Monday, March 20, 2017

March 19 Anti-Muslim Rallies: Some Victories, Some Hard Lessons

By this point ARC readers know that any time we mention Kevin "The Chairman" Goudreau on the blog, it is probably because he did something profoundly stupid or embarrassing but isn't self aware enough to realize that this is the case:

Yep, the Goudreau held a rally in Peterborough while wearing an ill-fitted suit because he now wants to project gravitas.

Though really, to refer to what the Goudreau held as a rally is sort of like polishing a turd and calling it a diamond:

Still, despite holding his "rally" (word is they were there for less than 5 minutes) in what looks to my uneducated eye as a relatively empty street with few people to witness it, and what few people who did witness the event simply mocked him and his merry band of short bus passengers, the Goudreau appears to see it as a massive success and his first step towards his inevitable rise as der Kanadisch Führer:

Add caption

At least one person however, seemed to imply that the Goudreau was sort of gilding the lily:

That's right folks. There were more anti-Muslim rallies in select Canadian towns and cities this past week.

Kevin's explanation for the pathetic nature of his rally is flimsy at best, but it is telling in that he really believes (and is likely correct) that some of the kind of people who would attend a "White Pride" march would also be attracted to an anti-Muslim protest. It's sort of a Venn Diagram, but of hatred. For example, Goudreau has some prominent anti-Muslim activists amongst his own friends:

Brad Salzberg, the leader of the Cultural Action Party of Canada, isn't just anti-Muslim but is also anti-immigrant in general. He held a very small anti-Muslim protest in Vancouver this past Sunday. And Sara Smith is better known as Sandra Solomon, an especially vocal and virulent anti-Muslim protester associates with Eric Brazau and Ron Banerjee; she was a key speaker at the anti-Muslim event that took place Sunday in Toronto.

When analyzing the anti-Muslim protests that took place this past Sunday, I think it is important to look not only at the victories scored by those who opposed the xenophobes and Islamophobes, but it is equally important to recognize that there were some setbacks.

On the one hand, there were far fewer cities where anti-Muslim protests were held this past Sunday than there were on March 4; those that did occur resulted in fewer anti-Muslim protesters coming out than the last time.

In Quebec where there were significant protests that took place in Montreal, Quebec City, and other Quebec communities, things seemed to be pretty quiet, though there may be news to report for March 21.

In St. Catherines, the anti-Muslim protest was met with stiff opposition:

Winnipeg is where the anti-Muslim protesters sort of had their asses handed to them again:

It also resulted in perhaps the best photo we've seen at one of these rallies courtesy of Ryan Nash:

Yeah, the ever vigilant Soldiers of Odin don't seem to be all that aware of their surroundings.... or when one of their opponents gets close enough to put an antifa sticker on their back.

Also, Joel Angott, National President of the SoO, finally actually made a public appearance. I assume it's because he didn't see his shadow upon leaving his burrow:

Credit to Ryan Nash
Edmonton was a dud. We've heard nothing about Ottawa though again there's supposed to be an event on March 21. Markham, Windsor, London, Kingston, Regina, Saskatoon, and Red Deer all seem to have been rather uneventful, or at least were not considered to be worth covering in any detail. A Lethbridge anti-Muslim protest was planned and that Thomas Trennery of Blood & Honour was planning on attending, but it seems to have failed. There was a small event in Vancouver organized by Brad Salzberg which, I suppose, was better than the non-event that didn't take place on March 4 but based on the numbers I've seen, it isn't saying much. There were around 20 retirees in Medicine Hat too.

All in all, not a great showing.

However, I would be remiss if I also didn't acknowledge that there were some significant areas of concern, particularly in the cities of Toronto and Calgary.

Let's start with Toronto.

Protect the free speech of people to denigrate and demean Muslims, but "stop" hate speech 
attributed to Muslims? So, another case of free speech for me, but not for thee I guess. 

Observant readers will notice that a common feature of the anti-Muslim protests that took place was the Soldiers of Odin were present at most of the events that did occur. This is true for Toronto (and Calgary) as well:

Aren't vikings supposed to have more endurance? Is walking from city hall
to the CBC building really that taxing?
Also present was Meir Weinstein and a contingent from the Jewish Defence League who made some common cause with the SoO:

The following was written by the folks with Toronto Against Fascism yesterday:
Earlier today in Toronto fascists held a national day of action against the M103 motion in order to promote racism and Islamophobic hate speech. The Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR-RCP) and its supporters and sympathizers organized a red contingent to shut them down. 
Comrades arrived to Nathan Phillips Square early before the demo start at 11:30AM. Anarchists were already confronting Soldiers of Odin nearby the Toronto sign. We joined the anarchists as they moved to the east side of Nathan Phillips Square, as the fascists began to set up their rally. Many police came in as the fascists started setting up, forming lines between us and the fascists. In terms of chants, the anarchists and communists had the will and discipline to out chant the fascists, and quickly dominated the rally at first. Much of the rally was a stand off, and more and more police came and eventually formed two lines between us and the fascists, pushing us back. We used megaphones for chants and siren noises, and were confronted multiple times by police telling us that we couldn’t use siren noises, effectively trying to shut down our attempts to drown out the fascists. 
A man from Rebel media hit the scene near the end, trying to rile the crowd and unsettle protesters. Many of us followed the man and his crew around to the South east end of Nathan Phillips Square, making sure he was not welcome in this space. The team eventually headed back into the fascist rally. Soon after, they started to line up to march.We blocked their path heading east towards Bay street, and were pushed, grabbed, and shoved out of the way by police. We continued to block their path going south down Bay Street, and were hit by police bikes and shoved back. A fascist stole of comrade’s red flag, and tore it apart. 
In between Adelaide and King street, heading south on Bay, many comrades were kettled into a foyer with no open entrances, forcing us to trail behind the march and hurry to catch up as the fascists turned west onto front street towards the CBC building. The fascists, that likely numbered less than 30 by this point, who were protected with more than double the amount of police as they rallied in front of the CBC building, with antifa protesting on the east side. The fascists staring marching again, with the police lying to us that they had stopped, and completely blocked Front Street for anyone trying to get past. 
The fascists marched north on John street, and many of us cut through Simcoe park to catch up with them. But at this point in the demo, safety in numbers was a concern, and many dispersed for security. 
In the end, the fascists were aided not only by the police, who numbered at least 50 people, but Soldiers of Odin who were clearly brought in from other cities. We estimate that there were 20-25 Soldiers of Odin at this rally, with clear JDL supporters as well.
Other reports suggest that the anti-Muslim protesters initially outnumbered the counter-protesters, though the number of counter-protesters did continue to grow so that by the end, the two groups were basically equal in number.

That isn't good enough though, and the organizers know that.

Other reports suggest that the anti-Muslim protesters, perhaps because of the participation of the SoO and JDL, were far more aggressive than on March 4. We were told that one SoO member was taken into custody by the police, though we haven't received anything further to substantiate that claim. Another person stated that an SoO member damaged his cell phone when he was taking photos of the anti-Muslim protesters.

Also, this woman seemed to be itching for a fight....

.... and this woman in red continually tried to take the megaphone from a counter-protester:

The number of Toronto anti-Muslim protesters was larger in part because individuals from other cities traveled to Toronto to attend this protest rather than ones in their own communities. Still, antifa organizers know that they will need to do a better job of organizing to oppose these people in the future, and goodness knows that they plan on keeping the protests going

Calgary is also of significant concern:

While roughly 50 anti-Muslim protesters held their event, only five counter-protesters attended. And the anti-Muslim protesters were significantly more aggressive and thuggish than those who attended on March 4:

Meet Joey Deluca (aka Joey Giuseppe), a prominent member of WCAI Canada. At the very least he's a very active member of the group, though I suspect that he might very well be among the leaders:

Deluca was the only person with a MAGA hat at the protest that we've seen so far.
To give you an understanding of the midset of these people, here is a recent discussion on the WCAI Canada Facebook group regarding this t-shirt:

An effort to tell them how paranoid they sounded fell on deaf ears:

Another post:

And of course, there are these posts that we included in an earlier article:

Joey Deluca provides us with a number of videos in which we can see the kinds of people that are attracted by Islamophobic rhetoric and paranoia:

Irrational, unhinged, conspiratorial, violent, and angry. Not a good combination.

And sadly, they felt they could gloat as well:

Well, at least Joey is honest about whom he hates.

For those who might believe that these types of people should simply be ignored, our friend Helmut puts things in perspective:

Both Toronto and Calgary citizens have a long and proud history of opposing and shutting down fascists. We believe yesterday should serve as a wake-up call to not be complacent and to continue to struggle against the hatred exhibited by the individuals who participated in the anti-Muslim protests.

It's going to be a long, ugly, slog, but the work is necessary

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The woman with a kkkanadian flag itching for a fight is Trixie McPixie (still looking for real name but we think the last name is Motrin) from Kingston ON, married to Wilson Lewis. Tan Mazda pick up truck with farm plates starting 5B2 ??? She does want a fight. She was physical violent in Kingston on the 4th. We ran them off (50-6), "escorting" them back to their vehicles. They decided to go to TO because they thought they would have more chance to fight. Apparently hitting people with her flag pole on the 4th wasn't enough.
Thanks for the article