Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ron Banerjee: A Racist Walter Mitty

It is almost impressive how shameless Ron Banerjee is.

ARC has covered Banerjee, a supporter of Hinduvata, for a few years now. To suggest that he is anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh, and violently misogynistic would perhaps be a bit of an understatement:



His most recent appearance was at last week's anti-racism Town Hall where he and others disrupted the proceedings. However he has also unsurprisingly insinuated himself into the case of the 11 year-old child who made a false claim about a man cutting her hijab. In what is beginning to look like a bit of an AstroTurf campaign, a group of conservative Chinese-Canadians have been protesting since late January demanding Justin Trudeau apologize for his then condemnation of the attack while carrying professionally-made signs that imply that Muslims are a threat; their largest rally was in Ottawa and was joined by members of La Meute, Proud Boys, Canadian Combat Coalition, Northern Guard, and other similar groups.

When this group first began protesting, Banerjee showed up with his megaphone....


.... and implied that HE had organized the protest and that the Chinese-Canadian group were members and supporters of Rise Canada:


Monday, February 26, 2018

Interesting Developments in Ontario Conservative Politics

Truth be told I wasn't quite certain how to best title this article and I'm still not sure that the title I have given it really addresses what I'm about to comment on.

When Patrick Brown resigned as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, interim leader Vic Fedeli soon opted not to make a run in the race to make that leadership permanent. He further added that there was "rot" within the party which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

However, four people are currently running to become the leader of the party and, with the Progressive Conservatives leading in the polls, perhaps the next premier of Ontario:


Among those running are Caroline Mulroney, perennial leadership candidate Christine Elliott, Doug Ford (hey, if Trump could be elected president and Rob Ford elected mayor, both of who were known forces of bigotry, incompetence, and chaos, why not Doug?), and social-conservative Tanya Granic Allen:



Ms. Allen's name recently found it's way into the news when she received an endorsement, though likely not one that she sought:


Paulie's endorsement certainly isn't helpful though it was somewhat of a surprise given how much he supported Rob Ford as mayor. Ms. Muroney condemned Fromm and challenged Allen to disavow the endorsement:


Still, there were those who commented on Mulroney's tweet who appear to be the folks Paulie is really targeting:




Ms. Allen did eventually disavow Paulie's endorsement, though she also took the opportunity to slam the press for reporting on it:



In fact Paulie has been in the news a fair bit last week and during the weekend, which was probably his primary goal anyways since he isn't so stunned as to believe that anyone would seek the endorsement of a white supremacist.... well, there was a time when seeking such an endorsement would be political suicide, but all bets seem to be off these days. He was also involved in the disruption by bigots at the anti-racism Town Hall in Toronto that took place on February 22. Though he didn't make any noise himself, it became apparent afterwards that he was very pleased by the outcome:


Now this actually brings me to another interesting connection with Progressive Conservative politics in Ontario:


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Addresses Disruption of Anti-Racist Town Hall

On Thursday, February 22, an Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Town Hall took place at the Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church in Toronto which was co-hosted by Beaches-East York MPP Arthur Potts, and Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith. The event was purposely disrupted by anti-Muslim bigots who used the opportunity to attack the panelists which included Lisa Kinsella and MP Iqra Khalid and make those who legitimately wished to participate in the Town Hall feel unsafe.

