On October 21st, more than a thousand people acted on a call to counter-protest for the defence of trans youth’s rights and inclusive sex ed, called by a coalition of queer and antifascist groups including the Pink Bloc. This call was officially endorsed by more than fifty organisations, including unions, student associations, teacher associations, feminist groups, militant collectives, community sector organisations, and more.
The goal of this action was to block the path of a demonstration organised by the transphobic, homophobic “Ensemble Pour Protéger Nos Enfants” (“Together to protect our children”) group in response to a canada-wide call from 1MillionMarchForChildren. The political agenda of this demonstration and its associated groups includes censorship of queer and trans subjects in schools, forcing educators to out trans youths to their parents, and the broad removal of trans healthcare for young folks. Through their statements, they claim to want to protect children, but even the most basic research will show you that these groups want to reinforce parental control on youth, and to give parents the ability to prevent their children from expressing themselves how they want, and from being themselves.
This negates the right to youth self-determination, to freedom of expression, and to safety and security.
In the weeks leading up to their demonstration, political and personal infighting broke out between the groups and individuals involved in their organising, creating division and confusion in their ranks which greatly diminished their turnout.
On our end, we saw a panoply of movements, groups, and individuals join our struggle and decide to form a common front against hate and exclusion!
By 9am on October 21st, we had occupied the space outside 600 Fullum Street with canopy tents, music, and food. By 10am, we had already formed a large crowd despite the rain and the cold, and occupied the whole block on Fullum Sainte-Catherine to Notre-Dame. Across police lines, towards Notre-Dame, around a hundred anti-lgbtq demonstrators had gathered by around 11am. These demonstrators were dissapointed by their low turnout and were kept far away from their planned meeting point in front of 600 Fullum.
Although the struggle is never over, we can all collectively congratulate each other for our enormous success. We succeeded in completely dispersing the demonstrators and were able to declare total victory at 1:30pm, all while ensuring a secure and festive space at the heart of our counter-protest. Our mobilisation efforts in the community and union sectors were unprecedented for this type of action. This resulted in bonds of solidarity that will be crucial in the long term, and allowed us to develop strategies and resources for counter-protestors which will be indespensable in our future mobilisations.
This was a beautiful show of solidarity by and towards our community, affirming that protecting children also means protecting trans children and teens by offering them a safe environment and defending their rights to self-determination.
Young trans folks are able to evaluate their situation, their identity, and their relationship with the world, and to make decisions to improve their lives, whether or not these decisions please their parents. We are the queer and trans youths of yesterday, who affirmed ourselves throughout the years, and who grew into adults who are comfortable in the bodies and identities that represent us. No one has the right to deprive today’s youth of this.
Going forward we will continue to develop and form solidarity bonds, notably with struggles against islamophobia, in opposition to homonationalism and pinkwashing which use lgbtq+ rights as an excuse to justify attrocities, and with mobilisations for Palestinian liberation.
Congratulations to everyone who was there on the 21st, and thank you to all who supported us!
We hope to not have to organize another counter-protest for a long time, and we will see you in the streets in solidarity with Palestine!
3. In light of comments we’ve received concerning the inclusion of Disney songs in our playlist, we would like to mention that in no way do we support Disney. Playing copyrighted music is a frequently used tactic to ensure livestreams are taken down by social media platforms, and Disney is known to be particularly strict in enforcing their copyrights. Livestreams are frequently used by far-right actors to doxx our comrades. We unequivocally support the BDS movement and calls to boycott Disney for their support of Israeli apartheid, and we will be sure to select different copyrighted music next time.
4. We will soon publish an article developing this idea further
Since 2017, Montréal Antifasciste has regularly mentioned a local neo-Nazi named Shawn Beauvais MacDonald in its publications. However, we have never taken the time to devote a full article to him. As he has clearly never questioned his beliefs in the face of negative attention and continues to drag his carcass—usually decorated with neo-Nazi symbols—through the streets of Montreal, we decided to correct this oversight. This is all the more important now that we’ve learned of his recent attempts to infiltrate Palestine solidarity demonstrations and other spaces that should be safe, inclusive, and in solidarity with the groups and people whose destruction this individual seeks. Let’s be perfectly clear, Beauvais MacDonald is stridently racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic and, of course, crassly antisemitic.
What follows is a portrait of one of the Montreal area’s most visible and unrepentant neo-Nazis, who, in recent years, has collaborated in one way or another with most of Québec’s white supremacist and neo-fascist projects. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that Beauvais MacDonald is not a once lost sheep, now back on the fold, but that he is to this day a white supremacist militant, ideologically fanatical, hardened, and irreformable. We hope that his case will be widely publicized, so that this despicable individual can never feel comfortable anywhere in our city.
[Note: Some of the information in this article has already been published in recent years.
Warning: this article contains racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, and antisemitic content].
A subsequent analysis of the images captured during these events shows SBM at the torchlight march on August 11, chanting the anti-Semitic slogan “Jews Will Not Replace Us!” He was also spotted wearing a distinctive red baseball helmet in clashes the following day, during which, he later explained in an episode of the American alt-right podcast “Late Night Alt-Right,” he suffered an elbow injury.
SBM Never Misses an Outing…
We didn’t know it at the time, but we had crossed paths with him several times in the preceding months. Investigations into SBM after Charlottesville revealed that he had, in fact, been an active member of La Meute, the Islamophobic populist group formed some time earlier by veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces. For a time, it seems, he managed La Meute’s anglophone social media accounts. Notably, he was present for La Meute’s baptism by fire in Montréal on March 4, 2017 (the first in a series of Islamophobic demonstrations), which he attended with several other members of a small local alt-right group whose existence we were to discover only a little later (see below). On this occasion, he and a comrade found themselves briefly among the anti-racist counterdemonstrators. The two scumbags were encouraged to leave with a kick in the ass after having the bright idea to call the counterdemonstrators “race traitors.” He would later explain to his peers that his involvement with La Meute was primarily aimed at propagating his “race-based” philosophy and his ethnic (read: racist) nationalist vision.
In December 2018, he was identified in our “Unmasking Atalante” article as a member of the Montreal chapter.
On September 30, 2019, he distributed sandwiches in Montreal’s Quartier Latin and the Village. A few Atalante members posed in front of Berri Metro station and tried to intimidate customers at the L’Escalier bar, without much success.
In September 2019, SBM was identified, among others, in our article “Chasing Atalante: Where Do the Fascists Work?” where we revealed where he worked and studied. Thereafter, he seemed to distance himself from Atalante, possibly to avoid muddying the reputation of Raphaël Lévesque, who was then preparing for his trial in the Vice Québec affair. Nonetheless, he was part of the security detail that accompanied Lévesque to his court appearances.
An analysis of these discussions quickly revealed that SBM was at the heart of the group and was one of its most active militants. During this period, he was probably involved in neo-Nazi postering campaigns, in particular pasting up posters produced by “Dark Foreigner,” Patrick Gordon Macdonald, a prolific graphic designer and propagandist now charged with terrorist activity by the Canadian justice system. The “Dark Foreigner” propaganda is notably associated with the reissue of the book Siege, by James Mason, considered the bible of contemporary neo-Nazi movements, and the activity of the Atomwaffen Division network, now designated a terrorist organization in Canada and a number of other countries.
SBM also promotes the identitarian group ID Canada (born of the same alt-right networks and modelled on the European example of Generation Identity and similar organizations), designed by racist activists as a more “socially acceptable” vehicle for promoting white nationalism in Canada. ID Canada stickers appear notably in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district, where SBM lives.
Under cover of the false irony that characterized extremist alt-right forums and message boards, SBM made absolutely unabashed and aggressive racist, antisemitic, and misogynist comments on the “Montreal Storm” Discord server. As if to confirm his involvement in this milieu, SBM turned up, on July 1, 2017, in Old Montreal, with other members of the Alt-Right Montreal group, including the alleged leader, Athan Zafirov, alias “Date,” to harangue an anti-colonialist demonstration.
During this period, he posted on Facebook under his own name and, later, under the pseudonym “Hans Grosse,” a reference to a famous Lufftwaffe pilot (and a character in the video game Wolfenstein).
In spring 2018, following the publication of a series of articles in the Gazette about Gabriel Sohier Chaput and the Alt-Right Montreal group (articles based in large part on the investigative work of antifascist militants), an aggressive postering campaign was organized in the NDG district to make the community aware of the presence of SBM and his comrade Vincent Bélanger Mercure. The next day, SBM was seen frantically tearing down posters bearing his photo and personal information.
During the 2019 federal election, SBM served as bodyguard for independent candidate in LaSalle-Ville Émard-Verdun, Julien Côté Lussier, an Immigration Canada employee who leads a double life as a white nationalist ideologue (he’s a spokesman for ID Canada, among other things) and a leading light in the local alt-right scene, where he goes by the pseudonym “Passport.”
The Pandemic Years
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, SBM could be found on the Telegram platform, where he still operates under the pseudonym “FriendlyFash.” At this point, his profile caption is “Meine Ehre heißt Treue” [my honour is called loyalty], an SS motto. SBM is active in the chat room of the local white supremacist group White Lives Matter Québec (WLM). He and other members of this group showed up at an anti–health measures demonstration in Montreal on January 22, 2022.
In March 2022, he turned up in the same chat room as another die-hard neo-Nazi, Sylvain Marcoux, discussing the hate speech trial of his former comrade Gabriel Sohier Chaput. He also promotes the “Active Club”» (AC), a direct descendent of the Rise Above Movement (RAM), explicitly affirming the need to develop some sort of militant neo-Nazi combat club in preparation for the coming race war. SBM had already expressed his support for RAM founder and AC spiritual father Robert Rundo. The Frontenac Active Club (the Québec section of the network) was born out of the WLM Québec discussion group. We know that the young Raphaël Dinucci, alias “Whitey,” who was undoubtedly directly influenced by SBM, is today the administrator of the Telegram channel WLM Québec and a leading activist at the Frontenac Active Club.
We have no direct evidence of SBM’s involvement in the Frontenac AC project, but it’s reasonable to infer it, if only on the basis of his past publications. He is certainly a kind of “godfather” to that scene. Another hint of his involvement came on April 21, 2023, when Frontenac AC stickers appeared in Montreal’s Village neighbourhood on the eve of an anti-fascist event being held nearby. On the evening of the event, SBM had the crazy idea of showing up alone at the Yer Mad bar, an establishment well known for its far-left anti-fascist leanings, no doubt with the aim of intimidating the clientele. Instead, he was aggressively removed by antifascists who arrived shortly afterwards.
SBM has been seen regularly on the streets of Montreal in recent months, always wearing neo-Nazi symbols, including a totenkopf pin that he wears on the lapel of his coat collar. When he’s recognized, he usually reacts in an aggressive manner, taking advantage of his imposing physique, making hard eye contact, and generally behaving like a lunatic.
Recently, SBM has been spotted at demonstrations organized in solidarity with the people of Gaza, who are being targeted by the latest ethnic cleansing operation carried out by the State of Israel. It’s important to note that he appears to be there alone, walking through the crowd without interacting with anyone, suggesting that he has no real contact with the pro-Palestine movement. It was against this backdrop that he posted a lengthy antisemitic diatribe on Instagram after the October 13 demonstration in downtown Montreal. In fact, during the week of November 20, he changed his Instagram account name from “FriendlyFash88” to “Awakened_amalekite” (a biblical reference to the enemies of the Israelites).
He was seen again at the November 4 demonstration, and on that occasion was expelled by the demonstration’s security service at the instigation of anti-racist comrades. He was seen and confronted again on November 11, but then disappeared in the crowd. This is one of the motivations for producing this article: to communicate to the wider community and to the driving forces of the Palestine solidarity movement this neo-Nazi’s intention to infiltrate their ranks. It is out of the question that the movement’s adversaries be allowed to exploit the presence of this isolated bozo to demonize the entire movement. He must be immediately and systematically expelled whenever he attempts to infiltrate spaces of solidarity with Palestine.
Let’s be perfectly clear: Shawn Beauvais Macdonald was and is a white supremacist and a neo-Nazi. He can still be seen in public adorned with neo-Nazi symbols, so it would be completely unreasonable to believe that he’s reformed, and any claim to that effect should be rejected. There is no space for him in any inclusive space.
