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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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The Al-Soufi family is facing new threats as police investigate individuals responsible for the harassment campaign
Rick Boswick, Lily, and Ed Jamnisek are under investigation after disrupting restaurant re-opening
October 14, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Dr. Mohamad Fakih (centre) intercepts Lily (red vest) Rick Boswick (filming) and Northern Guard member Ed Jamnisek (right) as they try to enter Soufi's restaurant. Source: YouTube.
Police are investigating after Rick Boswick, Lily, and Ed Jamnisek disrupted the reopening of Soufi’s Restaurant, a much loved Syrian eatery in downtown Toronto. The restaurant had closed days earlier after a barrage of death threats and abuse, only to reopen with the help of Dr. Mohamad Fakih, owner of Paramount Fine foods.
Boswick, Lily, and Jamnisek went to the restaurant and were intercepted at the entrance by Fakih. Filming the interaction, Lily asserted (without evidence) that the family came as refugees and demanded to know where they got their money. She then started yelling about communism and ‘Antifa’.
Comments on one of Boswick’s videos from that interaction refer to Fakih and the Al-Soufi family as invaders and parasites, and say it’s only a matter of time before they are attacked with a molotov cocktail.
Boswick and Lily are also setting their sights on Mohamad Fakih, who is no stranger to this type of harassment. Earlier this year Fakih won a landmark defamation suit against video blogger Kevin Johnston, who made similar comments and is facing a hate crime charge for his videos which target women, LGBTQ+ persons, and Muslims. Johnston is an associate of Boswick, Lily, and Jamnisek.
The harassment campaign against the Al-Soufi family began on August 22nd with a now-deleted video Lily posted on Youtube. In it she claims the Al-Soufi family is connected to ISIS, that their food is tainted, and she names the restaurant and gives its address. This was in retaliation to their son monitoring one of Rick Boswick’s court dates, who faces a charge of uttering threats towards an anti-fascist. In the now deleted video, she also says they filmed the son within the courthouse, which is illegal.
“They’re fucking ISIS militants. Former militants . . . You come here. You have a plan. You don’t like Christianity. Okay. You want to wipe out Christianity. You want to turn this country into Sharia law . . . we know everything, where you located. And we want Canadian people to know if you order food from [address], you are supporting terrorists. Did you know that they send money back home and Canadian soldiers die in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq. When you go to that restaurant [address] you’re supporting terrorists.”
This harassment campaign escalated after a video went viral showing the son standing next to anti-fascists who are blocking an elderly woman’s path and shouting at her at a People’s Party of Canada event at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. The son and the family apologized, but the harassment continued.
Boswick and Lily quickly made more videos identifying the son, publishing information on his family and their restaurant, and calling them terrorists because they are Syrian. For the next week the far-right ecosystem in Canada had one target: the Al-Soufi family. The family started receiving a barrage of death threats; some were posted as comments on Boswick's videos.
After news that the restaurant would close due to these death threats, far-right video bloggers started claiming these threats were made up. In a video dated October 10, Lily says “[the son] is not a good Muslim. He’s a terrorist . . . [the Al-Soufi family] got advice from Muslim Brotherhood . . . to play victim . . .just tell that you’re getting death threats.”
If you have any information that would assist in serving these individuals with legal documents, please contact us at email@example.com.
RICK BOSWICK, OTTAWA ON
- Is facing criminal charges for threats towards an anti-fascist
- Rick is a video blogger, primarily targeting anti-fascists, LGBTQ+ and Muslim persons
- Has disrupted various LGBTQ+ events, including the attack on Hamilton Pride
- Participated in the pre-meditated brawl in the Eaton Centre after a PEGIDA rally in Toronto
- Former Vice President of Canadian Combat Coalition, an anti-Muslim group, and associates with most hate groups in Ontario, including those with neo-Nazi ties
- Has claimed mass shootings by right-wing extremists are fake or media spin
- Supporter of Faith Goldy, self-proclaimed “propaganda arm” for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement
LILY, HAMILTON ON
- Video blogger primarily targeting anti-fascists, LGBTQ+ and Muslim persons, and regular demonstrator at Hamilton Yellow Vests Canada and Toronto PEGIDA rallies
- Supports the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party, whose leader is under investigation for a video in which he calls for Jews to be removed “once and for all” from Canada
- Attended neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau’s court dates to show her support; Goudreau is now subject to a peace bond for encouraging supporters to murder us, journalists, and government workers.