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has commented elsewhere concerning the events that transpired at the Town Hall. When ARC reached out to him for comment, he was kind enough to provide the following statement:
On February 22, Arthur Potts and I co-hosted an anti-racism town hall. Unfortunately, it was disrupted by a number of racists who shouted slurs and bigotry, interrupting attempts at a thoughtful discussion. It was a jarring reminder that, regardless of the advancements in equality that we have made, there is much more yet to be done. 
As federal and provincial representatives, we were asked by many constituents (from different backgrounds) to host an anti-racism public forum. 
We invited Minister Michael Coteau and Iqra Khalid as panelists, both because they can speak from real life experience, and because the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has commended their work, namely Ontario’s anti-racism strategy and Canada’s passing of M-103 to condemn systemic discrimination (which resulted in a Heritage committee with specific recommendations). 
We hosted the event with the co-operation of the Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church. 
While we put some measures in place to ensure that racists were not given a platform, in the open and public forum, we were unable to prevent racist outbursts and interruptions. 
Despite some warnings, we were not adequately prepared for the level of organized racist disruption. For example, we could have had more formal security on hand, and if the police are not the answer, then perhaps private security is. I’m certainly open to suggestions for the future. 
The racism on display from repeated hecklers made my blood boil. I cannot imagine experiencing it as a minority. My sincere apologies to anyone who attended our event and was negatively impacted in any way. 
In our public roles, open forums are important. They serve an important accountability function, and allow for community feedback. 
We saw some of that. There were questions about carding practices, diversity in appointments and jury selection, child welfare and clean water in Indigenous communities, the need for education curriculum to address racism, and support for inter-faith and inter-cultural initiatives. 
But we didn’t see enough. 
Was a lot of time wasted dealing with racist hecklers? Yes. 
Was the event worthwhile all the same? Yes. 
Many people of all backgrounds thanked us for hosting the discussion and for the panel’s remarks. Michael and Iqra were engaging and thoughtful, with poise and patience.
Many people also saw the shocking racist interruptions as an eye-opener and call to action. Iqra shared the same sentiment in conversation afterward: “Just goes to show how much more we have to do on this.” 
So it was a frustrating experience, but also a useful conversation to some degree. It can’t be the only conversation. There is no question that smaller and more focused consultations and meetings with individuals and groups will be more helpful in identifying solutions. 
I encourage anyone interested in being a part of those solutions to be in touch: Nathaniel.Erskine-Smith@parl.gc.ca, or 416-467-0860.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Yet ANOTHER Pegida Canada Rally In London Fails

One day Pegida Canada might get the message that neither they nor their message are welcome in the city of London, ON and they will leave. While this was not that day, they seem increasingly discouraged by their low numbers confronting much larger counter-protester who spend much of the time making fun of them.

ARC has received permission from Mike Roy to who was one of the counter-protesters opposing Pegida Canada who this time brought along what appears to be a member of the Canadian Combat Coalition and a handful of members of the Soldiers of Odin. Yes, there are actually still a few small chapters that exist in BC, Alberta, and Ontario though their numbers are dwindling as evidenced by their sad showing today:

Pegida Canada members....

.... and Soldiers of Odin who have, let's be honest, seen better days.
The people of London against local hate groups Pegida and The Soldiers of Odin
today at City hall #ldnont #lovenothate Feb 24th 2018.
Really, I honestly don't know why they continue to subject themselves to the ridicule and humiliation. Perhaps they have a bit of a masochistic streak?

Mark Vandermaas: "Officer will you baby sit us? No? Well I'm going to take your name down!"

The people of London against local hate groups Pegida and The Soldiers of Odin
today at City hall #ldnont #lovenothate Feb 24th 2018.

The people of London against local hate groups Pegida and The Soldiers of Odin
today at City hall #ldnont #lovenothate Feb 24th 2018.

The people of London against local hate groups Pegida and The Soldiers of Odin
today at City hall #ldnont #lovenothate Feb 24th 2018.

The people of London against local hate groups Pegida and The Soldiers of Odin
today at City hall #ldnont #lovenothate Feb 24th 2018.

The people of London against local hate groups Pegida and The Soldiers of Odin
today at City hall #ldnont #lovenothate Feb 24th 2018.

Notice top left corner -- The people of London against local hate groups Pegida and
The Soldiers of Odin today at City hall #ldnont #lovenothate Feb 24th 2018.
On the other side, Pegida, trying to put a brave face on another failure, tries to polish a turd:


As they are walking to City Hall, Pegida Canada makes it clear they don't care about Islamism or Islamic extremism. Their targets are Muslims. Full stop:


The main speaker is "Jenny" (not her real name) who is the spokesperson for Pegida Canada. "Jenny" has difficulty with the sound system and is frustrated by the counter-protesters and asks the police to stop the noise they are making presumably because while she favors free speech, she doesn't actually mean she's for it for people other than her side:


When she finally does get started, "Jenny" complains bitterly about how unfair it is that they have been labeled as hateful bigots and that they deserve an apology, because libeling the Muslim community is acceptable but NOT people who look like them! That is an outrage!

Really, they don't seem to get the concept of irony here:


Next it is time to continue the slander of Iqra Khalid. First "Jenny" mentions the town hall that took place on Thursday which was disrupted by Islamophobes who had every intention of disrupting the event, complaining that questions were not answered by the panelists which strikes me as just a bit of chutzpah on her part. She then goes on to claim that Khalid, who's non-binding private members motion to condemn Islamophobia, "and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination" is irrationally considered to be a blasphemy law, as having links to the Muslim Brotherhood. This is due mainly to Khalid's involvement in a Muslim Students' Association in university and the fact these folks think that being a Muslim is really all that is needed to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood:


"Jenny"goes on a rather lengthy rant about halal foods, though she does later admit that kosher practices aren't that much different but that's not the point! She does carry on about where the funds go which strikes this writer as being very closely parallel to the antisemitic "Kosher Tax" bs. I will spare the readers the rambling here.

"Jenny"ends her speech with what I think is quite enlightening concerning Pegida's position. They seem perfectly okay with religious dogma being used to govern the country so long as it is THEIR religious dogma:


The final speaker rambles on with no real direction. It is quite a something to behold. All she needs to do is include some references to "deadly worldwide mad gangster god" and it would be a rant worthy of Francis E. Dec:


Now, as they leave and if you listen carefully to the comment you'll hear some not so subtle homophobia which, considering their Islamophobia, isn't exactly surprising though it is somewhat awkward considering not long before they had claimed concern for the well-being of the homosexual community:


After some time to reflect, Pegida Canada offers this:


So, that's good news and to be sure it is very good news. Pegida Canada's numbers have continued to decline since their first also largely outnumbered protest at the end of August when members of the Canadian Combat Coalition and some III% militia participated.

However, there is also some information that should be cause for reflection.

Town Hall Discussing Systemic Racism Disrupted By Bigot and Racists

This past Thursday an Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Town Hall took place at the Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church in Toronto. The panelists included Lisa Kinsella who spoke about her efforts concerning prosecuting "Your Ward News" and James Sears for hate crimes, MP Iqra Khalid who authored M103 condemning Islamophobia as well as other forms of racism and discrimination directed at religious and ethnic groups, Ontario Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism Michael Coteau, Beaches-East York MPP Arthur Potts, and Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.

It also attracted the haters:


There are a few first hand accounts of what occurred when the Islamophobes and racists, who were in the minority but did not govern themselves in a manner that the majority did, disrupted the event. 

Those present who are known to ARC include Meir Weinstein of the Jewish Defence League,




Long-time white supremacist Paul Fromm (Weinstein and Paulie, eh?), 


Misogynistic Hindu-ultranationalist Ron Banerjee of the one-man show Canadian Hindu Advocacy and the slightly larger Rise Canada,




Lynn Redden who leads the unintentionally ironic Suffragettes Against Silence and who has attended a host of anti-Muslim events including the recent Ottawa protest and who made headlines heckling Trudeau at a town hall in London



Eric Brazau who has a very long history of anti-Muslim agitation and who's criminal record includes assault, 


And Lawrence who is associated with the Proud Boys and JDL; he is also seen frequently at anti-Muslim protests and has made threats directed towards a number of female anti-fascists:


 

Guest Article: What’s Up With Quebec (Updates)

Since I last wrote here, many things have been going on in the Québec far-right spheres and I wanted to update you about them.

