Canadian Anti-Hate Network
As protesters began pouring in on the first day of a three-week occupation of Ottawa’s downtown core, one American member of the Discord server used by Canada First wrote a series of messages in swooning praise of the Northern branch of the Groyper movement.
“So proud of you leafs,” he opened, later adding, “John A. Macdonald was right, the Canadians are the master race.”
Under the name “Culture Warlord,” he would go on to write dozens of posts over the course of the occupation, urging his Canadian peers to trek on to the country’s capital. Sometimes he went as far as to offer to personally finance their trips or to help them fundraise.
The American’s messages consistently framed the occupation as part of a revolutionary war against the globalist enemy.
The man behind the Culture Warlord username is Ryan Sanchez, a Californian white nationalist influencer. On YouTube, the Orange County native, who also goes by “Culture War Criminal,” publishes ominous and at times surreal videos in which he commiserates on revolutionary tactics while speaking in front of an American flag in a darkened room.
“Those that stand opposed to us in the streets, in the courts, in the government, those that oppose us politically, morally and spiritually, they are diametrically opposed to us, and we must be ruthless in our application of revolutionary protest tactics and revolutionary discipline to destroy them,” he says in one video.
Sanchez was until recently a minor Groyper influencer, participating in stunts alongside members of the movement, including the toppling part of a California art project erecting several metallic monuments around Atascadero. A dramatic falling out with its de facto leader Nicholas J. Fuentes over alleged acts of insubordination severed their relationship. Contrary to his former associates’ commitment to “optics-friendly” white nationalism, Sanchez maintains close ties to explicitly violent groups, participating in rallies alongside members of the Rise Above Movement (RAM) as early as 2017.
In a recent Telegram post, Sanchez described RAM leader Robert Rundo – who is currently not incarcerated – as a “political prisoner jailed for daring to stand against Antifa.”
Ryan Sanchez (middle) wearing a skull mask with RAM members at an Islamophobic rally in San Bernadino.
Source: Left Coast Right Watch.
Over the course of the Ottawa occupation, Sanchez advocated for heavy-handed tactics to be used, calling on Canada Firsters to make average Canadians “fear them” and “fear crossing them.”
“If there is no price to be paid for supporting these policies (public health measures), why would they stop supporting them? They really enjoy causing you guys pain, they loved laughing at your anger for over two years over the masks.”
Keeping Ottawans in a state of fear, he argued, would eventually push them to beg their government to give the occupiers “WHATEVER they want.”
“This is your unifying moment”
To Sanchez, the point of white nationalist groups engaging in dissident movements is not to convince the broader public to support their ideology, but rather to ingratiate themselves with the conservative right.
In an open letter published on Telegram and later reposted in the Canada First Discord chat, Sanchez writes about his experiences rubbing shoulders with everyday conservatives.
“In my experience, pro-white activists like myself (...) have had nothing but support and friendship from the ‘normie’ MAGA protest crowd because we made ourselves useful.”
He goes on to berate fellow white nationalists who chose to stay home during the Ottawa Occupation.
“It boggles my mind why White Identitarians are not pooling their money and bringing hot food and warm clothes to the protesters in Ottawa. This is the BEST chance to curry favour with the rest of the right.”
Sanchez would later compare the Ottawa occupation to the Capitol riot, arguing that the latter pushed conservatives towards “pro-White politics.”
“This is your unifying moment,” he told them.
More than simple networking, Sanchez theorized that earning the good graces of the mainstream right could help Canada First cement itself as the “vanguard of this movement.” He warned that failure to seize this opportunity could cause the movement to be “led astray by false leaders” like convoy spokesperson Benjamin Dichter, whom Sanchez referred to as “that gay Jewish guy.”
A Transnational Movement
Sanchez and self-appointed Canada First leader Tyler L. Russell first met at the 2021 edition of AFPAC, a white nationalist conference organized by Groyper leader Nicholas J. Fuentes. Russell’s attendance at the event cemented close ties between the Canadian and American branches of the movement. Russell would later attend protests in New York with Fuentes and American Groypers, and Fuentes made an appearance on Russell’s election night live stream with Chelsea and Randy Hillier.
Russell was recently an invited guest at the 2022 edition of AFPAC, alongside two sitting members of congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, as well as Donald Trump’s ICE director. He used the occasion to take pictures with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, who recently re-donned the group’s colours and logo on camera, despite having reportedly left the movement in 2016.
Ryan Sanchez did not respond to a request for comment.