One Of The Spiritual Fathers Of Modern Neo-Nazi Terrorism Stood In A Montreal Courtroom This Week -- And Likely Won’t Spend A Day In Jail
Canadian Anti Hate Network
November 24, 2020
On Tuesday morning, Gabriel Sohier Chaput stood in a courtroom for the first time in the two years since a warrant was issued for his arrest on a single count of wilful promotion of hatred, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of two years.
Now put over until February 2021, it is also extremely likely that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the now familiar course of hate crime cases in Canada, Sohier Chaput -- despite being a leading figure in the annals of fascism for the new millennium -- will likely never see the inside of a prison cell.
Once a tech consultant living in Montreal’s Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood, it is hard to overstate the importance of Sohier Chaput to the modern neo-Nazi movement.
Under the moniker of “Zeiger,” his and the collective works of precious few other writers contributed to the “library” of the openly fascist internet forum Iron March -- the birthplace of the skullmask neo-Nazi terror groups -- and have become standard ideological training manuals for a crowd of predominantly disturbed and troubled young men with a thirst for violence.
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Sohier Chaput continued to find ways to make a name for himself alongside the ideological leaders of the most violent neo-fascists, and secured a spot on the editorial board of Andrew Anglin’s Daily Stormer - a noxious website which has long been a repository for antisemitic, racist, and misogynistic material draped in false irony, and aimed at children. It would bring Sohier Chaput to a larger audience, and it still serves as a home to his hundreds of articles and hours of podcasts.
But where is the media? Where are the deep dives into the man that inspired the murderous terror cells with names like Atomwaffen and Feuerkrieg, with designs on “Total Aryan Victory?” Sohier Chaput’s case has gone woefully unnoticed by the English speaking mainstream news sources, save for an article in the paper that helped reveal his true identity to the world, the Montreal Gazette.
Despite the media’s failure, the definitive story of the Zeiger saga up until this point has been published. In their newest article, the activists whose original work located and linked Sohier Chaput to his online persona, Montréal Antifasciste details the history of the man’s work, as well as the methods used to catch him. It is currently the most detailed and accurate work on the man published to date.
Most Canadians have likely never heard of Sohier Chaput, or his alias, but international white terror groups not only admire him, they have made his books required reading for entrance, including those that have committed open and wanton acts of violence, murder, and terrorism. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Centre highlighted nine fascist groups in nine different countries that were affiliated with or supported by Iron March until the site finally went down in 2017.
Not the least among these is the Siege community, named after the book of another prominent white nationalist figure James Mason, which encourages lone-wolf attacks and small cells of resistance rather than large collective militias. Sohier Chaput served as editor for the third edition of Siege, receiving a personal thank you from Mason himself in the publication. The same adherents who treat Siege as the actionable blueprint for waging a guerilla war against the state turn to Iron March for their ideological and spiritual underpinning.
Besides the violence Sohier Chaput’s words have inspired, his time as a content creator both on Iron March and the still online Daily Stormer was spent openly advocating for the elimination of what he viewed as the enemies of the white race.
Chiefly Jews, Blacks, Muslims, race traitors, and any white “lemmings” unwilling to turn against society to support the coming wave of fascism.
Sohier Chaput was on the run for two years, and to date the public doesn’t know where he was -- or who was hiding him. He is a prolific producer of hate and his status places him among a handful of living figures with prestige in that movement. The lack of public outcry, and awareness, makes the pressure on the legal system to crack down on individuals like Sohier Chaput all but non-existent.
Whether it is his appearance at the deadly 2017 “United the Right” in Charlottesville, his failed attempts to sustain a Montreal fascist book club, his various podcast appearances, or the innumerable pages, posts, and PDFs that still bear the name Zeiger, he has been at the centre of pushing his own brand of the ideology forward into ready hands.
As Zeiger walked out of the courtroom on Tuesday, the decision of the court to allow it and the silence from the media — which is supposed to shine a light into the dark corners where men like him reside — all but ensures he will continue to operate in those spaces, unimpeded.
Every day, in our work, we encounter his words, his thoughts, the consequences of his actions left on people’s lives. Sohier Chaput has yet to face justice for the pain he has caused, and it seems likely he never will.
Elizabeth Simons and Morgana Adby
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
October 6, 2020
Publicly, they're a political youth group. Privately, they share Hitler quotes -- one owns a real Nazi officer's dagger -- and they want influence in the Alberta separatist movement to create a "new nationalist West."
ASYL co-founder Sam Bell, speaking at a Wexit event in Red Deer, 2019. Photo: Melanie Woods/Huffington Post Canada
A group of about 20 young men, all under the age of 26, make up the Alberta Separatist Youth League (ASYL) -- and they have big political aspirations. While they hide their true ideology publicly, behind the scenes they are explicit in their antisemitic, racist, and authoritarian beliefs.
Founded by three self-identified Groypers -- an alt-right neo-Nazi ideology connected to the fandom of American white supremacist Nick Fuentes -- they used social media such as Telegram and Facebook, as well as the infamous neo-Nazi forum Stormfront to recruit new members.
Co-founder Eli Weisberg described them as “young politicians” in a recruitment post on Stormfront; the ASYL seeks to insert itself into the Albertan nationalist, separatist, and patriot landscape through a variety of connections to political parties in the province.
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The organization’s membership primarily comes from Edmonton and the surrounding areas of Stettler and Red Deer. At least two of the founding members have established themselves within fringe political parties; Sam Bell was initially with Wexit Alberta before being selected for the board of the recently formed Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta (a merger of Wexit Alberta and the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta). Eli Weisberg helped found the Alberta Advantage Party and served as its secretary.
Several future members of the ASYL and one of its founders attended the Alberta PC leadership convention in 2017.
Waycee Hellekson and Trey Nichols at the 2017 Alberta PC leadership convention. Source: Facebook
“All of us have provincial political experience, have helped to start many mainstream conservative parties and groups (including Wexit Alberta) which do not engage in National Socialist activism,” Weisberg, posting as OfOneHeart, writes on Stormfront. “We're going to try our best to build something real and honourable to uphold the fourteen words.”
The "fourteen words" is a neo-Nazi slogan invented by David Lane, founder of The Order, while in prison for his part in the murder of Jewish American radio host Alan Berg.
“People of all levels of redpill are welcome!”
The Alberta Separatist Youth League is not only an online chat group - they want to get organized. Around 20 young men planned to meet on August 18th in Red Deer, at the One Eleven Grill.
Concerned with mainstream legitimacy and appearance, Weisberg advertised ASYL as “Optics Friendly National Socialism'' on Stormfront.
The Foundation of the Ethnostate
Alberta is ripe with opportunities for white nationalists to get involved in the fringes of politics. It’s facing pandemic and energy-related struggles, the Western separatist (Wexit) movement is stoking existing feelings of western alienation, and some believe the United Conservative Party can’t stop what they see as Ottawa’s interference in their economy.
