Hate Groups say police are “probably saluting and cheering for us all right now” after assaults at Hamilton Pride parade
Badly mismanaged demonstrations and hate group members not being charged for assaults are emboldening hate groups across Canada
June 21, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Chris Vanderweide of Kitchener, Ontario was caught on camera carrying out several unprovoked assaults.
There was a brawl on the fringes of the Hamilton Pride parade last Saturday that started when hate group members attacked anti-fascists who were blocking them from disrupting Pride by holding up a large black fabric dividing wall.
The anti-Pride protest included anti-LGBTQ+ street preachers, Yellow Vest Canada vloggers, and members of the Canadian Nationalist Party, which just released a barely-coded antisemitic video calling for Jews to be “removed once and for all” from Canada.
Anti-Racist Canada has identified Chris Vanderweide of Kitchener Ontario as the man who is on video smashing two of the Pride defenders in the face with a helmet. Vanderweide later tried to use his new notoriety to raise money through a GoFundMe campaign that was reported and removed.
The scene quickly turned into a brawl after a hate preacher sucker punched an anti-fascist in face. Police are being criticized by Pride Hamilton for taking “far too long” to respond.
Yellow Vests Canada Exposed has compiled clips of unprovoked strikes and assaults.
One attendee tweeted that a uniformed police officer told them they wouldn’t stop a fight because they weren’t invited to Pride.
This follows a pattern of policing at demonstrations across Canada that has led hate groups to believe they have the support of police officers.
“I know in my heart there are dozens and dozens of police officers who are handcuffed and haven’t been able to do their duty,” says Yellow Vest Canada vlogger Rick Boswick, “. . . they’re probably saluting and clapping and cheering for us all right now . . . you can’t tell the cops they’re not welcome [at Pride] and then bitch that they didn’t have a quick enough response. You know why they had a response? We called 911. We called and got them there.”
Both hate groups and anti-racist, anti-fascist groups are calling for reinforcements to come to the PEGIDA anti-Muslim demonstration in Toronto on Saturday.
2019-06-22 update: The article originally reported that police were in the background of videos of the assaults. A source on the ground tells Yellow Vests Canada Exposed that the figure in the background was, in fact, a security guard trying to call the police.
Time for the Canadian Armed Forces to Investigate and Remove Hate Group Members
Canadian Armed Forces aware of hate group members and others engaging in "racist/hate motivated behaviour" in their ranks
June 20, 2019
Those of us who are monitoring hate groups in Canada could hardly believe our eyes.
This week, a 2018 report titled, “White Supremacy, Hate Groups, and Racism in the Canadian Armed Forces” written by Canadian Military Police Criminal Intelligence Section was made public through the Access to Information Act.
It raises serious concerns but you wouldn’t know it from the report’s conclusions. Despite finding that between 2013 and 2018, there were 53 Canadian Armed Forces members connected to hate groups or hate activity, apparently there’s no reason for worry.
“At this time hate groups do not pose a significant threat to the CAF/Department of National Defence,” reads the MPCIS report. “Less than 0.1% of the total CAF population were identified as part of a hate group or engaging in racist/hate motivated activity.”
Say what now?
This at a time when government and police authorities are saying they recognize right-wing extremism as a serious threat and Canadians are calling on them, and waiting on them, to take meaningful action. Tragically, recent events in North America and around the world have once again demonstrated that white supremacy isn’t just hateful words, but murder and terrorism.
We know how potentially dangerous even a single well-trained person can be when radicalized to violence. In 1995, Timothy McVeigh, an American white supremacist and a Gulf War veteran with explosives training, planted a bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, which led to the murder of 168 people, amongst them 19 children in an adjoined daycare centre. Another 680 others were wounded.
More recently, American Coast Guard Lieutenant, former marine, and white supremacist Christopher Hasson was arrested this past February for plotting the assassination of politicians and journalists. This came after research and information undertaken in the United States indicating the real presence of white supremacists and neo-Nazis within its military.
In Canada in the early 1990s an investigation by the Security Intelligence Review Committee against white supremacist leadership in Canada showed, Eric Fischer, a former corporal in the Canadian Airborne Regiment who became a security chief in the violent neo-Nazi Heritage Front was “actively recruiting within the military” for recruits to white supremacy.
The investigation further revealed ‘that leading racists believe that the military is good recruiting ground.’”