La Meute and Storm Alliance had their Québec City protest on November 25 and some of their more intense friends also showed up, mostly to taunt the counter-protesters and to show their banner-making skills. Atalante (a neo-Nazi group started in Québec city by the “Stomper” crew, a group of nazi musicians) made the news by appearing on top of a citadel wall with their signature banner, this one reading ‘’Le Québec aux Québecois,” (Québec to Quebecers). Québec City has never been known for its progressivism or its nice police force and November 25 wasn’t an exception to that rule. Police cornered counter-protesters and arrested some people ‘’preventively’’ for looking like leftists and walking in the neighborhood. They had no problem allowing actual boneheads like Alatante and the Soldiers of Odin to walk the streets freely with their flags and gear, though. It’s also very interesting to see groups like SA and La Meute pretend they have nothing to do with the less palatable groups, when they always end up marching together seemingly for the same cause.


Speaking of The Cause, the far-right was quick to mobilize again in December when they heard on the TVA TV network that a mosque in Montréal had asked a nearby construction crew to remove women employees from the site during prayer time. This was quickly investigated by the unions, other journalists, and the mosque itself and proven wrong (the person who called TVA was close to the far-right on social media and was very happy to pose with the TV trucks for his Facebook profile, but maybe that’s just a coincidence). The network retracted their comments and the controversy should have ended there. But, of course, since all news are fake news to the far-right, except when the news are actually proven to be false (in that case, it MUST be true, right?) different people from La Meute and Storm Alliance were ready to ‘’defend our women’’ and protect them from the dangers of Islamization. After all, it is what they’ve been preparing for all these years. Only a dozen or so people showed up (the groups’ leaders having told them that they were going to look too racist if they went) and that died out as quickly as it appeared. La Meute promised to investigate, saying they had their best people on the case, implying that it was all a false flag to make them look bad (?), but nothing was made public.

Then, the end of 2017 saw internal disputes between group members. Some women in La Meute accused one of their leader. Éric Proulx, of being sexually and emotionally abusive, and of using his position of have sex with Meute women. At first, the Meute defended him, but they were quick to dismiss him once it gained traction. The main leader, Sylvain “Maïkan” Brouillette, stepped down for a couple of weeks but was quick to come back to the group.

The last days of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 were not kinder to SA’s Dave Treg. At the end of December, he shared on Facebook a video of an armed American man talking about defending the borders against the ‘’illegals’’ brought in by Trudeau, and implying that the same kind of ‘’resistance’’ was coming to Canada. He had recently shared a video of himself shooting a gun and all of that combined wasn’t good for their pacifist image. Even worse, was the accusations of sexual harassment that were made against him in January. A Meute member accused him of trying to get sexual favors in exchange for help with activism. What was interesting was that it was propagated on Twitter by another Meute member, seemingly to hurt Treg’s reputation. Treg deleted all his profiles and disappeared from online for a couple of weeks, only to come back for the Ottawa ‘’hijab hoax’’ protest. And then he left again, saying that he had misjudged his ‘’enemies’’ (meaning other far-right groups?) and that he was done with activism. We’ll see how long that lasts.


Atalante also started a Montreal chapter, spearheaded by Shawn MacDonald, famous for being at the Charlotteville march last year. They showed even more of their banners in a flashy overnight stunt where they plastered walls all around the city with propaganda accusing some bloggers, TV personalities and activists of being either traitors (if they were white) or parasites (if they were not).


Friday, February 23, 2018

So, About Those Laura Loomer Legal Costs.....