“Michael”, whose identity we are not disclosing because they are concerned for their safety, had joined ASYL and provided material from their private Telegram chats to The Canadian Anti-Hate Network and The Canada Files, a student newspaper.
“[Albertan conservatives] are looking for another party to kind of lend their support to, whether that’s the PPC or other right-wing regional parties,” Michael tells us. “[They’re ] like ‘oh yeah I hate Trudeau, yeah we need to get the pipelines built,’ just general stuff like that right, and they don’t realize that a lot of these parties that have been popping up- and they don’t realize just what these parties stand for.”
Wexit, an Alberta Separatist movement, has drawn neo-Nazi support since its inception. For example, a former member of Blood & Honour, which is now a designated terrorist group, expressed support online, and participants have been spotted wearing neo-Nazi clothing at their rallies. The idea of Wexit is appealing to the white power movement -- with a strong stance against immigration and extremely socially conservative values, they see it as the next best thing to a white ethnostate.
While the larger separatist movement is not necessarily racially motivated, those that are have been welcomed into the fold. Thanks to this, those advocating for an ethnostate have been legitimized by the media - Sam Bell has been profiled by some outlets without mention of his online activities.
The group is supported by a popular far-right Alberta Instagram account with 1500+ followers run in part by Martin, a 2020 high school graduate from Brooks, AB. The account promotes alt-right talking points and links to the ASYL in its bio.
The ASYL website relies on emotive language and dog whistles common within the white power movement to appeal to their potential recruits. After asserting that “you,” the audience, have seen your society degenerate, “but nobody cared,” ASYL is there to step in and help young men with purpose and brotherhood, telling the reader that they’ve found someone just like them.
The leaders of the group identify as Groypers. Just like the alt-right was a rebranding of neo-Nazism, the Groyper movement is a subsection of the alt-right that wants to move away from the label, recognizing it’s been associated with neo-Nazism. The Groypers, however, have even more of a focus on what they see as religious/traditional values, infiltrating politics, whitewashing their ideology, using humour and deniable language, and concealing their extremism. A common theme with ASYL members is the idea of “our peoples’ meta-narrative”; an easily digestible and plausibly deniable version of the 14 words.
Despite using American revolutionary imagery to draw in its audience, its leadership does not appear to agree with pluralism on principal. In a Telegram group chat, Weisberg made it clear he has a low opinion of libertarians -- and democracy.
“I would rather be ruled by a heavy-handed monarch with virtue than a democracy that votes for gibs,” he said. “Hell, I’d honestly rather live in a commie craphole.”
Enter the Wildrose Independence Party. Created in June 2020 as a result of a merger between two fringe provincial parties: Wexit Alberta and the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta. The Wildrose Independence Party claims to be ready to topple the two party status quo. The fringe parties had received about 1 per cent of the vote in the 2019 provincial election, but may be poised to gain more ground.
A poll from January 2020 revealed widespread discontent towards Premier Jason Kenny and that separatist sentiment was up from the previous July. As many Albertans look for a fresh solution, the Wildrose Independence Party is trying to appeal to the disenfranchised. Currently headed up by interim leader Paul Hinman, the party is pivoting from its search for a “fair deal” to a bolder independence effort.
The day before they voted to combine their parties, supporters of Wexit Alberta and the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta gathered in Medicine Hat to talk shop. There, members of the press were told that they intended to “radically alter” their relationship with the federal government.
The Alberta Advantage Party was formed in late 2018 by Marilyn Burns and David Inscho, of the now-defunct Wildrose Party, and Eli Weisberg, the neo-Nazi Stormfront user and one of the founders of the Alberta Separatist Youth League. The fringe right-wing party ran 28 candidates, but only received 0.3% of the vote in the 2019 Alberta election. Their platform states they want to choose their own immigrants, like Quebec, which has been subject to scrutiny for favouring white immigrants. They would also require that schools notify parents of their childrens’ “sexual behaviour” and involvement in Gay-Straight Alliance clubs.
During the 2019 election, some Albertans claimed to have received robocalls from the Alberta Advantage Party in which the speaker ended the recording by telling the listener they will “Make Alberta Great Again.” An 2019 op-ed by Weisberg on the Alberta Advantage website is very similar to the recruitment narrative for ASYL, referencing the “decay” of “our nation’s social structure.”
Meet the members of the Alberta Separatist Youth League (ASYL)
Sam Bell. Source: Facebook
Before founding ASYL, Sam Bell, who went by his real name on Telegram, ran the Make Alberta Great Again Facebook page. When Bell was exposed as a founder of ASYL, he deactivated his account, and the page. He is still active on Instagram, where he had previously reposted much of the content from his MAGA Facebook page. While Bell’s social media has always been alt-right, over time the content has become more overtly fascist. He began quoting Hitler in recent months and referencing Julius Evola, a popular philosopher among the alt-right.
In the chat logs from the ASYL private Telegram group, Bell was told that quoting Hitler was not good optics.
“You weebs have to stop telling people I posted Hitler cringe,” Bell replied. “I liked that Hitler quote.”
In one Instagram post, Bell uses a meme to argue that immigrants should be paid to leave Canada. His followers argue that they shouldn’t be paid.
“Diversity in never-ending hoards will crush our civilization. It’s not too late to reverse mass immigration,” he said, agreeing that white immigrants should be permitted -- those who would not undermine our “cultural meta-narrative.”
During the summer months, Bell intended to register the ASYL with the province as some kind of formal organization. At time of publication it isn’t clear whether this happened.
Eli Weisberg AKA Ernest Aberklien AKA OfOneHeart
Eli Weisberg. Source: Alberta Advantage website.
Eli Weisberg, aka Ernest Aberklien, began posting on Stormfront under “OfOneHeart” in 2017. He studied engineering at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, before returning to Alberta.
As a student, Weisberg participated in robotics competitions and showed the ASYL a photo of a 3D printer that he and a friend built from scratch. While in school, he had the opportunity to sit on the executive boards of multiple parties, according to his posts on Stormfront. In 2018, Weisberg wrote that this political action was not enough to satisfy his “moral needs,” and he began organizing with friends. Weisberg was still active on Stormfront while he was co-founding the Alberta Advantage Party in 2019, serving as party secretary.
In one Facebook post on the economy, Weisburg commented, “Accelerationists need to be patient. Our provincial and federal governments are working diligently to destroy our economy. Have a little faith in their incompetence.” Accelerationism is a philosophy that promotes the acceleration of societal collapse. In the case of neo-Nazis, they hope it will provide them the opportunity to seize power and implement a white ethnostate.
Never one to hedge his support for National Socialism, Weisberg’s introduction post on Stormfront in 2017 contained his glowing endorsement of life in Nazi Germany.