In 1993 a special government commission was called after soldiers from the First Airborne Regiment (the same division that Eric Fisher was a part) tortured and executed 16-year-old Shidane Abukar Arone, during a 1993 peacekeeping mission in Somalia. In the end it led to the disbandment of the division.
From research undertaken at the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, we know that Canadian neo-Nazis encourage their fellow travellers to join the military to “learn to kill” and take that skillset back to teach their comrades. Other respected researchers of Canadian white nationalism such as Dr. Ryan Scrivens agree noting that “…right-wing extremists have historically joined the Canadian military and…they are currently in the ranks.”
It’s time for some urgent questions.
Why are 30 of those members identified in the military document still reportedly serving in the Canadian Armed Forces?
On what basis were members of hate groups within the CAF determined not to be a threat?
Is the report stating they aren’t a threat to the combat readiness of the CAF, or towards Canadians in general?
Does the CAF find it concerning that they are training and providing access to military weaponry to members of hate groups?
At a time when North America has seen an extraordinary increase in white supremacist activity and innocent people have been murdered by right wing extremists on our streets and in our houses of worship, it’s incumbent on the Canadian military to not ignore or diminish the potential danger we face. How is it possible that government leaders and military authorities have remained so passive in the face of these threats?
If we were talking about ISIS supporters within the ranks, surely we would see immediate action by the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the Canadian Defence Staff.
It must be crystal clear by now that all such groups are a threat to public safety, and that individuals who are connected to extremists, hate groups and hate activity should be dishonourably discharged.
This is not a time for inaction. Our Veterans fought the scourge of Nazism and hatred. Failure to act devalues their heroic efforts and leaves Canadians vulnerable to violent acts of terrorism and hate.
Editor's note: The 2018 report acknowledges that members of hate groups go to some length to hide their views. The sources of the data in the report seem to suggest that the reported numbers are based on incidents and information brought to the attention of the Canadian Military Police Criminal Intelligence Section, rather than proactive investigation to identify members of hate groups within the ranks. In short, the real number is likely higher.
Bernie M. Farber is the Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
Hamilton Becoming Front Line of Ontario Hate Group Activity
While Yellow Vests Canada street activity is disappearing across Canada, a Hamilton group is escalating the violence.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network & Yellow Vests Canada Exposed
June 10, 2019
Soldiers of Odin speaking with a passerby on June 8 at Hamilton City Hall. Photo credit: Christine Krahelska.
On Saturday, a Yellow Vests Hamilton rally at City Hall brought out a crowd of between 30 and 50, including the Soldiers of Odin, Proud Boys, the Canadian Nationalist Party, the leader of which recently released an antisemitic video about the “parasitic tribe,” and others.
Two hate group members were arrested, one for attacking a photographer taking pictures the Canadian Anti-Hate Network commissioned for this article and another for headbutting a counter-demonstrator, according to witnesses.
Street-level Yellow Vest activity has declined across Canada following their convoy to Ottawa in February. The anti-Muslim groups, which often played a large role in YV demonstrations, have gone back to organizing under their own banners.
Hamilton is an outlier to this trend. The Hamilton Yellow Vests are now holding regular demonstrations again that bring out the most militant anti-Muslim hate groups and both the rhetoric and violence is escalating.
Yellow Vests Canada Exposed has documented hundreds of calls to violence on Canadian Yellow Vest pages. Several YV supporters are facing charges of uttering threats, such as video blogger Rick Boswick. Others have been arrested and found with, or claim to have, stockpiles of weapons. YV Facebook pages are full of conspiracy theories, anti-Muslim bigotry, and calls for the public officials to be executed.
After the June 1st rally, Yellow Vest Hamilton’s Justin Long bragged that “one of the antifa people was shoved after pushing someone n [sic] had her glasses broken because we took her face covering off to get a picture of her . . . police were there and nobody was charged.” YV Hamilton’s Lisa Thompson of Dundas, Ontario posted a picture of a mask, which she took as a trophy.
A Hamilton anti-fascist tells Yellow Vests Canada Exposed that they were attacked by Soldiers of Odin and Yellow Vests. This is corroborated by a video posted by Long on June 9th which says that the Soldiers of Odin and others were invited to do ‘security’ and “antifa was waiting for us and they took chase after antifa.” Another video, posted by Proud Boys Canada on June 2nd, shows a counter-demonstrator standing on their own when Thompson runs up, hits them in the face and removes their mask, and then taunts and follows the individual as they try to leave.
