25 September 2017

Former PEGIDA Canada Supporter and RISE Canada Iraj Gardner Speaks to ARC

When ARC reported on the PEGIDA Canada rally in London, ON which was again dwarfed in number by comparison by counter-protesters this weekend, I also included information that was sent to me by someone who at one time had intimate knowledge about how PEGIDA functioned. She had that knowledge because at one time she was counted among them.

The current members of PEGIDA who follow ARC have figured out the name of this source though she didn't make any effort to hide her identity. While associated with PEGIDA and later (briefly) RISE Canada, Patti Gardner was one of the most vocal Islamophobes this writer had come across on social media. Her comments were often caustic and incredibly hateful, a characterization that I don't think she would disagree with now. Unlike others who's anti-Muslim and racist bigotry was confined primarily to social media, Patti was an active participant in anti-Muslim protests with PEGIDA and RISE Canada, including the now infamous protest outside the Masjid Toronto Mosque on February 17 this year.

But a lot can change in a few months.

Ms. Gardner, now going by the name Iraj, has not only rejected the hatred of groups like PEGIDA and RISE Canada, she has actually taken the steps to converting to Islam after having taken the time to examine her beliefs and biases and studying the religion she vilified. When she contacted me concerning Mark Vandermaas' involvement with PEGIDA and his complaint against the London city council, I immediately recognized the email as coming from someone who was on the radar but who's name hadn't come up in some time. Of course I had a number of questions and Ms. Gardner was kind enough to respond in a very thorough manner.

What follows is a lengthy discussion with Ms. Gardner regarding how and why her views changed so radically. Of course we understand that people may be skeptical since this really represents a 180° change, but if there's one thing that ARC has been consistent in is the view that most people can become better people so on that basis, and because of what seems to be her forthrightness regarding her past, I've decided to give Ms. Gardner the benefit of the doubt.

She respond to my question regarding her conversion as well as at one time being featured on the blog:

23 September 2017

PEGIDA Canada Rally in London, ON Today: Outnumbered Again

Before getting into the news of today's PEGIDA event in London, ARC would like to direct readers' attention to this article detailing the history of far-right racist activism that has been present in the city for longer than this blog has been active. PEGIDA Canada in that context is merely the most recent manifestation of this phenomenon in London.

Regarding PEGIDA, after the drubbing they received in August, PEGIDA members decided to take another stab at rallying in London under the banner of preserving their, "free speech":

This change on tactic is in large part seems due to the efforts of Mark Vandermaas, a figure that some of our readers may remember from his involvement in the Caledonia stand-off. Now Vandermaas seems to have decided to take on the PEGIDA Canada cause filing by filing a code of conduct complaint against the London city government. A few days after filing his complaint, Vandermaas posted the following self-congratulatory video:


ARC was sent information from someone with knowledge concerning the inner-workings of PEGIDA Canada which includes speculation about Vandermaas' involvement:

17 September 2017

Part II: Northern Guard and the News Media

When I published the story on the Northern Guard on Wednesday, I expected it would be the first of a two part profile of the group. However events that have transpired since the first article was published sort of scream for a follow-up detailing the reaction of the Northern Guard leadership and membership at large. In short, and as a very brief preview, I offer this for your consideration:

More on that to come.

A day after Northern Guard founder and president Nick Gallant posted his video bemoaning what he perceived to be shabby treatment by the media, he posted a second video offering the same though with the additional caveat that neither he nor the remainder of the Northern Guard will ever speak to the media ever again:


Or, in other words of social commentor E. Cartman, "screw you guys, I'm going home."

There are a number of themes that are apparent in Gallant's commentary, but among those themes is the fact that appears oblivious about the purpose of the news media. It's clear that he thinks the media is to report exactly what he says about his "club" and not dig any further. He wants the media to talk about only what he wants them to talk about and to avoid any probing questions. In short, he wants the independent media to act as a cheap public relations agency.

Dude, that's not how good media works. 

Yes, they will interview you to get your side, but when your public statements about the Northern Guard being against racism and merely wishing to support the community conflicts with the private statements that are rife with paranoia, support for violence, and really racist and Islamophobic statements, some of which ARC has highlighted on this blog, they are going to ask about the discrepancy if they are even half decent journalists. And when the explanation you provide seems wanting, well.... you're not going to look good and you will be exposed for what exactly you are.

For example, saying that you are concerned about the direction of the federal government likely won't raise any red flags for a journalist, except perhaps when the rhetoric is excesively profane:

However when you cross the line and advocate violence against the prime minister of the country, your claims of being a conservative club focused on charity sort of takes a bit of a hit in the credibility department and a good journalist will pick up on it:

Advocating for the murder of any person, never mind the head of the Canadian government, is not and never has been protected speech. People were arrested and charged for making threats against Mr. Harper when he was in office. That people are being arrested and charged for making threats against Mr. Trudeau is not proof that Canada is a dictatorship and that you are loosing your right to free expression. 