“In every account of life in Nazi Germany, a link was always made to the holocaust, or the Gestapo showing up to arrest ‘innocent’ people,” the post reads. “Life appeared to be a perfect utopia: A nation with one heart, moving in the same step, yet free to conduct business, live as they wished, with more rights than in any democratic nation today. If you were a moral citizen, you had absolute freedom. As I looked a little deeper, I realized that the only people being arrested by the Gestapo were communists and traitors.”
Weisberg continues, peppering his post with the echoes to refer to Jewish people, “The world economy must remain weak, indebted, and poor in order for (((them))) to be fiscally secure. (((Their))) profits are based on our dependence on (((them))).”
Weisberg’s also shows support for eugenics and re-education on Stormfront:
“The disease of the mind was still there, untreated. It had already migrated to the ‘traitors.’ I know it may seem like a long shot, but I believe with science and technology (neuro-reformatting, gene therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, etc), the ‘Great Disease of the Heart and Mind’ can be cured. Forever.”
Weisberg attempts to find others to discuss applications of therapy and drugs to the “diseased minds of other races and race traitors ... 1. Significant modification to ethic thought processes must be carried out or 2. The non-white brain must be altered in order to gain the capability to think correctly.”
Waycee Hellekson aka Alberta Revolution
Waycee Hellekson. Source: Facebook
Another prominent member of ASYL, Hellekson, known online as Alberta Revolution, toutes his self-proclaimed goal to unite the western provinces through racial identity.
“Alberta and Sask are the two youngest, whitest, and fastest-growing provinces. We need to hijack them and create a new nationalist west,” he wrote online.
Hellekson is more concerned with optics and appearance and chastised Bell for quoting Hitler. However, he makes his own callbacks to white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology on Facebook. For example, Hellekson shared a photo of Hitler Youth burning books with the caption “Me and the boys at Drag Queen Story Hour” and tagged other members of the ASYL.
Also on Facebook, Hellekson posted a picture of a US marine who travelled to the colonial power of Rhodesia in 1979 to fight “communism,” with the caption “Based as fuck.” Rhodesia as a concept has been turned into an explicitly white supremacist reference to their support of the former apartheid state and to promote anti-Black hatred.
Hellekson runs the ASYL Twitter account.
Reece Nichols, aka Sloth_R, and his brother Trey Nichols aka KingVelvetta 1st
Reece Nichols. Source: Facebook
Nichols, known as Sloth_R online, is a conspiracy theorist who defends racism, as “not a crime as long as harm is not done.” In another tweet, he reacts to the sentencing of a man convicted of distributing the Christchurch terrorist’s live stream footage of him murdering Muslims: “Smells like communism at its finest.”
On his public Facebook, he was enthusiastic about the People’s Party of Canada and perpetuates the conspiracy theory that “the west is being brainwashed,” by communist forces, referencing the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory.
Trey Nichols. Source: Instagram
Nichols’s brother, Trey Nichols, may also be a member. A member in the chat has a similar unique username - King Velvetta 1st - to the nickname Trey uses in his Instagram bio - Captain Punter Trey (king velveta) Nichols. On his Facebook, he regularly posts libertarian political content, and opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement.
For example, he reposted an article that attempts to shift responsibility for the police murder of George Floyd off the officers and onto Floyd. An interview with Ezra Levant is also featured, where he argues that “resisting arrest, not race, is the common denominator,” in police killings.
Teron Garbutt aka Mike Literus
Teron Garbutt. Source: Instagram
Garbutt, known online as Mike Literus, is less conscious of optics than his compatriots.
“The most precious possession you have in the world is your own people,” he captioned a shared image of the new Nationalist edit of the Wildrose Independence red flower logo, “and for the sake of this people, we will struggle and fight, and never slacken, never tire, never lose courage and never lose faith.”
It’s a quote by Hitler.
Garbutt also owns a Third Reich officer’s dagger, swastika and all. He shared an image of it with ASYL. In a Snapchat photo shared by Hellekson to ASYL, Garbutt is featured shirtless holding the knife over his head. The caption, “POV: it’s 1934 and your nose is too fucking big.”
Teron Garbutt. Source: ASYL chat logs.
For Michael, who provided us with the chat logs, the rise in ultranationalism and fascism disguised as run-of-the-mill conservatism is of deep concern, particularly with how it attracts young people. “Fascism and this kind of far right extremism, [it’s] extremely appealing. It gives people a very obvious target. [They tell people] “This is why you have the problems that you do, and this is how we are going to fix it, this is the true view of the world,” right?”
“When I think about my politics personally I think about what’s going to help the most people, right? Whereas this group is like, “we’re going to help our race, and our own group,” and I had to look at my values and be like, you know, “that’s wrong.” If you are willing to ignore the part of society that you are not a part of, it’s very very appealing to support this kind of ideology. Because, you stand to gain the most from it. Even if what you’re doing is immoral.”
We reached out to members of the ASYL multiple times for comment, but received no substantive response.
Since being contacted by journalists, the ASYL has deleted all the content on their Telegram account.
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A copy of the leaked chat logs can be found here.
Do you have more information on the Alberta Separatist Youth League or any of these individuals? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 22, 2020
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Chris Vanderweide (left) and Jordan Justein (right). Source: Facebook
The Urban Infidels Canada have returned violent Youtube troll Jordan Justein to the leadership of its Toronto chapter, after he suffered a major falling out with other prominent figures in the Greater Toronto Area's hate movement.
A private group chat containing a variety of different current and former members of known hate groups paints a picture of how Justein’s temper has been bringing him into conflict with Chris Vanderweide, former Kitchener chapter president of the Urban Infidels.
Vanderweide became infamous for attacking people with a helmet alongside anti-LGBTQ+ hate preachers at a pride event in Hamilton, Ontario. “The height of violence occurred with one of the Agitators, who was wearing paramilitary gear, wildly swinging a helmet and striking one of the Pride Defenders in the face,” said an independent review of the incident.
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Despite claiming to have carried out other assaults while he was facing charges, and ongoing threatening talk, the crown offered Vanderweide a plea deal and he is currently serving a suspended sentence for assault with a weapon.
His probation seems not to concern Vanderweide as he continues to threaten anti-fascists, has started openly attending demonstrations again, and has painted himself a new helmet. He has also continued his tough talk with Justein, who is Jewish, over his lack of condemnation of “evil jews."
Justein used a Canadian Anti-Hate article about alt-right neo-Nazi propagandist Faith Goldy to demonstrate her antisemitism, angering Vanderweide, who called it "defending" the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
According to the chat, Justein has been charged for an alleged assault of another member of the group in a Toronto Tim Hortons. Footage of the incident posted to the chat shows Justein accusing Josh Chernofsky of being an 'Antifa' spy, and refusing to leave the establishment when asked by security. In the video, Chernofsky tells security that Justein punched him in the face.