Lisa Thompson did not respond to a request for comment.
Commenting on a post by Justin Long in the lead up to the June 8th rally, supporter Steve Stapleton from Lake County, British Columbia suggested they follow the counter-demonstrator’s leader home and “beat the shit out of him.” Andy Taylor from Saint John, New Brunswick added, “Ensure no cameras or witlesses [sic].”
Photographer Christine Krahelska was approached by three Soldiers of Odin when she left the body of the June 8th rally to take a picture from a different vantage point.
“They crossed the street, somewhat surrounded me and blocked my way back to the group. They approached quickly and they said things like, ‘so you like taking pictures of us? Well how about this? We won't be letting you go back to your friends,’ . . . I put the camera up to my face to start filming the encounter and the biggest man immediately punched the camera, and consequently my hand, trying to knock it out of my hands to break it, he successfully knocked a piece (the lens hood) off. The camera was strapped to me so it just fell to my side. One of the other SOO ran to my lens hood and stomped on it . . .
The individual who punched me was immediately arrested and another individual was cautioned and then later arrested [when] he head-butted one of the counter protestors and broke their nose.”
This is the latest in a series of premeditated attacks by far-right hate groups. On March 30 in Edmonton, for example, a Soldiers of Odin member was arrested after a collection of hate groups found and attacked counter-demonstrators after a Worldwide Coalition Against Islam rally.
In a June 9th video, Justin Long says it’s his goal to clear anti-fascists out of Hamilton and then move on to another city, maybe Niagara Falls. They are holding another rally in Hamilton next Saturday.
We have made the editorial decision not to provide links to the videos, which the Canadian Anti-Hate Network has saved, to protect the privacy of the victim.
Canadian neo-Nazi podcasters barred from United States
Bernardo Garcia and Tyler Hall-Kuch didn’t tell border officials they were on their way to a neo-Nazi meetup
April 14, 2019
Tyler Hall-Kuch (left) and Bernardo Garcia (right). Source: Youtube.
The United States barred two hosts of a Canadian neo-Nazi podcast from crossing the border earlier this month, according to a recent episode of their show.
Bernardo Garcia and Tyler Hall-Kuch, who are based in the Toronto area, say they were turned away after being asked about their weekly podcast, which shares alt-right and hateful commentary on the news of the day.
“Would you believe it if I told you we’ve had some trouble at the borders?” yells Hall-Kuch on the show. “For reals this time.”
Garcia and Hall-Kuch’s podcast, now on its 34th episode, is the direct successor of This Hour Has 88 Minutes, a neo-Nazi podcast shut down by a joint VICE Canada and Canadian Anti-Hate Network investigation that exposed its hosts. Garcia and Hall-Kuch were both listeners of and guests on the earlier podcast, and their current show shares the same producer, a man who goes by the alias “Jonathan Boone.” Their intention for the new podcast is to be more genteel and family-friendly, and thereby more effective at radicalizing new listeners.
The podcast is full of both overt and coded sexism, racism, anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry, and antisemitism, and often targets journalists.
Late last year the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and a team of journalists uncovered the identities of Garcia and Hall-Kuch, who were operating under pseudonyms.
Garcia and Hall-Kuch declined to comment for this story.
Hateful public statements by Garcia, Hall-Kuch, and 'Boone'
"Records, bodies, neither of these things substantiate a claim of 6 million. At best, you have a couple hundered [sic] thousand in TOTAL, including Jews and all . . . Maybe you should ask what Jews did to deserve being rounded up in PoW camps" – Tyler Hall-Kuch denying the Nazi Holocaust on Facebook
“I'm not dumb enough to send my daughter to university where she can come home a drunken whore with a 25+ partner count and dead eyes. Check out [podcast’s name] for intriguing takes like these!” - Tyler Hall-Kuch on Twitter
“Muslims go to hell [kiss emoji]” - Tyler Hall-Kuch on Twitter.
