Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shooting at Mosque in Quebec City and Initial Islamophobic Reaction

Here is what is currently known.

The Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Quebec City was attacked during evening prayers just before 8:00 pm (the same mosque was also targeted during the summer when a pig's head and anti-Muslim message was left at the building). The shooting took place on the ground level of the mosque where the men prayed while the women were in the level above. At this point we know of six people who have been killed with 19 injured, five critically. One suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, is in custody and has been charged with 6 counts of murder. The second individual who had been named was a witness and not a suspect in the shooting. Bissonnette had contacted police after the shooting to turn himself in; initial reports suggested that there might have been explosives in the vehicle.

Bissonnette is a student at Laval University where his Facebook profile suggested he was studying anthropology though he may have transferred to political science. Also noted were some of the Bissonnette's "liked" pages which included Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Génération Nationale, and Parti Quebecois, though he is also a Katy Perry fan too:

A source close to this writer has found evidence that Bissonnette ran with an alt-right group at Laval University. He was associated with a man named Pascal Mercier-Lévesque who appears to have been a writer for GAUCHEDROITISTAN. The site is conveniently down for maintenance (wonder why?) but the Internet Archives have the site saved.

While apparently a loner who had a difficult adolescence, Bissonnette  was said to be xenophobic, misogynistic, and nationalistic by those who knew hims. He was active on social media and was somewhat of a troll harassing left-wing and progressive groups. One of those groups noted their familiarity with Bissonnette in a recent post:

We'll publish information as it becomes available.

Soon after the shooting took place we decided to check out the reaction to the shooting on the various Facebook groups we monitor. When we took these screen shots we knew a lot less about the incident than we do now, but lot of the folks on these sites seemed to think that the shooters were anti-Muslim.... and are really happy about it and hoped to see more shootings. Others suggested that it was a "false flag" operation to push for (a) gun control (b) legal prohibitions against negative speech about Islam. Others blamed Trudeau (some of whom hoped he would be targeted as well "next time"). And still other suggested sectarian violence, which again they were okay with so long as Muslims are killed.

We begin with the Canadian Anti Islam Force:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Reader's Comment: Systemic Racism Against First Nations' Peoples

We've been taking a bit of time away from the blog, but we hope to be back soon with a few updates and articles. However, we thought we would share a comment left behind by one of our readers who left the comment on our article, "Jody Issel, Soldiers of Odin Moose Jaw President, Isn't Even Trying Anymore" perhaps responding to a screen shot included in the article in which Michele Tittler take shots at First Nations peoples. We hope that the anonymous poster doesn't mind us doing this, but we really did think that it warranted more eyes that it would have garnered as simple a comment left on an article:
As a political conservative with some First Nations ancestry and many friends (from all political persuasions) from local First Nations communities, I would like to address the canard that First Nations peoples do nothing for this country. Especially since I hear it from wider audiences than just the tiny minority of racists in Canada. 
First, we need to recognize the horrific impact of the Residential School System upon the First Nations family. As Canadians we often point the finger at America over blacks and slavery, but we are just as guilty when it comes to First Nations Peoples and the Residential School System. I dare say the impact of Residential School System among Canada's First Nations was as destructive as slavery among African-Americans in the U.S. 
Second, for generations Canada's First Nations people were not permitted to advance themselves in society. The amount of red tape and bureaucracy they needed to circumvent to establish businesses and engage in other professions was triple that of other people in Canada (whether black, white or Asian). So it's not that they didn't want to do anything for themselves or for Canada. It's that they were actively discouraged from doing so through government policy and bureaucracy that imposed burdens upon First Nations people to which others were not subject. 
An extremely eye-opening example for me is the story of Douglas Cardinal, probably one of Canada's most renown architects who designed the Canadian Museum of History. He is First Nations. Blackfoot, if I recall correctly. I remember watching a documentary on his work and how he was forced to go to Texas to study architecture because no Canadian school would accept him because he was First Nations. Additionally, even after he graduated he found it difficult to find work in Canada because his ideas incorporated First Nations influence. 
I find it appalling that a man who would become one of Canada's greatest architects would be treated in such discriminatory fashion as a young man. To contribute to Canada, he basically had to overcome rejection from every professional school in Canada, go to the United States, earn his degree down there, face more rejection from Canada during the early part of his career while looking for work, and only once his genius was recognized by Americans was he then deemed acceptable to return to Canada. 
I'm sorry, but had I been a young First Nations professional in Mr Cardinal's position I would have given up on Canada after being on the receiving end of such poor (and I would argue racist) treatment. I would have stayed in the United States where my talent and hard work was recognized. How many more young First Nations people did Canada miss out on because they simply gave up after having their dreams crushed, or stayed in the United States where they were treated more fairly? 
I get what you guys at ARC are trying to do in combating racism. And we may sometimes disagree on political issues. But I believe that there is an inherent racism in Canada against First Nations peoples that runs much deeper than the tiny of minority who make up various hate groups.
Not really anything we need to add, is there?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Former SOO Moose Jaw President Jody Issel Throws Some Subtle Shade on National Leaders

That's right, former Soldiers of Odin Moose Jaw president.

More on that later.