Let’s Increase the Pressure…
Since appearing on the radar of Montreal’s anti-fascist community, SBM has suffered a series of setbacks and inconveniences. First, he lost jobs when his participation in the Charlottesville protests was revealed. Posters exposing his activities were put up in his neighborhood. He was visited by antifascists at his home (2045 rue Elmhurst, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce). Then leaflets denouncing him were distributed at the Centre intégré de mécanique, de métallurgie et d’électricité (CIMME), where he was briefly enrolled in 2019.
SBM currently routinely trains at the Nautilus Plus in LaSalle (he used to frequent the Nautilus Plus downtown). Sympathizers regularly pass on information about him, particularly on the bus routes where he is regularly seen. Of course, we have no intention of leaving him alone. If you have any other useful information to share with us, particularly about Shawn Beauvais MacDonald’s current employment, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Fascists out of our neighbourhoods; no quarter for fascists!
Comments Off on Report-back from the October 21st Counter-demonstration in Defense of Trans Youth
Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info
Saturday, October 21 in Montreal saw a face-off between a shrinking coalition of religious conservative transphobes and a counter-protest in defense of trans youth. TL;DR: trans defenders won.
Called as a Canada-wide day of action by “1 Million March for Children”, with the group “Ensemble pour protéger nos enfants” (hereafter EPPNE; “Together to protect our children”) leading the Montreal event, it was the follow-up to the clashes on September 20th in front of McGill University. That day, an unexpectedly large crowd, mostly composed of Muslim families, with children holding signs reading “I belong to my parents” and shouting transphobic and homophobic insults, confronted an underprepared counter-protest and succeeded in marching through downtown Montreal, leaving trans defenders and their queer and antifascist comrades shaken.
EPPNE called their demonstration in front of 600 Fullum, the address of the Quebec Ministry of Education, to whom they address a series of demands concerning school curriculums that is but a pretext for seemingly limitless transphobia. We recommend checking out Montréal Antifasciste and P!nk bloc for more detailed perspectives on the developing political context, including the impact of war in the Middle East (it turns out the advocates of one genocide can be divided concerning another). This report-back will emphasize the tactical dimension of what we observed on the 21st.
The EPPNE protest was called for 11am, and the counter-protest was announced for 10, with the intention of occupying the area first. Predictably, it was barely past 8am when the dedication of a small group of early arrivals allowed us to claim the street in front of 600 Fullum and relegate the EPPNE organizers, who arrived at 8:15, to a patch of grass between the south side of the building and the bike path running alongside the highway. Dozens of police were already on site, and they cordoned off a segment of the roundabout at the bottom of Fullum with police tape to create a buffer zone between the two groups, informing counter-protesters that crossing the tape would be considered a criminal offense.
If we gathered in front of the offices housing the Ministry of Education, it was not as defenders of the education system, which, as a general rule, seeks to turn children of all genders and sexualities into docile subjects of settler-colonial capitalism, respecters of democratic authority, workers and consumers with the ability to ask questions but not too many. Rather, holding the space where the transphobes planned to be denies them the visibility they crave and demonstrates that we will stand in their way, wherever they may try to organize publicly.
Both sides arrived to a scene that had been covered in antifascist, pro-trans, and pro-Palestine graffiti the night before, with the ministry building, construction machinery and nearby walls bearing tags including “YOUTH LIBER(A)TION [&] TRANS LIBER(A)TION NOW!”, “Dykes for Palestine” and “Fuck transphobes”. Together with the rapid setup of five canopy tents directly in front of 600 Fullum, which would serve as a logistical base camp for the counter-protest and provide us occasional shelter from the rain, it could not have been more clear who controlled the space where the transphobes had intended to gather, or that our fight extends beyond the liberal defense of a tolerant social order.
Our numbers gradually then more quickly swelled as 10am approached. The arrival of a sound truck (a couple powerful speakers strapped to the bed of a pickup) helped to introduce a festive vibe. And newcomers were dispatched to one of two mobile units, color-coded pink and black (people with mobility restrictions or who just preferred to hang out around the base camp could do so).
One note concerning mass media cameras: a CTV News cameraman was spotted wandering the crowd in front of 600 Fullum, filming counter-protesters from close range. Guidelines published in the lead-up to the 21st had encouraged attendees to wear masks and watch out for mass media and livestreamers, but we’re not aware of planning around making sure journalists couldn’t freely explore our infrastructure, in areas where some people would be having private conversations or inevitably removing masks to eat or drink. Comrades took the initiative to confront the CTV crew and physically expel them after they refused a verbal request to leave. While banners and umbrellas can work well against media approaching our hard lines, we need to also be able to repel those who find their way into areas like those for welcoming newcomers. We think a team dedicated to this task is probably the best move going forward.
Around 9:30am, the pink unit moved north on Fullum to begin blocking the street at the top of the block, just south of Sainte-Catherine. They would hold this position, allowing new arrivals of our side to enter and denying entry to transphobes, for the remainder of the action. Because this intersection was the main access point for protesters who were arriving from Papineau metro or from street parking to the north, the pink unit blockade succeeded in turning away numerous anti-trans protesters, who left thinking the EPPNE protest had been cancelled or completely overwhelmed by the counter-protest.
Shortly after 11am, the black unit set off to try to make its way around the police lines protecting the anti-trans protest at the bottom of Fullum. After turning left on Ste-Catherine from Fullum, there was an altercation with a lone fascist wearing a t-shirt reading “Kill All Pedophiles”, who was knocked to the ground. About one-hundred-strong and protected by multiple side banners, the black unit moved two blocks west, then turned south on De Lorimier, before being blocked from turning east on René-Lévesque towards the EPPNE grouping by a line of riot police. For about 45 minutes, they held the intersection of De Lorimier and René-Lévesque, not able to advance closer to the transphobes, but blocking another possible access route from the metro to their gathering point, and blocking the way toward the Gay Village and downtown for any march (national 1MM4C organizers had called for marches at 1pm).
Outnumbered roughly tenfold under pouring rain, gradually being encircled by multiple groups of counter-demonstrators, and their march route to downtown blocked, the EPPNE crowd was visibly demoralized. Some vented their frustrations on their Facebook Lives, telling (and showing) viewers how much better organized our side was and reprimanding theirs for not showing up. One remarked on Whatsapp that their opponents were “only 0.33% of the population. But very smart and evil.” And we can only take that as a compliment.
Close to noon, the black unit met up with a group of reinforcements at the corner of Ste-Catherine and De Lorimier and set off again southward, with a plan. Upon reaching René-Lévesque, one contingent stopped and faced the line of riot police like before, forcing them to stay in place, while the rest of the group, about a hundred people, continued south, then cut east through the gap between two buildings. Despite these movements being slowed by some general confusion, the SPVM appeared completely on their heels for the first time that day, their plans for protecting the anti-trans protest at risk of breaking. Police vans sped around the corner, and a half-dozen riot cops moved in, shouting at the contingent to reverse course, as one made a show of loading his rubber-bullet gun and others brandished pepper spray. This intimidation succeeded in holding the crowd back for long enough that a number more riot cops and bike cops could arrive and form a proper line. Hopefully, these experiences with coordination in the streets will nourish our tactical imagination and help us prepare even better for next time.
The following map shows the final positions of the transphobes, counter-protesters and police:
Shortly thereafter, as the black unit regrouped on De Lorimier, word spread that EPPNE had called the dispersal of their protest, confirming their defeat by not even attempting to march and needing to instruct their attendees on safe routes out of the area.
There was so much going on in different places across the multiple city blocks spanned by the counter-protest on the 21st that it would be impossible to give a comprehensive account in one report-back, though we want to send a specific shout-out to everyone who ensured the delivery of food or served it and to everyone who held banners for hours on end.
While the logic of counter-protest can place us on the defensive, intuition tells us that we can move beyond a purely reactive posture — that we have something to gain — when we get organized on a basis of solidarity and put our faith in each other rather than media, law or the police.
On a Friday morning in June, something like 200 fascists descended upon Broadview and Carling in suburban ottawa. By the time they’d formed up, a blockade of defenders had already taken the north side of the intersection. Over the next several hours, those two large contingents split into smaller blockades spanning several blocks, with a series of confrontations that ended in around 400 defenders completely corralling the fascists off. There we stayed until the end of the school day, leaving the fash with no one to harass or proselytise to and heading home victorious.
Through the last months of face-offs, our enemies have gotten bolder and more willing to be violent. This demo brought supporters in from all across the country, even one guy from all the way down in Florida. On top of all the regular pushing, shoving and punching, people were sexually assaulted and threatened with dogs. There was at least one credible knife sighting. Many of us were hurt, some injured in ways that lasted beyond that week.
But we’ve also witnessed some pretty goddamn beautiful collective skill-building through being in the streets together over and over after the convoy. The difference in discipline and open-ness to militance from the much-mythologised shitshow of Billings Bridge is drastic. Not that long ago, it was hard to imagine anyone just showing up in black bloc on ottawa streets – and if they did, they were immediately badjacketed by marshalls.
In contrast, on June 9, we had walls of banners multiple rows deep, at multiple heights, completely shutting out livestreamers’ cameras. As the day went on, they broke into four smaller, maneuvrable units to cover the terrain. Honourable mentions also go to black umbrellas and pole-mounted banners with text facing inwards at our own people – “WEAR A FUCKING MASK” and “STOP FILMING” – caught on camera by liberal streamers who characteristically ignored the messages. Bloc crews saw their fashion choices working just as intended. Fash tried and failed miserably at picking out individuals from the crowds, accusing anyone in black of anything and everything.
Set the tone and people will follow
The most inspiring part of that day has to be how readily people stepped up to wall off the fash – even if it meant chasing after them as they popped up out of side streets left and right. It wasn’t just the usual bloc crews and trans punks holding down those lines, it was everyone, government employees, grandparents and other Love-Not-Hate types. Even the most cynical among us hardly noticed if anyone was urging peace and non-confrontation.
It turns out civil servants will follow the lead of a vest and megaphone even if they’re calling to confront fascists head-on. It’s hard to tell how much of that is a growing familiarity and acceptance of antifascist tactics in ottawa and how much of that is just liberals’ deeply ingrained desire to follow authority – any authority, apparently.
Sometimes, liberals can also be handled by just keeping their hands busy. At the start, the crowd kept making way for clusters of cops, risking the police splitting our side down the middle and forcing us off the street. A massive horizontal pride banner, requiring about a dozen pairs of hands to hold taut, and other banners were distributed to the back. Redirection worked to prevent them from parting again though they’d never dare, or want, to knowingly stand in the cops’ way.
Trans liberation means youth liberation
There are three schools along those few blocks of Broadview: Notre Dame High School, Broadview Public School (K-8) and Nepean High School. Billboard Chris chose this specific street and these specific schools for a reason – because on October 18, 2021, students from that neighbourhood completely fucking humiliated him and ran him out of town.
As governments all around Canada go all-in on attacks on trans youth, we must understand that trans liberation requires youth liberation. It means liberation not only from right-wing legislators and parents who want to own their children but all the carceral power of the state. It means understanding schools as themselves a site of violence through police and policing by staff. It means empowering trans kids to exercise their own agency while showing them that they aren’t alone in this three-way fight. It means the end to adult supremacy and settler colonial power as a whole.
Tout le monde déteste la police
June 9th was probably the biggest police response a lot of new antifascists in ottawa have seen. Near the beginning, bike cops faced up against our frontlines and we braced ourselves, expecting them to try to bash their way through us. Instead, our numbers grew and we reinforced our lines. They seemed to give up on gaining full control of the terrain, though they got in more than their fair share of assaults against us in defence of the fash. But we held our positions even as the cops had to call for water and switch out their overheating forces.
The arrest count at the end of the day was 5 catch-and-releases, no charges. Of those 5, 4 were defenders and 1 was a brown teen on the other side. As always, the cops couldn’t be clearer about their allegiances. Though no one has to shell out for legal fees or mass-delete Signal chats this time around, that still means being identified to the state and unmasked in full view of the fash.
We also had the first uses of pepper spray against our side in a while. And some mainstream media journos – much as they’re not our friends, either – got shut out by the cops. A drone watched us throughout, now a regular feature of community defences in ottawa. All this reminds us of RCMP tactics, catch-and-releases and media exclusion zones at Fairy Creek. Is that a coincidence, or is our new chief pig bringing out the tricks he tested in his old job out west? We’re seeing shifts in police tactics now, away from their mostly hands-off approach to the left in the past couple years but different too from the police lines that would whale on our comrades pre-2020. Where that’s headed remains to be seen.
