21 May 2011

Kitchener News Article on Kyle McKee Published Today

Ex-Kitchener resident at forefront of white nationalist movement  

By Josh Brown, Record staff
Fri May 20 2011 
 


Kyle McKee caused an uproar in Kitchener when he hung a Nazi flag outside his rented Kitchener home.

Six years later, and now based in Calgary, the 25-year-old skinhead has become one of Canada’s most active white supremacists, leading a group dubbed Blood and Honour.

“Kyle has become quite successful for becoming the main spokesperson, the leading light and the one leader,” said Jason Devine, a spokesperson for Anti-Racist Action Calgary.

In 2005, McKee, and roommate Nathan Touchette flew a Nazi flag from the balcony of their house on Margaret Avenue, near the corner of Guelph Street.

Horrified neighbours and community leaders were outraged. The duo eventually took the flag down but threatened to put it back up for Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

McKee, who grew up in Waterloo Region, headed west soon after, eventually settling in Calgary because of its stronger skinhead scene.

Since then, he has continued to have run-ins with police and anti-racism groups, all in the name of white pride.

“He feels mostly untouchable,” an email from Anti-Racist Canada reads, “and the police, who he has no respect for, can’t do anything to stop him.”

While white nationalist movements exist across Canada, the main hub is out west. McKee has used his Calgary home as a resting place for new recruits wishing to join his movement. 

McKee’s group has organized several contentious marches in Calgary in support of white pride. The marches usually fall on March 21, a day that also recognizes the elimination of racism.

With his shaved head and bevy of racist tattoos, McKee is not hard to miss. But he was absent from this year’s march, which attracted more than a dozen neo-Nazi supporters. 

This time, he was behind bars serving time for the latest incident in a string of escalating crimes.

“The thing with Kyle is that he is a lifer (in the white nationalist movement),” said Devine. “He’s a true believer. He doesn’t care what happens. He has been in jail repeatedly.”

About two years ago, McKee was charged with two counts of attempted murder after a homemade bomb exploded outside a residential complex in Calgary. The charges were absolved and he pleaded guilty to making explosives for devices that were found in his home.

Earlier this year, McKee was sentenced to 60 days in jail on charges that stemmed from an incident involving Devine, who was beaten by a group of masked men who broke into his home. 

McKee pleaded guilty to uttering threats and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public after confronting the activist after the attack. Devine says McKee approached him while holding a baseball bat and asked if he needed another visit.

During his incarceration, McKee was transferred to Regina to answer to outstanding charges and received an additional three month jail term for fleeing police in 2009.

McKee, who goes by the online handle Pitbull-AG, is a hot topic on white pride websites.

Some think his antics don’t represent the white nationalist movement and oppose his violent actions. Others see him as a hero and admire his ability to continually escape serious criminal charges.

“Kyle is pretty charismatic,” said Paul Fromm, a white nationalist and director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression. “He’s sort of the alpha type of person. He quickly commands respect. He’s a good organizer.”

Devine says most neo-Nazi movements try to model themselves on Hitler and follow the idea of one leader. McKee’s Blood and Honour is no different.

“He really is a catalyst for them to go further,” said Devine. “I think they feed off each other. If he’s not around it’s harder for them to do anything.”

Anti-Racist Canada says McKee is “dangerous on a number of levels” and is “becoming increasingly brazen.”
The group, which keeps tabs on white nationalist movements in the country, says McKee and some of his crew wear ACAB badges, which stands for All Cops Are Bastards.

Anti-racist groups continue to confront McKee and his faction at their annual march.

“I think some people in the (white) movement in North America think Calgary is a beachhead, that they have a toehold here,” said Devine. “If the neo-Nazi movement fails here in Calgary it will set them all back.

“I think what they really want to do is set up Calgary as a permanent organizational centre and stretch out from here. I believe that if he (McKee) was certain they had a movement that could continue without him being here, he’d move on and start organizing somewhere else.”

Fromm says the white nationalist movement is alive and well in southwestern Ontario.

“I think the young groups are organizing again and growing,” he said. “Whether they’ll get to the level of Calgary is hard to tell.”

