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Saturday, September 24, 2016

What's Jon Latvis Up To These Days?

The last time we posted an article asking a similar question back in 2012, it resulted in a fair amount of msm attention, though to be fair that was mainly because Warren Kinsella published the following image we forwarded to a mutual friend before we did and he's sort of a bigger deal than we are:

We should mention that despite our feelings about the late Rob Ford's tenure as mayor of Toronto, we were not suggesting that he was sympathetic towards neo-Nazis (the explanation provided by his office did a good job of putting this to bed), but that his handlers should have been more diligent in preventing Latvis from being photographed with Mr. Ford. In any case, Latvis himself denied his entire history of being involved in the biggest White Power bands of the 1990s and suggested he would sue Mr. Kinsella for defamation.

Considering that the Internet exists which documented his active and enthusiastic involvement in the neo-Nazi movement, as well as the following post made on his own Facebook profile explaining to his friends why he publicly denied his involvement, it would have been a very difficult case for him to make which is probably why he didn't sue:

Now, fast forward a few years.

Last weekend, the Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival took place in Toronto. It is an event, like other similar festivals, that celebrates Ukrainian culture including food (we loves us our perogies), dance, and music. As this writer also has connections to Ukraine, it sounds like a good time and a blast to attend.

But based on what the good folks at the Left Chapter observed while watching a video of the parade, there was a bit of a fly in the ointment:

The portrait on the side of the banner closest
to the viewer is that of Stepan Bandera

Yeah, those are members of the Canadian chapter of Right Sector.

And who are Right Sector?

Glad you asked:
Critics at home say the party's inflammatory rhetoric and violence is helping Russian media to depict Ukraine as overrun with "neo-Nazis" who threaten the Russian-speaking population.
Activists claiming to be Right Sector members were involved in Kiev's Maidan protests from late November, but the group did not attract much attention until violent clashes with police in central Kiev on 19 January, in which it played a leading role.
A leading figure in the Right Sector, Andriy Tarasenko, says it aims not for closer ties with Europe but rather to "build a nationalist Ukrainian state and stage a nationalist revolution". 
Dmytro Yarosh calls himself a follower of Stepan Bandera, a nationalist leader who fought Polish and Soviet rule in the 1930s and 1940s but is seen in Russia and eastern Ukraine as a Nazi collaborator.
Some far-right activists interviewed by the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse in Kiev in early March made it clear that they wanted a Ukraine "just for Ukrainians".
Other articles on Right Sector are equally enlightening:
Now, much like Rob Ford who was pictured with Jon Latvis, we don't believe the organizers intended on having a far-right ultranationalist group join in on their parade, however we would apply the same criticism as we did in Mr. Ford's case when we suggest they should have done a more thorough job checking into the groups participating.

But it might be of interested to our readers to know that Latvis actually has a bit of a connection here as well:

Yep, he's a supporter of Right Sector:

It would appear that this past weekend isn't the first instance of the Canadian chapter of Right Sector attending a parade or public event.

Latvis has also taken the show on the road and out of Toronto:

We had actually published a story about Latvis and his support for Right Sector back in 2014, including his efforts to recruit members for the group:

If we may offer some unsolicited advice to the organizers for the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival, it would be to screen the people who want to participate in your parade next year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"If we may offer some unsolicited advice to the organizers for the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival, it would be to screen the people who want to participate in your parade next year."

Whoever organizes these events is awful at screening these groups, or deliberately turning a blind eye, so I wouldn't bet on it. This isn't the first time RS has shown up.

There is this too, along with Chris Alexander (CPC) and Marijka Stadnyk (Ukrainian Canadian Congress) deflecting questions about this group at one of their fundraisers. Petro Shkilnyk, the spokesperson in the video, was also in the parade (he's the RS goon with the grey cap at the point of their march.)