It has been a while since ARC posted a story concerning Ezra Levant and "Rebel Media." In some ways they seem to have recovered from the disastrous spring and summer of 2017; the anti-Semitic rants of Gavin McInnes, Laura Southern and Faith Goldy dancing around the edges of white nationalism (Goldy herself appears to have definitively taken the plunge into white nationalist after her Charlottesville experience), the scandal in which Levant agreed to pay what he  referred to as "hush money" (his words), and other incidents that were significant body blows. As a result a number of high profile "Rebel Media" personalities left either because they didn't want to be associated with the brand any longer, appeared to have had "creative disagreements" with Levant, or they were fired. The latest to go appears to be EDL founder Tommy Robinson (born Stephen Christopher Yaxley) who has now, "gone independent":


We might perhaps speculate as to the reasons for this departure:

This is what Levant told Robertson: “Lauren Southern, Jack Posobiec, we had our differences, but you’ll notice that they have been positive since they left us … do you see how smart they are … they may have grievances with me … they’re not actually saying there’ve been problems, they’re not grumbling publicly because that would be against … their contractual duties to me”. Mildly threatening. Then came the crunch. 
“I am prepared to give you and Caolan a very nominal sum to sign a second confidentiality agreement. So don’t go down that road … launch yourselves as independent … be totally positive like Lauren Southern‘Hi guys, we had a great run at the Rebel, but now we’re doing something even better … we’re going independent, we’re gonna do whatever we want. We’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that’. Don’t even mention the Rebel”. 
Now let’s look at what Lennon told his followers yesterday. “Now, I’m going independent … that’s right, I’ve decided to leave the Rebel to go out and do it for myself … no more paywall and I’ll be my own boss … I’m going to have total freedom to cover the stories that matter to everyone … you’re going to be hearing a lot more from me. This is just the beginning”. It was his decision, he’s being totally positive. Well, maybe. 
The problem for Lennon is not only the hint of a forced smile at the end of that video, but also the tape of Ezra Levant describing more or less the same thing when he was sacking Robertson. What is worse for Lennon is the time at which this parting of the ways has occurred: he is in the middle of what could be a disastrously expensive legal action against the Police, and may still be hit with one or more contempt charges.


Since then the major Canadian political parties cut "Rebel Media" off and refused to participate in any press events with them, though it would appear that the Conservative Party of Canada and the United Conservative Party of Alberta might be quietly realigning themselves with "Rebel Media." Included in more recent news is the fact that Hamish Marshall, one of the co-founders of "Rebel Media", is now working for Andrew Scheer and that "Rebel Media" was paid handsomely for some reason by former Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch presumably for some services rendered.

But let's go back where I mentioned the "Rebel Media" personalities who have since left Mr. Levant's services and look specifically at one Laura Loomer.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What Those Who Call Themselves "Patriots" Really Believe

Put on your irony seat belt folks.

When I wrote the article detailing the reaction to the George Stanley acquittal, I used the Facebook group, "Canadians Against the NDP and Liberals (Information & Facts)" as a representative sample of views from the far right in Canada. Since then I have been poking around and perusing the content. A few days ago I came across this:

 
Well, I don't have to tell you, my dear readers, that the folks who post in this group are self-avowed, proud, patriots! They love the military! They love the anthem and are horrified by the change of a word (which actually is more grammatically correct and aligns with one of the earlier 1909 version, but let's not split hairs)! The love the flag and would fight anyone who would desecrate it! The LOVE Canada and woe to anyone who doesn't love this country as much as they do.... especially those swarthy foreigners who may have emigrated to Canada and may even be second, third, fourth, or fifth generation Canadians, but aren't REAL Canadians like they are!

I mean, the answer is self-evident then.

Right?

Right....?


Yeah, the consensus is the patriots with "Canadians Against the NDP and Liberals (Information & Facts)".

What follows with very little commentary is a representative sample of what kind of "patriots" the folks posting in this group are. I would perhaps recommend reader take a look at Erich Fromm's Escaping Freedom to better understand the mindset of these people. It is a little dated, but much of it still rings true today.

There are a lot of screen shots. Feel free to make yourself a pot of tea before you begin reading: