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.”
Since you've made it this far, please consider making a contribution at antihate.ca/donate so that we can continue our work monitoring supporters and members of organized hate groups in Canada.
A timeline of far-right events during COVID-19
They are refusing to stay at home, instead taking to the streets with conspiracy theories
Updated May 2, 2020
Canadian Anti-Hate Network & Kurt Phillips
Vancouver anti-lockdown protest. Sunday April 26, 2020. Source: Facebook.
Members and supporters of Canada’s hate groups stopped holding street-level demonstrations in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, instead spending all their time spreading conspiracy theories about the virus online. Some, like the Proud Boys, ID Canada, Atalante Quebec, and the Hundred Handers began putting up stickers and posters blaming immigrants, refugees, and multiculturalism for the spread of the virus.
Some vloggers and far-right activists have been filming hospital parking lots. Many smaller communities aren’t dealing with a large number of cases, elective procedures aren’t taking place, and visitors aren’t allowed. In their minds, however, empty parking lots are evidence that COVID-19 is a hoax.
There has been a shift in the past two weeks. Now, many far-right activists in Canada are ignoring social distancing and holding demonstrations because they want the lockdown to end. Many believe that the virus was engineered, or at least pushed along by China, the UN, or Jews and that it’s less deadly than reported. All the conspiracies agree on one point, however: that COVID-19 is being used as a pretext for more government control, taking away rights, and forcing a vaccine on the population.
Some want to emulate the traffic-jam demonstrations in the United States that have blocked hospital entrances. In Michigan and other states, thousands of far-right demonstrators descended on state capitols to demand that COVID-19 safety measures be lifted.
As usual, Canada’s far-right can't organize the same numbers. Nevertheless, with many of them swearing not to take a future vaccine, spreading misinformation, and encouraging others to ignore social distancing, they are a public health menace.
Here's what they've been doing:
Late March – BC
The BC chapter leader of Northern Guard claims a “snitch” called the police about a demonstration they are planning, which doesn’t come to fruition. President Nick Gallant promises to find the snitch. Several comments contain threats.
Ongoing – Calgary, AB
Anti-LGBTQ+ street preacher Artur Pawlowski was warned on March 23 for holding gatherings at Olympic Plaza and fined on April 3rd. Rebel Media is now fundraising off the incident.
Ongoing - Hamilton, ON
Yellow Vests in Hamilton continue their small weekly demonstrations (and have been filming hospitals).
April 11 – Calgary, AB
Continuing their tiny, almost-weekly demonstrations, a handful of Yellow Vests stand on a street corner with signs claiming COVID-19 is a hoax.
April 12 – Vancouver, BC
Susan Standfield-Spooner holds an anti-lockdown demonstration in downtown Vancouver that’s attended by about 20 people, including Dan Dicks, a conspiracy theorist vlogger, and well-known neo-Nazi Brian Ruhe.
April 12 – Vernon, BC
A smaller number of people went to a similar rally in Vernon, BC, describing COVID-19 as a hoax.
April 17 – Calgary, AB
A small number of Yellow Vesters have an anti-lockdown protest.
April 19 – Vancouver, BC
Neo-Nazi Brian Ruhe claims to be a co-organizer and thanks the police for “blocking traffic [and] giving us VIP treatment.” Attendees yell at passers-by calling them Chicoms (a slur for Chinese Communist), traitors, and libtards. Somewhere between a dozen and twenty people attend.
April 21 – Redvers, Saskatchewan
Travis Patron, leader of the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party, advertised a demonstration, but seemingly Patron and a cameraperson are the only people who attend. Patron throws up what he claims is a 'Roman salute', but what most people would more likely recognize as a 'Nazi salute', in front of a war memorial.
April 24 - Windsor, Ontario
"Holding up signs with messages like 'End the Shutdown' and 'I Got Bills,' about six people gathered at Walker Road and Ottawa Street to show their disagreement with ongoing restrictions meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
April 25 Quebec
Intending to block the bridge, demonstrators on Saturday were dispersed and escorted from Montreal to Quebec City by police, according to reporting by Xavier Camus.