Ottawa is one of those cities where everyone leaves or burns out. It often seems like no one still around remembers that fascists rallied in ottawa long before January 2022. So as shit keeps heating up, we want to remind the folks who got into this through the pandemic or convoy about the recent history of pig violence and repression against antifascists in ottawa.
While we hope we won’t have to deal with them again so soon, we should all be reminding ourselves what to do when arrests happen. The crowd was slow to respond when people were grabbed and hauled away. Some belatedly rushed in with umbrellas to block streamers’ cameras, but far too late. When that one youth was arrested, those around him visibly turned away. (We know what the cops can do to brown kids and we know the fascists aren’t going to have his back. Opposing white supremacy means being against it even when a youth’s chosen the wrong side.) Possible witnesses for narrowly-avoided legal cases vanished with no way to get in touch. We should count ourselves lucky and make sure we’re prepared for the arduous task of supporting someone through charges if and when they stick in the future.
As always, we keep us safe
In the wake of that June demo and in the months after, we’ve seen more and more calls for government action, safe zones, pride funding for safety and security (cops-and-cops-and-more-cops). To that, we say: not in our fucking names.
When heads of corporate prides come together with their fancy press conferences to beg Daddy Trudeau for more money for their TD-sponsored festivals, we call it what it is: a fucking insult. We reject the co-optation by politicians and nonprofit who spit in our faces by making us into victims and not proud defenders.
We must remember that June 9th was an unequivocal victory. No amount of politicians wringing their hands and crying in the press can change that we fucking did that. Trans people and our comrades-in-arms corralled hundreds of violent fascists and held them in place for over two hours. We did it ourselves, despite the best efforts of the police to stop us. And we can and will do it again. In the face of resurgent fascism, neoliberal co-optation and state repression, we will win.
Talking with Louve Rose from P!nk Bloc Montreal about Quebec’s transphobic far right, drag defence, and building a revolutionary anti-capitalist queer organization for both community self-defence and to intervene against gay assimilationism.
This text was produced by the Montréal Antifasciste collective and printed in zine format for free distribution at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, May 27-28, 2023.
In the wake of emerging crises (economic, climate, migration, health, etc.) and in the absence of a structured alternative on the left of the political spectrum, a right-wing wind is currently blowing across the world that nothing seems to be slowing down. In keeping with this trend, the far right is on the rise in a number regions across the world, both in its reactionary and institutional forms (loyal to the systems in place) and in its so-called revolutionary forms (hostile to the systems in place), especially in the United States and in some Western European countries, including Italy and France, but also in Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, in the Middle East, and in India, to provide but a few examples. With a few months’ or a few years’ delay, Canada and Québec are also impacted by this trend, as much in terms of institutional politics (e.g., the populist turn of the Conservative Party of Canada and the media breakthrough of the Conservative Party of Québec) as in terms of soft power (e.g., in Québec, the dominant influence of the Quebécor empire’s media on the “agenda”) and popular or pseudo-popular movements (e.g., opposition to health measures).
The so-called “Freedom Convoy,” which paralyzed the Canadian capital for several weeks in the winter of 2022, confirmed the convergence of several phenomena that are superficially distinct but all play a role in the re-emergence of the far right: a leadership partially derived from supremacist movements and groupuscules that are influenced by the alt-right and “accelerationist” principles (but that are above all rooted in the anti-Trudeau resentment that characterizes western Canadian populism/separatism), anti–health measures conspiracy theory (including a New Age and alternative health component) rooted in confusionism and misinformation propagated by far-right actors, and a populist undercurrent taking advantage of the growing (and largely legitimate) hostility toward political and economic elites.
On the one hand, a combination of anti-racist and anti-fascist mobilizations, as well as internal tensions and dissension, the institutionalization of some of their demands, and finally the global COVID-19 pandemic greatly destabilized (and in some cases neutralized and eliminated) these organizations. On the other hand, the pandemic provided some actors—both familiar faces and newcomers—the opportunity to push the populist right and the far right in new directions, and the current period is marked by the emergence of a number of new projects strongly to the right of the traditional conservative right. Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly, the mainstream and institutional political and cultural landscape continues to shift to the right, with potentially serious consequences in the short and medium term. In that context, we offer this—no doubt incomplete—overview of the current situation in Québec.
We are acutely aware of the difficulty of providing a concise and precise definition of a phenomenon as complex as fascism, but for the purposes of this pamphlet and the orientation of the Montréal Antifasciste collective, we propose the following definitions:
Fascism is an anti-liberal, ultranationalist ideology centered on re-founding an imaginary version of the primordial nation,* which has been lost to “modern decadence,” liberal values, and equality-seeking groups, and which is to be restored through the forced consolidation of hierarchies and the normalization of discrimination against different categories of humans (on the basis of gender, “race,” social status, sexual identity, culture, religion, ethnic origin, etc.). The far right designates the currents of thought and political action, both within and outside of the system, that are more radical than the traditional conservative right in consolidating these hierarchies and normalizing relations of oppression and discrimination, thus favouring the emergence of fascist formations.
Anti-fascism refers to the people, organizations, social movements, and currents of thought and action that oppose not only realized fascism but also all the political, social, and cultural factors that facilitate the re-emergence of a fascist spirit and the realization of old or new fascist forms. including xenophobic and reactionary national-populist agendas, neo-fascist, “revolutionary nationalist,” and neo-Nazi groups, as well as confusionist conspiracy theory currents that recycle far-right themes. Liberal anti-fascism largely operates within the limits established by the capitalist system and the bourgeois order. Radical anti-fascism favours a far-reaching egalitarian reorganization of society, i.e., freedom from systemic hierarchies and discriminations, including capitalism, white supremacy, colonialism, and heteropatriarchy. The diminutive “antifa,” which was coined in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, generally refers to radical anti-fascism.
* This definition is based on the work of the British historian and political scientist Roger Griffin.
From La Meute to the CAQ: The Institutional Integration of Islamophobic and Anti-Immigration Demands
Montréal Antifasciste was formed shortly after the Islamophobic rallies organized by La Meute in Montréal and Québec City on March 4, 2017. These coordinated demonstrations, which came just weeks after a mass shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Québec City left six dead and many seriously injured, were intended to protest Motion 103 (M-103), a non-binding resolution aimed primarily at getting the federal government to recognize the importance of “condemning Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination,” which passed on March 23, 2017. In the following years, La Meute and other similar projects—Storm Alliance, the Front patriotique du Québec, Soldiers of Odin Québec, and later the so-called Gilets jaunes and the Vague Bleue among them—organized multiple Islamophobic and anti-immigration demonstrations and actions in Montréal, Québec City, Trois-Rivières, and Ottawa, as well as at the border crossing of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle and at Roxham Road. These latter mobilizations demanded the closure of the “irregular” passage used by a relatively large number of refugee claimants under the provisions of the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the US. From the outset, these demonstrations were flanked by half-assed militias (inspired in part by the III% and US alt-right street-fighting groups like the Proud Boys), including the Groupe Sécurité Patriotique and the Gardiens du Québec, as well as various well-known local far-right figures seeking to pick a fight with anti-fascists.
Although these formations and mobilizations may have seemed marginal at the time, they were, in fact, part of a much broader right-wing drift of the institutional political field in Québec, which had been taking place since the so-called “reasonable accommodation” crisis in 2006–2007. The CAQ’s arrival in power in 2018 served to accelerate this process, as was quickly confirmed by Bill 21, which, under the pretext of ensuring the “secularity of the state,” clearly targeted Muslim women and other religious minorities. The CAQ’s obsession with immigration thresholds during the election campaign (now recuperated by the PQ) also betrayed a populist desire to satisfy the demands of an electoral base among whom the Islamophobic and xenophobic sentiments expressed by La Meute resonated strongly. Despite official denials, in an interview with Radio-Canada in 2019, François Legault half-heartedly admitted that Bill 21 was a “compromise” of sorts with the Islamophobic movements:
Pour éviter les extrêmes, il faut en donner un peu à la majorité. […] Je pense que c’est la meilleure façon d’éviter les dérapages. » […] On délimite le terrain, parce qu’il y a des gens un peu racistes qui souhaiteraient qu’il n’y ait pas de signes religieux nulle part, même pas sur la place publique. [To avoid extremes, you have to give the majority a little bit. . . . I think that’s the best way to avoid slippage. . . . We are marking out the terrain, because there are people who are a bit racist and would like there to be no religious signs anywhere, not even in the public square.]
No one missed the point, especially not the leaders of La Meute, e.g., Sylvain Brouillette, who during the 2018 election said that the CAQ advanced La Meute’s ideas, and vice versa:
“Si La Meute est sur le bord du racisme, cela veut dire que vous l’êtes aussi, M. Legault. […] c’est ceux qui pensent comme vous que vous traitez de racistes.” [If La Meute is a bit racist, that means that you are too, Mr. Legault. . . . You are calling people who think like you racist.]
Quand ils disent qu’ils n’ont rien à voir avec La Meute, c’est assez risible. Les revendications de La Meute, c’est exactement le programme de la CAQ et c’est là-dessus qu’il a été élu. [When they say they have nothing to do with La Meute, it’s quite laughable. The demands of La Meute are exactly the program of the CAQ, and that’s what he was elected on.]
The fact is that the institutionalization of the xenophobic and Islamophobic demands of groups like La Meute may have contributed as much—if not more—to their obsolescence and decline as the anti-fascist opposition and the many internal crises that have plagued them (power struggles, financial malfeasance, sexual assault accusations, etc.). Nothing illustrated this phenomenon as grotesquely as the Vague Bleue movement (2019), which ultimately demanded nothing more than what the CAQ government was already putting in place, while puerilely protesting against the media organization (including the TVA network) that is largely responsible for the right-wing drift that in no small way fed the growth of the national-populist movement.
Of course, the reframing of the political landscape on the right is continuing today without the contribution of these groups. Every day, the Québecor media empire, primarily through the work of a small army of reactionary columnists, engages in mass ideological structuring whose discourse is often found in the mouths of elected CAQ officials. The proof is in the fanatical resistance to recognizing the existence of systemic racism and François Legault’s recuperation of the “woke” strawman in National Assembly debates. Mathieu Bock-Côté, whose 2020 book L’empire du politiquement correct was praised by Legault, whose column “Éloge de notre vieux fond catholique” was recently diffused by Legault, and who peddles his rants about the imminent fall of Western civilization in the pages of Le Journal de Montréal and on TVA/LCN on a daily basis, is undoubtedly one of the most important purveyors of far-right ideas in the mainstream, both here and in France (where he served as a mouthpiece for Éric Zemmour during the last presidential election, and where he is still active as a columnist and regular contributor on various far-right platforms, including CNews, Causeur, Valeurs actuelles, etc.). Yet, at home, he is still portrayed as a moderate conservative, and any attempt to associate him with the far right is met with anti-“woke” hysteria.
While unquestionably a win for the CAQ, the recent closure of Roxham Road was also another triumph for the xenophobic movements that have been clamouring for it for years.
Finally, the relative vacillation of the CAQ on various issues, including immigration thresholds and, more recently, its flip-flop on the third link, opens up a space on its right, which Éric Duhaime and his Conservative Party of Québec are happy to occupy with a toxic mix of libertarianism and populism that has enormous appeal for the disappointed fringe of the CAQ’s base and carries current far-right obsessions into the mainstream (including the “anti-drag” hysteria, to which we will return below).
Whatever the institutional context, in 2023, La Meute only survives online and is a shadow of its former self (which was not much to begin with), and Storm Alliance has completely disappeared from the map. The same goes for the Front patriotique du Québec, which organized nationalist marches every July 1 for several years, the Groupe sécurité patriotique, the Gardiens du Québec, the Gilets jaunes du Québec, and all the groupuscules of greater or lesser consequence that formed during that period. However, some of the leading activists of these organizations, including Steeve “l’Artiss” Charland (La Meute) and Mario Roy (Storm Alliance), recycled themselves into the anti–health measures movement that gained momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we shall see below. Donald Proulx’s Parti patriote and other similar fringe groups continue to exist but have no significant influence.
What Happened to the Hardcore Fascists?
One of the Montréal Antifasciste’s major preoccupations in the 2017–2020 period was to track and document the trajectory and activities of the group Atalante, which, in some ways, is both a contemporary iteration of the Québec white power movement, whose origins can be traced back to the bonehead groupuscules of the 1990s, and a sort of vanguard of the European-inspired identity/neo-fascist (specifically, revolutionary nationalist) movement in Québec. Atalante has arguably been the most developed and determined group that Montréal Antifasciste has opposed to date.
