29 May 2011

Heritage Front in the News Again: Libya Connection

When the people of Libya rose up revolt some months ago, there were very few people who defended the Gaddafi regime. One of those who did defend Gaddafi was Ian Verner Macdonald who, as we wrote about soon after he made his statement in defence of the tyrany in Tripoli, has a very long association with racist extremism in Canada and helped to facilitate a meeting of Canadian racists with the the Libyan government in the late 1980s.

We wrote about the links between the Libyan government and Canadian racists, as well as the fact that the experience in Libya in large part led Wolfgang Droege and others to found the Heritage Front. Now the msm has decided there's a story here as well:

Gaddafi’s ‘Libyan Friendship Society’ with Canada’s racist movement

  May 28, 2011 – 9:00 AM ET | Last Updated: May 27, 2011 7:54 PM ET

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been a lot of things during his more than four decades in power: coup leader, revolutionary, nuclear proliferator, dictator — and friend of the Canadian racist movement.

Libyan agents began forging ties with the leaders of Canada’s extreme right in the late 1980s. Twice, the Gaddafi regime brought delegations of Canadian “white nationalists” to Tripoli, where they were feted and given cash.

“The common ground was the hatred of Jews,” said Grant Bristow, who went on one of the trips in his capacity as an undercover Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent. “That was the basis of the relationship.”

The Libyan support for Canada’s racist right is a reminder that long before Col. Gaddafi began his brutal crackdown on the Libyan opposition, triggering a NATO military intervention, he had been an international menace, fomenting violence and unrest.

Even in Canada.

In 1987, the Libyans invited the Nationalist Party of Canada to send a delegation to an event marking the first anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Tripoli, said the Toronto-based party’s longtime leader, Don Andrews.

President Ronald Reagan ordered air strikes on Col. Gaddafi’s compound after Libyan agents bombed a German nightclub, killing American servicemen. The dictator survived but his adopted daughter died.

“I knew they needed the white faces for Libya’s one-year celebration of the Reagan bombing,” Mr. Andrews said in a recent interview. “I knew we’d be used as propaganda but I thought, ‘Sure, why not. We don’t mind that.”

Based out of a house in east Toronto, the Nationalist Party was Mr. Andrews’s latest far right group. Before that he had headed the Western Guard. “White People,” read one of his flyers, “Canada belongs to us.”

He said the Libya trip was mostly just a free vacation in the desert but the Nationalist Party also opposed “foreign aggression,” such as the U.S. air strikes. He sent a delegation of 13 to Tripoli. The Libyans paid for the trip and gave the group US$700.

Two years later, Mr. Andrews was invited to send another delegation, this time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the coup that brought Col. Gaddafi to power. Mr. Andrews sent Wolfgang Droege, the co-founder of the Canadian Ku Klux Klan. He had just been released from a California prison. Also on the trip was Mr. Bristow, who was posing as a racist while he spied on Mr. Droege. “We sent 17 the second time,” Mr. Andrews said.

In an interview, Mr. Bristow called it “the great Libyan adventure.” The Libyan government paid for everything. He said Mr. Droege saw the trip as a chance to lobby Col. Gaddafi’s regime to fund the Canadian racist movement.

“Droege was hoping to set up a long-term relationship with the Libyans,” recalled Mr. Bristow, who now lives in Alberta under the name Nathan Black. “He was looking at maybe there could be some stable, substantial movement funding from the Libyans.”

As documented in Warren Kinsella’s 1996 book Web of Hate, the delegates flew to Rome and then to Malta, where they boarded a ship to Libya. “We got taken off the boat and moved to a place that we jokingly referred to as Camp Gaddafi, which looked like it was a foreign worker type compound for oil workers or something,” Mr. Bristow said. “It had a swimming pool, almost like guest villas.”

The Nationalist Party delegates visited the Tripoli market and the ancient Phoenician trading post at Subratha. They toured the house bombed by U.S. warplanes, which had been converted into a museum.

“There wasn’t exactly a lot to do,” Mr. Bristow said. “It’s not like the Mai Tais and Margaritas were aplenty there. It would basically be your Mormon version of the all-inclusive.”

On the day of the revolutionary celebrations, a problem emerged over what to wear. The Libyans wanted the delegates in uniforms but Mr. Droege refused. “Droege said, ‘No, we’re not going to wear some sand n—ers’ uniform,’ ” Mr. Bristow said. “He said it’s not going to happen.”

In the end, the Canadians agreed to wear the uniforms, which were simply green pants and t-shirts. But the dispute exacerbated a rift in the Nationalist Party, and Mr. Droege began planning to form his own breakaway group.

Mr. Droege was souring on Libya. He had been unable to meet any officials to solicit funds, and he was troubled to learn that Col. Gaddafi was supporting Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. “This made the regime anathema to him, from a racist ideology point of view,” the Security Intelligence Review Committee wrote later in a report.

The main event was held at the Tripoli stadium. “It was your usual contingents of people with a variety of uniforms on from various Third World banana republic-type countries,” Mr. Bristow said. “You know, the Congo and places like that that sent some army people to march through the stadium in solidarity of Muammar, some speeches and that kind of grand spectacle.”

Before the delegation returned to the ship for the voyage back to Italy, a Libyan agent gave them $1,000. It was a disappointing outcome for Mr. Droege, who had envisioned a lucrative financial pipeline. “It didn’t work out the way Droege wanted it to,” Mr. Bristow said.

But even that meagre Libyan donation soon evaporated. On the return flight from Rome, the plane stopped in Chicago, where Mr. Droege was arrested for violating his parole conditions, which prohibited him from entering the United States.

The Libyan money paid his legal fees. Mr. Droege was escorted to the border and returned to Toronto. Within days, at least partly because of what happened in Libya, he formed his own racist group, the Heritage Front.

Mr. Droege continued to talk about getting money from the Libyans, and wanted to identify Libyan agents in Montreal so he could sell them information on Jewish groups in Canada. But it never happened.

Penetrated from the start by Canadian intelligence, the Heritage Front collapsed and Mr. Droege became a full-time drug dealer. In 2005, Mr. Droege was murdered by a delusional addict named Keith Deroux.

And with him died what Mr. Bristow called the Libyan Friendship Society. But he does have one memento, a photo he took of Mr. Droege standing next to a policeman in Malta. “We thought it was very funny, the only time when Droege was ever really friendly to a cop.”

National Post
sbell@nationalpost.com

We have the feeling that the mere mention of Grant Bristow will drive our friends at Free Dominion to distraction, as they are convinced that the entire Heritage Front affair was a creation by CSIS to discredit the Reform Party and to push a social engineering agenda:
 
 

We've sort of given up trying to convince them that they're wrong (we don't doubt that they will learn that the hard way in the end). However, it might be instructive to take a look at one of the early meetings of the Heritage Front. The following video (thanks to the kindness of the CJC) is a commemoration of terrorist Robert Mathews and features not only Wolfgang Droege's introduction of the speakers, but also Paul Fromm who continues to be a figure in the Canadian racist movement (in the first video, Fromm begins speaking at the 10 minute mark after the woman representing the Women for Aryan Unity and a young man from a group calling itself the Canadian Alliance, and begins the video in Part II). We think this will turn out to be one of the earliest public meetings of the Heritage Front to be published online, dealing with an event that took place about a year after the Libyan experience:





Droege was killed in 2005. Fromm is still a significant figure in the Canadian WN movement. Perhaps our Free Dominion friends might wish to discuss whether the Heritage Front was entirely a CSIS operation with Paulie?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's an article that should piss some boneheads off: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/05/28/gaddadis-libyan-friendship-society-with-canadas-racist-movement/

Anonymous said...

This is by no means surprising. Gaddaffi was generously donating to various fringe troublemaker groups, especially in the 1980s.

Iran, especially with that Holocaust Denial conference they had some time back where they invited a whole catalogue of assorted antisemites and revisionist "historians" (IE David Duke) is pretty much trying to pick up where Gadaffi left off.

It is also known that Gaddafi had a similar type of "conference" back in the late '80s, and Wolfgang Droege was a guest...