April 25 – Toronto, Ontario
About 200 individuals, including but not primarily members and supporters of hate groups, protested against the lockdown at Queens Park.
April 26 – Vancouver, BC
The third anti-lockdown demonstration brought out about 50 people who received very negative attention from people in their apartments and passers-by. Neo-Nazi Brian Ruhe was happy to learn that the new Vancouver by-laws don’t allow for them to be ticketed.
May 2 - Toronto, Ontario
A smaller repeat demonstration at Queens Park.
May 2 - Surrey, BC
For more on Vancouver far-right organizing during COVID-19, see: https://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com/2020/04/far-right-organizing-in-vancouver.html
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Dan Dicks has been banned from YouTube. He remains on the platform. However, one of his longer video on one of the anti-lockdown rallies was removed, presumably as part of YouTube's crackdown on COVID-19 conspiracies. We apologize for the error.
Do you know of an event that we missed? Send us a message with the details/sources at email@example.com.
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.
Far-Right Coronavirus Conspiracies
Some think it’s a hoax, others hope it’ll kill more Chinese
March 16, 2020
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Source: Twitter. March 16, 2020. The artwork in this image is by Jenn Kovachik, and it was used by Peter Downing without her consent.
The far-right in Canada have been spreading misinformation about the coronavirus since day one. To them, COVID-19 is clear evidence of a massive and sinister conspiracy – they just don’t agree on which conspiracy or conspiracies are to blame.
Importantly, many commenters are expressing a desire for the virus to kill groups they feel are deserving, particularly Chinese and indigenous persons.
“I hope this dirty virus decimates china’s population.”
“Fucking subhumans. They deserve the plague."
“I’ll go get carona [sic] virus or Ebola and I’ll make sure I come to a bunch of reserves and touch everything ;) . . . Your species will die out and then my hard work tax money can go towards better things than your free pay cheque.”
Some believe COVID-19 is a hoax.
Nick Gallant, founder and leader of the Northern Guard (a splinter group of the Soldiers of Odin), says, because the media hasn’t provided any names of victims and he doesn't know of anybody who’s sick, information regarding the virus isn’t “validated.” This falls apart when one of his friends says she personally knows someone who has the virus.
Today, Peter Downing, head of the western separatist project Wexit Alberta tweeted:” If Alberta shuts down schools and daycares, just about every parents has to stay home from work to care for their kids…. SHUTTING DOWN our Economy. Just like the Feds want. The “Climate change” scare failed. Don’t fall for the new scare.”
Joey Deluca of Calgary who runs the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam says either the virus or its severity is being made up by Democrats as “part of their evil plan to take the White House and the Senate in November.”
The idea that the virus is an anti-Trump ploy could be found on several Canadian far-right social media platforms and Facebook groups. Here, the conspiracy is that COVID-19 is an effort by the “deep state” to undermine Trump who, because of his anti-immigrant and Islamophobic rhetoric, is widely admired by the Canadian far-right.
Other groups acknowledge that the virus both exists and is a health hazard. Their conspiracies run darker.
Many are linking COVID-19 to the conspiracy theory that the United Nations has a plan to eliminate as much as 90% of the world’s population. George Soros makes an appearance in these conspiracies, having become the ubiquitous boogeyman for the far-right. Among the groups pushing this theory is a Facebook group for supporters of the III%ers, an anti-Muslim and anti-government militia.
Some believe the coronavirus is the precursor to forced vaccinations which many members believe are a method of mind control, sterilization, or simply an effort to kill them outright as part of their shared delusion that the UN is trying to eliminate them.
The antivaxxers say they will never take any future COVID-19 vaccine.
A comment on a Northern Guard page says it’s part of a plot to make people “complacent, obedient, and easily subdued,” leading to mandatory vaccinations, which they call “medical totalitarianism.”