When Atalante was founded in 2016, the organization could already count on a number of activists from the Québec City Stomper Crew and, more generally, from the Québec neo-Nazi milieu. Unlike most of the other groups discussed in this text, which we have watched emerge and disappear in recent years, Atalante’s members were already ideologically and politically trained, notably through the activities of the Fédération des Québécois de souche and its own precursors, such as the Bannière noire. Moreover, the organization that clearly inspired Atalante, from its foundation to its most minor actions (to the point of using the same style of lettering on its banners), did nothing to reassure us: CasaPound is an Italian neo-fascist organization, founded in 2003, which claims several thousand members, is well established in several Italian cities, and makes life hard for immigrants and anti-fascists.
Atalante is, to all intents and purposes, based in Québec City, despite some unsuccessful attempts to create a functioning cell in Montréal and the presence of a few activists scattered across the province (notably in the Saguenay). As for our collective, as its name indicates, it is based in Montréal, and this distance has prevented a full and far-reaching mobilization against this Québec City–based neo-fascist group. We must salute the anti-fascist activists in Québec City, who were initially few in number but nonetheless tirelessly fought on the ground against Atalante, its members, and its ideas.
The existing context—a favourable political climate (Islamophobia and the resurgence of identity-based nationalism) was initially a winning recipe for Atalante, which reached sixty members and sympathizers at its peak in 2018–2019, in addition to having a receptive audience within the national-populist movement. When it opened its boxing club in 2017, we feared that the next step would be opening a meeting place for organizing its political activity, which would have marked a clear turning point. Following the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” we decided to put the necessary energy into preventing Atalanta from flourishing and taking root. From 2017 to 2022, the Montréal Antifasciste collective produced a series of articles aimed at combating Atalante’s toxic ideas and publicly exposing its members.
The existing context—a favourable political climate (Islamophobia and the resurgence of identity-based nationalism) was initially a winning recipe for Atalante, which reached sixty members and sympathizers at its peak in 2018–2019, in addition to having a receptive audience within the national-populist movement. When it opened its boxing club in 2017, we feared that the next step would be opening meeting place for organizing its political activity, which would have marked a clear turning point. Following the adage “prevention is better than a cure,” we decided to put the necessary energy into preventing a group like Atalanta from flourishing and taking root. From 2017 to 2022, the Montréal Antifasciste Collective produced a series of articles aimed at combating Atalante’s toxic ideas and publicly exposing its members.
Under the combined impact of constant negative attention from anti-fascists and the banning of the organization from the main social media platforms, which had served the dual function of showcasing the group’s politics and recruitment, Atalante’s activities had dramatically dwindled by late 2019. Raphaël Lévesque and Louis Fernandez’s legal setbacks certainly didn’t help: the assault at the bar Lvlop in December 2018 cast a pall over the organization, and Lévesque’s trial in the Vice case did not provide the political showcase hoped for. It also appears that a number of interpersonal conflicts may have diminished cohesion within the group and led to the creation of sub-cliques. Finally, the members of Atalanta, as “anti-system” as they say they are, seem to have gotten caught up in the system as they have passed their thirties and forties: more comfortable jobs, families, and houses in the suburbs do not lend themselves to revolutionary nationalist militancy.
Since 2020, the group’s outings have become less frequent, and there are fewer activists in the photos. The pressure on the region’s anti-fascists has almost entirely dissipated. The podcast L’armée des ondes, launched in October 2020 to revive the group’s activities and mainly broadcast on its Telegram channel, was initially released every month but has been slowly fading since 2022. In the winter of 2021–2022, the group did attempt to gain a foothold in the anti–health measures movement, without much success. On June 24, 2022, we were informed that the band Légitime Violence participated in the “La Saint-Jean de la race” event organized by Nomos.tv and Alexandre Cormier-Denis.
Since then, key Atalante members seem to have recycled themselves in counter-cultural or professional projects. Cerbère Studios, registered with the Registraire des Entreprises under the name of Félix-Olivier Beauchamp, probably gives graphic design contracts to the couple Étienne Mailhot-Bruneau and Laurence Fiset-Grenier. Louis Fernandez was for a time registered as head of the company Saisis la foudre/Éditions Tardivel, with Gabriel Drouin, but the company was struck off in 2021. Jonathan Payeur, for his part, has teamed up with neo-Nazi musician Steve Labrecque to run a distributor of identity/neo-Nazi clothing under the banner Pagan Heritage (at the time of writing, however, the distributor’s website appears to be empty and inactive). The group’s suspected main ideologue Antoine Mailhot-Bruneau keeps a low profile and continues to work as an ambulance driver in Lévis. Raphaël Lévesque, now a father, seems to be alone when he tries to intimidate anti-fascist activists. That said, we cannot say that this means the official end of Atalante. Nothing prevents a future resurgence of the group in one form or another. A handful of militants, including Jo Payeur, recently emerged from under their rock to pay homage to their intellectual master Dominique Venner, who committed suicide. Nevertheless, it can be said that the group’s activity is largely at a standstill at the moment.
The Rest of Them
For its part, the neo-Nazi-inspired Islamophobic group Soldiers of Odin Québec, which drew attention to itself with a series of public outings and provocative actions in 2017 and 2018, did not last long after coming up against real-life anti-fascists. Despite a change in leadership, the group never recovered and now seems to have disappeared completely.
The Fédération des Québécois de souche (FQS), with its website and its newspaper Le Harfang, has long been one of the most important Québec far-right platforms for information and ideological formation. Founded in 2007 by neo-Nazis, the FQS has been taking a large-tent approach for more than a decade, creating a milieu where reactionary and “revolutionary” far-right families rub shoulders—probably not without tension. At the time of writing, the domain name quebecoisdesouche.info seems to have been hijacked or not renewed, and the last posts on the FQS Twitter account date back to 2020. LeHarfang’s Telegram channel, which has 288 followers at this point, is still very active, however, and appears to be the group’s main platform. LeHarfang, whose most recent issue (Spring 2023) focuses on the “Great Replacement” theory, continues to be published as well. Based on the most recent available information, the paper is headed by the pseudonymous FQS author Rémi Tremblay, as well as by Roch Tousignant and François Dumas, dinosaurs from the Cercle Jeune nation, who were already trying to unify the different tendencies of the far right in the 1990s. (On this subject, see the pamphlet Notre maître le passé?!? Extrême droite au Québec 1930–1998.)
In the same family, the Front canadien-français, which was inspired by its fundamentalist Catholic precursors, the Cercle Tardivel and the Mouvement Tradition Québec (close to the FQS), as well as the Alexandre Cormier-Denis’s projects, proved to be a shooting star in 2020, its key activists never quite recovering from an article exposing them to the light of day. However, a few of its activists bounced back in 2022, creating a new nationalist project, the Nouvelle Alliance (NA). Strictly speaking, it would be going too far to call this groupuscule fascist at this point, but it is also rather difficult to pinpoint its political programme, except to say that it is part of the conservative pro-independence tradition and tends toward confusionism. What can be said with certainty, however, is that its activism is directly based on Atalante’s methods (posters, collages, banner drops, commemorative rallies, all relying heavily on an ostentatious social media presence). As we have seen, these tactics are derived from European neo-fascist movements. Recently, NA activists have been seen at CF Montreal games (making explicit threats and successfully alienating all fan groups in the process), signalling an intention to enter “cultural” spaces historically contested by fascists. We are also told that NA activists are intimidating environmentalist students, which also indicates a clear desire to antagonize the left and anti-fascists. Without dwelling on the previously mentioned affiliation with the FCF and the affiliation of individuals already identified with the far right, it is quite obvious that behind the image of a preppy nationalism that has more or less shed the stench of the explicitly fascist groups, the same ulterior motives underlie the activity of this new project. Even if it is ambiguous, their sticker with the famous slogan “Le Québec aux Québécois” should leave no doubt about this, given the context. In any case, if they were seeking the attention of anti-fascists, they have it.
Another notorious fascist who strenuously denies being one (because fascism, as is well known, completely disappeared from the face of the earth in 1945) is Alexandre Cormier-Denis, who, with his acolytes, hosts the web TV channel Nomos.tv. Since its inception, Nomos has promoted an explicitly racist and xenophobic ultranationalism, generally reactionary, but not necessarily hostile to “revolutionary nationalism” (Cormier-Denis rolled out the red carpet for Atalante’s Raphaël Lévesque in June 2020). In addition to its support base in Québec, this ethno-nationalist project has found a particularly favourable echo in French identity networks in recent years, as confirmed by the high level of activity on Nomos’s public Telegram channel and the ridiculous accent Cormier-Denis has adopted in his news capsules for some time now. Cormier-Denis also warmly supported the candidacy of Éric Zemmour (whom he facetiously refers to as the “magic Sephardic”) during the last French presidential elections, which drew the wrath of rabid antisemites like Sylvain Marcoux (see below). Cormier-Denis and Nomos adhere to the metapolitical strategy theorized by the French far right from the 1980s onwards (in the bosom of the Groupement de recherche et d’études pour la civilisation européenne—GRECE), which consists of betting on the gradual transformation of the cultural and ideological landscape until the general context is deemed favourable for the seizure of political power by the far right. This strategy has been pursued in France for more than a generation and (among other factors) explains why Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National is getting closer to power every election cycle.
The Nomos channel was deplatformed from YouTube in October 2021, in response to a complaint from the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, and its hosts chose to transfer their activities to the Odyssey platform, retreating to a pay model. Despite this, it is reasonable to say that Nomos.tv is currently a leading far-right ideological vehicle in Québec.
And the Neo-Nazis
The activity of neo-Nazi scum in Québec has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years, but has never entirely disappeared.
Someone who had a strong opinion on Zeiger’s trial was Sylvain Marcoux. Marcoux and his Parti nationaliste chrétien (PNC) have not had a very good year. After being arrested in August 2020 for criminal harassment and intimidation of public health director Horacio Arruda, and having to publicly apologize in September 2021 to avoid serious consequences, Marcoux was unable to get his Nazi-inspired party recognized by the province’s Chief Electoral Officer during the provincial election in autumn 2022. No matter, Marcoux and his PNC cronies, including a certain Andréanne Chabot, run rampant on Telegram and Twitter, where they create new accounts every time they’re banned.
Recently, Sylvain Marcoux appeared on the sidelines of an anti-drag demonstration in Sainte-Catherine, on the South Shore of Montréal, where he received a hands-on greeting from the anti-fascists gathered there to block the homophobes.
A couple of other bozos also decided to make an appearance at the event, namely, White Lives Matter (WLM) activists, who had been the subject of an article in Montréal Antifasciste in March 2022. Two of them, Raphaël Dinucci St-Hilaire (from Laval) and David Barrette (from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), also quickly learned that trans and queer people know how to defend themselves and now will have to deal with being identified as part of this white supremacist organization, with all the inevitable consequences that come with that.
The same goes for Shawn Beauvais MacDonald, another well-known neo-Nazi and WLM chatroom regular, who we strongly suspect is linked to the creation of a new local activist project, similar to WLM, the Frontenac Active Club. According to the Anti-Defamation League:
Active Clubs are a nationwide [and international] network of localized white supremacist crews who are largely inspired by Robert Rundo’s white supremacist Rise Above Movement (R.A.M.). Active Club members see themselves as fighters training for an ongoing war against a system that they claim is deliberately plotting against the white race.
On April 21, 2023, Frontenac AC stickers appeared on Atateken Street in Montréal’s Village, and on the same day there was a post on the Telegram channel @FrontenacAC claiming responsibility for the stickers, with the caption “J’débarque en drift à la pride, mon capot inclusive.” The message explicitly refers to car attacks like the one that claimed the life of Heather Heyer on August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the sidelines of the Unite the Right supremacist rally (which Shawn Beauvais MacDonald attended). The next day, after a book launch co-organized by Montréal Antifasciste at the Comité social Centre-Sud, which is a stone’s throw from where the Frontenac AC stickers were put up the day before, Beauvais MacDonald had the bizarre idea of showing up alone at the Yer’Mad bar, a well-known Montréal far-left hangout, with the obvious goal of intimidating the clientele. Having been informed of his presence, anti-fascists quickly arrived on the scene and expelled him manu militari. This sequence of events leads us to believe that Shawn Beauvais MacDonald is a key player in this new initiative. Frontenac Active Club stickers have also recently appeared in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Bromont.