Employees in the video report calling the police and a spokesperson from the Toronto Police Service confirmed to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network that Justein was arrested for assault and will appear in court in December.
Vanderweide’s reaction to the footage was to call out Justein as the “reason the left calls us unhinged,” and repeatedly berate him for his alleged dual loyalties between Judaism and Canada.
“Why does [Justein] protect evil Jews who destroy our country and people,” he wrote, adding soon after, “that’s what this movement is. Keeping our country’s Christian values.
“Jews would be exterminated if it wasn’t for Christians.”
Included in the diatribe was a call for Canadian Anti-Hate Network executives Bernie Farber and Evan Balgord to be shot.
Vanderweide seemingly won the argument as Justein was later expelled from the chat.
According to Edmonton Against Fascism, shortly after, Urban Infidels Canada president and founder “Heathen” Steven Lane revealed that Justein had seen his membership in the organisation restored as he stepped back into the role of president of the group’s Toronto chapter.
“Jordan is president of [the] Toronto chapter UIC, and we're going to work on building the other chapter that have been interested in Guelph, Chatham, and London,” Lane reportedly wrote online.
Justein’s style of activist trolling has included a series of YouTube videos “Jew Goes Undercover at Antifa - Black Lives Matter Protest Toronto,” and “Muslims form blockade around a Jew and Toronto Police arrest the Jew,” during the latter of which he was filmed walking around a protest wearing a helmet and his Urban Infidels jacket. Protesters formed a circle around him, linking hands to try and limit his movements.
In the video, after forcing himself through their line, he was handcuffed by police.
Justein was also involved in a fight in the Eaton Centre after an anti-immigration rally by the anti-Muslim group PEGIDA last year.
The Urban Infidels Canada are one of the many offshoots of the Soldiers of Odin. Like their founding organisation, the UIC continues to display anti-immigration and specifically anti-Muslim sentiments.
Most recently, the UIC president went to Red Deer with other members and supports of hate groups that attacked a weekly anti-racism rally.
Besides Vanderweide and Justein, other supporters and members of hate groups in the chat include Rick Boswick, Dan Dubois, Kevin J. Johnson, Gus Stefanis, Sandra Soloman, Leigh Stuart, Derek Storie, and more.
A Year After Our Criminal Complaint Travis Patron Still Hasn't Been Charged
The leader of the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party is escalating his attacks on the Jewish community
July 16, 2020
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
In June 2019, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network filed a criminal complaint with the RCMP in Saskatchewan for an antisemitic video posted by Travis Patron, leader of the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party. The RCMP says they launched an investigation. A full year later the RCMP has not made any further statement on the status of that investigation, despite Patron escalating his antisemitic calls to arms. It’s turning into international news.
Given the most recent incidents, CAHN board member Richard Warman filed a renewed criminal complaint with the RCMP and CIJA and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center followed suit, filing their own complaints.
If you support our work against the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party, help us out at antihate.ca/donate. Thank you!
The video that prompted our June 2019 complaint deals in antisemitic tropes, calls Jews a “parasitic tribe,” and says they need to be dealt with once and for all; any reasonable person would understand the video as a call for deportations and genocide.
At the time Patron claimed it wasn't about Jews:
“Unless you self-identify with the accusations in the video, then it doesn’t concern you. But if you choose to be offended by it, ask yourself WHY? Is it wrong for Canada to rid itself of a parasitic relationship that has only served to suck us dry? #Zionism #cdnpoli”
Patron has a social media history of supporting “historical revisionism,” a term Holocaust deniers use to self-identity, liking posts quoting Hitler, and promoting the writings of Quebec fascist Adrian Arcand, a Hitler supporter who was arrested and interned during WWII.
Despite his barely veiled neo-Nazism, our promise to name their members should they not renounce their support, and the pending investigation, Patron’s Canadian Nationalist Party was ultimately recognized as a federal political party with all the inherent benefits in time for the 2019 election. Unsurprisingly, Patron and his two candidates received almost no votes.
In November 2019, Patron was charged with aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm for allegedly attacking two women who wouldn’t get in his car. Those charges are pending.
Since then Patron has made nonsense arguments that he isn’t subject to Canadian law and dispensed with any pretense that he isn’t targeting Canadian Jews. He has posted a video giving a Nazi salute, which he calls a Roman salute, and published a flyer with the transcript of the first antisemitic video, adding:
“The people we speak of are not truly 'Jews.' They are liars and deceivers attempting to shield themselves from criticism using a false identity. Let us be aware and expose them for what they are: a tribe of parasites.”
Patron has since made other videos in the same vein, and is also dealing biblical antisemitism, including sharing an infamous bible passage saying Jews are of the “synagogue of Satan.”
CAHN believes the evidence is more than sufficient for the RCMP to criminally charge Patron with the wilful promotion of hatred against the Jewish community who have every right to be protected from Patron and the poison of his hate propaganda.
It’s been over a year since the first criminal complaint. How much longer do we have to wait?
UBC Chair Resigns After Far-Right Social Media History Exposed
UBC and its so-called free speech clubs regularly play host to far-right hate speakers
June 26, 2020
By Sean Orr
Michael Korenberg, chair of the UBC board of governors, has resigned after his proclivity to like content by far-right figures was exposed by the UBC Students Against Bigotry.
The University of British Columbia has been a flashpoint in the growing movement to confront institutional white supremacy and the normalization of far-right hate speech. UBC stands out in that its administration has been particularly permissive of so-called free speech clubs inviting far-right activists and propagandists over the last five years, despite legal obligations not to do so and objections from students and faculty.
Korenberg has a history of following and liking multiple accounts that circulate hate and division across multiple platforms, including liking a tweet by Dinesh D’Souza comparing Black Lives Matter to Hitler's paramilitary, Ann Coulter blaming the “Antifa and BLM ideology” for “the destruction of businesses we’re witnessing across the US,” and following a veritable all star cast of far-right voices like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Charlie Kirk, and Brit Hume. He also likes Students for Trump and Turning Point USA, and showed up to a UBC Board of Governors meeting in a MAGA hat — which has come to be recognized by many as a hate symbol. In an interview with The Ubyssey, Korenberg says he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and that he “wasn’t actually familiar with the fact that people can look at my Twitter account, so I do regret that.” He argued he was liking tweets to save them to read later.
Maia Wallace from the UBC Black Student Union tells CityNews1130 that the resignation is a good first step but wants more action: “We want foundational change. Lip service only goes a certain way and I think it comes down to integrating Black people into policies and minorities into positions of power so that we can make decisions that benefit all of us.”
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Korenberg’s resignation comes in the wake of UBC firing an assistant basketball coach who liked a tweet calling Black Lives Matter a leftist lie.