Then there is the belief that COVID-19 is in fact a weapon created by China to attack people of European descent. One of the individuals pushing this narrative is Brad Salzberg, the leader of the Cultural Action Party, a fringe but officially recognized political party in BC. He is further claiming that the Canadian government is pushing for the immigration of infected non-white and Muslim immigrants to wipe out “old stock” (read: white) Canadians.
There are even more outlandish theories – that the virus is designed to purposely target the elderly since they are more inclined to be conservative, for example – but they have too many theories to discuss each in detail.
Few of them, however, are very original; they are variations of the same conspiracies that you’d hear on shortwave radio back in the 1990s. What’s different right now is that coronavirus itself is real and on everybody’s mind. People are scared and vulnerable. The far-right are taking advantage.
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.
Quebec Far-Right Hold Rally in Support of Government’s Law Against Religious Symbols - Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Quebéc Far-Right Hold Rally in Support of Government’s Law Against Religious Symbols
Far-right organizers and hate groups are trying to use support for the law, widely characterized as discriminatory and unconstitutional, to gather new supporters
April 9, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Far-right supporters gather for the vague bleue demonstration in Montreal on May 4.
For over a month in the leadup to May 4, Québec’s far-right had been excited. There was a wave coming, they said. A “vague bleue;” a blue wave - a sea of blue and white Québec flags.
The vague bleue was initially meant to be a demonstration in favour of a “citizen’s constitution,” the primary demand of the Québec Yellow Vests. The group is characterized by racism and conspiracy theories and led by Pierre Dion, who was recently arrested for inciting hatred towards Muslims. Vague bleue, like the weekly, dozen-strong Yellow Vests demonstrations, was held on a Saturday outside Québecor-owned television station TVA.
Vague bleue was set to be Québec’s largest far-right demonstration in a very long time. Over 2,000 people were listed as attending on Facebook and far-right internet personalities filmed themselves putting up posters around the city, expecting a massive turnout.
While it was being organized, vague bleue became a rally in favour of Bill 21, the governing Coalition Avenir Québec party’s proposed secularism law which would ban individuals who wear religious symbols from working in large segments of the public service, including as police, judges, and teachers. Far-right organizations loudly support the law with the anti-Muslim group La Meute even briefly switching the banner photo for their public Facebook group to a picture of Premier François Legault.
Making the vague bleue rally about Bill 21 led to significantly more interest, and exploded the reach of its Facebook event, which made no direct mention of any of the extremist groups involved.
Despite their attempts to mask the nature of the rally, far right groups were very much on the scene, and wearing their colours. Photos of the demonstration show members of Storm Alliance, La Meute and other militant anti-Muslim groups in paramilitary gear acting as “volunteer security.” Organizers explicitly asked that participants not fly the flags of their groups, but instead use Québec flags (as well as the Patriots flag, which is popular among nationalists).
At around 500 attendees, vague bleue was larger than most previous far right demonstrations—the last major one being La Meute’s incursion into Montreal on July 1, 2018, which was prevented from marching by anti-fascist activists surrounding the demonstration.
Vague bleue was also met by an anti-racist counter demonstration which peaked at 250 persons. Some left after police began firing tear gas at the counter-demonstrators, shooting one anti-racist in the face with a canister. The counter-protest dispersed, but later regrouped. Separated by a police line, the two demonstrations faced off until the vague bleue contingent marched back to the buses which had brought many of them in from out of town.
Previously, the largest far-right demonstration had occurred in November 2017, when La Meute and Storm Alliance—as well as neo-Nazi aligned Atalante Québec and Soldiers of Odin—formed a coalition against the already-cancelled provincial inquiry into systemic racism, drawing around 500 people to the streets of Québec City. However, the far-right’s capacity to mobilize people onto the streets started to stagnate and decline as a result of concerted anti-racist organizing and far-right infighting. By summer 2018, their demonstrations would only bring out one to three hundred supporters.