In the Québec City area, the near disappearance of Atalante has left a void, but the neo-Nazis are never far away. In the spring of 2019, the neo-fascist outfit’s flagship group, Légitime Violence, attempted to hold a show with French neo-Nazi black metal band Baise ma hache in a Québec City community center, but community vigilance forced them to take refuge at the bar Le Duck. This establishment seems to cultivate a certain sympathy for neo-Nazis, since it hosted members of the Légitime Violence entourage, WLM activists, and Nomos sympathizers in June 2022 for an event called “Saint-Jean de la race.”
It is also worth drawing attention to a curious phenomenon that created ripples in the Québec City hardcore scene in 2023. Last February, a new band called R.A.W. began to create a buzz. With a little digging, we learned that this acronym stands for Rock Against Wokism (a not-so-subtle reference to the neo-Nazi movement Rock Against Communism). The famed “wokism” is personified in their visual material by a graphic of Justin Trudeau eating a knuckle sandwich. There are, of course, countless reasons to be angry with Justin Trudeau and his government, including the fact that he serves capitalist interests, but we don’t think that his defence of minorities is one of them. (It should be noted that the band’s visuals are loosely based on those of the metal band Pantera, whose singer also occasionally likes to throw up the stiff-armed salute.)
If that isn’t enough, the band’s drummer is Philippe Dionne, a former member of Légitime Violence, which doesn’t seem to bother the other members of the group all that much. For his part, singer Martin Cloutier, a follower of Tucker Carlson, Breitbart News, and other American far-right scum, made a confusing attempt to explain the band’s approach but only managed to publicly expose his transphobia.
The band had planned a show for March 4, but the province’s anti-racist hardcore scene quickly mobilized, and one after another the bands that was supposed to share the bill cancelled. The show ended up being held at Studio Sonum, known for employing fascists, with only one other band, Corruption 86, whose singer Laurent Brient is known to have also been a member of the white power band Bootprint, as well as for participating in an attempt to form a chapter of the neo-Nazi group Volksfront in the early 2010s. Birds of a feather flock together.
Other neo-Nazis in the region who we’ve previously mentioned continue to operate to varying degrees: Gabriel Marcon Drapeau continues to sell his Nazi junk under the Vinland Stiker banner, notably at the Jean-Talon flea market in Charlesbourg (whose administration seems to have tolerated a neo-Nazi selling Nazi merchandise there on a regular basis for months). Speaking of junk, earlier we mentioned Steve Labrecque and Jonahtan Payeur’s Pagan Heritage project.
The Anti–Health Measures Spiral, Conspiracy Fantasies, and the “Reinfosphere”
More than once, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Montréal Antifasciste addressed the apparent convergence of certain far right-wing currents with the conspiracy movement and “conspirituality,” an anti–health measures phenomenon arising from hippie/New Age circles. Despite the increasingly blatant and widespread links between these three trends, which in Canada led to the grotesque “Freedom Convoy,” some voices on the left have been (and still are!) defending this convergence as the expression of a legitimate popular revolt against the elites, which should be joined and supported (the most cynical would say exploited) rather than denounced and fought against in view of its reactionary, egoistic, and anti-science dimensions.
We continue to believe that this is a gross analytical error, given the most recent orientation adopted by the conspiracy theory milieu, and that the anti–health measures spiral of the last few years is both a manifestation of the far right and an opportunity for it to spread its themes and obsessions. In doing so, it pushes the Overton window, the spectrum of acceptable ideas among the general population, considerably to the right. In an effort to reach a wider audience, anti–health measures echo chambers were established on social media during the pandemic (largely based on the xenophobic/Islamophobic echo chambers of the previous period), and the conspiracy theory milieu has in recent years equipped itself with dissemination platforms inspired, sometimes explicitly, by the concept of “reinformation” developed by the French far right over the last twenty years.
This is particularly true of the Lux Media project (formerly the Stu Dio), hosted by André “Stu Pit” Pitre, which openly acknowledges adhering to this concept. Pitre and his collaborators not only spread all the conspiracy fantasies in vogue (countless variations on the theme of deadly vaccines, climatoscepticism, the grooming panic and pedosatanism, Trump’s “Big Lie” and other motifs from the QAnon phantasmagoria, etc.), as well as innumerable other conspiracy fantasies, along with an untold number of crude lies (one could question Pitre’s sincerity and moral integrity, as he seems primarily concerned with maintaining his revenue streams), and many historically far-right topics, including the Great Replacement and other alleged machinations of the “globalists” (an antisemitic euphemism/dog whistle) to wipe out Western civilization. Just a few years ago, these themes were only discussed in the far-right ideological spheres, e.g., the Fédération des Québécois de souche, but the combined influence of the national-populist circles of the 2016–2019 period and the more recent anti–health measures conspiracy theory milieu have had the effect of greatly broadening the pool of people exposed to them. Confusionism—the deliberate blurring of the meaning of political words and concepts and their misuse for malicious purposes—is another means employed by these actors to manipulate minds and encourage adherence to this toxic assemblage of misleading rhetoric, conspiracy fantasies, and far-right clichés.
In a perpetual quest for clicks (whether to maintain their revenue stream or their newly acquired small-star status), a small army of conspiracy leaders and influencers exploit the anxiety generated by the crises of the current world, the fear of change, and the great credulity of a part of the population—which is fostered by the very nature of social media and the legitimate distrust of the mass media—to misdirect and fanaticize a base already susceptible to conspiracy fantasies. This insidious mechanism means that the conspiracy “agenda” is increasingly influenced, if not determined, by the far right, with the two becoming more closely linked.
The so-called “Freedom Convoy” of 2022, which was organized from the outset by activists identified with the far right, marked an acceleration in this respect. Opposition to compulsory vaccinations was quickly transformed into opposition to vaccinations altogether, and soon enough conspiracy theories and other elements of discourse that were at odds with reality became increasingly important in the rhetoric of the convoy’s ordinary supporters. Keep in mind that the Farfadaas, led by Steve “l’Artiss” Charland, former La Meute lieutenant, were deeply involved in the convoy and in the movement opposed to the health measures, as was Mario Roy, a leading figure in Storm Alliance and other Islamophobic groupuscules of the 2016–2019 period.
Last February, a year after the convoy was dismantled, Christine Anderson, a member of the European Parliament from the far-right German party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), was invited to tour Canada on the basis of her support for the convoy. The tour was sponsored in Québec by the Fondation pour la protection des droits et libertés du people, whose main spokesperson, Stéphane Blais, has become known for his outlandish legal actions against the Québec government. (Note: the organizers of Anderson’s conference in Montréal had to move the event out of the city due to anti-fascist pressure). Recently, another conspiracy influencer and money-maker, Samuel Grenier, announced that he was organizing a series of events in the summer of 2023, using the same approach, this time with a member of the French far-right Rassemblement National (RN).
However, the most significant recent development in the Québec conspiracy theory milieu from an anti-fascist perspective is the rapid increase in fanatical anti-LGBTQ+ discourses, which are both a central element of contemporary conspiracy fantasies and a recurring theme of the alt-right and the religious far right. In Québec, the “anti-drag” hysteria, which has already done significant damage in the United States on an institutional political level, is mainly driven by the anti-vaccine activist François Amalega Bitondo. He is close to evangelical currents that monetized the pandemic, including Carlos Norbal, the pastor-entrepreneur (sic) at the head of the Église Nouvelle création, and the hosts of the ThéoVox.tv channel, Jean-François Denis among them. He is also a recurring guest on Lux Media and has a strong influence on the conspiracy theory milieu through his regular interventions on social media. He is now fully dedicated to the anti-LGBTQ+ crusade, having notably organized (or attempted to organize) a series of protests against the artist and educator Barbada’s Drag Queen Story Hour. So far, these rallies (April 2 in Sainte-Catherine and May 16 in Mercier-Est) have been crushed by the trans and queer anti-fascist community, but at the time of writing, Amalega shows no sign of slowing down his homophobic/transphobic campaign and has issued a call to demonstrate in Jonquière on May 26. A call that his followers in the region seem disposed to respond to.
The strong anti-fascist opposition to the conspiracy theorists hateful offensive surprised many—including Amalega himself—when they came up against a form of resistance they had largely been spared until now. On this topic, let’s quote the Montréal Antifasciste report on the April 2 counter-demonstration:
It’s worth noting that the conspiracy theory milieu was largely spared having to deal with anti-fascists during the last three years of the pandemic. In spite of the close and often explicit proximity of the far right to conspiracy theory fantasies, the challenges raised by the health measures had to do with personal decisions, and responding to people and vaguely defined organizations whose key shortcoming is to adhere to anti-scientific nonsense is complicated and far from straightforward. Nonetheless, a line is crossed when these conspiracy theory fantasies directly target our communities and compromise our security, whether in the short-, medium-, or long-term, and that is the line the anti-drag movement has crossed with its ridiculous panic, and it is absolutely essential to deliver the message that queer and trans communities will defend themselves in the face of this intimidation. There should be no doubt: if the queerphobes/transphobes persist in their demonization exercise, they will always come face to face with us. Queers bash back, darling…
The Galaxy of “Reinformers”
In addition to the platforms already mentioned, such as Nomos.tv and Lux Media, a number of other media projects are actively participating in this convergence of the conspiracy theory and far-right spheres.
Perhaps the most influential during the pandemic was Radio-Québec, hosted by Alexis Cossette-Trudel. Radio-Canada demonstrated in 2020 that Cossette-Trudel was one of the main purveyors of QAnon delusions in the world. He was deplatformed (from Facebook in October 2020 and from Twitter in January 2021), but the new administration of Twitter, which is a great ally of the far right and disinformation, has recently seen fit to give him access to his account again. Radio Média remains without doubt one of the most important conspiracy platforms in Québec.
Another project that has emerged in the context of the pandemic on a quasi-conspiracy platform with a strong right-wing bias is Libre-Média. Its editor in chief is Jérôme Blanchet-Gravel, a sort of squalid Mathieu Bock-Côté pretender, who has made misogyny a way of life. Claiming to defend “freedom of the press and freedom of expression,” Libre-Media, in fact, takes up all the themes of the anti–health measures conspiracy movement and relays many of the conspiracy fantasies in vogue, accompanied by an aggressively “anti-woke” editorial line.
Rebel News Québec, a local chapter of Ezra Levant’s alt-light media project, described by Radio-Canada as a “fake news site,” was launched in 2022. It is essentially a one-woman show of the very cringe-worthy Alexandra (Alexa) Lavoie, assisted by a certain Guillaume Roy. Its style is messy and incompetent (while claiming professional journalism status), but that doesn’t matter, because the purpose of the enterprise is to provoke and fuel the anger of the conspiracy theory base. One only has to look at the particularly pathetic coverage of the defense action against the anti-drag mobilization on May 16 for an example.
We have already touched upon the evangelical platform TheoVox.tv, a web TV studio and “ministry” that promotes and feeds the obsessions of anti–health measures conspiracy theorists by wrapping them in a moralizing hyper-conservative discourse. TheoVox regularly welcomes François Amalega on its platform, where he freely spreads his hatred of LGBTQ+ people. Amalega is also a favourite of Pastor Carlos Norbal, who occasionally even invites him to preach at his Sunday services!
There is also a whole galaxy of more or less influential conspiracy vloggers, who together form a closed ecosystem where conspiracy fantasies with a fascist overtone circulate freely. These include Stéphane Blais, Dan Pilon, Amélie Paul, Samuel Grenier, Carl Giroux, Jonathan “Joe Indigo” Blanchette, Mel Goyer, Maxime “le policier du people” Ouimet, and a plethora of other similar nutbars.
Let’s close this overview by mentioning Jean-François Gariépy’s Odyssey channel (an alternative to YouTube that is extremely welcoming to the far right, where Nomos.tv has taken refuge). Gariépy is a Québec ethno-nationalist who enjoys considerable notoriety and influence on an international scale in what remains of the alt-right milieu.
Take Stock of the Problem and Respond Accordingly
Obviously, there is no simple solution to the rise of the far right or to the endemic problem of the conspiracy fantasies that are infecting a considerable section of the population through social media. However, it is important to know the sources of the disease and its main factors if we hope to contain it to some extent. It is also important to understand the mechanics by which these fantasies foster the fanatization of the conspiracy theory base and the rise of the far right, whose themes are increasingly exploited by the same malicious “reinformers.”