UBC Students Against Bigotry, which exposed Korenberg’s social media activity, was formed a year-and-a-half ago in response to a number of hateful and discriminatory incidents on the campus. "Michael Korenberg is just the tip of a very large iceberg at UBC,” they say. “He is only the most obvious example of the colonialism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness that are rooted in the very core of this university.”
Students Against Bigotry have compiled a timeline of hate incidents at UBC that documents the bad-faith decisions that allowed numerous racist, transphobic, misogynistic, and Islamophobic speakers a platform at the school, and exposes the access to the administration enjoyed by the so-called free speech groups. The Free Speech Club and their splinter group Students for Freedom of Expression have hosted such luminaries of the far-right as Lauren Southern, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Ricardo Duchesne, Meghan Murphy, Jenn Smith, and attempted but ultimately failed to host Stefan Molyneux and Andy Ngo.
Many of these new campus free speech groups and their audiences are hypocrites; they argue for unlimited or near unlimited free expression rights for far-right personalities, but against free expression rights for leftists, anti-racists, and anti-fascists. Their audience calls for BLM protestors to be arrested for blocking roads as part of their demonstrations, and wants anti-fascists to be designated as terrorists by the government. The Free Speech Club asked the RCMP to investigate and lay charges against another student for organizing demonstrations against them and went to the UBC administration in the hopes that the school would punish the organizer.
According to UBC policy, the university “reserves the right to ensure that any use of Bookable Space does not compromise UBC’s or the UBC community’s activities, as well as the safety and security of persons and facilities.” However, they are not applying this policy to hateful speakers. Vancouver Pride banned UBC from attending the parade in 2019 after the school played host to a number of anti-trans activists.
UBC has a responsibility under administrative law to balance Charter interests, in this case freedom of expression and equality in accessing services. The Supreme Court has been clear that hate speech, the kind issued by these far-right propagandists, is low value speech that will be easily outweighed by other Charter interests. UBC may well be vulnerable to legal challenges by students who belong to groups targeted by these speakers.
Of course, the debate around the limits to free expression is nothing new. In a piece in the Ubyssey by Helen Zhou, we're reminded that we had the same debates about racial slurs 40 years ago. This most recent iteration of the campus free speech movement is rooted in toxic white fragility and a backlash to changing social norms. Freedom of expression is not threatened by leftists and anti-racists, but by the far-right, some of whom in the alt-right neo-Nazi movement have acknowledged they are using the term hypocritically and, if they take power, would censor their opponents (and much worse). They try to use free speech arguments to shield themselves from the social consequences of hate speech and influence mainstream discourse.
Students, staff, and faculty were active in their efforts to alert the administration to the dangers presented by these speakers. Students Against Bigotry believe the discovery of “MAGA Mike” Korenberg's affiliations is a window into why this white nationalist, misogynistic activity was allowed to take place under the guise of free speech. "We have lost all faith in the supposed leadership of this university to take meaningful action,” says SAB. “Time and time again, they have shown themselves unwilling or unable to do so. It has become clear that it will always be up to members of our community to join together and get the job done."
Neofascist acquitted on charges of intimidating and harassing journalists
Press freedom advocates don’t see the funny side of “prank,” but judge rules there was no intent to intimidate
June 13, 2020
Ruby Irene Pratka
Philippe Gohier knew immediately that the man standing at his office door holding a bouquet of flowers wasn’t there to declare his love.
Gohier was editor-in-chief of Vice Québec when Raphaël Lévesque, leader of the far-right group Atalante, showed up at Vice’s Montreal newsroom with six masked men on May 23, 2018.
Lévesque, who also goes by the name Raf Stomper, “had a bouquet of flowers. He rang the doorbell and the receptionist unlocked it. Simon recognized him immediately,” Gohier says, referring to his colleague at the time, Simon Coutu, who covered right-wing extremism and had written about Atalante for Vice Québec.
Coutu was seated toward the back of the newsroom. “They went straight for him, playing music and throwing flyers, and then they gave him a fake trophy with ‘média poubelle’ [garbage media] written on it,” recalls Gohier. He says the incident lasted only about a minute. “I was in a [glass-walled] upstairs conference room, and by the time I ran downstairs, they were on their way out.”
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Coutu, who now works at Radio-Canada, declined an interview request. He wrote an account of that day’s events that was published the same day on Vice.
Atalante said on its Facebook page at the time that Vice was starting a “war” through its coverage of the far right.
Lévesque was arrested on June 19, 2018, and charged with breaking and entering, harassment, mischief and intimidation. Almost two years to the day later, on June 10, 2020, he was acquitted of all charges. Judge Joëlle Roy found that “the accused had no intention of intimidating anyone”.
“It was a gesture of intimidation to harass Simon and all of our staff.”
In court testimony reported by La Presse, Coutu acknowledged he was rattled by the prank. “People were shaken up. … I felt surrounded. [Lévesque’s] presence and the presence of people in masks was threatening.”
Gohier doesn’t see the humour in it either.
“It was a gesture of intimidation to harass Simon and all of our staff. There were about ten people in the room, many of whom had nothing to do with Simon’s reporting, and they were profoundly rattled. As editor-in-chief, I was worried for their safety.
“[Lévesque] said it was a joke, but I think that explanation is as stupid as his actions. The whole thing was deeply unpleasant, inappropriate and stupid.”
A known figure
Gohier says that when Lévesque and his masked comrades entered the newsroom, staff immediately “knew who we were dealing with.”
Researchers describe Atalante as a neofascist group with a few dozen hardcore members and two to three thousand sympathizers. Founded in 2016 out of a fusion of several smaller right-wing groups, the Quebec City–based group has ties with Italian, French and Greek neofascists.
They have drawn the attention of the media and the general public through acts of guerilla theatre such as holding an open-air mass with a Catholic extremist group near the Quebec City ramparts, and “decorating” Montreal’s Olympic stadium with a banner calling for immigrants to leave while the stadium was being used for temporary asylum seeker housing in 2017. They also pulled similar fake trophy stunts involving reporters at Le Soleil and CBC Quebec, and were a regular presence at right-wing rallies in Quebec City when the previous provincial Liberal government was in power.
The Vice incident “was not the first time this has happened to a media outlet,” says Xavier Camus, a Montreal-based philosophy professor and anti-extremism researcher. “They know exactly where the line is and they will not cross it. Instead of roughing someone up, they will simulate a trophy presentation and broadcast it on their Facebook page. That’s how they get their audience and grow their movement.”
Camus emphasizes that there is hard-line neofascist ideology behind the group’s theatrics. “These people dream of a fascist state,” he explains. “They don’t believe in democracy. They want to install an authoritarian regime where white people will dominate, minorities will be marginalized and immigration will stop.”
According to La Presse, Judge Roy was not receptive to arguments centred on the group’s ideology. When Jimmy Simard, a Crown prosecutor who worked on a previous stage of the case, brought up Lévesque’s apparent fascist sympathies at trial — telling the judge that Lévesque had written “Roll out the barbed wire and prepare the Zyklon B,” a reference to Nazi concentration camps, as part of a song lyric — the judge rebuked the prosecutor for “introducing “corrosive and irrelevant elements.”