“Niggers lie like 6 year olds” – Jonathan Boone on Discord
“Election night is in the rear-view, and after a day of celebration we need to keep moving forward. It’s time to consolidate our gains and trigger Jews and leftists . . .” - Jonathan Boone on the Daily Stormer (neo-Nazi website)
“Guy is weirdly obsessed with cum and kiddy diddling, definitely Jewish.” – Bernardo Garcia on Twitter
“How mad is Lauren Southern right now? Muzzies finally start misbehaving here in Canada and it happened during one of her tourist nationalism vacations.” - Bernardo Garcia on Twitter
Garcia and Hall-Kuch ran into trouble at the U.S. border while on their way to ExoFest, a weekend retreat of alt-right neo-Nazi podcasters and personalities held at a secret location in the southeastern United States.
The event is hosted by the American neo-Nazi podcast Exodus/Americanus, whose hosts describe it as “The Alt-Right's number 1 meta-political talk show.”
At the last ExoFest, the live recording of Exodus/Americanus kicked off with a call to “smoke a bowl, drink a beer, it’s time to gas the Jews and queers!”
Garcia, who says he attended the event last year, claims he and Hall-Kuch were invited.
It’s not unusual for alt-right figures to hop between countries. Canadian neo-Nazi propagandist Gabriel Sohier Chaput, aka “Zeiger,” who is currently wanted by police on a charge of wilful promotion of hatred, attended the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, with a group of other Canadian extremists. Infamous Canadian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm is now required to request a visa before entering the United States.
Henry Chang, a partner at Dentons law firm who specializes in immigration law across the U.S. border, says that “as a general rule, being associated with a white supremacist group (or any other extremist group) is not automatically a bar to entering the United States.”
A restriction would normally apply only to applicants planning to “engage in unlawful activity and those who are associated with designated criminal organizations” says Chang, adding that U.S. border agents “have a lot of discretion” to deny entry to travellers.
Garcia and Hall-Kuch said they told U.S. border officials they were “going drinking with friends” during questioning and did not reveal the real nature of the event they were planning to attend.
Lying or giving an incomplete answer to an official could be a “a permanent ground of inadmissibility,” says Chang.
'All three hosts of this show have been effectively banned’
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they were not able to comment on private travel plans, but wrote in an email that they turn away visitors for a range of reasons including security concerns.
But Garcia and Hall-Kuch’s rejection and the line of questioning they faced at the border suggests U.S. border security is looking more seriously at white nationalists travelling between the United States and Canada.
“Our dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband,” wrote a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson.
A third host of Garcia and Hall-Kuch’s podcast, Vincent Bélanger Mercure of Montreal, said on the show he too was recently rejected at the border after being questioned about his presence at Charlottesville.
“We’re at a point where all three hosts of this show have been effectively banned from the United States,” lamented Garcia on the podcast.
Co-published with Ricochet Media. With files from journalist Zachary Kamel.
Garcia’s usernames include SonOfDix, Thiccson, Dixon, and Amigoy. Hall-Kuch’s include Cracker Jack and Jack Tyler. Mercure also goes by Bébécoco. We have made the editorial decision not to link to their accounts or name their podcast. Anti-hate practitioners and researchers may contact the Canadian Anti-Hate Network for additional information.
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.
Royal Canadian Legion Investigating Grande Prairie Branch Association with Soldiers of Odin
Legion also promises new policy against associations with groups not consistent with its values
April 5, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Soldiers of Odin member arrested in Edmonton on March 30th following premeditated attack on anti-racists.
On April 22nd, the Soldiers of Odin (SOO) held an Easter dinner at the Grande Prairie branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Alberta. A CBC story revealed that some SOO members are also members of the Legion. In an interview with the CBC, the Grande Prairie legion’s branch manager and past vice-president defended the event and the SOO, respectively.
In response, the Royal Canadian Legion is introducing new policy against “any form of association” with hate groups like the Soldiers of Odin. In social media posts, the RCL also promise they “will be investigating the issue further with the Grande Prairie Legion Branch to determine what corrective action must be taken.”
The Soldiers of Odin are an anti-Muslim hate group founded by a self-identifying neo-Nazi in Finland who has been found guilty of racially motivated assault. The first generation of SOO chapters in Canada were led by and included overt white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Since then the SOO has fractured into several groups, including the Sons of Odin, Wolves of Odin, Storm Alliance, and Northern Guard.
The Grande Prairie Soldiers of Odin leader, Wade Reimer, tells CBC that their reputation as a hate group is “unearned.”