The question then arises as to how to turn things around. As we have already written, these developments are above all conditioned by systemic factors: a crisis of confidence in the institutions of power, multiple interlocking crises (including that of capitalism itself), the heteronormative white middle class’s loss of bearings and the erosion of its privileges, the integration of the programmatic elements of the populist right into the cultural and political mainstream, etc. Basic logic would, therefore, dictate that any proposal for a sustainable solution should take these factors into account and should also be systemic in nature.
It is also important to consider the attitude of the system to these phenomena and to anticipate its consequences for our own movements. It is worth mentioning, for example, how the state and the different centres of capitalist power use the fear of fascism to consolidate new tools of repression. In the case of the “Freedom Convoy,” the use of the Emergencies Act, the demonization of organizers, and the various ways in which the fear of fascism was invoked by right-wing and liberal commentators to justify extraordinary measures of repression provide an example. Not only does liberal anti-fascism not challenge the system, it can easily become a convenient way to consolidate a repressive political system and reaffirm the legitimacy of the state and its right to crush its opponents, regardless of their ideological position. As we wrote a few months after the convoy:
Some progressive observers who had been fulminating about the conspiracy theory movement for months joined the standing ovation when, following a lengthy grace period, the occupation was faced with a mild form of repression. More than a few of them also welcomed the application of the Emergencies Act to suppress a few hundred frustrated cranks. That sort of enthusiasm for repression betrays a poor understanding of the relationship between the bourgeois state and social movements. The primary utility of the measure for the government, beyond the immediate powers conferred to cripple this expression of anti-vaxx organizing, is creating a precedent for suppressing future manifestations of popular dissent and disobedience, whether they be progressive or reactionary. This precedent should give pause to anyone who sympathizes with movements for social and economic justice, decolonization, or environmentalism, which might, at some future point, feel the need to engage in civil disobedience. It’s not terribly difficult, for example, to imagine what the reaction of the state will be when an Indigenous community next decides to adopt extralegal means to defend its territory or when a new generation inevitably decides to take direct action to demand radical social and governmental transformation to address the pressing climate crisis we are facing. While this exceptional legislative measure was used on this occasion against a group with reactionary impulses that we find repugnant, there is nothing to guarantee that it won’t be invoked in the future to squash demands that we feel a strong commitment to. History teaches us that repression is almost always much more energetically and forcefully used against progressive movements than it is against reactionary movements.
So, in 2023, what are our prospects for effectively countering the normalization of far-right themes and the dangerous reactionary convergence described above, as well as the reproduction of the systems of domination that cause it? We believe that part of the challenge we face is to link the multitude of particular expressions of resistances into a broad and unitary anti-fascist social movement. That is, to multiply solidarity so that, for example, the anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-heteropatriarchal aspects of the anti-fascist struggle (and any other dimension) progress simultaneously and link up with the ecological and anti-capitalist movements. To quote again from our May 2022 text:
As anti-fascists and anti-capitalists, we believe it is necessary to think these issues through and develop a resistance not only against the far right and the fascist threat but also against the bourgeois state and the related institutions of power that reinforce neoliberal hegemony and the colonial order. The bourgeois state is not interested in our well-being, and the interests of different social classes are irreconcilable today, just as they always have been. . . . Faced with the far right and the fascist threat, on the one hand, and neoliberal hegemony, on the other, our greatest hope is to see the forces devoted to freedom rally around a project that is simultaneously anti-racist and anti-fascist, feminist, anti-capitalist, and anti-colonial.
Of course, we also have to get down to the difficult task of deconstructing conspiracy discourse and exposing its right-wing roots, without getting lost in it. This is easier said than done, given Brandolini’s law, which states that “the amount of energy needed to refute nonsense is an order of magnitude greater than that needed to produce it.” Nonetheless, reason must triumph, so we must collectively find the means to solve this problem.
In the same vein, we feel one essential task is the daily deconstruction, in our living and working environments, of the anti-woke hysteria that has poisoned the public space in recent years. By definition, a person who claims to be anti-woke is essentially claiming to be opposed to anti-racism and anti-sexism and to be anti-equality, anti–social justice, and, ultimately, anti-empathy! In other words, to be anti-woke is to admit one’s dismay at a world that is changing and evolving toward greater acceptance of difference and diversity, toward a breakdown of white and heteropatriarchal supremacy, and toward a situation of more widespread justice and equality. This is the very definition of a reactionary mindset, and we feel it is necessary to combat this trend, which is increasingly present in the public space and the general culture. Without necessarily accepting the label of “woke” (which at this point is, in any case, nothing more than a hollowed-out caricature), our movements must recognize and continue to promote the importance of “staying woke,” in the original sense of the concept, i.e., remaining sensitive to systemic injustice and inequality and dismantling them to the best of our ability.
Finally, as always, “we invite our supporters to renew their commitment to anti-fascist practice, i.e., to popular/community self-defence, without ever losing sight of the revolutionary horizon. For true emanAs anti-fascists and anti-capitalists, we believe it is necessary to think these issues through and develop a resistance not only against the far right and the fascist threat but also against the bourgeois state and the related institutions of power that reinforce neoliberal hegemony and the colonial order. The bourgeois state is not interested in our well-being, and the interests of different social classes are irreconcilable today, just as they always have been. . . . Faced with the far right and the fascist threat, on the one hand, and neoliberal hegemony, on the other, our greatest hope is to see the forces devoted to freedom rally around a project that is simultaneously anti-racist and anti-fascist, feminist, anti-capitalist, and anti-colonial.cipation will never be achieved by petition.”
 The “reasonable accommodation” crisis is a sequence of controversies largely fabricated and hyped between 2006 and 2008 by the populist media of the Québecor empire and opportunistic political parties, including Mario Dumont’s Action démocratique du Québec (a direct precursor of the Coalition avenir Québec, formed in 2011) and the Parti québécois, whose “charter of values” project (2013) was championed by Bernard Drainville, who is today… a minister in the CAQ’s cabinet!
Warning: this article contains explicitly homophobic, racist, and antisemitic elements
A demonstration “against LGBTQ+ propaganda in schools and institutions” is to be held in Québec City on July 8. The demonstration is part of a series of events that have been taking place in Québec for some time, with the apparent aim of demonizing LGBTQ+ communities and their allies. The pretext for holding the rally in front of the Musée de la civilisation in Québec City is a current exhibition examining “the multiple realities linked to gender identities.”
François Amalega Bitondo, whom we have mentioned several times in recent months, is involved in this mobilization, but he is not the instigator. Perhaps to bolster his somewhat shaken credibility, this time he has teamed up on Facebook with some mysterious “young people” who claim to be behind the action.
Who are these young people, and where exactly is this call to demonstrate coming from? This article aims to show that the initiators of the July 8 anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration are, in fact, a small group of young keyboard neo-Nazis (including one we’ve been following for a few years) and that the support base for this mobilization is firmly anchored in Québec’s far-right and neo-Nazi networks, including the entourage of Sylvain Marcoux’s Christian Nationalist Party, which clearly exerts considerable influence over these young minds.
In light of the information provided in this article, it is clearer than ever that the communities concerned and their allies must mobilize and resist by any means necessary the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ hatred, which is clearly encouraging fanaticism in conservative and conspiracy theory circles these days.
For several weeks following the creation of the Facebook event by a certain Lucas Ali Boucher Thériault on June 8, 2023, the only two publicly listed organizers were Thériault and conspiracy theory activist François Amalega.
More recently, other co-organizers have been added, including Carl Giroux, an anti–health protocols influencer, and two other individuals who seem to be connected (at least via social media) to young Boucher Thériault: Justin Crépeau, from Québec City, and the “Chose Mat” account.
Lucas Boucher Thériault is a resident of the Lanaudière region (Joliette, Saint-Jean-de-Matha) who is no more than fifteen or sixteen years old, but who has already been on our radar for a few years, due to his dubious activities on social media. We’ve been following him on Instagram and Twitter, as well as on Discord, where he created an “identitarian” channel when he was just thirteen.
By the summer of 2021, his activity already betrayed a far-right orientation, and it is clear that young Lucas has only become more fanatical since then. As well as adopting all the well-known antisemitic motifs (on Twitter, he recently recommended a neo-Nazi propaganda documentary that is extremely popular in these networks), his discourse has focused incessantly on LGBTQ+ communities, which he associates entirely with “grooming,” i.e., the grooming of minors for the purposes of sexual exploitation. This longstanding far-right obsession, combined with the established homophobia that comes straight out of religious morality, has been getting the conspiracy theory circles all worked up recently, as evidenced by the hallucinatory (and explicitly transphobic) language surrounding recent attempts to mobilize against drag queen story hours.
In June 2021, Lucas Boucher Thériault created the Instagram account “lucas_le_patriote”; from summer to winter 2021, several other accounts were also created under different pseudonyms, and numerous clues (photos, clothing and accessories, cross-references and redundancies, etc.) made it easy to link these accounts to Lucas Boucher Thériault. The screenshots below indicate that the accounts “Metalbuzz268,” “Vector_the_boss,” “Blair_insta_,” “Tomate_kasher88,” and “Lucasbackup14” are all administered by Lucas Boucher Thériault. Note the use of the numbers 14 and 88, two notorious neo-Nazi codes, and the many other far-right references. Even in the absence of conclusive evidence, we believe that the “Tabarnak38tabarnak” account is part of the same little system. However, it could also belong to a friend. We leave it to our readers to draw their own conclusions.
From June to August 2021, Lucas Boucher Thériault was also active on the Discord platform, under the pseudonyms “Commander Lucas” (Christian Power) and, later, “Loyalty.” After creating the “Québec identitaire” channel (first called “Xero’s Anti-Governement,” then “Nam Deus”), he and others discussed the creation of a patriotic militia, to which he devoted a chat room. He even published a “manifesto” (in reality, a very bad English essay), the metadata of which reveal his identity. It was at least partly in this toxic broth that he became a fanatic.
It is perfectly reasonable to think that Lucas Boucher Thériault is just a child in need of attention who has made a series of deplorable choices under the influence of malevolent ideologues; that’s absolutely true. However, as soon as this young person’s bad choices led him to advertise himself as a neo-Nazi—for several years, with no sign of any desire to consider the direction he was drifting in—and finally to publicly organize an anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration, a red line was crossed. We believe that it then became necessary to denounce him in an equally public way. The same reasoning applies to the other young people named in this article.
We take no particular pleasure in introducing this young man and his cronies to the consequences of their actions, but some important lessons have to be learned the hard way when basic common sense or parental guidance aren’t enough to correct the faulty direction in life. Neo-Nazi nonsense behind a keyboard is one thing; organizing in real life is quite another. It’s never too early in the game to understand that the consequences are proportional to the level of commitment.
Signal-Boosting the July 8 demonstration
There is, therefore, no doubt about Lucas Boucher Thériault’s role, but we also believe it would be useful to trace the origins of this call to demonstrate the chronology of the signal-boosting, which reveals the role of other Nazis in this shambolic plan.
On June 2, the Telegram channel “Comité Anti-Grooming” was created, describing itself as a “group of dissidents opposed to LGBT propaganda aimed at young people.” The call to demonstrate was published there.
It was also posted on Instagram on June 14 by an account of the same name (recently renamed “anti_grooming_quebec”), which another Instagram user publicly stated was administered by Justin Crépeau. First interesting coincidence.
We have also learned that Sylvain Marcoux was part of the small « Comité Anti-Grooming » Messenger group where the idea for the July 8 demonstration was developed.
On June 7, 2023, the Telegram account “FierCF” (@Skullmaskowner1488) posted the appeal on the public chat channel Nomos-TV.
It should be noted that the “FierCF” account avatar when this was published was a Totenkopf (SS insignia) and the username was @Skullmaskowner1488 (the skull mask and the number 1488 are two broadly recognized neo-Nazi references). The user in question later changed his username to @fuckni**rs1488 (the racist word is redacted here), and more recently to @jeanpatriote14. At the time of writing, his avatar is a Carillon Sacré-Coeur. Note here the transposition of the symbols of French-Canadian nationalism onto those of Nazism.
It is not possible to state with certainty that this Telegram account is linked to the young co-organizers named here, but there are strong indications that it is, and this user’s efforts to promote the July 8 demonstration on the Nomos channel coincide perfectly with the activity during the month of June of the other social media accounts cited here.
On June 8, Lucas Boucher Thériault created the Facebook event for the demonstration; it was posted the same day by the Parti nationaliste chrétien, Sylvain Marcoux’s neo-Nazi-inspired group.
On June 22, “FierCF” confirmed in the Nomos chat room that the event would take place.
There is every reason to believe that the @AntiwokeL73304 account (created in June 2023) is administered by one or other of the co-organizers of the July 8 demonstration. Although the name and look of the account have since been changed, for a few days the public nickname was “Anti F***t Army” (the homophobic slur is redacted here) and its avatar was a Totenkopf. The profile description read “Also a proud NS,” which stands for National Socialist, i.e., Nazi. The current name of the @AntiwokeL73304 account is “Vieux rat grincheux” [Grumpy Old Rat].
On June 13, after sharing Amalega’s callout for the demonstration, “Vieux rat grincheux” revealed in a comment that he was one of the organizers. Two days later, he expressed surprise that the antifascists hadn’t yet mentioned his detestable demonstration. (That did it!) We quickly confirmed by consulting the account’s subscribers that this user is in the sphere of influence of Nomos-TV and Sylvain Marcoux’s Christian Nationalist Party.
Around the same time, Justin Crépeau (“el_grand_zouf” on Instagram), who is listed on Facebook as a co-organizer, was also actively promoting the July demonstration on various pages.
It turns out, by his own admission, that Justin Crépeau is the real mastermind behind the July 8 event, and that Lucas Boucher Thériault is the only other real co-organizer, with the support of François Amalega.
As for the co-organizer “Chose Mat,” we haven’t gathered any conclusive information about him, apart from the fact that he says he studied at the CÉGEP in Lévis and that he follows François Amalega, Le Harfang (Fédération des Québécois de souche) on Facebook, Nouvelle Alliance (a crypto-fascist nationalist Nouvelle Amanchure), Sylvain Marcoux’s Christian Nationalist Party (him again!), Éditions Tardivel (linked to Atalante activists), and an empty page whose avatar is the logo of the defunct neo-Nazi forum Iron March.
It turns out that last November, a certain Justin Crépeau contacted Montréal Antifasciste by Messenger to ask us if we really intended to “do an article on him.” Clearly, someone (not us) must have used this threat to intimidate him. Before we’d even replied to his first message, he was quick to denounce “un autre fasciste d’extrême droite neo nazi” [another far-right neo-Nazi fascist] (note the choice of the word “another”) “qui appelle à la mort des juifs et des noirs c’est **** **** il a 19 ans et vit à st-jean chrysostome lévis (sic) [who calls for the death of Jews and Blacks is **** **** he’s 19 and lives in st-jean chrysostome lévis (sic)].”
Update : The day after the article was published, **** **** contacted us on the advice of a friend. He swears he was added as a co-organizer without his consent by Lucas Boucher Thériault. He assures us that he has no political affinity with the other two organizers, and that he never intended to organize or even participate in this demonstration. He claims to have followed the fascist pages for the sole purpose of informing himself and “trolling”. He also claims that Justin Crépeau set up the denunciation against him. According to him, Justin Crépeau is the real mastermind behind the July 8 demonstration, and Lucas Boucher Thériault is the only other real co-organizer, with the support of François Amalega. We’re giving him the benefit of the doubt and have chosen to amend the article accordingly.
Carl Giroux, for his part, is a baseball cap–wearing nutbar who makes frustrated videos in his car—the pandemic generated hordes of them. He runs the LibreChoix Facebook page, which has recently embraced the anti-LGBTQ+ cause. We don’t have much to say about this douchebag of the people, except that he was present at the May 16 Mercier-Est anti-drag queen story hour demonstration, and the hostility he encountered there apparently took him by surprise. Giroux may be unaware of the neo-Nazi pedigree of his comrades, but he will no longer get the benefit of the doubt after he reads this article. It’s a good bet that he’ll say that the antifa invented it all under orders from George Soros and the globalists.
Who is behind these Little neo-nazis?
Beyond the sordid details, what does this demonstration reveal about these adults who associate with young people they know nothing about for the sole purpose of boosting the credibility of their hate-filled crusade against drag queens, trans people, and “gender theory”? And what about these young neo-Nazi racists who are taking advantage of the influence of a fruitcake of Cameroonian origin to infiltrate the populist anti-LGBTQ+ movement? Under the circumstances, we are be hard-pressed to say who is who’s useful idiot.
If we have to talk about grooming, beyond the moral panic that is unfairly targeting LGBTQ+ communities, it would undoubtedly be more relevant to look at the extremely toxic influence exerted by false prophets and fascist ideologues like Sylvain Marcoux and his neo-Nazi party or Alexandre Cormier-Denis and Nomos-TV on a section of the new generation that is perhaps overly susceptible to their idiotic and hateful propaganda. They are the ones who are really responsible for this mess, as are those who, in more polite language, stir up the same anxieties in the media and the political arena.
Perhaps we also need to acknowledge our collective failure, having allowed the memory of the Holocaust to be lost to the extent that the appalling legacy of Nazism can today hold this sort of appeal for section of the new generation.
This development poses a much more imminent threat to Québec society in 2023 than does a museum exhibit on gender diversity, grag queens reading stories to children, or the comings and goings of members of LGBTQ+ communities who want nothing more than to live their lives in peace and dignity.
Let’s not let this scourge spread. Let’s fight fiercely against the influence of these toxic individuals.
Comments Off on On Crow, Fascist Drifts, and People Who Are Not Comrades
Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info
This article contains research taken from public sources, mostly from articles posted publicly by Crow himself. Our intention is not to dox Crow, but rather to provided a compilation, summary, and analysis of already easily available information. We are also not encouraging anyone to harass Crow, threaten him with violence, etc. We simply want to give other anarchists the information they need to keep him out of our organizing.
We should also flag here that this text quotes Crow (somewhat graphically) discussing sexual assault allegations. If that’s something you’d prefer not to read, we suggest skipping the section entitled “Crow on Women/Feminism.”
In early April, CBC published a hit piece and an accompanying video about anarchists and their alleged participation in an attack on a CGL worksite in February 2022. In it, they quoted one Anton Bueckert (who many of us know as Crow—he uses both names on his blog), who had responded to a CBC journalist who had contacted him via email in February of this year. A lot of people have probably already heard some bad things about Crow—that he has treated people poorly, or not been good about security, and more recently, that he has made anti-vax conspiracy politics a central project.
Since the beginning of his Nevermore project, he has embraced anti-feminism, as as well as the conspiracy-laden, reactionary populism of the convoy movement. And, since January 2023, Crow has been more openly promoting antisemitic and anti-trans conspiracy theories on his personal blog. At the same time, the Nevermore project now lists as “contributors” a number of more prominent conspiracists with longstanding ties to red-brown/third-positionist platforms. We think these developments make it quite clear that Crow has made a definite break with any kind of meaningful anarchism, and with the liberatory principles that most of us understand as central to anarchy.
We are sharing this information because we see no space in our movements and communities for alliances with the far-right, or for the promotion of fascist/third-positionist ideas. We are using the term third-positionism somewhat broadly here to describe a phenomenon what in other contexts is also called querfrontism or red-brown alliances. That is, political ideologies that combine both ideas traditionally associated with far-left movements (e.g. anti-capitalism, anarchism, etc.) with ideas central to fascist or neo-fascist movements (e.g. antisemitism, reactionary populism, etc.)1 We think it is important that anarchists across North America understand the political trajectory that Crow seems to have taken, so that we are all able to make informed decisions about how to relate to him should he try to re-involve himself in anarchist stuff on this continent.
Crow used to be involved in anarchist scenes in Quebec and Ontario and has spent some time in BC. He has also been involved in anti-colonial and anarchist movements in the US.
When the COVID pandemic began, Crow started publishing Nevermore, a COVID conspiracy/anti-vax zine, and maintaining social media pages and a website associated with the publication.
A few years ago, some of us started paying attention to the increasing links between Crow’s Nevermore project, and European conspiracist publications/projects such as Winter Oak and The Stirrer. While in its early days Nevermore might have been slipping past some anarchists in Canada because the conspiracy theory and anti-vax content was somewhat less prominent, Winter Oak was already quite straightforwardly conspiracist, with its obsession with the Great Reset etc. Both began to merge their politics and to promote each other, along with public health misinformation such as lies about vaccines, and claims that ivermectin could cure COVID, etc.
Even when the main conspiracy theories promoted on Nevermore mostly revolved around COVID and “The Great Reset,” the project and its core contributors were still clearly flirting with some far-right ideas and figures. The project has long cited and promoted the work of people like James Corbett2 Jennifer Bilek,3 and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.4 It also hosts materials that make pretty explicit comparisons between the Holocaust and mRNA vaccines.5
Crow left Canada for Mexico in May 2021 but, on his trips back he has occasionally shown up in organizing contexts. On his blog, he mentions plans to return to Canada in May 2023. It is also possible that he could try to get more involved in anarchist scenes in the US again.
Following the publication of the CBC article last month, we found Crow’s personal blog and learned more about how his politics have developed. Crow himself connects his experience of “breaking taboos” by speaking out about “the COVID conspiracy” to his and other anarchists’ newfound willingness to confront other “taboos” including “trans ideology”, feminism, Marxism, and “Jewish banking”.
(For more on Crow’s intellectual hero, Paul Cudenec, and other contributors at Nevermore, please refer to the second addendum at the end of this article.)
Crow on Women/Feminism
Crow has developed very explicit men’s rights/anti-feminist politics. He has written multiple blog posts decrying feminism, saying that there’s no gender inequality in Canada in 2023. He happily predicts that soon the only feminists left will be “man-hating dykes who don’t want to compete with men for the sexual attention of bisexual women,” along with several other offensive stereotypes.
He’s got a whole lot of anger towards feminists and he isn’t at all afraid to show it. In his words: “You had a good thing going for yourselves, with your men so fucking wrapped around your finger that the pussywhipped faggots are apologizing for raising their voices while they’re clearing their shit out of the house that they worked decades paying for.”
Some of these opinions seem to be related to his story about leaving Montreal because of a rape accusation. We don’t know anything about the situation he’s referencing, but this is how he defends himself against that accusation: “The definition of rape is a penetrative assault, and I had never penetrated the crazy bitch who was lying about me for attention.”6
Crow on Trans Kids
Crow also hates trans kids. He believes and is publicly promoting the notion that Drag Queen Story Hours are queer people “forcing your ideology down the throats of children,” and that gender affirming health care is “mutilating the genitals of children and making them life-long dependents on pharmaceutical drugs that will undoubtedly cause all kinds of fucked-up side effects.” He claims to have no problem with trans adults—make of that what you will—but he seems to have fully signed on to the trans-people-are-groomers line.7
This is an unfortunate, if somewhat predictable, development. Nevermore has featured articles from The Stirrer (a UK TERF blog) since 2021, and Nevermore itself has referred its readers to Jennifer Bilek’s9 work on more than one occasion. In 2022, an article published on Nevermore claimed that“in an increasingly pornified culture, [Drag Queen Story Hour events] are leading to the sexualisation of children, removing innocence from their lives.”10 More recently, another article on the site claimed that drag “is a parody that plays on every regressive gender stereotype that’s put on women” and “reinforces gender stereotypes,” and then compared drag to blackface.11
Crow dedicates at least one whole post on his blog to promoting the conspiracy of Judeo-Bolshevism, the antisemitic theory that The Jews were behind the Russian Revolution and that communism is a Jewish conspiracy. In Crow’s words: “Marxism was a Rothschild-sponsored plot.”12 This roundly disproven theory was not only central to Nazi propaganda in the lead-up to and during the Holocaust, but also spread throughout many parts of the West, both before and after WWII.
Crow’s antisemitic conspiracist thinking is not limited to buying into the theory of Judeo-Bolshevism. Unsurprisingly, he also thinks that woke ideology is silencing the “truth” that Jews control the economy. He writes: “Now, let me ask you this: If it could be proven beyond all reasonable doubt that some of the most powerful people in the world are Jewish bankers, would you really be that surprised? Or would it merely confirm something you’ve long suspected?”