- Has neo-Nazi merchandise in her home (note the totenkopf)
ED JAMNISEK, MARKHAM ON
- Member of the Northern Guard, a militant anti-Muslim group with neo-Nazi ties and a regular at Yellow Vest Canada and PEGIDA demonstrations
- A regular on conspiracy theorist video streams (such as Duke Willis), including alongside neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau
NEO-NAZI PARTY ACTIVE IN SCARBOROUGH
October 3, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Gus Stefanis at an anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration. Sept 28,2019. Source: BITCHUTE.
Gus Stefanis is running in the Toronto riding of Scarborough-Guildwood for the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party.
The party is run by Travis Patron, who is under RCMP investigation for publishing a video in which he calls for Jews to be removed from Canada “once and for all.” On Facebook he likes quotes by George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party. The party has attracted members like Paul Fromm, infamous neo-Nazi networker and supporter of the terrorist entity Blood and Honour, and the endorsement of persons like John Beattie, founder of the Canadian Nazi Party (1967).
Stefanis is a supporter of James Sears, the editor of the neo-Nazi newspaper Your Ward News who was found guilty for promoting hatred towards women and Jews. He shared videos by former KKK leader David Duke, posts by Fromm, and blog posts from neo-Nazi websites in a closed Facebook group called the ‘National Socialist Canadian Labour Revival Party’. In the Canadian Nationalist Front, another closed group, he called for a boycott of Lululemon for a “Interracial and Gay” ad campaign.
The neo-Nazi party wants to establish a paramilitary force, "revise if not repeal . . . the Bill of Rights and Charter of Rights and Freedoms," and bring in the death penalty for people they say are guilty of treason. They have attracted hardcore neo-Nazis with criminal histories like Bill Noble, former member of the Aryan Guard (pictured on the right).
Members of the party crashed Hamilton Pride, and Stefanis was part of a so-called Christian demonstration in Toronto last weekend which aimed to march down Church street, and shouted "sodomites" and "degenerates" at the anti-fascists blocking their path.
The neo-Nazi party has also threatened that they will “pursue alternative methods of implementing the political change we desire” if they are not democratically successful.
If you see Stefanis in the community, or if he knocks on your door, please be nonviolent but direct and tell him what Scarborough thinks of neo-Nazis and their threats.
Spread the word.
Mr. Paul Stoyan
15 January 2019
On behalf of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, we write to express our deep concern about a presentation that took place at Gardiner Roberts' offices on December 6th featuring an individual named Dr Martin Sherman whose presentation was titled "Israel's Stark Option: Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev":
Our concern stems from the fact that Sherman's presentation at Gardiner Roberts shares the same title as the attached written article published by him dated 18 November 2018 in which he closes with a call for Israel to engage in the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Gaza:
“The solution to the problem of Gaza is its deconstruction—not its reconstruction. For, at the end of the day, it must face a regrettable but unavoidable dilemma: Eventually, there will either be Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev. In the long run, there will not be both!”
We note that the International Criminal Court cites ethnic cleansing - the deportation or forcible transfer of population as a crime against humanity.
Whether this individual’s presentation at your firm included such material or not, it is difficult for us to understand how Gardiner Roberts can reconcile providing a platform to someone who only weeks earlier publicly called for a crime against humanity when as lawyers in Ontario you have sworn to “champion the rule of law and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all persons.”
We urge Gardiner Roberts in the strongest possible terms to ensure that any speakers at your firm in the future are consistent with upholding this fundamental obligation.
cc: Malcolm Mercer, Treasurer, Law Society of Ontario
"A Toronto judge has reserved his decision in the case of a former paralegal accused of advocating genocide and promoting hatred in email and on the internet, including an open Twitter account.
Rupen Balaram-Sivaram has pleaded not guilty to 10 charges, including the rare charge of advocating genocide. The charges stem in part from a series of hateful social media posts and emails he allegedly sent to public figures and media organizations that call for death to Jews, homosexuals, Westerners and Christians.
. . .
In her written submissions, [Crown attorney Kim] Motyl wrote that Balaram-Sivaram’s 'entire social media footprint is riddled with evidence of his belief that those of Jewish descent and homosexuals should be exterminated. Further, his hard devices — his computer, two USB drives and his cellphone are likewise full of such sentiment.'"
Faith Goldy is a prominent member of the alt-right movement who associates with neo-Nazis and promotes their ideology.
She is running to be Mayor of Toronto, endorsed by the alt-right neo-Nazi movement in Canada, who volunteer for her.
After a campaign by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Bell and Rogers made the principled decision not to run her advertisements.
Goldy took Bell to court to try to get an injunction and had her case thrown out, wasting $50,000.
The evidence that Faith Goldy is deep in the alt-right neo-Nazi movement is extensive. For example:
Goldy has said the infamous Fourteen Words on air, a neo-Nazi slogan coined by the neo-Nazi group The Order, which murdered a Jewish radio host. She continues to defend her use of the Fourteen Words.
She appeared on The Krypto Report, a neo-Nazi podcast associated with the Daily Stormer, one of the most popular alt-right neo-Nazi sites which often refers to Jews as “Hooknosed kikes” and is currently running a banner image calling itself the “#1 rape-legalization website.” The leaked style guide instructs authors that “All enemies should be combined into one enemy, which is the Jews.”
She said that the alt-right Charlottesville manifesto, including its position on the JQ (Jewish Question; that Jews don’t count as white people to the alt-right neo-Nazi movement), was well thought out.
David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted her video on Charlottesville.
She's called for Canada to return to being a 96% white, European country.
As a point of analysis, given the current demographics of Canada, discriminatory birth policies and ending nonwhite immigration isn't sufficient to reach a 96 per cent white country. It would require mass deportations and mass murder.
She's already been banned from the fundraising site Patreon and a number of other platforms for spreading hate.
Her activism also targets the Muslim community, and she has called for another crusade in the Middle East.
She endorsed For My Legionaries, a pro-fascist book dealing extensively with "the Jewish menace" and eliminating the Jews. (She later claimed she never read the book).
She has referred to herself as a "propaganda arm" for the alt-right movement in a livestreamed broadcast with Roosh V, an infamous misogynist.
Updated 2018-10-18 with additional information.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network chair Bernie Farber calls on Doug Ford to renounce alt-right candidate who associates with neo-Nazis.
"On Saturday, Faith Goldy, in the race for Toronto mayor, well-known for embracing and supporting white supremacist views, turned up at the Ford Fest BBQ in Vaughan. Following a photo-op with the premier, a scandal ensued as Ford refused to renounce Goldy, her white nationalist views and support to neo-Nazis when asked to do so in the legislature by the NDP."
"Ford has condemned hate speech but refuses to renounce Goldy by name and her associations. His words do not live up to his actions. Canadians still expect decency and leadership from those we put in office. Ford can still make this right, but not until he fully dissociates himself from those like Faith Goldy and their vile ideas."
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations want answers from Toronto Police
Toronto Police Service officers push through a line of anti-racist activists. Photo credit: Ali Javeed, Twitter @alijaveed_
On Saturday, the Toronto Police Service repeatedly used force to break a line of peaceful protesters in order to permit a march down Bay Street by members of racist and neo-Nazi groups.
The rally, hosted by the anti-Muslim extremist group PEGIDA, was joined by members of the Soldiers of Odin and Northern Guard, groups with demonstrated neo-Nazi ties, and the Proud Boys, who have been responsible for a number of assaults at recent demonstrations.
At the beginning of the rally, the hate groups were separated from anti-racism counter protestors by fencing and police. “The police could have maintained public order by allowing the hate groups to complete their rally where they started. Instead, Toronto Police called reinforcements to force a march by hate groups through peaceful counter-protestors,” said Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAN) board member and lawyer Richard Warman.
Saturday is only the most recent example, but similar situations have played out several times over the past year. Hate groups will continue to turn rallies into marches to use the police as a weapon against citizens who stand up to their poisonous message if the Toronto Police Service permit themselves to be used in this way.
"The police have a responsibility to maintain order and public trust," said Nigel Bariffe, president of the Urban Alliance of Race Relations. "That public trust is eroded when the police give the perception of being on the side of those who are spreading messages of hate and division."
Unfortunately, this is nothing new, notes Warman.
“In the early 90s I witnessed Toronto Police on horseback use batons against hundreds of anti-racism protestors to clear a path so that members of the neo-Nazi Heritage Front could enter the University Avenue courthouse en masse. This flies in the face of the fact that Canada has repeatedly signed international legal treaties obliging us to counter hate group activity - not protect it."
We are requesting a meeting with the Toronto Police Service to discuss these concerns and find positive solutions to this and other related issues.
"The Munk Debates is inadvertently sanitizing Steve Bannon in inviting him to participate in a debate on -the rise of populist politics in Western societies.' This is a white washing of Bannon’s racist, misogynistic, and white nationalist agenda."
Canadian Anti-Hate Network board members Amira Elghawaby and Bernie Farber take on the Munk Debates decision to invite Steve Bannon in this piece for the Toronto Star.