John Stemmler, a sergeant with the Waterloo Regional Police intelligence branch, hasn’t heard of anything coming this way.

“At this point, the issues Calgary is having are not issues we’re having,” he said. 

“I’m aware of Kyle and I’m also aware of his movements. If he was to come back here, I’m pretty sure I would know. At the intelligence branch we usually share when someone is leaving to another city.”

jbrown@therecord.com

We were first contacted by Mr. Brown in March so we were anticipating this article coming out soon. One of the ARC members addressed a number of Mr. Brown's questions, snippets of which are included in the story:

1. Where does Kyle McKee rate in the white nationalist movement in Canada?

In some ways very high, in others very low. McKee has been able to garner a great deal of media attention due in large part to the marches (though last year was cancelled and this year he didn't attend, both due to being in jail), schemes such as his group offering to pay the rent of any racist who moved to the city to join his group, and of course his criminal notoriety. He also has a significant booster and advocate in Paul Fromm who considered McKee a political prisoner when he was in jail for the IEDs in 2010 (he glossed over McKee's most recent stint in jail) and referred to him as intelligent and charismatic. Certainly McKee is a key reason why most people who follow the movement are paying attention to Calgary.

However, there is a flip side. A lot of the Movement is embarrassed by McKee and the people associated with him. Most [WN] are pretty low key and think that the [public] violent antics of McKee and co. cause their reputations to suffer (not to say they aren't violent as well, but they do a better job of keeping things hushed). In addition to his criminal activities, McKee was involved in a rather humiliating sex scandal; he was videotaped by friends having pretty graphic sex with a married woman who was also in the movement. The video and the stills were eventually leaked. Finally, they are seen as co-opting the name Blood & Honour from the rightful supporters of  the movement (you sort of have to understand the international struggle between the Combat18 branch and the Hammerskin branch, but suffice it to say they both view each other as illegitimate and really, really hate each other). A lot of the... members view McKee and his associates as deviants, a view that tend to be shared by people who hand around him long enough. Of all the founding members of the Aryan Guard before they became part of the B&H movement, McKee is the only one left. The others don't have kind things to say about him at all

2. Is he a leader, catalyst or player in the white nationalist movement or simple a misguided criminal?

He's considered a leader among those who still follow him, and Paul Fromm certainly promotes him as such. And since moving to Calgary, he has been a catalyst for those who decide to relocate to the city because it is perceived as being friendly to their views (some of the individuals who came to join McKee but later left his group are still in the city, often as members of rival racist gangs such as WEB). I really don't think he's misguided at all as it makes it sound like he's simply a victim of his circumstances. This is a young man who knows exactly what he's doing and enjoys hurting people. You don't get tattooed on your one shin, "Kill" and the other "Jews" by being naive soul.

3.
Is he a serious threat, if so what makes him one?

Well he's certainly not going to be someone who will be able to usurp political power to form the Fourth Reich, but McKee is very dangerous on a number of levels. First, the propensity towards violence. The courts couldn't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that McKee built the pipe bomb that targeted members of a rival group, but it is very well known that he did it (and he did, after all, plead guilty to possessing bomb making materials). Also, it is certain, though not provable in court, that he was involved in the home invasion in November in which Jason Devine and a friend were brutally assaulted. He had been charged with assault in 2006 (between October and November, but I can't remember which date) and before then he spent time in the remand centre on other similar charges. He recently pleaded guilty to making threats against Devine and of beating an 18 year old girl... There have been numerous other cases that have been reported to us but not the police because the victims are terrified, but again, how do you prove it if the witnesses aren't willing to stick their necks out? Another reason why he is dangerous is because he attracts like-minded people from other parts of the country, especially Ontario. In the last 6 months, Andrew Benson, Michael Gaio, and Richard Martin have moved to the city. Martin had just gotten out of jail for his threats against a woman of colour and her daughter. More violent people attracted to a city who are also inclined towards violence equals more violence directed at the citizens of that city and each other (the rival racist gangs... hate each other as well).

4.
What does his escalation of crimes say about him? (when he lived in Kitchener, his most serious offence was waving a Nazi flag).

