On Saturday September 12 the Canadian Coalition for Firearms rights organized a march in Ottawa. It was attended by probably between 2000-3000 people.
Also credit to the CCFR for promoting the use of masks and social distancing for the event.
Fresh off of his court case where he plead guilty to assault with a weapon, the unlikeable Chris Vanderweide attended in full boogaloo gear and wearing his weapon of choice on his head. Chris was bleating on his megaphone, but I think the CCFR people told him to give it a rest. He was accompanied by Leigh Stewart. Rick Boswick and Wayne Peters were also there.
|Chris Vanderweide speaking with Rick Boswick|
Most of the signage for the rally was very much on point. Almost all the signs were related to either firearms or the Trudeau government's firearms legislation. There were one or two signs calling for Justin Trudeau to be charged with treason, some Trump support signs, an anti-U.N. sign, and Derek Storie was holding a sign about pedophilia.
|Apparently someone also had a "No New Normal" sign available|| |
Attempting to keep messaging on point seems to be a theme with the CCFR. Their Facebook group contains evidence that even though they attract members of far-right hate groups, they do actively police content. Some hate speech does manage to slip through the cracks but to be fair, it is often refuted by both administrators and group members.
|Just a sample of CCRF Facebook members that would qualify as far-right|
|Defending Eric Brazau is obviously a bad look, but to be fair people did not respond well in the comments|
|Evidence that group members will combat hate speech|
|Stating that homosexuality is a choice is not a good take|
|More evidence that moderators actively remove hate speech|
|This screenshot captures the dichotomy in CCFR discussions, some group members are supportive of Muslim gun owners, others are very hostile|
The CCFR admin team also wisely took a strong stance against Kyle Rittenhouse posts within their Facebook group, which probably caused some division as some of their CEOs and administrators have posted that they support Rittenhouse.
|Reese Yankee is Reese Yearwood, a CCFR admin and director for BC|
|Richard Bone is the CCFR director for Alberta|
|James Boulerice is an admin for the CCFR Facebook group|
|Ryan Holyoake is an admin for the CCFR Facebook group|
I think it's also important to point out that a few of the CCFR admins/CEOs have shown some poor judgement in their use of social media.
|As pointed out James Boulerice is an admin on the CCFR Facebook group, comparing BLM to the KKK is a horribly racist take|
|Tracy Wilson is the CCFR VP of public relations and follows white nationalist Lauren Southern's Facebook page|
|Sandro Abballe is CCFR director for Quebec and is also a member of the YVC Facebook group|
To sum the CCFR up, they are attempting to present themselves as a legitimate firearms advocacy group, and on the surface are having some success distancing themselves from members of the far-right that they've clearly attracted. As we've shown more can be done to clean up their social media behaviour, and push out members and groups that engage in hateful actions.