Less than a month earlier, Edmonton Soldiers of Odin and other hate groups attended a Worldwide Coalition Against Islam rally. At the event, one speaker shared the 14 words, an infamous neo-Nazi slogan, to cheers from the crowd. Afterwards, they engaged in a premeditated attack on anti-racist and anti-fascist activists that was caught on video. One SOO member was arrested.
Three things the government can do to fight far-right extremism
Comments by Prime Minister and Cabinet suggest government considering meaningful actions
April 2, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Top left: III%ers; top right: La Meute; bottom left: Northern Guard; centre: Darren Jones, former Saskatchewan VP for the Northern Guard posing in front of Nazi flags; bottom right: the Soldiers of Odin
The Canadian government is currently considering legislation to address the problem of far-right extremism and far-right terror. While legislation is only one part of a larger solution that must include anti-racist activism, quality journalism, and social and legal consequences, we are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of any new tools to counter hate groups.
Here are three things the government can do to fight far-right extremism.
1. Bring back Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act so that the worst of the worst individuals and groups can be held accountable for authoring and sharing hate content.
Section 13 made it possible for any Canadian to make a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission regarding individuals or groups communicating hate online. If the CHRC found the complaint to be reasonable, it would go to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, a semi-judicial body which could order a cease and desist and a small fine. If the individual refused to stop, they would be in contempt of court and may face jail time.
This legal tool to address the spread of hatred was found constitutional by the Supreme Court, but removed by the Conservative government nonetheless in 2013. There are relatively few tools to address unrepentant hate propagandists in its absence.
This will only be useful if the CHRC and Tribunal are sufficiently resourced.
2. Enforce the Canadian Human Rights Act regarding social media companies
While we welcome the news that Facebook will begin removing white nationalist content from their platform in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, social media companies have a demonstrated track record that they are unwilling to sufficiently self-regulate and will only act on hate if compelled by extreme public outcry or legal tools.
The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination or harassment in the delivery of a service in Canada to members of the public.
In allowing overt racist and bigoted discrimination and harassment to exist on their platforms, social media companies provide a service that exposes some individuals to materials that dehumanize, demean, and endanger them on the basis of prohibited grounds of discrimination. Under Canadian law these companies already have an obligation to remove hate content but the Canadian Human Rights Commission has failed to enforce the law. We need to see this enforced and billion-dollar social media companies need to respect the domestic laws in Canada and other countries in which they operate.
Additional legislation introducing significant financial penalties for social media companies that fail to quickly review and remove content designed to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination would add teeth to this preexisting obligation.
3. The RCMP and CSIS should invest a significant amount of resources towards monitoring right-wing extremism and undertake proactive interventions in the community.
All available information suggests that the RCMP and CSIS are not investing resources to properly monitor right-wing extremism. In October 2018, a RCMP spokesperson went on record to say that the Soldiers of Odin aren’t a threat - despite evidence, including a report from the Canada Border Services Agency, which states the SOO are “not afraid to use violence to achieve objectives.”
Another spokesperson told a reporter that they don’t know who or what the Proud Boys are. CSIS stopped investigating right-wing extremism in March 2016, and only started again after the Quebec mosque shooting in January, 2017.
Former CSIS analyst Jessica Davis echoes these concerns, calling for "resources [to] be assigned proportionally and in line with those that have been assigned to combat the al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorism threat."
On March 28, foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland told the UN Security Council that “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, incels, nativists, and radical anti-globalists who resort to violent acts are a threat to the stability of my country and countries around the world,” and that it "need[s] to be at the top of our agenda when we talk about confronting terrorism.”
Ralph Goodale has said more than just research needs to be done to address right-wing extremism in Canada, which may include legislation targeting social media companies.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that right-wing extremist, white nationalist and neo-Nazi terrorist groups are “alive in Canada” in his remarks following the Christchurch terrorist attack.
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.
James Sears and Leroy St Germaine have been found guilty of wilfully promoting hatred towards women and Jews. What follows are key passages from the 11 June 2018, 37-page expert report by Professor Derek Penslar on anti-Jewish hate propaganda published by James Sears (aka Dimitrious Sarafopoulos) and Leroy St Germaine in Toronto tabloid newspaper Your Ward News.