I'm willing to bet that an examination of his juvenile record, if it were permitted and we sort of know the answer to that, would indicate other earlier run-ins with the law, but that is neither here nor there.

What the escalation tells me, and I think should tell others, is that he's becoming increasingly brazen. Sure, he might spend a few months in jail, but big deal. He feels mostly untouchable and that the police, who he has no respect for (he and many of his group wear ACAB badges which means "All Cops Are Bastards" as well as association with a group in the US known as the ATB, or "Aryan Terror Brigade") can't do anything to stop him. Ultimately, I'm concerned someone will end up very seriously hurt or killed.

5. Is Blood and Honour growing in Canada? In what way is he responsible for its presence/growth?

There are two mutually exclusive and antagonistic factions of Blood & Honour. One based in B.C. is a lot more under the radar (they are also a lot better about maintaining security so it's hard to get a read on them). This group is fairly large and has links to the American movement... The Blood & Honour in Calgary is associated with the Combat 18 movement. It isn't large, but they are more willing to take overt actions than the group in BC.

6. What is the current state of the white nationalist movement in Canada? Especially in Ontario.

Most of the growth seems to be in the west now, though there is a significant movement in Quebec tied to the black metal scene. Calgary, wrongly I would argue, is seen as more sympathetic to the views of the racists in part perhaps because it isn't as ethnically diverse as the cities in Ontario. Also the job market attracted a lot of people including some unskilled workers like McKee. There are people in Ontario who are linked to both factions of the B&H movement (a group of ATB kids planned on coming out to Calgary for the march; one ultimately did). Paul Fromm is sort of the respectable suit and tie guy that I suppose would be our version of David Duke and he is a, "speaker in demand" in Canada and the United State. Back in the late 1990s and early to mid 2000s, there were two somewhat significant groups in the Canadian Heritage Alliance under Melissa Guille and the Northern Alliance of Jason [Ouwendyk]... but there isn't much to either any more. The Heritage Front finally died in 2005 under the last leader Marc Lemire. However, while there might not be any organized groups per se, the movement in Ontario is still significant. People don't need a local group to associate with. Now, all their socialization needs can be met on the Internet on sites such as Stormfront.

7. How have anti-racist movements affected groups such as Blood and Honour and other white nationalist entities?

Well we know they absolutely hate us [but we don't seem to mind that much ;) ]


Some have become more secretive in an effort to keep their views hidden from the public. They know they are being watched. Many of them also have a preoccupation with Richard Warman who is their version of the boogeyman and who, no doubt, hides in the closets and under the beds of all boneheads. The big thing is they alter their messages. Few will put up with outright racism. Now, hatred of non-White immigrants is called a desire for, "sensible immigration reform." They don't believe in White Power or White Supremacy. No, they support "White Pride" and are simply "proud of their culture". And goodness, they aren't racists! Heaven forbid! No, they are "racial realists" or "racialist"s now. All euphemisms to try and cover up their true beliefs.
In some ways all this seems pretty outdated. After the collapse of the march on March 19, and the apparent abandonment of the gang by more members, the Aryan Guard/Blood & Honour seems to be a spent force. McKee's most recent stint behind bars appears to have finally killed off the group, though this isn't to say that he won't try to resurrect it. However McKee has burnt a lot of bridges, it seems doubtful that he can be terribly successful.
Of course, even as one movement appears to be on the way out, others come to replace it. W.E.B. is a going concern, though not as much as Volksfront Alberta and Blood & Honour out of British Columbia, both of which do better jobs of keeping out of the spotlight. In Ontario, an ATB faction in Hamilton and London is a group that we will be soon turning out attention to. And then there is Quebec which has a significant WN movement, but owing to issues related to language and lack of local sources makes it difficult to determine exactly what is going on. 

Suffice it to say we still have a lot of work to do.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL, only Pauly would refer to McKee as being an 'Alpha'... sawed-off lil runt is pathetic. Just another braindead bonehead tool, desperately making noise to distract the world from what an epic failure he is as a human being.

Anonymous said...

Kyle is only a "leader" of little kids.Nobody respects the little clown. He is a publicity hound.

Anonymous said...