“We’re going to stick to May 23, 2018,” she later remarked.
The judge’s full decision was not available at press time. Jean Pascal Boucher, a Crown prosecutor and spokesperson for the Quebec Crown prosecutor’s office, said his office “acknowledged the decision” and was considering filing an appeal. Lévesque’s lawyer, Mathieu Corbo, said neither he nor his client would comment further.
A chilling effect
Roxane Martel-Perron is the director of education and skills development at the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, a Montreal-based think tank that has followed the Quebec City right-wing scene closely.
“Just because fewer people want to participate in traditional protests” due to COVID-19 and the threat of being exposed on social media and doxxed “doesn’t mean they’ve disappeared,” she warned. While she declined to comment on Roy’s verdict, she expressed concern that it would act as a disincentive for people to press charges, and emphasized that it was “important to denounce attempts to strike fear into people.”
Jean-Thomas Léveillé, vice-president of the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, fears that the decision amounts to “a free pass” to harass journalists at their workplaces.
“Journalists are worried that this threat to their safety was not taken seriously by this country’s justice system.”
“Would we find it funny if someone barged into a dentist’s office or an accountant’s office or a judge’s place of work? Would the judge have accepted that behaviour in her chambers? The public has a right to criticize our work, and there are many ways to do it.”
“But that’s going too far.”
He also points out that both Coutu and a reporter with Le Soleil were visibly rattled when Lévesque entered their newsrooms, ostensibly as a “joke.”
“If I’m accused of harassing you in public, it doesn’t matter what I intended, it matters how you felt,” says Léveillé. “In private, even more so.”
He is concerned that the decision could affect which subjects journalists choose to cover, and by extension, impact the public’s right to information.
“If a journalist feels threatened in his or her work, freedom of the press is impacted and the public is less informed. If we legitimize [harassment of journalists], where is it going to stop? Are representatives of the state, or of private companies, going to barge in and tell us how to do our jobs?”
“We’re not asking for special treatment for journalists, but they have the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else in society, and that includes the right to work in peace and safety,” he says. “Journalists are worried that this threat to their safety was not taken seriously by this country’s justice system.”
Editor's note: Here's our analysis of the verdict.
The acquittal of Raphael Levesque, aka Raf Stomper, should sound the alarms for anyone concerned with the growth of the far-right. While Justice Joëlle Roy bought the argument that the stunt was not meant to intimidate, the neo-fascist group’s activity and ties are strong evidence to the contrary.
Video of the 2018 incident shows Levesque thanking Coutu for “starting a war.” A pro-terrorism neo-Nazi Telegram channel celebrated the incident, writing “We aren’t hanging journalists yet, but they know it’s coming.”
While Levesque was the only individual charged, the idea that the other half a dozen Atalante members cannot be identified is difficult to believe, as Atalante’s membership has been widely documented by Montreal Antifasciste.
Prior to Atalante’s formation, in 2007, Levesque and Yan Barras, both future members of Atalante, along with other members of the Quebec City Stompers, attacked patrons at the Bar-Coop L'Agitée. Barras stabbed 6 individuals and was sentenced to 2 years in prison. Mathieu Bergeron, also a future Atalante member, stabbed 2 Arab men. He was sentenced to 2 years in closed custody.
Just yesterday, on June 12, another Atalante member was convicted of assault against an individual he identified as an antifascist.
As singer of the Atalante bonehead band Légitime Violence, Levesque’s lyrics include “I can hear your bones breaking under my billy club,” in a song about antifascists. In another, he sings “unroll the barbed wire, let’s prepare the Zyklon B!,” a reference to the gas used by the Nazis to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.
Atalante, and Levesque, have ties to the Italian fascist group CasaPound (and in fact Légitime Violence has played shows with the CasaPound band, Bronson Crew) and Azov Battalion.
Atalante member Shawn Beauvais-Macdonald participated in the deadly 2017 Charlottesville rally, and even provided Heather Heyer’s murderer with a shield, according to photographs of the event.
Rather than be a cautionary tale for far-right actors who wish to intimidate their opponents, the outcome of this trial has only served to embolden the group, and their supporters.
Read more on Atalante here: http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com/2019/12/who-are-atalante-deep-dive-into-quebec.html
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.”
Vancouver's Anti-Lockdown Protestors Give A Big "F*** You" To Healthcare Workers
BC is starting to open up, but these demonstrations will continue
Special to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network
May 27, 2020
Police and security prevent anti-lockdown protestors from confronting healthcare workers outside St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. May 10, 2020. Source: Facebook.
“Let’s go take a pit stop at St. Paul’s so we can talk to the doctors!”
Marco Pietro is a COVID-19 denier. He thinks nobody in Italy has actually died from it, and the deaths that have been recorded are being wrongfully attributed. He also espouses germ theory denialism, thinking COVID-19 and other viruses do not actually spread through physical contact or the air. In a video stream he says “fuck you” to frontline workers who he believes are covering up a giant hoax, saying they are “greedy fucks” and “glory hogs.”
On Sunday May 10th, Pietro and his megaphone led a group of over one hundred anti-lockdown protestors down the streets of Vancouver, paying a visit to St. Paul’s Hospital. The protestors gathered outside the ambulance entryway to yell chants at hospital workers that echoed these conspiracist views, shouting at the workers and security standing outside: “do the right thing,” “let us in,” and “what are you hiding!?” Organizers believed the fact that some nurses were outside at that moment was further evidence that the pandemic was a scam, while participants made other hostile accusations towards the workers.
Pietro is just one co-organizer among several in Vancouver’s anti-lockdown movement. He calls himself a spokesperson and his name is on posters. Yet as abhorrent and ignorant as his views may be, he just represents the tip of the iceberg as to how ugly these protests are.
The anti-lockdown protests in Vancouver, officially known as No More Lockdowns, have been going on for over a month now. Early on, I and others publicized the role neo-Nazi Brian Ruhe had in helping organize them from the beginning, first by using his e-mail list to advertise the event and invite his conspiracy theorist friends, then as part of their “executive committee,” which he has been allowed to remain on despite being a well known neo-Nazi.
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One would hope removing a neo-Nazi from their executive committee would be an easy decision, even for a group as wrong-headed in their mission as this one, but in looking at some of the other members and leaders it becomes easier to see why they are so comfortable with keeping Brian Ruhe on. Bob Wiles, a lead marshal for the protests who helps conduct their marches with the police, and a moderator of the No More Lockdowns Facebook group says in Ruhe’s defence that Hitler “was at least doing the best for his country unlike the current Crime Minister of Canada."