Now, the far-right is picking up steam again, using vague bleue as a way to ride on the very real wave of online Islamophobia that has become more visible since the government’s announcement of Bill 21. Organizers believe they can use Bill 21 to draw Quebecers beyond (but still including) the usual cohort of far-right groups into their fold.
A “Vague Bleue Part 2” is currently being planned for the end of June, in Trois-Rivieres, about an hour and a half away from Montreal.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network would like to thank a contributor from Montréal for their help in researching and authoring this article.
Un rassemblement d'extrême droite québécoise en faveur de la loi du gouvernement contre les symboles religieux
Des organisateurs d'extrême droite et des groupes haineux tentent d'utiliser le soutien à la loi, largement qualifié de discriminatoire et inconstitutionnel, pour réunir de nouveaux partisans
April 9, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Depuis plus d’un mois, jusqu’au 4 mai, l’extrême droite du Québec était excitfée. Il y avait une vague à venir, ils ont dit. Une vague bleue; une vague bleue, une mer de drapeaux bleus et blancs du Québec.
La vague bleue devait au départ être une manifestation en faveur d’une «constitution de citoyen», revendication première des gilets jaunes du Québec. Le groupe se caractérise par des théories du racisme et du complot et est dirigé par Pierre Dion, récemment arrêté pour incitation à la haine envers les musulmans. Vague bleue, comme les démonstrations hebdomadaires d'une dizaine de manifestants, a eu lieu un samedi devant la station de télévision TVA détenue par Québecor.
Vague bleue devait être la plus grande manifestation d’extrême droite au Québec depuis très longtemps. Plus de 2 000 personnes étaient inscrites sur Facebook et des personnalités d'extrême droite de l'internet se sont filmées en train de poser des affiches dans toute la ville, dans l'attente d'une participation massive.
Pendant qu’elle était organisée, la vague bleue devenait un rassemblement en faveur du projet de loi 21, le projet de loi sur la laïcité proposé par le parti au pouvoir de la Coalition Avenir Québec, qui interdirait aux personnes portant des symboles religieux de travailler dans de larges secteurs de la fonction publique, notamment en tant que policiers, juges, et les enseignants. Les organisations d'extrême droite soutiennent la loi avec force. Le groupe anti-musulman La Meute a même brièvement basculé la photo de la bannière de leur groupe Facebook public sur une photo du premier ministre François Legault.
Faire le rassemblement de la vague bleu autour du projet de loi 21 a suscité beaucoup plus d’intérêt et a fait exploser la portée de son événement sur Facebook, qui ne mentionnait directement aucun des groupes extrémistes impliqués.
Malgré leurs tentatives pour masquer la nature du rassemblement, les groupes d'extrême droite étaient très présents et portaient leurs couleurs. Des photos de la manifestation montrent des membres de Storm Alliance, La Meute et d'autres groupes militants anti-musulmans en tenue paramilitaire jouant le rôle de «sécurité volontaire». Les organisateurs ont explicitement demandé que les participants n’apportent pas les drapeaux de leurs groupes, mais qu'ils utilisent plutôt des drapeaux du Québec ( comme le drapeau des patriotes, qui est populaire parmi les nationalistes).
Avec environ 500 participants, le vague bleu était plus grand que la plupart des manifestations précédentes d’extrême droite - la dernière en date étant l’incursion de La Meute à Montréal le 1er juillet 2018, qui avait été empêchée par les activistes antifascistes qui avaient entouré la manifestation.
Vague bleue a également rencontré une contre-manifestation antiraciste qui a culminé à 250 personnes. Certains sont partis après que la police ait commencé à tirer des gaz lacrymogènes sur les contre-manifestants, tirant un antiraciste au visage avec une cartouche. La contre-manifestation s'est dispersée, mais s'est ensuite regroupée. Séparés par une ligne de police, les deux manifestations se sont affrontées jusqu’à ce que le contingent vague bleu se dirige vers les bus qui en avaient fait venir beaucoup d’autres villes.
