Saturday, December 17, 2016

Soldiers of Odin: Strike Three

In a recent article published here in which we briefly discussed the resignation of former national vice-president and Quebec president of the Soldiers of Odin, it was clear that there was (and likely has been for some time) a bit of an ideological struggle within the movement in Canada. One faction of the SoO wants to disassociate itself from the overt racism of the gang which was started by a well-known Finnish neo-Nazi while the other faction wishes to strengthen the connection to the Finnish movement and the core raison d'etre of the Soldiers of Odin which is anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim in nature:
But as Tregget was busy building the group's membership he was also running afoul of the national leadership as well as the movement's international leaders in Finland. 
According to his one-time second-in-command, Tregget gave a series of interviews in the fall in which he downplayed the links between the Finnish and Quebec branches of the group. 
He also insisted on patrolling the "political correct" areas of Quebec City, like St-Roch, where the group was less likely to confront the city's immigrant population, said Katy Latulippe, who is now the acting president of Soldiers of Odin-Quebec. 
There are conflicting accounts of what, precisely, happened. Latulippe said Tregget was suspended. Tregget said he quit: "Finished with the racist image of Finland," he later told CBC News in a Facebook message. 
Regardless of the details, what is clear is that with Tregget out, and Latulippe in, the group's Quebec chapter will undergo a reorientation....."Dave avoided that, on patrols, we go into areas where there are a lot of Muslims or Islamization," she said during a recent phone conversation.

We should stress that we believe that much of this soul searching is primarily one of optics and how the SoO desire to perceived by the public rather than a disagreement about the fundamental nature of the gang's motives:
SoO, which has chapters across Canada, denies, on its public Facebook page, any accusations of being racist or anti-immigrant and claims to exist to primarily protect women and children by keeping the streets safe.  
However, it’s been alleged the group’s private Facebook page is filled with racist and xenophobic comments, mainly directed towards Muslims.
However there might also be an element of self-delusion as exhibited by Regina, Saskatchewan president Ryen Ward who was interviewed by Paul Dechene for "Planet S":
“I am not accusing you of being a racist,” I explain at one point. “I am saying that this is the cultural context in which the Regina chapter of the Soldiers of Odin swims, and I’m curious as to why you would want to carry all this cultural, racist baggage if you’re really serious about being seen as welcoming and helpful?” 
But as far as Ward is concerned, his group’s negative image has nothing to do with its founder, its connections nor its imagery. It’s all the fault of the lying media. 
“The danger lies in the lies printed about us and the fear you evoke into your readers,” he writes. “For the last time, we are not racist.”
Ward contradicts himself later on though he clearly doesn't see it that way:
When our conversation moves to politics — specifically, Trump — Ward raises his concerns about immigration. 
“Our problems occur with a lack of proper vetting system in which people coming into the country should receive a face to face interview. Very similar to Kellie Leitch’s idea,” he writes. 
And when I press him on this, and on Black Lives Matter, this happens: 
“I would like them [new immigrants] to be interviewed to [ensure] that they do not have anger or hatred, as ISIS [has] stated [that] they have infiltrated the refugee camps and [they’re] sending terrorists to North America through such lame processes that we just believe everything. I would like them to be interviewed on their beliefs of Sharia Law, and other such ideologies that do not fit into our Canadian laws or way of life. 
“Black Lives Matter are not the only protestors/rioters that have caused discord in the USA. I am talking about all of the hate groups. From the KKK all the way to the Black Panthers and every group in between that calls for the death to another race.
Further indication of Ward's apparent difficulty in engaging in self-reflection can be found on social media.

Uhm, no. No it wasn't.

Even his claims the SoO isn't a racist organization is problematic:

So Ward suggests he is a leader in an organization who's ideology attracts racists and white supremacists?

That's supposed to help their case?

Ward's partner also chimed on the one of the SoO group pages with an article that is favourably inclined towards the SoO:

Positive news.... though she may have reconsidered the source if she had actually read any of the other articles....

.... or examined the kind of literature for sale on the website she is promoting:

But let's get back to the Quebec chapter of the SoO for a moment.

In March we took a look at the Quebec chapter of the SoO and found that the gang contained a number of unapologetic racists and boneheads. We followed this article up with one in May that looked at other Canadian SoO chapters as well as another look at the Quebec chapter.

An examination of the members list for the Quebec chapter now indicates that though they suggested Canadian members with racist views had been purged, many remain:

For now however, we will focus on only one of the members, Finnish neo-Nazi and Soldiers of Odin founder Mika Ranta:

Aryan Strikeforce is a hate group linked to the larger B&H/C18 movement internationally. It was founded by a guy named Joshua Steever who has an extensive criminal record and who had just been kicked out of another hate group he had founded, the Aryan Terror Brigade; both the Aryan Terror Brigade and the Aryan Strikeforce are considered terrorist organizations by a number of law enforcement agencies in the United States and have engaged in extremely violent acts:

As for Steever himself, at least there was for a time truth in his advertising of himself:

However his look has changed very slightly as a result of a plea agreement that involved his agreeing to have the tattoo on his forehead removed. He no looks closer to this:

Not much of an improvement, but we suppose beggars can't be choosers. As an aside we are of course well acquainted with Josh Steever as well:

Supporting him in this new endeavor include not only Josh Steever as might be expected, but some Canadian SoO members and supporters as well:

Since we're writing about him, why then don't we take a closer look at Josh Steever's Facebook page and examine with whom he has decided to associate with, shall we?

Many of those folk are very interesting:

So in addition to the neo-Nazis and boneheads that we have covered here, we have a number of Canadian members of the Soldiers of Odin who are Facebook friends with a violent neo-Nazi who founded two racist terrorist groups, including at least two members in prominent leadership positions:
  • Ryen Ward, president of the Regina, Saskatchewan chapter of the Soldier of Odin.
  • Arran Taylor, former president of the Ontario chapter of the Soldiers of Odin (he still may have a position of leadership in the group despite the infighting that resulted in his ouster).
  • Joel Angott, Manitoba president, founder, and Canadian president of the Soldiers of Odin
Hey, remember when we pointed out that Joel Angott had also been Facebook friends with Ingrid Rimland, wife of Ernst Zundel and antisemitic Holocaust denier in her own right?

Angott later claimed that he had been unaware of who Rimland was and removed her as a friend:
Angott himself, ARC notes, was Facebook friends with Ingrid Rimland, wife of notorious Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel. 
When asked about this, Angott told SooToday he had received a Facebook request from a profile with that name but that he did not know who that person was, who Ernst Zündel was, or that holocaust denial “was a thing” and he has since unfriended the account.
Our response noted it seemed unlikely that an 80 year old woman who isn't especially active on social media would decide to befriend a guy from Gimli, Manitoba out of the blue, but then stranger things can happen.

But when you have a second strike (pun unintended) against you....

.... well, we're going to raise a red flag.

And when you strike out, we have to call bullshit on your claim of not being a racist organization:

Meet Cory Colyer, a member and/or supporter of Kyle McKee's Blood & Honour gang in Calgary. While we will be commenting on Colyer and the gang in the near future (again, patience is a virtue folks) we thought that we would introduce him and a few other B&H members who will making an appearance in future articles:

My, my.... in addition to the boneheads, there sure a lot of Soldiers of Odin represented members too.

Though there are other Canadian SoO members, the ones that caught our attention were these fellas:

Arran Taylor, former president of the Ontario chapter of the Soldiers of Odin.

David Tierney, co-provincial president of the Saskatchewan chapter of the SoO.

Bill Daniels, BC provincial president of the SoO.

And last but certainly not least,

Joel Angott. Manitoba president. Founder. Canadian president of the Soldiers of Odin
Strike three. 

You're out.

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