trump. The international influence of anti-Muslim figures and groups from Europe, a backlash against the 2015 Trudeau election, and anti-Muslim fearmongering domestically had already set the stage. The election of Trump invigorated them, Rebel Media and more mainstream fearmongering against anti-Islamophobia motion 103 gave them a cause, and they have been on the streets ever since.
The rise of far-right movements is an international phenomenon in which we are not only victims, but contributors. Unfortunately, Canada has been a key exporter of propaganda and influential figures in the far-right and alt-right neo-Nazi movements. For example: Gavin McInnes, Stefan Molyneux, Lauren Southern and Faith Goldy-Bazos are all Canadian; Richard Spencer launched his first alt-right website when he was living in Toronto; and Montreal-man Gabriel Sohier Chaput was one of the key administrators of the pro-terrorism Iron March forum that gave rise to a new wave of neo-Nazi terrorism through groups like AWD.
But Trump's influence on Canada in particular is difficult to miss. The so-called patriot groups worship Trump. For years they’ve been saying they hope the United States invade Canada to overthrow the government. Most recently, members of groups like Yellow Vests of Alberta are defending Trump for his attempts to block N95 masks – much needed medical equipment for front-line medical workers during COVID-19 – from reaching Canada.
“don’t blame him, hes taking care of his country first,we coulduse a leader like him”
“Wasn’t Trudeau the one who shut down the logging industry?? Maybe Trump is trying to wake up Canadians”
This is part of a series of articles and investigations into trends and new developments among Canada’s hate movements. We would like to thank an anonymous donor and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations for supporting this project.
The Al-Soufi family is facing new threats as police investigate individuals responsible for the harassment campaign
Rick Boswick, Lily, and Ed Jamnisek are under investigation after disrupting restaurant re-opening
October 14, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Dr. Mohamad Fakih (centre) intercepts Lily (red vest) Rick Boswick (filming) and Northern Guard member Ed Jamnisek (right) as they try to enter Soufi's restaurant. Source: YouTube.
Police are investigating after Rick Boswick, Lily, and Ed Jamnisek disrupted the reopening of Soufi’s Restaurant, a much loved Syrian eatery in downtown Toronto. The restaurant had closed days earlier after a barrage of death threats and abuse, only to reopen with the help of Dr. Mohamad Fakih, owner of Paramount Fine foods.
Boswick, Lily, and Jamnisek went to the restaurant and were intercepted at the entrance by Fakih. Filming the interaction, Lily asserted (without evidence) that the family came as refugees and demanded to know where they got their money. She then started yelling about communism and ‘Antifa’.
Comments on one of Boswick’s videos from that interaction refer to Fakih and the Al-Soufi family as invaders and parasites, and say it’s only a matter of time before they are attacked with a molotov cocktail.
Boswick and Lily are also setting their sights on Mohamad Fakih, who is no stranger to this type of harassment. Earlier this year Fakih won a landmark defamation suit against video blogger Kevin Johnston, who made similar comments and is facing a hate crime charge for his videos which target women, LGBTQ+ persons, and Muslims. Johnston is an associate of Boswick, Lily, and Jamnisek.
The harassment campaign against the Al-Soufi family began on August 22nd with a now-deleted video Lily posted on Youtube. In it she claims the Al-Soufi family is connected to ISIS, that their food is tainted, and she names the restaurant and gives its address. This was in retaliation to their son monitoring one of Rick Boswick’s court dates, who faces a charge of uttering threats towards an anti-fascist. In the now deleted video, she also says they filmed the son within the courthouse, which is illegal.
“They’re fucking ISIS militants. Former militants . . . You come here. You have a plan. You don’t like Christianity. Okay. You want to wipe out Christianity. You want to turn this country into Sharia law . . . we know everything, where you located. And we want Canadian people to know if you order food from [address], you are supporting terrorists. Did you know that they send money back home and Canadian soldiers die in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq. When you go to that restaurant [address] you’re supporting terrorists.”
This harassment campaign escalated after a video went viral showing the son standing next to anti-fascists who are blocking an elderly woman’s path and shouting at her at a People’s Party of Canada event at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. The son and the family apologized, but the harassment continued.