Auparavant, la plus grande manifestation d'extrême droite avait eu lieu en novembre 2017, lorsque La Meute et Storm Alliance, ainsi que les groupes Atalante Québec et Soldiers of Odin formaient une coalition qui a attiré environ 500 personnes dans les rues de la ville de Québec contre l'enquête provinciale déjà annulée sur le racisme systémique. Cependant, la capacité de l'extrême droite à mobiliser les gens dans les rues a commencé à stagner et à décliner à la suite d'une organisation concertée antiraciste et des querelles internes d'extrême droite. D'ici l'été 2018, leurs manifestations ne réuniraient que de cent à trois cents sympathisants.
Maintenant, l'extrême droite reprend son élan, utilisant la vague bleue comme moyen de tirer parti de la véritable vague d'islamophobie en ligne qui est devenue plus visible depuis l'annonce par le gouvernement du projet de loi 21. Les organisateurs pensent pouvoir utiliser le projet de loi 21 pour attirer les Québécois en plus de (tout en incluant) la cohorte habituelle de groupes d'extrême droite.
Une «Vague Bleue 2me partie» est actuellement prévue pour la fin juin à Trois-Rivières, à environ une heure et demie de Montréal.
Le réseau canadien anti-haine aimerait remercier un contributeur de Montréal pour son aide dans la recherche et la rédaction de cet article.
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. Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, spoke at the first Toronto rally and 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.
Correction 2019-02-19: We originally reported that Faith Goldy "held" the first Toronto rally. In fact she was a speaker. We regret the error. Goldy continues to promote the Yellow Vests Canada movement and convoy.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.»
July 14 to 15, the Canadian Combat Coalition and other far-right groups held a ‘Canadians for Canada’ rally in Ottawa which was also billed as a ‘Unite the Right’ rally.
The rally touched off controversy in the far-right ecosystem over the participation of neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau, who sports a large swastika tattoo on his chest.
Dan Dubois, the leader of the Canadian Combat Coalition (C3), claimed the rally would include groups like Storm Alliance, Soldiers of Odin, Sons of Odin, the Canadian Jewish Defence League, the III%ers, Northern Guard and La Meute.
Before the rally, a member of the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant group La Meute posted in a closed Facebook group that they would be furious if any La Meute members attended, saying “These are neo-nazis, regardless of what they try to say, and we will have NONE of it.”
The Jewish Defence League also did not attend.
Responding to news that La Meute wasn’t coming, Dubois told the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, “It's a total mystery to me why La Meute wouldn't want to associate with us our beliefs are virtually identical.” He went on to post that C3 doesn't endorse "any racist or hate ideologies."
That evening, Dubois did a video interview with Kevin Goudreau to address allegations that Goudreau is a neo-Nazi and is associated with C3. In the video, Dubois accuses groups on the right of “spreading lies and deceit.” Goudreau claims that he’s not a Nazi, but an ethno-nationalist.
Anti-Racist Canada, part of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network team, has documented Goudreau’s extensive antisemitism and use of neo-Nazi signalers like 14/88 (referring to the 14 words and 88 standing for ‘Heil Hitler’).
“My problem is with people that come here to take advantage of what we have,” Goudreau says in the video with Dubois. He says they aren't real asylum seekers or refugees. “They are just here to rape us. Islamification of Canada, bringing their Sharia law here and when giving these people that are using a con special privileges and rights we don’t have.”
Dubois says Goudreau isn’t a member of C3. “What this is about is that Kevin doesn’t like this government,” says Dubois, “and C3 and Dan Dubois don’t like [this government] so mine enemy is my ally till we get this fight done.”
Only 80-100 people showed up on Saturday and were cordoned off from the public on Parliament Hill. Groups including C3, Northern Guard, Storm Alliance, and the Canadian Nationalist Party attended.
