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Friday, 19 March 2010

Anti-racist Groups Prepare to Counter Neo-Nazi Hate (Canada)

International Day for the Elimination of Racism coming up on March 21 could see a clash between protesters as neo-Nazis plan to rally in Calgary, Vancouver, and Victoria.

According to the Anti Racist Network (ARN), white-supremacist demonstrations are planned for B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Victoria on Sunday, traditionally the International Day for the Elimination of Racism but a day that neo-Nazis have declared White Pride Worldwide Day.

ARN, the activist group No One Is Illegal (NOII), and others are preparing to confront white supremacist groups such as Blood and Honour Canada and Advocates for White Civil Rights with their own counter-rally.
“Several different groups and communities have called for a gathering to let them know they are not welcome and to celebrate our diversity to oppose their hatred and bigotry,” says NOII on its website.

ARN says it expects hundreds to show up in support of multiculturalism.
In Calgary, the neo-Nazi/white pride groups Aryan Guard and White European Bloodlines are also expected to rally. At last year’s event in Calgary, about 500 anti-racists confronted 30 white supremacists, resulting in violence and three arrests.

White pride demonstrations have taken place on this day in Calgary and Toronto in recent years, but observers say gatherings have not occurred in British Columbia for some time.

Anita Bromberg, National Director of Legal Affairs for B’nai Brith Canada, an organization that fights anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry, says members of the Aryan Guard in Ontario seem to have come together and set up in B.C.
“It is unfortunate to see that this kind of open display of intolerance would come to the streets of any place in Canada,” says Bromberg.

“To watch these guys march down the street if you were, for instance, a holocaust survivor—it's a pretty scary moment.”

Bromberg follows and has studied the websites of groups such as the Aryan Guard and Storm Front, and says “a quick perusal would suggest that their attitudes are unfortunately very hurtful if not hateful.”

Aryan Guard founder Kyle Mckee, who was arrested in Winnipeg last December, is charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection with the November bombing that police say targeted residents of a Calgary apartment.

March 21 has been recognized the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination since 1960 after the massacre of demonstrators demanding an end to apartheid in Sharpesville, South Africa.
It has only been since 2000 that neo-Nazi and white nationalist organizations have claimed March 21st as White Pride Worldwide Day against what they call multi-racial supremacy.

The white pride movement has been growing alongside a burgeoning music business worth over $3.4 million, according to Interpol and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Ironically, although white power music has been driven underground due to bans throughout Europe, the United States has become a Mecca and haven for the industry due to First Amendment protections.

Power music song lyrics fan feelings of anger, blind rage, and violent tendencies and frequently include exhortations to kill.
“In their view they're a victimized group because as more and more immigrants come into Canada they see their white world fading away,” says Bromberg.

Just last week a man who had been suspended from his job at an Edmonton car dealership for making racial comments walked into his former place of work and opened fire, killing one man and seriously wounding another before turning the gun on himself.
The man, described by his co-workers as a white supremacist, had a swastika tattooed on his body, according to news reports.

The planned activities of neo-Nazi groups have spawned a country-wide network of racism-resistance groups who are firmly countering the aggression.
The Calgary-based One People’s Project: Hate Has Consequences has declared on its website that it plans to confront the racist groups non-violently should they show up.

South of the border, a neo-Nazi group called the Illinois National Socialist Front is planning to march in Chicago on March 21. South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action is calling for “other groups inside and outside of Chicago to stand with us against fascism” and join in a counter-rally to confront the group.

Bromberg supports the anti-racist groups’ actions, saying the best way to counter white supremacists is to “shine a light on their activities.”

“No one is denying them their pride. What we're denying them is the right to be intolerant, because there is no such right in Canada,” she says.

“We've seen how a belief in the supremacy of the white race once led the world into chaos. We certainly don't want that intolerance here on our streets.”
the epoch times