Boswick and Lily quickly made more videos identifying the son, publishing information on his family and their restaurant, and calling them terrorists because they are Syrian. For the next week the far-right ecosystem in Canada had one target: the Al-Soufi family. The family started receiving a barrage of death threats; some were posted as comments on Boswick's videos.
After news that the restaurant would close due to these death threats, far-right video bloggers started claiming these threats were made up. In a video dated October 10, Lily says “[the son] is not a good Muslim. He’s a terrorist . . . [the Al-Soufi family] got advice from Muslim Brotherhood . . . to play victim . . .just tell that you’re getting death threats.”
If you have any information that would assist in serving these individuals with legal documents, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RICK BOSWICK, OTTAWA ON
- Is facing criminal charges for threats towards an anti-fascist
- Rick is a video blogger, primarily targeting anti-fascists, LGBTQ+ and Muslim persons
- Has disrupted various LGBTQ+ events, including the attack on Hamilton Pride
- Participated in the pre-meditated brawl in the Eaton Centre after a PEGIDA rally in Toronto
- Former Vice President of Canadian Combat Coalition, an anti-Muslim group, and associates with most hate groups in Ontario, including those with neo-Nazi ties
- Has claimed mass shootings by right-wing extremists are fake or media spin
- Supporter of Faith Goldy, self-proclaimed “propaganda arm” for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement
LILY, HAMILTON ON
- Video blogger primarily targeting anti-fascists, LGBTQ+ and Muslim persons, and regular demonstrator at Hamilton Yellow Vests Canada and Toronto PEGIDA rallies
- Supports the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party, whose leader is under investigation for a video in which he calls for Jews to be removed “once and for all” from Canada
- Attended neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau’s court dates to show her support; Goudreau is now subject to a peace bond for encouraging supporters to murder us, journalists, and government workers.
- Has neo-Nazi merchandise in her home (note the totenkopf)
ED JAMNISEK, MARKHAM ON
- Member of the Northern Guard, a militant anti-Muslim group with neo-Nazi ties and a regular at Yellow Vest Canada and PEGIDA demonstrations
- A regular on conspiracy theorist video streams (such as Duke Willis), including alongside neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau
Hate Groups Find Foothold on East Coast
Here's what you need to know
Olivia Boonstra & the Canadian Anti-Hate Network
July 29, 2019
New Brunswick and Halifax members of the Northern Guard. Source: Facebook.
White supremacist and far-right groups have been trying to gain a following in the Maritimes for almost a year now. Their activities are escalating and they’re carrying out ‘patrols’, rallies, and demonstrations.
Three groups are particularly active on the East Coast: The Northern Guard (NG), The National Citizens Alliance (NCA), and the remnants of Yellow Vests Canada (YVC), now producing content under the name 'NL Media'. Stephen Garvey, leader of the NCA, is running in the riding of Cumberland-Colchester, Nova Scotia, in the federal election.
The escalation started about a year ago, when the Soldiers of Odin (SOO) began carrying out so-called patrols in Halifax in late 2018. SOO rebranded as the Northern Guard in NS in early 2019 and continued these ‘patrols’, which sometimes included giving pizza to the homeless.
This kind of hate group ‘volunteerism’ is commonplace and part of a simple public relations strategy. Elsewhere the Soldiers of Odin pick up needles and the neo-fascist, neo-Nazi Atalante Quebec give meals to white people who are homeless, for example.
Fagan has been banned from all Domino's locations in Nova Scotia.
A post from Northern Guard president, Norman English, took umbrage with what occurred, including a statement acknowledging, “yes we are against any ppl that come here to change our way of life”.
A recent video also shows Northern Guard member Tobin Parker threatening people on the street with pepper spray during the a National Citizens Alliance rally on June 22nd.
The National Citizens Alliance (NCA) is a federal party led by Stephen Garvey, who has done events in the past with the explicitly anti-Muslim Worldwide Coaltion Against Islam, a neo-Nazi tied organization which refers to Muslims as vermin and sewage. NCA aims to put a ‘temporary pause’ on immigration and a massive reduction in immigration over time.
The party is working hard to secure a following in Nova Scotia, attending popular festivals and attempting to hold rallies and demonstrations. However, it has now been banned from events and has been met by counter-protests.
On June 22nd, National Citizens Alliance held a rally in Halifax in an attempt to recruit members in the area. The NCA were largely outnumbered by counter protestors organized by Halifax Against Hate (@HFXAgainstHate), a Halifax collective documenting far-right activities in Halifax and organizing against their actions.
During the rally, and shortly following the rally, police arrested two counter-protestors. Video shows a man being arrested after knocking Garvey’s hat off (without otherwise making contact with him).
Following the rally, the Halifax Regional Police arrested another counter-protestor for allegedly damaging an NCA banner. A video appears to show the counter-protestor being attacked by NCA members, ostensibly after damaging the banner, and it’s alleged that they were pepper sprayed by an officer while NCA members attacked them.
Only one National Citizens Alliance member was arrested, allegedly for public intoxication, according to a Halifax Against Hate press release.
The party has rallies planned in cities across Canada, and according to their website, have raised $16,520 dollars in donations.
On July 19th, 2019, NCA announced that leader and founder, Stephen Garvey, would be running in the Cumberland-Colchester, NS federal riding in the 2019 federal election. Eight more NCA candidates were also announced, running in ridings in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta.
NCA is planning more rallies across Canada in cities like Hamilton, Kingston, Charlottetown, and Nova Scotia.
Another somewhat recent entry in the East Coast hate scene is the Yellow Vests Canada movement, which began holding regular demonstrations across Canada, primarily targeting Muslims and Trudeau, in late 2018.
The Newfoundland & Labrador chapter of Yellow Vests Canada has been particularly active over the past few months, despite the general decline of the movement across Canada.
The group has organized small demonstrations in the St. John’s and Mount Pearl area. They are more active online where leader Kenny Winsor launched NL Media, one of many far-right, content-producing pages. NL Media primarily targets Trudeau and the LGBTQ+ community, with a particular focus on Liberal candidate Hasan Hai.
Winsor went to Hai’s campaign headquarters in May of 2019 to confront him directly after months of online harassment. Winsor harangued Hai and his staff before eventually leaving. Law enforcement was called but have not laid charges to date.
Winsor works with other content creators like Yellow Vests Canada alumni ‘Rollin with Pat and Jay’ who are touring across Canada, and have had several venues cancel on them after outreach by the anti-racist community.
‘Rollin with Pat and Jay’ hosts Pat King and Jay Riedel share anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, and anti-semetic sentiments, including Holocaust denial. King and Riedel were planning on touring Newfoundland & Labrador, however that leg of the tour has been cancelled due to the “great possibility they will face fierce opposition.”
The Northern Guard (NG) is a militant anti-Muslim group with neo-Nazi ties that is active across Canada. Their members have engaged in premeditated assaults targeting anti-racist, anti-fascist demonstrators.
The Northern Guard is an off-shoot of a similar group called the Soldiers of Odin (SOO), which disbanded in Nova Scotia and was reformed as the Northern Guard. The SOO were founded in Finland by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who has been found guilty of multiple racially motivated assaults. SOO chapters have been active in Canada since 2016.
There is some dispute over what motivated this ‘rebranding’ in Nova Scotia. Some sources say that there was internal conflict within the NS chapter of SOO about letting women join the group, which led to the creation of the ‘men only’ group, the Northern Guard. Women interested in being a part of the Northern Guard are encouraged to join their ‘sister’ group, the Northern Maidens, which works as a support group for the Northern Guard.
A statement from the Northern Guard insists that the split was due to financial conflicts within the group, with one post alleging that the president at the time, Billy Rushton, was stealing from the group.
National Citizens Alliance
The National Citizens Alliance (NCA) is a small federal party that was accepted by Elections Canada in January of 2019. Their website boasts that they will put a moratorium on all immigration, reduce foreign aid by 75%, reduce ‘bureaucracy’ by 50%, and make 9 amendments to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Their overall platform is anti-immigration, anti-globalization, and climate emergency denial.
Much like the Northern Guard, there is a specific anti-Muslim focus. The party itself walks a fine line so as to not portray itself as openly racist. It betrays itself, however, by it’s past associations with anti-Muslim and neo-Nazi groups such as the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam, and by its actions. Garvey attended the Arab Festival in Calgary last weekend where he livestreamed himself asking attendees where they came from and their immigration status.
Yellow Vests Canada
Yellow Vests Canada (YVC) is a far-right movement and Facebook page that has come to be characterized by hundreds of documented examples of death threats and overt racism, primarily targeting Muslims. At its peak it included members and supporters of virtually every anti-Muslim hate group in Canada. YVC is, by and large, a spent movement that can no longer carry out any significant demonstrations, however there is a particularly stubborn faction in Newfoundland & Labrador that remains active.
Today, it’s not so much a movement with any organizational capacity, but rather a Facebook page and a collection of content creators, including NL Media, Rollin with Pat & Jay, Rick Boswich (currently charged with uttering a threat), and Derek Storie.
Olivia Boonstra is a Masters student currently working in the areas of Harm Reduction and countering Right-Wing Extremism. She is completing a placement with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network as part of the Criminology and Social Justice MA program at Ryerson University.
Notorious anti-LBGTQ+ activist Bill Whatcott ordered to pay $55,000 for anti-trans flyers
While victory sets a strong legal precedent, it also underscores need for better legislation
March 28, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
On March 27, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled that notorious homophobe Bill Whatcott’s anti-trans flyers targeting Morgane Oger were a discriminatory publication likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt. The Tribunal has ordered Whatcott to pay Oger a total of $55,000.
Oger ran as the NDP Candidate in Vancouver – False Creek in 2017. During her campaign Whatcott distributed 1500 copies of an anti-LGBTQ+ flyer referring to Morgane as a “transvestite” in the riding and published it online. She lost the election by 400 votes.
Whatcott is well known for his anti-LGBTQ+ screeds and is no stranger to courtrooms. In 2013 he was the subject of a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) case as the result of flyers, one of which was titled “Keep Homosexuality out of Saskatoon’s Public Schools!”. This resulted in the SCC upholding Canada’s hate speech laws as constitutional. In June of 2018 Whatcott was charged by the Toronto Police Service for infiltrating the Toronto Pride Parade under a fake name in 2016 to hand out ‘anti-sodomy’ pamphlets.
Neo-Nazi Paul Fromm came to Whatcott’s defence as an intervenor in the case under the auspices of his organization, the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE). The Tribunal writes: “the intervention was not helpful and at times constituted an unwelcome and inflammatory distraction.” Further, “CAFE’s comments about Ms. Oger are completely improper and could fairly be the subject of a costs award if made by a party.” CAFE has been recognized as an intervenor in several cases.
Oger’s lawyer Susanna Allevato Quail tells the Toronto Star that the ruling in Oger’s favour sets a legal precedent that it’s not “a legitimate subject of public debate whether or not it’s OK to be transgender or whether transgender people are real.”
While this is a victory for human rights in Canada, not every province has this legislation; legal fees are expensive; and even if the wronged party wins and is awarded restitution and/or costs, they may never recover enough money from the people that wronged them to cover their legal expenses.
Bringing back Section 13 (s. 13) of the Canadian Human Rights Act is one solution which is currently being considered by the House of Commons Justice Committee.
S. 13 made it possible for any Canadian to make a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission regarding individuals or groups communicating hate online. If the CHRC found the complaint to be reasonable, it would go to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, a semi-judicial body which could order a cease and desist and a small fine. If the individual refused to stop, they would be in contempt of court and may face jail time.
Canadian Anti-Hate Member board member Richard Warman researched, filed, and litigated 16 successful complaints against online hate and the individuals and groups responsible under s. 13, resulting in a generation of hatemongers being forced offline.
This legal tool to address the spread of hatred was found constitutional by the Supreme Court, but removed by the Conservative government nonetheless in 2013. There are relatively few tools to address unrepentant hate propagandists in its absence.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network supports bringing back s. 13, but notes that it will only be a successful tool if the CHRC and Tribunal are sufficiently resourced.
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.
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, email@example.com
Bernie M. Farber, firstname.lastname@example.org
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