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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Point A to Point B: Did A Series of Anti-Refugee Posts on Social Media From Far-Right Figures Result in Attempted Murder?

Back on September 28, Ronny Cameron, Georges Massaad, and Leigh Stuart posted a video of themselves in the Radisson Toronto East Hotel which has been temporarily housing refugee claimants. The trio purported to be there film an exposé of the conditions of the hotel, claiming that the building was being destroyed by ungrateful migrants. I watched the video at the time and despite their histrionics throughout, what they "exposed" was a generally run-down hotel in need of a face lift with a few smudges on the wall and garbage bins with, and this will come as a huge shock I'm sure, GARBAGE in them!!!!

I won't post the full video, but there are two clips which to me suggest that the trip might not have been entirely honest:

Those who can't see the offending phrase, Ms. Stuart kindly posted the following photo:

I would add that Cameron was alone when he "found" this on the wall and called the other two over to shoot the video.

Suffice it to say I'm somewhat skeptical, though it does tick off one of the paranoid beliefs of the anti-refugee crowd so they'll accept the claim without reservation:

I wasn't going to even discuss the video since I didn't want to give them any sort of oxygen, but subsequent events have made me rethink that decision.

Among the other social media slurs against this particular Radisson Hotel and the refugee claimants within was a concerted effort to post negative reviews. It is a phenomenon we've seen elsewhere as the far-right has tried to hurt businesses who are acting in ways that they oppose. Most of the fake reviews were incredibly transparent:

One however was so patently ridiculous that it is hard to believe anyone would take it seriously. A fake reviewer purporting to be from Virginia claimed that residents were slaughtering goats in the public bathrooms.

This all might have ended here, but then racist mayoral candidate Faith Goldy and Sue-Ann Levy of the "Toronto Sun" entered the picture, the former "liking" Stuart's Twitter post and the latter being included in the Twitter thread to make her aware of the content:

Being picked up by two bigoted Islamophobes, the results can't be regarded as surprising. Goldy chimed in repeating the lie about the goat slaughter, followed by a protest outside the Radisson Toronto East Hotel:

Sue-Ann Levy wrote an article for the "Toronto Sun" and published the erroneous claim:

Well, Levy might not have made it up, but it was made up and she doesn't seem to care that it was.

Other far-right "media" outlets picked up on the story and uncritically published stories confirming the worst prejudiced of their readers:

Ultimately, it appears that it was the Levy article that resulted in the goat slaughter lie going viral:

It then perhaps shouldn't be surprising when this happened:

We don't know if this was as a result of the negative false news stories that have been published, but it certainly hasn't been ruled out.

Thus far the media has been referring to this as attempted arson, but given what could have happened I have no problem calling it attempted murder, whether that statement is supported legally. Got to call 'em as I see 'em.

Steven Zhou continues, mentioning Cameron's, Massaad's, and Stuart's involvement in fanning the flames:

It wasn't long before Stuart and Massaad responded on Facebook:

Later the two posted a video stating they would be going online later that night with Cameron to discuss the incident:

I won't post that video, but the comments left on Cameron's Facebook profile should be sufficient indication of the content:

Cameron re-posted the link to his video on numerous far-right Facebook groups. All of the comments left provide insight into the dark underbelly of the racist, anti-refugee, anti-immigrant, and Islamophobic movement in this country:

I think Bruce Arthur has the best final word (for now) on this issue:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A new profile for Trenerry just popped up, TJ Trenerry.