It seems that our article on Jody Issel, who at the time of it's publication WAS the president of the Moose Jaw chapter of the Soldiers of Odin, resulted in quite of bit of interest:

It also resulted in some SoO members and leaders deciding to offer their $0.02, though some were a little confused by standard English:

Kazimir is referring to our brief article on Kevin Goudreau that preceded the Issel article. He evidently doesn't understand that this part meant that BEFORE we publish our SoO article we would FIRST publish an (implied unrelated) article on another subject:
We're currently working on collecting information for an article on the Soldiers of Odin in Saskatchewan, specifically the leadership in Moose Jaw and the connection to the neo-Nazi movement in this country and abroad, however we thought we'd share something that came across our desk and caused us to collectively giggle.
But then perhaps we shouldn't be unkind as even the best of us can miss certain nuances of language when reading online article, though we aren't sure what language this person is trying to communicate to us is:

And then there was this person who denied that Issel was even associated with the SoO:

Yeah! How dare we believe our lying eyes!

In any case, when the subject turned to Issel's involvement with the SoO, Mr. Kazimir (who was still confused by the Goudreau post) offered the following excuse which sort of flew in the face of some of his earlier claims:

Well, the truth will out, won't it?

Monday, January 09, 2017

Jody Issel, Soldiers of Odin Moose Jaw President, Isn't Even Trying Anymore

You know, if there's one positive thing about Trump's election is that the racists we've been covering here for years have become refreshingly honest about their views. Take this guy for example:

Now this is admittedly an older photo of Jody Issel, but it does sort of capture a particular moment in time, specifically the time he tried to start up an unauthorized chapter of the Aryan Nations' in Saskatchewan. That effort didn't pan out so well, so he threw in his lot with Kyle McKee and the Aryan Guard in Calgary for a while, attending at least one of their "White Pride Day" marches.

A few months after we reported Issel's efforts to start an Aryan Nations' chapter, he contacted us to first beg, then threaten us, to remove his information. We didn't and we still haven't, but at that time he seems to have recognized that being associated with the racist movement wasn't good for his career prospects.

Over the years we kept an eye on him. He was careful, locking down his Facebook from our prying eyes, but there were still a number of times he forgot himself:

Then when the Soldiers of Odin movement found it's way across the Atlantic, Issel found himself in an interesting position in that he lived in Moose Jaw, the SoO were looking for a Moose Jaw city president, and the SoO doesn't actually seem to vet their members or individuals aspiring to positions of leadership. Thus:

Recently, Issel and his merry band of SoO members (four by all accounts) decided to take a stroll about Moose Jaw (at least long enough to snap some photos) to protect the fine folks of that particular prairie community:

The problem here is who will protect the fine folks of Moose Jaw from the people who claim to want to protect them?

Bill Daniels, SOO Provincial President in BC

It's funny, because although he claimed that he wasn't hiding, at the time Issel posted these messages on his other profile, it was locked up tighter than gnat's chuff.

But things have changed on both of his profiles, although this one is the more interesting of the two right now:

So why does Issel feel more comfortable openly expressing his racism?

Take a wild guess:

The Goudreau is Aggrieved

We're currently working on collecting information for an article on the Soldiers of Odin in Saskatchewan, specifically the leadership in Moose Jaw and the connection to the neo-Nazi movement in this country and abroad, however we thought we'd share something that came across our desk and caused us to collectively giggle.

Last month we reported that Kevin "Not in the Face!" Goudreau found himself in a rather unfortunate altercation that resulted in his arrest.

In addition to posting screen shots of witnesses which were all pretty consistent, we also reached out to the person the Goudreau assaulted:
At the time I posted that [the update on Facebook], he had not been arrested. He came back later in the night, at which point he was arrested. I know he is awaiting trial on December 8th. 
Other than being violent, I found him to be a caricature of something he couldn't possibly be. He tried this staring thing with me. It was pretty funny. It seemed like he thought he was hypnotizing me or something.

No, that doesn't sound at all like the Goudreau, does it?

In any case, the Goudreau (who wasn't active on social media for some time after his arrest) eventually provided his take on the events of the day in question which were TOTALLY believable!

Nice to see Paul Fromm championing someone admitting to an assault

Well, only now has the Goudreau gotten around to addressing our article concerning his arrest, posting the following an hour ago:

So, he claims he was assaulted, but then says he's serving a 60 day sentence on weekends

Ohhhhh, a Danier leather jacket! Well that certainly changes everything.

Shall we add this to yet the list of threats the Goudreau has made towards us and others?

Kevin. Baby.

We aren't in the least worried.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Interview With Former Soldiers of Odin National Vice-President Dave Tregget

Last month we published two articles that dealt in part with the direction of the Canadian chapter of the Soldiers of Odin (see here and here). In the CBC article that we quoted in those articles, one of the foci was on the seeming split in the Quebec branch of the group which had been formerly led by Dave Tregget:
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.
Tregget had also been the SoO national chapter's vice-president prior to his depatrure. That fact however did not insulate him, nor some of the other former SoO members who left the group, from being labeled as traitors. Among the others who left the SoO are William Crotty who had been the president of the Alberta chapter (and who is the "William" mentioned in the Vice exposé published last April) and Colin Oleary who was a leader in New Brunswick. Depending upon whom one wishes to believe, Tregget either resigned from the SoO or was suspended.

After reading the CBC article and on a bit of a whim, I decided to contact Tregget to see if Anti-Racist Canada could get his side of the story regarding the reasons for his departure from the SOO, though if I'm honest I didn't expect him to respond to my query. Much to my surprise, he did respond and further agreed to an on the record interview to offer his side of the story concerning his exit from the SoO.

What follows is a brief interview with the former Quebec chapter president and national vice-president of the Soldiers of Odin in Canada. I will add that French is Tregget's first language so please forgive any communication issues that may result: