Canadian Anti-Hate Network
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.
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.