This summary was originally published at http://www.richardwarman.ca/penslar-expert-report-on-your-ward-news-anti-jewish-hate/ by Canadian Anti-Hate Network board member and human rights lawyer Richard Warman.
The report was prepared as part of the criminal prosecution against Sears and St Germaine for the wilful promotion of hate contrary to s. 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The report dissects the anti-Jewish hate propaganda content of Your Ward News and places it in the historical context from which Sears and St Germaine found inspiration. Both Sears and St Germaine were found guilty and the full criminal judgment can be found here.
Penslar Report Key Excerpts:
The full 37-page Penslar Report is here.
My name is Derek Jonathan Penslar. I am the Samuel Zacks Professor of European Jewish History at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University. On July 1, 2018, I will assume a permanent appointment at Harvard as the William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History. I hold a B.A. in History from Stanford University, and an MA and PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to Toronto and Harvard, I have taught at Indiana University, Bloomington, where I was a professor of history and of Jewish studies, and at the University of Oxford, where I was the Stanley Lewis Professor of Modern Israel Studies. I have research and teaching expertise in the history of Jewish civilization, Jewish-Christian relations in medieval and modern Europe, antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel.
As per your request, I have studied all issues of Your Ward News (hereafter, YWN) published between 2015 and Spring 2018 and have considered whether YWN’s language and imagery are antisemitic. I have read YWN against the background of my intimate familiarity with antisemitic texts and images produced in Europe, North America, and the Middle East over several centuries. My reading is also informed by a substantial body of scholarly literature on antisemitism, some of which I have authored or edited.1 Based on my reading, I have determined that YWN espouses antisemitic doctrines and that both its textual and visual representations of Jews are rooted in antisemitic concepts with a long historical pedigree. I have further determined that YWN’s antisemitic rhetoric frequently echoes or resembles language employed by neo-Nazi extremists in the United States and disseminated either in print or, more recently, via the internet.
YWN consistently expresses hatred of Jews via five distinct yet overlapping mechanisms:
1) Expressions of revulsion against the Jewish faith and its practitioners;
2) Accusations that Jews were collectively responsible for Bolshevik
atrocities in the USSR;
3) Claims of Jewish conspiracies to conquer and control humanity, especially through banking and finance;
4) Demonization of the state of Israel; and
5) Holocaust denial.
Undergirding these five forms of antisemitic expression is a consistent and explicit admiration for Nazism in general and the
German dictator Adolph Hitler in particular. Since antisemitism was a key component of German National Socialism and motivated the Nazis’ persecution and genocide of European Jewry, YWN’s emulation of Nazi Germany deepens and intensifies the various forms of Jew-hatred that the newspaper espouses.
The scope and range of conspiracies attributed by YWN to the Jews is part and parcel of modern antisemitic thinking. The classic antisemitic texts mentioned earlier in this section presented Jews as responsible for the cruelties of communism and capitalism alike, for the decline in religious observance and other rapidly changing social mores, for any form of art, literature, or cinema that they found avant-garde and distasteful, and for universalistic (as opposed to militant-nationalist) political ideologies. In neo-Nazi writings of our own day, Jews are associated with contemporary processes of social and cultural transformation, such as globalization, mass migration, racial and economic protest, feminism, and gender fluidity. In antisemitic thought, Jews are akin to a universal solvent, which eats away at any social mooring. Antisemitism’s hatred of the Jews rests in fear of what antisemites believe to be Jewish preternatural power and unshakable determination to attain global domination. In its most recent iteration, antisemitism maintains the fear of internationalism, be it governmental (e.g., the United Nations) or economic (transnational corporations).
In this report I have demonstrated linkages between YWN and a long historical legacy of antisemitic writings. YWN’s depictions of Jews are consonant with antisemitism as set out in the IHRA’s definition with which I began this report. YWN makes “mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective.” It preaches numerous myths “about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.” YWN presents the state of Israel as a point of origin of or prime beneficiary of these conspiracies. In its writings on politically-motivated persecutions in the former Soviet Union’s security services, YWN “accuses Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.” YWN explicitly denies “the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).” Moreover, it “accuses the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. In its depictions of Jews, YWN resembles a variety of North American neo-Nazi publications that, since the 1970s, have preached antisemitism as a prominent component of a fearful, hateful, and conspiratorial world-view.
Judge rules that James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine are guilty of two counts of wilfully promoting hate towards women and Jews.