21 March 2009

News Release from the Anti-Racist Organizer

We received this information moments ago.

Activists Successfully shut down Neo-Nazi March More than 500 people prevent racist rally in downtown Calgary

More than 500 anti-racist activists converged on downtown Calgary this afternoon to successfully prevent local neo-Nazi hate group the Aryan Guard from holding a rally of their own.

"Going into the day, our best-case scenario was that we actually stop the Aryan Guard from reaching their planned destination: City Hall," says Lev, a member of Anti-Racist Action Calgary, one of the many groups who helped organize the event.

"In that respect, we think the rally today was a major success." The anti-racist demonstrators staged their own peaceful rally at City Hall this morning to celebrate the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination.

However, when about 30 members of the Aryan Guard
[though one person not linked to either the ARA or Aryan Guard who contacted us puts the number at close to 60] arrived at Mewata Armoury around 3:00 p.m. the anti-racists, their numbers bolstered by outraged passersby, set in motion their plan to prevent the Aryan Guard from reaching City Hall.

The two groups clashed several times as police attempted to block the progress of the ant-racists and move the Aryan Guard closer and closer to City Hall.

Anti-Racist Action has received several reliable reports of police brutality and preemptive arrests taking place against anti-racism protesters throughout the afternoon.

Anyone who feels they were the victim of excessive force at the hands of Calgary police are being urged to document the details of the assault as well as any injuries they sustained, and to contact Anti-Racist Action Calgary and

"From the use of excessive force and preemptive arrests to the ignoring of blatant acts of violence committed by the Aryan Guard in front of their very eyes, the Calgary Police Service today damaged their reputation in the minds of many Calgarians," says Lev.

Ultimately, the Aryan Guard made it just three blocks for their drop-off point before being put aboard city busses by police and returned to their transportation.

If you'd like more information about this event or to schedule and interview, please contact Anti-Racist Action Calgary at antiracistcalgary@gmail.com

Besides member of the ARA there were other anti-racist activists.

Some photos have been posted of the event. We found this one to be the most interesting so far because it confirmed what we had been told by a source close to the Aryan Guard:

In case you don't see it, we'll help you out a bit:

It also looks like the man on the far left of the photo (wearing the blue jacket, hat, Celtic cross bandana, green pants and holding the flag) is Terry Tremaine. The person in the foreground just to the right of Fromm (black jacket with patch, black hat, blue jeans and Celtic cross bandana) looks as if it could be 'Willis'.

Finally, someone posted several short videos of the anti-racist rally held earlier today on YouTube. If the honking of passing motorist is any indication, then it's pretty clear who most Calgarians support.

On the issue of violence, we here at Anti-Racist Canada have been clear that we oppose the use of violence when dealing with the likes of the Aryan Guard (we also have a favorable opinion of the police). That being said, the accounts we've heard have stated that aside from some relatively isolated incidents, the violence was mostly limited to verbal confrontations with some shoving. As well the ARA anti-racist rally held earlier today was, by all accounts, peaceful.

While we ourselves are not affiliated with the ARA, we are more than pleased to have a working relationship with any organization who opposes groups such as the Aryan Guard and, as such, the ARA's news release is concerning their take on the event is very much welcomed and appreciated.

UPDATE: Regarding acts of violence, anti-racists have bourne the brunt of accusations. In fact we've seen numerous pictures published online by the media that show Aryan Guard members and supporters in the process of assaulting anti-racist activists or acting in an overtly threatening manner. Below is a comment left with us by someone who was actually there which will, we hope, put to rest the idea that any acts of violence that occurred were one sided:

When you read the Stormfront posts you see the WN speaking of how we were only the ones getting arrested. But in one of the news videos you can clearly see the guy in the white shirt who set that flag on fire in Ontario being dragged in cuffs away by the police.

And as a comment to anyone who says that the non violent protesters were being violent. Not everyone in a group of 500 will be passive and non violent. Yes there were antifa and violent individuals, but that's their choice. Don't blame the whole group, just like how I won't blame the AG for ALL being violent, but a fair number were.

As to the cops, I will have video soon hopefully of a couple police brutality incidences yesterday, including a POV shot of a 15 year old girl getting punched in the face by a cop cause she was not moving back fast enough.


Anonymous said...

I was disgusted by the police disregard for people. Not only did they assault several anti-racists, they ignored several assaults by the Nazis. Apparently, despite punching several people and threatening others, none of the AG were charged (at least from what I could tell).

On the upside, we won, the AG had to cut and run because Calgary is a city that won't accept their filth. I've never been more proud to be a Calgarian.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that the police behaved badly. I was there most of the time standing right on the front line next to the cops, and I personally did not witness any misbehavior by our police. Not to say it did not happen, but in my presence no it did not. I saw our Calgary Police acting professional and very well disciplined. I was impressed with them to tell the truth. A couple of times I tried to cross the line to get better pictures of the Nazis and was rather gently moved back by a simple push by the cops, something they had every right to give me as I was trying to cross a police line after all. I am not made of sugar, so a little push by a cop just trying to do his job and keep everyone on both sides safe and uninjured did not really bother me.

What did bother me was the chants of "Pigs, Pigs" that came from the anti-racist side. I was personally offended by that, and I would like to apologize to the police for anyone who chanted that against our police who put their lives on the line protecting us on a daily basis and are compared to most of the rest of the world an excellent and fair and non-violent police force. I am sure that not very many of the jerks on the anti-racist side who chanted "Pigs Pigs" will ever do anything with their lives as noble and good for society as being a cop.

anyways, that is my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't expect this comment to pass moderation, but I feel the need to mention that I was disgusted by the actions put forth by the anti-racists at the event. As an innocent bystander, I was hit by a rock coming from the "anti-racist" side of the rally. Next time watch your words when you start pointing fingers at who is instigating the violence.

Furthermore, I never witnessed any "police brutality" put forth, but then again, I did not see everything. I did see several arrests, but most of the people who were subject to this so called "brutality" at the hands of the police were attempting to resist arrest, and even run from the police. The words of bitter citizens who were attempting to evade arrest should be nothing against the word of the Calgary Police, which is held as one of the highest esteemed police forces in the world. The CPS were just doing their job, and based on what I witnessed they did an outstanding job.
That's just an opinion though.

Anonymous said...

One anti-racist demonstrator was knocked from a bike by a cop, another was punched in the face. If you want to worship these thugs, feel free, but I'm still too sore from yesterday to respectfully disagree with you.

I think some people got video of some of the incidents, so hopefully they'll get it online and this will be more than a he said she said argument.

Anti-Racist Action said...

As for the numbers, 30 appears to be the most accurate. Sun Columnist Rick Bell, who was unfortunately close enough to get whacked with a sign, puts the number at 30 (http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Bell_Rick/2009/03/22/8842226-sun.php), as did ARA scouts as the AG was loading onto their bus at their staging point. And after having personally seen them parade by just a few feet away, I think 30 is pretty accurate myself.

And as for the police, it was no Miami 2003, but several anti-racist activists (both ARA and non-ARA) were assaulted by police with enough force to draw blood. One member, a middle-aged woman, was punched in the face by an Officer Greenwood in front of witnesses before being thrown violently to the curb.

At least one anti-racist demonstrator was preemptively detained and told that she would be let go "if her friends behaved themselves." Fortunately, she was release without charge many hours later.

The anti-police chants which a previous poster took offence to were a direct and immediate result of this kind of excessive force.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of hard to tell if that's Willis or not because he's, like, wearing a shirt.

James said...

I wasn't near the front of the confrontation - staying more to the back of the crowd, but didn't personally witness any police brutality of any sort. I can verify that I talked to someone who told me that they were knocked off their bike, but that is only what I was told by that individual.

Anyway, I took photos and have posted some of them on my Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sherlock77/sets/72157615666494995/

Clint Eastwood said...

Interestingly enough, in a "press release" posted by Paul Fromm (it read as though it was written by a seventh grader, so Fromm likely wrote it); it mentions about 85 "white pride demonstrators" in attendance. From seeing all of them with my own eyes, I would have to say that 30 sounds about right as well. No more than 40, at most.

Of course, the same release also had all kinds of other misinformation including the apparent waving of African National Congress flags; which I saw none of after spending the entire day there.

If Kyle McKee calls yesterday an "awesome success" for his cause, I'd like to see what he calls as a tremendous failure, short of looking in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

I personally witnessed one anti get punched in the head by an ag supporter and the police do nothing about it. The guy who got punched turned to the cops immediately afterwards and said "Did you see that? Are you going to do something about that?" and cops didn't even move.

I would never describe my self as "Anti Police" or anything, but that was an incredibly disapointing display by our local police, or at least those two officers.

Anonymous said...

Despite everything that happened, how come anyone hasn't simply created a pie chart comparison for the amount of sensible people vs. the amount of ag supporters? Even with the smallest estimates, 400 vs. 30, I'd say that the general public has spoken, the ag is a fringe group whose tactics and politics are largely dismissed by the majority of thinking people.

If you look at the photos, why would the future of the "white race", the core of the working class white person be wearing combat pants and posturing like they were looking for a fight? If you had brains, you'd show up in suits. Oh, you can't afford suits? Wait a minute, my dad, granddad, great-granddad all knew when to dress for the occasion, all working class, all without the means to easily afford a suit, but they knew how to dress properly for the occasion.

Seeing a bunch of people show up for a supposed "white pride" march looking like thugs and bums, oh, yeah that's right, alot of the ag don't have jobs, a sense of pride or an understanding of basic cleanliness.

Oh, and we won't even go into the fact that once you open your mouths, you're just plain ugly no matter what you are wearing.