I've never made it a secret that ARC's Quebec intel has historically been awful. Thankfully ARC has been able to bolster this deficiency to a degree through the invaluable assistance of a number of Quebec activists over the past year. However when journalists asked for assistance in determining the real identity of "Charles Zeiger" who was believed to be a Quebec-based neo-Nazi propagandist and a major contributor to the "Daily Stormer" ("Zeiger" being considered second to Andrew Anglin who created the noxious hate site) I wasn't able to contribute a hell of a lot.
Thanks to Quebec anti-fascists and journalists, his identity has been learned:
As reported in the "Montreal Gazette" Gabriel Sohier Chaput, an IT consultant who lives in apartment in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, is "Charles Zeiger" and one of the most influential hate propagandists in North America:
“Zeiger” is the pseudonym for the second-most prolific writer on the Daily Stormer, an extreme right-wing news website that attracts upwards of 80,000 unique visitors a month.
The site traffics in conspiracy theories, refers to African-Americans as “nogs,” to gay men as “f**ots” and devotes coverage to what it calls the “Race War” and the “Jewish Problem.” Along with the Daily Stormer’s other authors, Zeiger has helped spread this ideology to a new generation of young white men across North America.
“Zeiger is probably second to only Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer’s founder and chief propagandist,” said Keegan Hankis, the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s senior analyst. “[Zeiger] has been very influential in the strategies behind it.”
On white nationalist forums, Zeiger and other Montreal users brag about beating anti-fascist protesters and pasting Nazi stickers on the métro and co-ordinate their attendance at far-right rallies.
They also refer to a 2016 meeting with a representative from Students for Western Civilization, which led a campaign in 2015 for the creation of white student unions on Toronto university campuses.
Zeiger’s reach extends beyond the North American movement. When the British government disbanded the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action, the group’s final communiqué personally thanked Zeiger and Andrew Anglin for their work in spreading propaganda.
Seeing reports that the Montrealer linked to the Neo-Nazi persona "Zeiger" started scrubbing his online profiles after our article was published this morning. He actually removed his picture from SoundCloud after we tried to contact him Monday.— christopher curtis (@titocurtis) May 3, 2018
Zeiger is a clever, charismatic white supremacist who is creating a network that links some pretty scary people. https://t.co/i2fNVT8Nc2— christopher curtis (@titocurtis) May 3, 2018
Two major stories on the alt-right/neo-Nazi movement breaking today. 1. @ProPublica finds a US Marine who was a member of Atomwaffen https://t.co/08iKTFiaqu and 2. @mtlgazette outs influential neo-Nazi “Zeiger” aka Gabriel Sohier Chaput https://t.co/TntML73et4— Hatewatch (@Hatewatch) May 3, 2018
BIG NEWS: Montreal Gazette publishes real identity of Canadian alt-right neo-Nazi bigwig Zeiger. Zeiger is responsible for propaganda materials like Hammer of the Patriot and A Squires Tale, which teens say played a part in their radicalization. 1/ https://t.co/qK1DxR4sn5— Evan Balgord (@ebalgord) May 3, 2018
Zeiger is like top 3 worst of the worst Canadian alt-right neo-Nazis and unmasking him is a big deal. He's like top 3 in Canada. I've also bee investigating Zeiger, and he's earned himself hate speech charges. Let's see what law enforcement does. 3/— Evan Balgord (@ebalgord) May 3, 2018
From a friend in Quebec, we received the following information concerning Chaput:
He was living in a condo complex, that where he stood out against the May Day March in Montreal while the Hassidic community is celebrating the visit of their religious leader from Israel, for the first time in Montreal, only 3 blocks away. A lot of commotions within the Jewish community
The article later goes on to discuss Chaput's participation in Charlottesville last August:
Zeiger went to Charlottesville and is in the Vice documentary (unnamed). In his podcast, he defends the use of violence as moral. He was in some admin position of a forum that produced neo-Nazi terrorists Attomwaffen. 2/— Evan Balgord (@ebalgord) May 3, 2018
In fact, Chaput was one of a number of Quebec-based neo-Nazis who traveled to Charlottesville. While he was not identified at the time, two other were including one who was a member of La Meute and who is now a leader withing the overtly racist and anti-semetic Atalante:
When Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald's participation in Charlottesville became publicized and his membership in La Meute known, La Meute claimed to have expelled him from the group. However MacDonald was later seen at a La Meute march later the same month as well as a joint La Meute and Storm Alliance protest in September 2017:
MacDonald appears to be a leader within Atalante, but he is known to have maintained his ties to key figures within La Meute and as a result maintain a tacit alliance.
Another interesting alliance Atalante maintains is with the Soldiers of Odin.
Now I haven't written about the SoO in detail for some time as they had essentially collapsed as a national organization once the group cut ties with the original and overtly racist Finnish chapter founded by an unreformed neo-Nazi. The national SoO organization soon fell apart and many of the provincial and city chapters either disbanded or morphed into other hate groups. However the Quebec chapter maintained links to Finland continued to exist; they haven't really attempted to hide their racism:
Over the last few months I've noticed that, fairly quietly, SoO chapters had been springing up again. The Quebec chapter makes it clear that these new or reconstituted SoO chapters are under the auspices of the Finnish hate group:
In this article, there is also a connection made between Atalante and both La Meute and the SoO. Originally both denied any links existed, but it looks like at least the SoO is less bashful about touting their alliance with an overtly neo-Nazi hate group now:
It might be of some interest that the Northern Guard in BC also wrote glowingly about this event as well:
Getting back to the identification of Gabriel Sohier Chaput, Quebec politicians voiced their concern and disgust that such a hater was in their midst:
“There’s no place in Quebec or elsewhere for Nazis or anything like this,” said Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée. “It’s very important that police in particular follow these groups closely to make sure that they don’t have the means to act on their beliefs.”
“It’s very worrisome,” added Coalition Avenir Québec justice critic Simon Jolin-Barrette. “This kind of situation is not acceptable.
While these are nice things to hear, I can't help but wonder campaigning on such platforms items as the Quebec Charter of Values and continuing to adopt ideas that are very much based on ethnic nationalism by mainstream political parties in Quebec might just have contributed to a climate of xenophobia.
And also why the hell is this guy not charged with a hate-crime as well?