Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Rise and Fall of a Racist Gang: Long, Nerland and Sims

We thought we'd direct our readers to this video from an old CBC story covering a racist skinhead/Aryan Nations rally in Provost, Alberta in the early 1990s. In this video is Carney Nerland, the Saskatchewan Aryan Nations leader who not long after the "First Annual Alberta Aryan Fest" took place shot and killed a First Nations trapper named Leo LeChance in Prince Albert. The organizer of the Provost rally, Terry Long, ran into his own legal problems when he was implicated in the brutal attack against Keith Rutherford in Edmonton. The attackers, young skinheads, were influenced by Terry Long.

The parallels between the Aryan Nations of the late 1980s and early 90s in Alberta and the Aryan Guard are compelling. Both groups had roughly 25 core members. Both groups became brazen enough to engage in public protests and/or rallies. The difference is that the Aryan Nations eventually collapsed as a result of the criminal activities of the membership. The Aryan Guard, thus far, is still going, however it hasn't been around as long as the Aryan Nations that was created by Long.

Any bets on how long it will be before the Aryan Guard also implodes?


The Skinhead International: Canada (from the Nizkor Project)

The CBC Digital Archives Website.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Last updated: Jan. 24, 2005.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the video. As far as the bets go, I will have to suggest that the Aryan Guard will collapse by year end.

Anonymous said...

well, i didn't actually watch the video (technical issues and all) but i've put some thought into comparisons of the an/borp/fs era and the current ag and have come to the conclusion that the ag is significantly LESS stable and effective than the early-90's vintage nazis. this is mostly because of:

a) chain of command: the ag is pretty much it's own show. when they have problems internally they have to sort them out themselves (or, more likely not as you've been pointing out). the final solution skins in the early-90s, however, were in fact if not in name a franchise operation of the aryan nations in caroline. long and foth both acted as mentors and arbiters for the fs. this helped the final solution in both edmonton and calgary avoid internal power struggles and stay "on track".

b) credibility. as you've been showing, the ag seriously lacks cred with other nazis in the country. the an/borp/fs posse, however, had strong ties the us an under butler and through foth (and a lesser extent jim green) had the vicarious "cred" of an ex-order member.

c) money. a fair amount of cash an resources flowed into both an and fs from some deep pockets. foth, in particular, was known for putting the cash up for fs and borp activities and rumour at the time was that the fuhr family also contributed heavily (although that's rumour).

d) visibility: the ag loves to showboat up and down 8th avenue mall and that makes it easy for people to organize against them. the an/borp/fs alliance was a lot more under-the-radar. even the provost cross burning was supposed to be a hush hush event until afl edmonton blew the whistle on it to the media.

basically, the ag lacks the money, cred, organization and sense to keep their heads down that the aryan nations, borp and final solution did in the early nineties.

in fact, the only advantage the ag seems to seriously have is the economy of calgary helping to attract out-of-town recruits. in the early 90's, budding neo nazis were as likely to go to t.o. or hook up with arm on the west coast rather than travel to alberta. don't get me wrong, that's a big advantage for the ag, and this whole brouhaha would have died down long ago if the ag hadn't been importing its membership.