You know what's hilarious in my opinion. In this note, you mentioned that WN's cover their true beliefs. Well, so do anti- racists. You people are not against racism. You are against the WN movement due to personal hatred towards the members. Quite a few of you used to be WN skinheads. All the anti- racist movement stands for is revenge.

Anonymous said...

Try appropriate countermeasures in order to prevent further unneccessary tragedies. Revenge is a matter of immediacy. Countering fascist ideology however, is a duty and necessity for those who value their freedom. The lessons of history have not been forgotten. Our liberty has been earned with the blood of those fallen before us. We will not allow their sacrifice to be in vain. Remember that.

norton200 said...

I'll admit to being out of the loop because I've been busy quitting smoking. When I'm not gorging on things that are slightly less harmless that the cancer sticks I have to wonder if this is the best media can do.

What was the point? To give an "objective view" of McKee? Give him some kind of human touch? Maybe give him the benefit of the doubt? I've dealt with McKee's interviews. They're nothing short of awkward and embarrassing (in that any human can be that inarticulate, ignorant and hateful).

I'm not trying to be a dick, but the piece you quote is a chop job. It has no urgency or relevance. It brings up nothing new. There's no real reason to even mention McKee, let alone make him the focus of an article.

Dude is old news. Can we let him go the way of the washed up Hollywood type now? (As in we keep an eye out but don't report unless it's important.)


A

norton200 said...

And by "we" I mean Josh Brown and his ilk. There have to be more interesting and deserving ex-Kitchener residents for Brown to write about than McKee. Yeesh.

Anonymous said...

Norton200,

This article was done months ago and only published recently for some reason. As the post states it seems "pretty outdated," but when it was done it was wholly relevant.

Further, this article is miles ahead of the truly shit article in the Calgary Journal "Beyond the Swastika." You think it's a chop job? Ha! Try reading the latter piece before you slag this one. At least it mentioned some of Kyle's crimes and interviewed anti-racist sources.

You may think that it's not interesting and is boring, and I hate to break it to you, but there are many, many people who do not know who he is to this day. That's the whole point: to expose him to people still in the dark.

And possibly you do not understand this, but such pieces as this one are useful for anti-racists in exposing these scum. Contrary to the neo-Nazi myth, anti-racist groups are not getting funding from other groups!

Kyle is old news? So next time he threatens someone or tries to kill them, then he's news? So the victims and their family members are just news items? You better talk to some victims of their violence and terror, because I can assure you they DO NOT think he's old news. Especially as he's getting out in the next month!

You may not have tried to be a dick, but you have singularly failed. Your comments are rude and ignorant. Please check yourself.

I thought this post and the piece it features was useful.

norton200 said...

I’ll admit that the way I phrased my comment didn’t properly convey my meaning and came off arrogant and dismissive. That wasn’t my intent and I apologize for coming across that way.

I get the impression this comment is coming from the writer. As a writer myself I know that dealing with reader comments can feel like you’ve thrown yourself into a shark tank with a paper cut. But, you have to learn to take it if you want to speak in a public forum.

“Beyond the Swastika” was a shitty, shitty piece. As I recall, we (as in a couple of collective members) didn’t say anything about it because we didn’t want to draw attention to it. It was published in a student newspaper at a small college with a very small readership. I debated sending the writer an email to point out the flaws in both her approach and execution, but frankly it fell off my radar within minutes. This article likely would have been ignored as well if it wasn’t providing “vital business and community information to millions of readers across Ontario each week” as part of Metroland.

If many people (in your area) don’t know who McKee is, that’s a good thing. Why bring him up to people who don’t care? Until he shows up in your space, why give him any publicity at all? We’re dealing with him as best we can here.

Yes, I said here. I’m right here. Right in the middle of Alberta. The “victims and families” are people I know (and in some cases care a lot about). Here, we’ve all been exposed to the scum. So, I think you might want to back down a bit on me being clueless to what it means to be an “anti.”

Anyway, as I was saying this kind of article draws attention to McKee that he neither deserves nor needs. I understand that in writing this you had good intentions, but I’ve read it several times and it still doesn’t come across to me as necessary or helpful. You've given him a platform he didn't previously have with people who may or may not see him as a bad guy.