Raoul Taylor van Haastert, another moderator of their Facebook group who is planning a protest against 5G on June 6th, has also espoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, denouncing the “Zionist controlled media” and stating that “our WW2 history is such a big lie.”
Another member of the executive committee, Lynn Allard, has also written articles for the white supremacist website Council of European Canadians accusing LGBTQ+ activists of antagonizing the residents of Chilliwack merely by making rainbow crosswalks. In one interview filmed from the protests she praised Hungary’s government, which used the COVID-19 pandemic to grant itself dictatorial powers and immediately revoked transgender rights, as a “leader of freedom in the world.”
As with the anti-lockdown movement in other cities, No More Lockdowns has created an alliance of conspiracy theorists, alternative medicine quacks, and far-right nationalist figures. All believe, to varying degrees, that the COVID-19 pandemic is either wildly exaggerated or a complete hoax made to enrich the pharmaceutical industry, hurt Donald Trump’s electoral chances, or eradicate national sovereignty to build a New World Order global government. Not every person involved in them is far-right, but for as long as they are allowed space, they will be able to network with others and promote their worldviews and material to other participants.
Brian Ruhe is only the easiest example illustrating this problem. In his videos recorded of the protests he can be seen sharing his beliefs that there is a Rothschild-Talmudic-Zionist-Communist conspiracy to control the world and hide the truth about Adolf Hitler, in addition to his views on black crime and other racial topics. He gives out his business card advertising his YouTube and BitChute channels where he has more videos on these themes. In watching several hours worth of video footage from these demonstrations, I have only seen people push back against Ruhe’s beliefs once, to which the main Vancouver organizer Susan Standfield told the people to take up their issue on the Facebook page.
Ruhe is not the only far-right nationalist trying to spread his message at these protests. Some of the most visible are the few Yellow Vest protestors getting involved, one of whom has warnings of “ethnocide” written in marker across the back of his vest. Others are not immediately visible but are still there. In one speech at May 3rd’s rally, Northern Guard member Glen Dumont tried to recruit for the anti-refugee group and the Islamophobic III% militia. Off-camera he can be heard promoting the group’s activities to others, and other protestors have made negative comments about Muslims as well. A couple of other protestors have also made remarks against Asians, going beyond criticisms of the Peoples’ Republic of China. Marco Pietro, who has no known previous association with far-right groups, claimed without evidence that economic assistance for temporary foreign workers was going towards the Chinese military.
Homophobia and transphobia have also come up in No More Lockdowns repeatedly. Several protestors have stated they were opposed to kids receiving education about sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI). Others also mocked notions that people can be outside the gender binary, using it as an example of why scientific and educational authorities are not to be trusted. One has even attacked Melinda Gates by questioning if she is transgender. A popular livestreamer who has been active at these protests is two-time Peoples’ Party of Canada candidate Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, who regularly speaks to participants about her involvement in anti-LGBTQ+ causes.
A somewhat surprising prejudice that is central to the anti-lockdown protestors, inherited from the anti-vaccine movement, is against people with autistic spectrum disorders. Based on the pseudo-scientific belief that vaccinations can cause autism, protestors speak in horror about children with autism as if they are only capable of living a miserable existence and may have been better off getting sick. As autism activists have argued, simply dismissing these views as pseudo-scientific leaves their ableist assumptions unaccounted for. These fears also play into conspiracy theories: that vaccines are being used as a globalist plot to depopulate the human race. One protestor in Edmonton who was fined by police was telling them that vaccines exist to depopulate the white race.
Early on, the protestors in Vancouver were appreciative of police efforts to accommodate them. They expressed gratitude for the Vancouver Police Department escorting them repeatedly, claiming police supplied more for them than they even asked. They believed police were supportive of their message by doing so. They used images of police riding motorcycles beside them as promotional images for their protests. And to a large extent, organizers are still appreciative of the police, saying they will continue to alert them of all their protests in advance.
But this relationship has gone through bumps and is not completely assured. While Vancouver Police were initially more concerned with the few counter-protestors who would come out to oppose them, in recent demonstrations they have had to hold back protestors from harassing people in the street. One protestor in particular, Mak Parhar, a flat earth advocate who refers to the Holocaust as “six million lies,” was said to have been monitored by police during the April 26th protest. Additionally, some blamed police for failing to protect protestors after conspiracy theorist videographer Dan Dicks was allegedly hit in the back of the head with a bottle. Marco Pietro, who at a previous protest rally praised the VPD for several minutes on his livestreams, said he would no longer say anything positive about the VPD after that. However, he thanked the VPD again at a demonstration on May 17th. On Facebook, participants share news and videos of police from Edmonton and Fredericton giving protestors fines or being stopped.
The mistrust some have of police is not just due to a few incidents. Some worry that in a hypothetical future when vaccinations or microchips are mandatory, the police will be on the side of those enforcing them. Many protestors express anti-government ideologies, including pseudo-constitutional theories popular in some “patriot” circles that Canada is not really a sovereign country, or those professed in organized pseudolegal commercial arguments. A lot of protestors support conspiracy theories associated with QAnon, such as that Justin Trudeau is part of a Satanic pedophile cabal that will be taken down in a Trump-endorsed coup d’état. A number of QAnon posters have been seen at these protests, and even some of the co-organizers are believers.
The main Vancouver organizer, Susan Standfield, has tried to emphasize that they want the protests to stay peaceful, telling protestors to ignore any passersby who mock them. But some of the protestors have a hard time listening, and go up to their hecklers anyway, risking the chance of escalations into fights. In livestreams, some women have said they would not bring their children to the protests anymore because of what has happened at past protests. This is an obstacle for Standfield who, using the logic of an advertiser, said she wants their movement to be a movement of mothers. She called off the plans she had for a “children’s march” as a result. Protestors are also getting more hostile to their opponents, putting photos on Facebook of the license plates of drivers who flipped them off.
Standfield and her co-organizers have plans to keep these protests going throughout the summer, calling for a “Summer of Freedom.” even as BC’s provincial government says it plans to open up. As Press Progress has noted, these protests aren’t just about the lockdowns, many of the conspiracy theories they adhere to will remain issues for them as long as the COVID-19 pandemic and possible remedies for it remain in the news. Standfield has acknowledged as much at a previous demonstration, saying “it’s not just about the economy” and that she would help people organize “on any issue that’s important to you, 5G, vaccines, legislation, guns I guess.” For this reason, Standfield is trying to rebrand No More Lockdowns as a “Human Rights Movement.”
Another protestor also expressed displeasure with the protests’ “back to work” rhetoric, saying that would just leave them as slaves. "That's just the only way we can get on their level. They don't see themselves as slaves, so they don't get it. If you tell them to get back to work to make some money, I don't know, do you even care? Probably not," replied Chris Verolli, a conspiracy theorist vlogger and moderator of the No More Lockdowns Facebook group. There is no indication that this is a movement of the economically desperate, protestors regularly mock people who rely on CERB or other programs as sheep becoming reliant on a tyrannical government that will enslave them.
The Vancouver movement has its own unique attributes, but while larger and better organized it is not too different from those in other cities. Free North Patriots, a shady group helping to network and organize anti-lockdown protests across the country, has promoted No More Lockdowns’ protests. Protestors in Vancouver have also partaken in and organized protests in Surrey, Chilliwack, and Abbotsford, and Vancouver organizers say they are in contact with people from other cities as well.
While the previous protests did not continue an earlier pattern of growth that they had hoped for, and hopes that they will reach 1,000 protestors may be unrealistic, they still have plans to look forward to for the summer. No More Lockdowns wants to protest against specific politicians; they previously protested outside Adrian Dix’s constituency office, they’ve said they would like to protest against Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth's house, and at a previous march a participant made note to point out the office of Spencer Chandra Herbert, a Vancouver-West End MLA who previously denounced the protests. Some of their plans are more mundane, but nonetheless ambitious, one of the more noteworthy being Standfield's hopes to do a class action lawsuit against the province for economic damages. The bad combination of scientific illiteracy, bigotry, and strange conspiracy theories may limit the reach of their audience, but nonetheless they will remain a headache for healthcare workers, the groups of people they target, and those of us who just want to keep ourselves and others safe.
Which brings us to last weekend, May 23-24.
Standfield's attempt to turn No More Lockdowns / Human Rights Movement (as it is now officially calling itself) into a movement of moms has not been fruitful. Her most recent rally in Kitsilano Beach, intended to attract more mothers, had the worst turnout they had in weeks, barely reaching over a hundred people. They continued to face a lot of hostility during their march and one male participant nearly got into a fight.
The efforts exposing the role neo-Nazi Brian Ruhe has had in organizing for No More Lockdowns has led to infighting, and impacted their rallies. This demonstrates the effectiveness of exposing these movements and individuals, even while staying indoors. One attendee said on their Facebook group that people he talked to will not attend anymore rallies because of Ruhe. This person was subsequently removed from the Facebook group for speaking out. Other than some postering efforts to expose Ruhe's neo-Nazism by unknown actors, it was mainly anti-fascist researchers on Twitter and organizations like the UBC Students Against Bigotry who were exposing Ruhe's involvement with the demonstrations online. Press Progress was the only media organization to report on Brian Ruhe's involvement, citing my work. The Surrey organizers also asked Ruhe to stop attending their events, although their protests are also on the decline due to their own leadership problems.
No More Lockdowns has another image problem as a result of their hostility to healthcare workers. Marco Pietro has faced some blowback online for insulting frontline healthcare workers and lying that he never made those remarks, even though there’s video evidence. Their protest against St. Paul’s hospital has even caused some division within their ranks. Dan Dicks, whose videos helped popularize the protests, called the action “absolutely deplorable” on his Twitter account and has not been to seen at the subsequent two demonstrations. In recent protests, they have tried to argue that they do not hate healthcare workers, they just want them to “speak out,” that is to promote aspects of their worldview. On Sunday they expressed this by arguing with a doctor they passed by, telling him hydroxychloroquine and zinc were cures for COVID-19, that viruses are not contagious or that COVID-19 testing is not accurate.
During their May 17th protest a man collapsed and they had to call for an ambulance, depending on the very people they call corrupt.
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Editor's note: a video of anti-lockdown demonstrators recording licence plates was provided to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network for fact-checking only and was not intended to be hyperlinked in the article. The hyperlink was removed immediately after being brought to our attention. CAHN apologizes for this mistake.
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.
Neo-Nazis attend the #IStandWithGreece Rally in Toronto
They thought they would find a receptive crowd for a white nationalist (white supremacist) message
March 9, 2020
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Paul Fromm at the March 08, 2020 #IStandWithGreece Rally in Toronto
Paul Fromm: A notorious and very longstanding neo-Nazi networker who has associated with and/or spoken at events for proscribed terrorist group Blood and Honour, the Aryan Guard, the KKK and David Duke, the Heritage Front, Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel, and many others.
‘Lily’ from Hamilton: A neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party supporter who says she wants Coronavirus to kill more Chinese and was one of the leading figures directing harassment to the Al-Soufi family, leading to death threats and the temporary closing of their Toronto restaurant. Lily is primarily associated with the remnants of the anti-Muslim Yellow Vests Canada movement.
Gus Stefanis: A former candidate of the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party which has called for Jews to be “removed once and for all” from Canada and whose leader is charged with attacking two women in Regina
Ronny Cameron: A vlogger who came onto the scene originally as a moderate (by comparison) organizer in Toronto’s anti-Muslim scene who argued that they should limit the overt racism to be more effective. Cameron then started associating with alt-right neo-Nazis. He arrived to one of his own rallies with a group of them in October 2017, one of whom was carrying a black sun flag, which is perhaps the most popular neo-Nazi symbol today behind the swastika. Cameron has since gone full white supremacist.
Why were they there?
The March 8th event at Queen's Park was organized by the Toronto chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. It was billed as a rally to pressure the Canadian government to condemn Turkey for what they say is a coordinated effort to pressure “Greece’s eastern land and sea borders with the purposeful round up and transport of thousands of people seeking entry into Greece and, ultimately, the rest of Europe under the guise of being refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.”
In a Facebook post, Paul Fromm says “White Christian Europe is being destroyed.” Earlier in the week Gus Stefanis liked comments on his wall about using live ammunition and opening fire on the migrants.
Ronny Cameron says his goal is to “convince way more centrist, civic nationalist types that don’t think that race matters, that only care about the illegal migrants – my goal on Facebook is to convince you guys to be more like me.”
Fromm, Lily, Stefanis, Cameron attended with another half dozen of their ilk, some of them carrying Red Ensign flags, a flag which pre-dates the maple leaf and has been used by Canadian neo-Nazi groups for decades before becoming a symbol for Canada’s alt-right neo-Nazi groups and the far-right more generally. Several of them made videos.
Ronny Cameron took advantage of an open megaphone and spoke to the crowd. He says Greece is “acting as a shield . . . for the entire continent.” Fromm gets Cameron’s email.
Cameron then approaches attendees. Some didn’t want to talk with him, or pushed back against his blanket anti-migration message. He found a couple others, however, who were receptive and he namedrops Richard Spencer and talks about others who he calls “entry points or gateway drugs: Rebel Media, Stefan Molyneux, Gavin McInnes; and eventually they push you towards Red Ice TV, Richard Spencer, etc.” The two men he’s speaking with nod along and namedrop other white supremacists.
“We got some properly woke, redpilled individuals here,” says Cameron. “Based,” the baby-boomer-aged one says in response. The other one – in his 20s – of the two catches Cameron before the rally to get the name of his (demonetized) Youtube channel.
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