But then when people exist in an echo chamber, the real news, flawed though it can sometimes be, is dismissed as "fake"....

16 September 2017

Secret WCAI Facebook Page Shut Down and DeLuca's Goudreau Shout-out

So, the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam's secret Facebook group was shut down and despite his efforts to play it of as no big deal, Joey DeLuca is pretty upset.

In a rambling video (in which I added a form of editorializing in the form of related images and videos) DeLuca goes on and on about how liberals are snowflakes who deserve to have their heads kicked in with steel-toe boots, that the reasons why their rallies fail isn't because they suck but because "antifa" are more organized and better at shutting them down (which seems to me a tacit admission that the WCAI suck), and bemoan the state of the "patriot movement" which is rife with infighting. On that note he is especially critical of other "patriot" groups that condemn neo-Nazis in their midst.

Yep, DeLuca is fine with neo-Nazis and antisemites because he says they are all fighting for a common cause (getting rid of Muslims). In fact, he calls out the Jewish Defence League by name for their efforts to expunge Nazis and suggests that the JDL "get over" the whole Nazi thing and instead ally themselves with the Nazis.... because Joey DeLuca has evidently not heard the term Kapo and doesn't realize that Jews might not be keen to cozy up with Nazis because of that whole persecution followed by systematic slaughter thing.

DeLuca specifically mentions Devon Mannix and Kevin Goudreau by name noting how much respect he has for Goudreau.

Speaking of the Goudreau, he noticed that Georges was speaking poorly of him owing to the fact that the Goudreau is a neo-Nazi. As such, the Goudreau has decided to start lying about himself despite all the evidence that he himself has put out there that yes, he is a Nazi:


13 September 2017

Part I: Northern Guard Feel Press Misrepresented Them.... So Let's Get To Know Them Better

I have to admit that keeping up with all the new ultra-nationalist groups that, while small in membership are springing up like weeds, has been challenging. In part this is because they are so incredibly fractious in nature; personality conflicts or the desire to "be in charge" results in one group splitting into two or more. Those groups eventually fracture begetting new groups. So while the actual number of individuals involved might not be increasing and there is a lot of cross pollination, it sometimes feels as if the movement (such as it is) is growing quickly.

For example, this group is one that I had been paying only peripheral attention to before Vice and the CBC ran stories about:

Meet the Northern Guard which, while claiming to be a "national club" seems confined mainly to the East Coast and parts of Quebec those there are individuals from all parts of the country who have joined the Facebook group:

Like many similar groups (Storm Alliance, Patriots of Unity, the defunct Guardians of Alberta, etc), the Northern Guard is essentially an offshoot of the Soldiers of Odin. The president and founder of the group Nick Gallant was once the president of the New Brunswick chapter of the SoO. The provincial head of the Quebec chapter of the Northern Guard was once in an SoO leadership position in Quebec and was in fact a subject of an ARC article back in May:

I've also found that Bill Daniels and Michael Montague, the former (and rather short lived) national president and communications dude of the SoO are both members of the group. Daniels, Montague, Wallingford, and other Northern Guard members are also associated with the III% militia that has a small presence in Canada.

I was able to join their Facebook page a few months ago but I have to be honest in writing that I really didn't pay a hell of a lot of attention to them at the time. Truth be told I forgot I had access to the group until the Vice story was published, but after reading the English version I thought I would give them the once over.

Suffice it to say, they weren't pleased by the Vice article:

So upset in fact that Nick Gallant posted not one, but two videos to respond to the coverage. I'll deal first with the video he posted on September 10 but be warned that should you choose to watch the whole thing, you will be subjected to nearly 20 minutes of claiming not to care but then engaging in relentless self-pity, whining about being prejudged (and holy hell is that ironic given the content of their closed Facebook group), and numerous retorts that are more akin to "I know you are but what am I?" than anything resembling a cogent argument:


If ARC readers decide not to watch the video, I'll helpfully provide a very brief synopsis. Basically, Gallant claims that the media has misrepresented them in order to be able to print more negative stories about the Northern Guard in the future. In fact, they are not racist, anti-Muslim, misogynists, but are in fact a charitable organization that helps people. lots of people. More people than any of the "keyboard warriors" who are critical of the Northern Guard.

Certainly those who responded to Gallant's video agree with him, though the presence of one individual may be somewhat problematic:

Uhm.... if they want to be perceived as not being racists, they might want to consider that the Goudreau isn't going to help their image one bit:

But then perhaps I'm not being fair? After all, they may not be as familiar with the Goudreau as ARC and ARC's readers may be and if they learned who he was he would perhaps be given the boot.

So let's instead look at posts by leaders and members of the Northern Guard who are in good standing to better discern the nature of the group and if they were misrepresented by the big, bad, msn.