As originally reported by Anti-Racist Canada, Northern Guard has included leaders and members with demonstrated ties to white supremacy and neo-Nazism.
Far-right groups use rallies and events to network in real life and build capacity. This event continues a pattern of far-right groups claiming they aren’t racist while standing shoulder to shoulder with groups and individuals that are demonstrably hateful.
More speakers were scheduled for Sunday, but pictures from the event show perhaps as few as 40 people attended.
Some members of the far-right rally made their way over to a nearby #sexedsaveslives demonstration, which was protesting against the government's decision to roll back Ontario's sex ed curriculum. According to a participant, four or five people came over and “yelled some things/questions at the crowd and pointed their cameras at people.”
In an interview, Dubois told the Ottawa Citizen they expected 1,000 people and are disappointed with the turnout.
"For the fake Groups that didn't attend Shame on you," Dubois writes in a post on Monday. "Putting personal feelings ahead of your country just exposed you as fake Patriots !"
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is concerned about demonstrations being held by far-right groups on Parliament Hill in Ottawa this weekend, July 14-15, 2018.
The demonstrations, being promoted as a ‘Canadians for Canada’ rally and a ‘Unite the Right’ rally are being organized by the Canadian Combat Coalition (C3). The leader of C3 claims it will include groups like Storm Alliance, Soldiers of Odin, Sons of Odin, the Canadian Jewish Defence League, the III%ers, and Northern Guard.
Members of La Meute, Storm Alliance, and other groups at a previous demonstration on Parliament Hill.
As originally reported by Anti-Racist Canada, part of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network team, the Soldiers of Odin and Northern Guard have leaders and members with demonstrated ties to white supremacy and neo-Nazism.
Members of the Canadian Jewish Defence League have been charged with a hate crime in the United States for their role in the beating of a Palestinian professor at the AIPAC conference in 2017.
The III%ers are an anti-Muslim ‘militia’ group which is stockpiling weapons, conducting paramilitary training and staking out mosques. In the United States, members of a III% militia group plotted to blow up an apartment full of Muslim immigrants. The Canadian leader, Beau Welling, has posted “The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim,” on Facebook.
Speakers include Kevin J Johnston, a Youtuber from Mississauga who is currently charged under S 319 of the Criminal Code for spreading hate propaganda. His videos often target Muslims and LGBTQ+ persons.
Far-right groups use rallies and events to network in real life and build capacity. This event continues a pattern of far-right groups claiming they aren’t racist while standing shoulder to shoulder with groups that are overtly and demonstrably hateful.
The event will run on both Saturday and Sunday. One of the organizers of a connected ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ event has said he “really wants to get in mainstream media’s face” and they may march on the nearby CTV office on Sunday. According to Hope Not Hate, Robinson is a "Far-right Islamophobic Extremist." He has been put in jail for breaking contempt of court laws in the UK.
Update 2018-07-13: Members of La Meute tell the Canadian Anti-Hate Network that they won't be attending the C3 rally. "We don't want to be associated with the mess of Saturday," says Sébastien Chabot, a member of La Meute.
Toronto's most prominent far-right organizer, Ronny Cameron, has cancelled his 'white priviledge is a myth' event (which had over 100 shares but fewer than two-dozen rsvps) and says he quits political activism.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network welcome news that CSIS reopened investigations into right-wing extremism following the Quebec mosque shooting in January, 2017. "It was an error in judgement for CSIS to suspend investigations into right-wing extremism," said Bernie M Farber, Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. "Hate movements go through peaks and valleys, but they never fully disappear. These groups should always be monitored and countered." He goes on to note that "CSIS played an important role in the dismantling of the neo-Nazi Heritage Front in the 90s and we are glad to hear they are recommitting to this work. We hope they devote the appropriate resources to this threat, especially as we are becoming increasingly aware of dangerous far-right extremism in Canada.Read more