Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Don Andrews: Nothing If Not Persistent

Summertime and the livin' is easy!

We have to admit that the blog has not be a primary focus for our members. Life has gotten in the way in the best possible way and we've been just having way too much fun. As such we really haven't been interested in allowing the miserable excuses for humanity that we cover here to harsh our mellow.

Then, this evening, one of our members doing a pretty routine check of bonehead websites noticed this on the Nationalist Party of Canada's website:

And, as is clear by the following article, we weren't the first to catch this brainfart by the city of Regina:
Regina duped by white supremacy group 
The city agreed to a request by the Nationalist Party of Canada to proclaim a week in Oct. "European Heritage Week"CBC News  Posted: Aug 20, 2013 6:47 PM CST 
The mayor of Regina has cancelled a proclamation to declare a week in October "European Heritage Week" after he says he was fooled by a white supremacy group. 
The group called Nationalist Party of Canada put in a request in July.

Mayor Michael Fougere said the letter was "very innocuous in the way it was written...it was supporting languages, culture, diversity of Europe and what happens in Europe here in Canada." 
Fougere said the city has a screening process which the letter went through, but without knowing much more about it he signed off on the request.
"I'm not hiding from this," said Fougere. "We made a mistake. An honest mistake, we corrected it and its now time to move on." 
The group's letter was misleading because it made no mention of its racist beliefs, he added. 
The city heard the group was a white supremacy organization through the media this week. That's when Fougere revoked the decision. 
Tuesday the group was also asked to remove any City of Regina information off their website. Fougere said Regina was not the only city that has been tricked by this group. Halifax, Victoria, and Fredericton also accepted the group's request before realizing what it was about. 
The mayor says moving forward, the city will review how it researches and accepts proclamation requests.
Oh, Don...

Really, the good folks in Regina who approved this should be chastised for not performing a simple web search, but to their credit once they realized who and what the Nationalist Party of Canada is, they did admit their mistake and cancelled the proclamation. The city is also right about how Andrews misrepresented what "European Heritage Week" is all about and that Regina wasn't the first city to be tricked:

If you are interested at all in the history of the racist movement in Canada, you will have come across the name Don Andrews. Andrews has been associated with a number of fringe right and far right movements in Canada since the 1960s.

He, along with Paulie, was a founder of the Edmund Burke Society which later morphed into the overtly racist Western Guard (later Western Guard Party) which Andrews led until his ouster by John Ross Taylor (Andrews was serving a prison sentence at the time). As the leader of the Western Guard Andrews began his quixotic quest to be elected mayor of Toronto (an effort that continued in the most recent election):

Upon his release, Andrews was forbidden from having any contact with the hate group he used to lead. Undaunted, he created a new hate group which he leads to this day:

They heyday of the Nationalist Party was in the 1980s, peaking in 1989. In addition to the membership in Toronto, their mailing list (which includes a few names that have been featured here on this blog) indicate that they had support across the country and even internationally:

However the organization soon declined as some Nationalist Party members split off and formed the Heritage Front:
The Heritage Front was founded in 1989 by former Nationalist Party of Canada members Wolfgang Droege, Gerry Lincoln, Grant Bristow and James Scott Dawson. They were joined by Al Overfield and other former members of the Nationalist Party who had become disenchanted with Don Andrews's leadership and felt that a new organization and tactics were necessary. The idea for the new group was developed in early September 1989 when a delegation of 18 Canadian far right activists were visiting Libya at the invitation of Muammar al-Gaddafi, who was celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his regime. The Heritage Front formed an alliance with the Church of the Creator and its Canadian leader George Burdi. Other prominent figures in the Canadian far right, such as Paul Fromm and Ernst Zündel, worked with the Heritage Front but did not join the organization.
Since then Andrews and the Nationalist Party have sort of been non-entities in terms of influencing the racist movement in Canada. Starting in the early 1990s, perhaps in an effort to remain something of a player in the movement, the Nationalist Party began it's "European Heritage Week" campaign. And while the efforts, aside from tricking a few cities in the country over the past 22 years, have met with little success, they still keep plugging away as evidenced by the list of cities and towns they continue to target:

And if anyone suggests that the Nationalist Party has changed, here is how they continue to promote themselves:

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