Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Diagolon and Trolling: How To Minimize Platforming the Far-Right and Instead Provide Context

Over the years there has been a lot of discussion about the danger of platforming right wing extremists. It's an issue that I've wrestled with for years myself here on the blog and also on Twitter. On the one hand I've always believed that it was important to share information about could amount to a significant danger to the community; the best disinfectant is sunlight after all. 

But as I tried to expose those individuals and groups who could cause real harm, I also tried to do so in a way that didn't give them any sort of power. A lot of these individuals and groups WANT others to talk about them because uncritical examination allows the noxious beliefs to spread more widely.

In order to try to avoid that I generally employ two primary strategies. The first is mockery. The bigots and hate groups I covered have all been so very self-serious. Using humour as a means of disarming and showing how utterly ridiculous that they are while at the same time showing the public why we should also be concerned often took the wind out of their sails, so to speak.

Also, I'm naturally snarky so there's that too.

The second thing I do which I think is far more important is to try as best I can to provide the critical context for the stories I shared (hence why I was and continue to be verbose as hell) and to avoid telling the narrative that THEY want shared.

So with that, let's engage go through that process by discussing the critical context behind this still I took from a video posted by Derek Harrison of the Plaid Army/Diagolon on his Telegram page:

Shane Marshall and Pierre Poilievre

This photo shows Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre shaking hands with Shane Marshall. If the name "Shane Marshall" is familiar at all, it is likely because of an incident that occurred during the 2021 federal election where Marshall threw pebbles at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

Earlier this month, Marshall pleaded guilty to common assault (he had originally been charged with assault with a weapon). The video taken of him shaking hands with Poilievre occurred prior to Marshall's trial where he pled guilty on the first day.

Marshall is also a figure who has been covered by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network for his ties to the overtly racist Canada First and the accelerationist Diagolon:
Marshall was among those who attended the occupation in Ottawa in February 2022 where he was both photographed with then Canada First leader Tyler Russell (who now lives in the United States and runs with Nick Fuentes) and Diagolon de facto leader Jeremy MacKenzie:

Marshall and Tyler Russell left; Russell and Nick Fuentes right

Marshall and Russell with Jeremy MacKenzie during
the "Freedom Convoy" occupation of Ottawa, 2022

Marshall was also briefly detained in Ottawa during the occupation.

So when one looks at this photo of Shane Marshall and Pierre Poilievre, one's first instinct might be to suggest this is proof that Poilievre is courting far right extremists. Without any other context and, given Mr. Poilievre's own dog whistles since becoming leader, that might be a reasonable conclusion... EXCEPT that the context here is critical to understanding what we are actually seeing.

I found the video from which the still is taken on Derek Harrison's Telegram page. Harrison is someone who has been profiled here on the blog a number of times -- I first came across Harrison when he was volunteering for white nationalist Faith Goldy's mayoral campaign -- and he is, I guess, a sort of founding father of the Plaid Army and Diagolon. Harrison's antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and anti-immigrant rhetoric is well know to people who study this ecosystem.

Harrison and other Dags attended Marshall's trial in support. Suffice to say that it doesn't seem that any of them are especially contrite:

Shane has all the charisma of a soggy phonebook from 1992.

Marshall and Derek Harrison flanked by two unknown Dags.

The context of the video still with Marshall, a former PPC riding president who was working on Chelsea Hillier's campaign and an associate of Diagolon (many of whose members are supporters of the PPC and Bernier), and Pierre Poilievre who is the leader of a rival conservative political party is very important however:

Pictured from left to right: Derek Harrison, Maxine Bernier, Chelsea Hillier, and Tyler Russell

MacKenzie, Bernier, Harrison

Diagolon in general and in this case Harrison specifically loathe the Conservative Party, claiming that the CPC and the Liberals are simply two sides of the same corrupt, globalist, coin:

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau is a Symptom of a Larger Problem

Those of you how have followed the blog for years know that Kevin Goudreau, a neo-Nazi active now for more than 30 years, has been covered on these pages mostly in the spirit of how he deserves to be treated.

As a joke whom even other right wing extremists who know him reject.

For example, here are some of his more recent attempts to present himself as a leader in the movement which he thinks make him appear tough and intimidating but which are in fact so cringe that even I am embarrassed for him:

I've strung together some of the YouTube short he has put out where he throws out cliché lines about being "based" and "red pilled" as well as his boilerplate "14 words" schtick.

I might also note that he has taken to couching his bigotry in religion which is sort of a new thing for him:

This one I kept separate as because receiving any advice from Kevin Goudreau about health matters is so deliciously ironic and hilarious.

But though he is a joke, Goudreau still represents a danger of sorts that needs to be taken seriously.

Certainly he is a danger to individuals. While he is ultimately a coward who only targets people who he perceives as being physically weaker than he is, he has a history of assault arrests as well as uttering threats:

He has also engaged in targeted harassment, most recently (at least to my knowledge) targeting a lesbian couple who lived in his apartment block:

Peterborough police charge neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau in hate bias crime

Goudreau in fact has historically directed some of his most venomous hatred towards the LGBTQ community:

So then it shouldn't be at all surprising that Kevin Goudreau has jumped onto the anti-drag story time/anti-trans bandwagon as he attended a protest at a Peterborough library this morning: