Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pelted by gravel while climbing into a campaign bus during a stop in London, Ontario on Monday. The incident has drawn reactions from his supporters and opponents, while the presence of two known white nationalist figures in the audience continues to be largely overlooked.
Trudeau later confirmed to reporters that he had been hit by the debris, but was unharmed.
Over the course of an election stop in the city, a crowd of demonstrators gathered around the Liberal leader’s campaign bus. Many were waving signs for the People’s Party of Canada, and one local candidate for the party, Chelsea Hillier, posted a video and told the CBC she attended the event. Signs for another local candidate, Kyle Free, are visible in various clips.
In response to the incident, Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O’Toole issued a statement on Twitter saying, “I condemn these actions in the strongest terms possible. Political violence is never justified and our media must be free from intimidation, harassment, and violence.”
Jagmeet Singh also stated that “No matter how angry you are. And, it’s never ok to try to intimidate people who don’t agree with you - or the media.
PPC leader Maxime Bernier, who was struck by an egg last week by a known member of the patriot and COVID conspiracy movement also commented on the incident on his Twitter account while maligning the lack of attention his own brush with a detractor received in the media.
“Someone hit me with an egg last week. I note that none of the other party leaders made any statement,” he wrote. “Some idiot threw pebbles at Mr. Trudeau yesterday. I condemn it. Words are our weapons. But physical violence is always wrong.”
This statement comes after it was revealed by Press Progress’ Luke LeBrun that another PPC candidate, Marc Emery, recently deleted a tweet suggesting that Trudeau face a similar fate to Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini who was summarily captured, shot, and had his body hung upsidedown in the streets of Milan.
Peter Taras, the PPC candidate for Niagra Falls, also recently posted a picture to his own social media of a series of hangings taken place in Nuremberg Germany after the Second World War dipicting “members of the media who lied and misled” people, “right along with medical doctors and nurses who participated in medical experiments.”
Above the post Taras wrote, “There is precedent for arresting journalists who violate the human rights of individuals. This is not a blanket statement condemning all journalists. Rather it is to point out the risks a journalist takes on if they are complicit in helping to force through an illegal agenda.”
When reached for comment, Taras told the Canadian Anti Hate Network that he believes journalists, or anyone, who breaks the law should be arrested and denied that the statement was intended to imply anything else.
Faces In A Crowd
Beyond the attendance of a candidate, also on the scene was Hillier’s riding manager, Shane Marshall and would-be Canadian Groyper leader and live streamer Tyler Russell.
Ahead of the event, Russell indicated he was aware that Trudeau was bound for London, including the claim that “We have a guy following the bus.” Russell also took to his Twitter account to post the address.
Footage captured from the event shows Marshall and Russell approaching the event together. Marshall, who often attends anti-lockdown events in a ski mask, is easy to spot as he sports a dark camouflage version of Canada’s Red Ensign flag fashioned to a hockey stick.
Alongside him, Tyler Russell was also in attendance, though his defining moment at the protest appears to be calling Trudeau a “bitch” and giving him the finger while recording from the crowd.
Afterward, he took to his chat group to seemingly take credit, at least for his network, for the rock-throwing in a message couched in irony.
Source: Canada First Discord
Under several similar online monikers, sometimes professing to be a “guerrilla journalist,” other times a revolutionary, Marshall posts include music from Forgotten Rebels, a 1970’s Hamilton punk band that is best remembered for the controversy around the song “Bomb The Boats.”
“I don’t want no foreign pricks to take my job away from me. My tax dollars paid their ransom, would they do the same for me? I don’t, I don’t want them in my home. I don’t want them around so let them drown. Bomb the boats and feed their fucking flesh to the fish,” the song says.
“They're commies, subhuman subversives, commies. They're human living curses”
Marshall has made multiple references to the neo-Nazi fraternity The Mannerbund. Little is known about The Mannerbund, beyond a series of podcasts and a choir-style song making the rounds in neo-Nazi spaces. The song, which makes explicit references to blood and violence in an attempt to reclaim a homeland from “foreigners,” has become an anthem in neo-Nazi spaces. The group’s podcasts openly promote neo-Nazi figures, including speeches by Turner Diaries author William Luther Pierce.
Post taken from one of Shane Marshall's social accounts. Source: Instagram
Dubbing himself a “Guerrilla Journalism Network,” most of the coverage appears to be photos taken of his flag and sharing of violent and sometimes racist memes and images. Another account makes multiple veiled references to the “Boogaloo,” the name given to what adherents see as an inevitable civil war or societal collapse.
Marshall also has made various fascist and antisemitic posts across his accounts. After Maxime Bernier was arrested for violating public health orders, one of his more active social channels included video of the arrest alongside a meme showing the signature Groyper frog reading a fictional book titled “Mon Struggle” by the embattled leader, a reference to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” In another video meme, men are shown marching through the woods with the text, “Me and the boys on the way to Bohemian Grove after digging up ‘der Flammenwerfer’ to have ourselves a barbecue with our Hebrew friends.”
Post taken from one of Shane Marshall's social accounts. Source: Instagram
For his live streams, Russell borrows his program’s name and aesthetic from white nationalist Nick Fuentes’ web show America First, but with a distinctly Canadian flavour. His northern caricature of Fuentes managed to net him a large amount of opposition at Toronto’s Ryerson University in 2020, including the creation of a petition to remove him.
Despite his efforts, and his father’s efforts to manage his media career, Russell remains largely obscure as he tries to build a name for himself using another man’s brand. Like America First, Russell regularly trades in overt racism and antisemitism. Recent episodes of his program discuss what he calls “The Indian Question.”
This is an obvious Canadian take on the “Jewish Question,” a reference to the Nazi regime’s policies and a popular phrase -- sometimes referred to as the JQ -- in white supremacist and neo-Nazi circles. Its usage infers that Indigenous peoples must be removed from Canada.
“After what I’ve seen today, I’m ready for some war,” he told his meagre but active following after the statue of Egerton Ryerson was torn down outside of Russell’s former university.
“We are going to be covering the IQ, the Indian Question, because it’s about time that we called out what this type of animalistic behaviour is, which is terrorism, okay? These are Indian terrorists, feather not dots, that are running around Canada, intimidating and inciting violence for political gain.”
He later adds in the same monologue, “These Indians are terrorists just like the Black people in Black Lives Matter,” and that Indigenous peoples “deserve to be locked up in cages.”
Members of this version of Canada First self-identify as “Groypers,” an attempt at rebranding the alt-right’s specific blend of historical revisionism (including Holocaust denial) and white nationalism for people born in and after the 1990s. Like Fuentes, Russell bills himself a "paleoconservative," and frequently utters talking points associated with the alt-right neo-Nazi movement.
Russell's aesthetic, from the suits he wears to the greenscreen background he uses for his show, mirror much of Fuentes' style. For all intents and purposes, it seems Russell is attempting to copy his counterpart's formula, with limited success. Fuentes currently counts over 130,000 followers on Twitter, whereas Russell's follower count is in the hundreds.