10 September 2017

"Not" Racist WCAI Leadership And Supporters Finding It Unusually Difficult To Actually NOT Be Racist

Yesterday Jesse Wielenga had been scheduled to be holding a rally in Winnipeg. A week or so before the event was to take place, Wielenga suggested that he and the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam would not actually show up and that the WCAI were done with rallying. While this remains to be seen in the long run, Wielenga and any WCAI member who happen to live in Manitoba, or those who would take a Greyhound as Joey DeLuca did in August to attend their failed Vancouver event, were actually true to their word and did not participate.

The same can not be said of antifa and other activists who showed up en masse and, by all accounts, had a really good time.

Still, WCAI vice-president Jesse Wielenga was active online September 8.

So was former WCAI member Jeremy Phillips and WCAI supporter Devon Mannix:

Yeah, for a group that continually denies being racist, they sure sound racist as hell.

In fact, both Wielenga and especially Mannix, turn the hatred up a notch when it becomes clear that racial and religious segregation would only be the first stage of a desired project:

9 September 2017

Woman Who Verbally Attacked Jagmeet Singh Tied to Rise Canada

ARC's readers are already well aware of the incident in which a woman verbally attacked NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh at an event in Brampton, ON. Of course the woman isn't named, but activists were able to figure out who she was pretty quick:

Jennifer Bush has been a frequent attendee at a number of anti-Muslim events including those held in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto and is suspected of being involved in the anti-Muslim protests of the Peel school board. Ms. Bush also looked familiar and while I initially couldn't place her, a journalist was able to make the connection.


Bush, along the dude who tore apart a Quran at a Peel Region District School Board meeting in March, and Ron Banerjee, participated in an event hosting then Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch who was at the time stoking fears of Muslims for fun and profit.

UPDATE 2: She also appeared at a protest at a Mississauga where she and the Rise Canada crew harangued children:

Protests Planned For September 30 Because.... Reasons?

While I anticipate that the anti-government and Islamophobic rallies that have marked the past spring and summer with diminishing returns will start to decline as fall arrives and cease almost altogether as winter takes hold, the folks the blog keeps an eye on appear to be getting at least one "national event" by the end of the month.

Among the primary organizers of this "national event" is the Storm Alliance. ARC's readers will recall that the Storm Alliance broke off the Soldiers of Odin some time back and is lead by the former national SoO vice-president and former Quebec leader. His second in the Storm Alliance, Colin Oleary, posted the following video earlier last month to let people know that people would be "rising up" across the country to "stand up for Canada":

Oh yes, there's a storm coming people.... eventually. Truth be told there's half a minute of silence where Colin just sort of stares at his camera while smoking and another full minute and twenty-eight seconds of Colin acknowledging the people logging on while waiting for others to appear. The eye of the hurricane is indeed a bit awkward:


Now, Colin is sure people will "rise up" and "stand up for Canada" but he's not entirely clear as to why and for what.

6 September 2017

Ryan Dean's Bizarre Leap of Logic

There was a time when I or the other writers (when there were other writers) would post "fan mail" from our detractors because it was funny as hell. I haven't done so in a while, and though this doesn't necessarily constitute "fan mail" it is indeed funny as hell.

Sometimes, one enjoys a good laugh.

I started ARC almost 10 years ago and have been involved in some sort of anti-racist work and activism for about two decades so by this point there's not a hell of a lot that surprises me. So I guess I owe some kudos to Ryan Dean, because his profound lack of self-awareness and a delusional sense of accomplishment that makes even the Goudreau appear reflective and lucid by comparison is somewhat novel.

ARC readers will remember the article posted on September 2 in which I briefly discussed Ryan Dean's much ballyhooed "Operation Boom." Dean, in concert with the leadership of the WCAI, resurrected the "Guardians of Alberta" name and claimed to be holding an anti-Muslim rally at Calgary City Hall. A number of individuals and groups showed up to oppose the group. The police arrived for form a barrier between the protesters and anti-protesters. However in the end, there were no anti-Muslim protesters who showed up. Instead, Dean began bragging about how he embarrassed the counter protesters for.... reasons I guess? I'm still not entirely clear, though the fact that no anti-Muslim protesters showed up costing the city $50,000 proved definitively that "patriots" in fact "owned the streets."

I think that's what he meant? Or maybe since he wrote "who's street" he thinks that there's someone names Patriot Streets that people should be looking for in the city:

3 September 2017

Disguised B&H Leader McKee Gets Far To Close To Prime Minister Trudeau

I haven't written a great deal about Calgary's Blood & Honour, though I have been keeping an eye on them. For the most part their public profile has been relatively low with the occasional flyer and/or sticker promoting the group being found around Calgary. They have however hosted a number of private events, some of which have been discussed on the blog, at their new club house. Their online activity seems to be primarily trolling news personalities and Calgary businesses that have somehow run afoul of the racist gang:

The trolling has helped myself and others figure out a few things about the growth and membership of Blood & Honour Calgary which may be shared at a later date. That said, it is no doubt frustrating for the targets of these online attacks, however is is mostly childish and quite frankly a bit embarrassing that this has been the most public form of activity that McKee and co. have been engaging in.

But then there's the kind of "trolling" that is much more concerning because it represents a major security breach.