He also compares Jewish religious beliefs with Nazi ideology: “Nazism was wholly incompatible with the original spirit of the Volkisch movement, because Nazism denies that Jews are part of the manifestation of the universal life force that the original Volkisch movement revered. But is not the Jewish belief that the Jews are God’s chosen people equally misguided?”13
Finally, given that Nevermore has already been engaging in some implicit Holocaust revisionism by suggesting that mRNA vaccines are essentially equivalent to the Holocaust, it probably shouldn’t surprise us that Crow himself seems to hold some questionable ideas about Jews and genocide. In his words:“given the fact that communists keep betraying and murdering us, why are [we] hiding the fact that Marx was, in all likelihood, an agent of the Rothschilds? This is a pretty big fucking deal, isnt it? Keep in mind that Im [sic] Mennonite. My ancestors fled Russia after the Bolshevik coup, and my [sic]. I am a survivor of genocide, and the people responsible for that genocide were Jewish bankers. And their descendents rule the world today, and were [sic] not supposed to talk about them because their co-religionists were also the victims of genocide.14
To summarize, Crow seems to think that: 1. Jewish bankers tried to exterminate his Mennonite ancestors. 2. These same Jewish bankers are still in power today. 3. The (supposedly Rothschild-funded) Soviets carried out a genocide equivalent to (if not greater than) the deliberate Nazi extermination of six million European Jews.15 4. Because of the Holocaust, people like Crow are silenced from talking about the power of the Jewish bankers who ostensibly rule the world.
In our opinion, this sounds an awful lot like the theory of “double genocide,” an idea that gained popularity in certain post-soviet European states (e.g. Lithuania) where there is often a vested interest in ignoring or obfuscating local collaboration in the extermination of Jews.16
Throughout this entire diatribe, Crow emphasizes over and over again that he does not hate Jewish people, and that he is definitely not an antisemite. Unfortunately though, it seems that the only things covered by his definition of antisemitism are statements such as “the Jewish nation is parasitic.” Given that our own understanding of antisemitism includes more than just overt hate speech, we’ll take his claims of not promoting antisemitism with a big grain of salt.17
Crow’s Exchanges with the CBC
Crow’s correspondence with the CBC journalist should also give anarchists pause about whether he should ever be privy to sensitive information. While the quote that the journalist used in the CBC article was surprisingly reasonable, the full content of what Crow sent to them over months of emailing back and forth is all over the map. He doesn’t seem to have shared any potentially damaging information like guesses on individuals who might have been involved, but he does vacillate between reasonable explanations of anarchist participation in anti-colonial struggle, tirades against woke ideology, personal threats against the journalists, and promotion of conspiracy theories.18 One particularly troubling aspect of this correspondence is that Crow seems to think that he holds all the cards in the exchange, is fully in charge, and is actually the one gaming the journalist. This kind of hubris can cause even “well-intentioned” anarchists to become unwitting collaborators with repression.
As a final kicker, we’ll mention that Crow seems to be starting to believe that climate change is a hoax.19
Why Are We Writing This?
We’re sharing this information not because we want to spread mean-spirited gossip about someone for fun, and definitely not because we want to feed into Crow’s narrative that white men are being persecuted and pushed out of their communities by “wokeists.”
However, it is entirely conceivable that Crow will return to Canada (or go to the US) and try to get involved in anarchist organizing in some way again, and we want people to know what he’s been doing, saying, and thinking so they can assess whether or not they want him involved.
From our perspective, Crow has already drawn a clear line between himself and anarchists; he sees the vast majority of us and our communities as a “demented cult.”20 We’ve watched his slow but accelerating slide into solidly third-positionist politics and we don’t think that he should be related to as a comrade.
Thankfully, as he’s been on the outs for a few years now, he doesn’t seem to have been able to do much damage to our movements yet. But anarchists should be aware of the risks of having him know anything about what we’re doing, and we all need to make sure his fucked up ideas can’t spread any further into our circles. Hopefully, seeing how this slide into third-positionism has happened for Crow will also better equip us to intervene earlier in the process for others.
Some thoughts on how schizophrenia relates to this story…
Something we learned in writing this piece is that Crow is, in his words: “a diagnosed schizophrenic.”21 While our intention is neither to pathologize Crow, nor to make excuses for his behaviour, we think it’s important to address this fact up front for a number of reasons.
Schizophrenia is an often misunderstood and heavily stigmatized condition. Unlike experiences such as depression, which are widely discussed and acknowledged in the anarchist scenes we’ve participated in, Schizophrenia is something that most anarchists have probably not experienced themselves or necessarily had many intimate, first-hand interactions with. That said, for some of the authors of this text, this topic happens to be a highly personal one; some of us have witnessed up close the impacts of schizophrenia on the lives (and deaths) of our loved ones. This is partly why we want to try to give this context the attention and nuance it deserves.
A tricky thing about schizophrenia is that its presentation shares many surface features with conspiracist beliefs. People with schizophrenia often experience paranoia, delusions of persecution, and see patterns that aren’t really there. In a world rife with conspiracy theories, it’s not surprising that for some people, these delusions are also informed by readily available cultural narratives. From the outside, all these things can be hard to tell apart.
There’s also a fair bit of literature that makes some clear distinctions between paranoid delusions and belief in popular conspiracy theories. Without getting into it too much here: experiencing clinical paranoia might make one more inclined to conspiracist beliefs and people who hold conspiracists beliefs might be statistically more likely to be experiencing clinical paranoia, but most conspiracists are not schizophrenic, and most schizophrenics are not conspiracy theorists. Many schizophrenics experience paranoid delusions but don’t also start hating feminists, Jews, and trans people, or courting the far-right.
We don’t have any special insight into how Crow experiences the world. We have a lot of empathy for people who live with schizophrenia, but we also don’t think that it makes sense to simply assume that this diagnosis is the root cause of Crow’s political trajectory. What feels most relevant to us (and why we still think its important to publish this text) is the very real impact these beliefs have on the world. People who are hurting, people whose paranoid beliefs might have some pretty understandable origins, can still end up doing quite real harm to the people around them.
In Crow’s case, we know him to be actively propagating some incredibly harmful ideas about women, about trans people, about Jews, and about his former anarchist comrades. He has been connecting with others who share similarly harmful beliefs and has built a growing media platform dedicated to promoting these ideas as widely as possible. At a certain point, the origin of these beliefs matters less than how they manifest themselves in the world.
Crow’s relationship with Paul Cudenec seems to have been essential to his increasingly reactionary drift. Crow describes Cudenec as “the mystic and philosopher increasingly recognized (albeit not by himself) as the world’s greatest living anarchist thinker.”
According to Crow:
“The truth is that were it not for Paul Cudenec, Nevermore would not exist, and I do not know what I would be doing with my life.
When I encountered his writing, everything changed for me. I knew what I had encountered. This was the antidote to the poison of post-modern nihilist bullshit which had infected the Left.”22
Because Crow clearly understands Cudenec’s influence as such a critical one, we have decided to give Cudenec and his ideas some extra attention for those who are curious…
Cudenec is a British anarchist who claims to have been active in anarchist movements in the UK since the late 90s. Apparently he has been living in France for the past several years. Along with a personal blog, he also maintains Winter Oak (which seems to be primarily a platform for publishing his own writing) and another website called “Organic Radicals.”
Paul Cudenec is deeply inspired by the work of René Guénon, an esoteric anti-modernist French philosopher, who founded the school of thought known as “Traditionalism” (which Guénon also called “perennialism”). Guénon “believed that certain ancient religions, including the Hindu Vedanta, Sufism, and medieval Catholicism, were repositories of common spiritual truths, revealed to mankind in the earliest age of the world, that were being wiped out by the rise of secular modernity in the West.”23
While Guénon himself was not necessarily a fascist, his philosophy went on to directly influence several notable fascist thinkers, and continues to inspire various currents of the European New Right. Most significant, perhaps, was Julius Evola, a proponent of esoteric, anti-modern fascism, who considered Guénon to be his “master.” Other acolytes included esoteric Nazi, Savitri Devi, and Aleksandr Dugin, the founder of “Eurasianism.”
Follwing Guénon, Cudenec has called his own philosophy “anarcho-perennialism.”24 It should be said here that Cudenec is, by his own declaration, certainly no fan of Evola. Rather, he seeks to rehabilitate ideas popular on the far-right (Guénonian Traditionalism, the German völkisch movement) by dismissing any suggestion that there might be some continuity between these philosophies and the more overtly fascistic schools of thought that they inspired.
Of course, we could probably argue forever about about whether examining such connections is at all helpful, or whether it is simply an exercise in guilt-by-association. Suffice to say that it would certainly be easier to take Cudenec’s disavowals of proximity to the far-right at face value if he were not also actively propagating far-right conspiracy theories about Jewish bankers and trans people. These disavowals are further undermined whenever Cudenec praises people like Mircea Eliade,25 Oswald Spengler,26 and Ernst Jünger.27
Cudenec is also a big fan of contemporary thinkers like Renaud Garcia, Jaques Luzi, and Alexis Escudero, who represent a faction of the “anti-industrial” French left that has become known for promoting the idea that trans people, reproductive healthcare, and the “gay lobby” are all tentacles of a global transhumanist plot.28 And let’s not forget Sylvia Guerini, an Italian TERF and conspiracist involved in the Resistenze al Nanomondo network, which has been criticized for its eager collaboration with fascists.29 Cudenec has been rubbing shoulder with these characters in real life too.30 In 2022, he travelled to Italy to attend the Three Days Against Techno-Sciences gathering, where he gave a talk called: “A developing evil: the malignant historical force behind the Great Reset.”31
While Winter Oak was embroiled in some minor conflict in 2018 for defending Assadists and promoting Syria conspiracies,32 conspiracism was not the majority content on the site until sometime in 2020, when Cudenec seems to have gone all-in on full-throttle conspiracy mongering. His writing now focuses almost entirely on The Great Reset, on The Rothschilds (who he believes are uniquely evil),33 on defending obscure historical antisemites like Hilaire Belloc,34 and on exposing how most other anarchists are actually funded by the ruling class, and have been sent to smear people like him who are resisting “the bio-technology industry’s transgender cult.”35
But wait, there’s (Never)more!
As mentioned, Winter Oak has been tightly integrated with Nevermore since pretty early on. Not only is Paul Cudenec Crow’s intellectual hero, and someone he considers a “true spiritual master,” but he was also one of the earliest contributors to Nevermore. But, while Cudenec seems to have kickstarted Crow’s interest in antisemitic Rothschild conspiracy theories, it’s clear that he’s looking at other sources as well. In a comment on one of his blog posts, he mentions one of these sources in particular: a book called None Dare Call it Conspiracy, which Crow says “blew his mind.” This is a 1971 pamphlet written by Gary Allen (an anti-communist John Birch Society affiliate), which argues that The Rothschilds are responsible for WWI, communism, Hitler, the Federal Reserve, and the Black Power movement.
Meanwhile, back at Nevermore, the project appears to have gained a number of additional contributors. We think it’s worth mentioning a few of them here, since they include James Corbett36 and an assortment of other conspiracists ranging in prominence:
Whitney Webb, for example, is a “journalist” for Mint Press who has just published a book arguing that Jeffrey Epstein was actually a Mossad honeypot sent to blackmail the American political class on behalf of the Jewish mafia.37 Others, like fringe Houston mayoral candidate Derrick Broze, might call themselves anarchists, but clearly mean something very different than we do by this word—something more along the lines of “I really hate the Federal Reserve and really like cryptocurrencies and meditation.”38
Another “anarchist” contributor is Nowick Gray, whose personal quarantine reading list39 features people like: David Icke, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck, Kevin Barret,40 plus plenty of content from the “Philosopher’s Stone” blog,41 and some crazy video about how UNDRIP/WEF is coming for your land because of #landback.
Gray and fellow Nevermore contributors Cory Morningstar, Whitney Webb and James Corbett also all write for the prominent red-brown platform, The Centre for Research on Globalization.42
Our point in discussing Crow’s influences and collaborators is to demonstrate that Crow hasn’t simply adopted some wingnut ideas in isolation. Rather, he’s embedded in a transnational echo chamber of conspiracists who have been embracing increasingly reactionary, transphobic, and antisemitic ideas. The other point is that the “anarcho-perennialism” that Crow now champions is just a rebranding of Traditionalism, and is fully compatible with many of the underpinnings of European New Right philosophies. That Crow continues to peddle these ideas as “anarchist” and tries to involve himself in anarchist movements also suggests that his projects have the possibility to become dangerous points of fascist entryism into our scenes.
This isn’t about smearing all green anarchists, anti-industrialists, or people who are into alternative spirituality as proto-fascists. We know many comrades who are inspired by these tendencies but who remain steadfast in their ethical, anarchist, and anti-fascist commitments. Nor is it about some bullshit horseshoe theory of politics. Rather, we think it’s important to pay attention to the variety of trajectories that can lead anarchists to decide to make common cause with the far-right, whether that’s uncritical populism, transphobia masquerading as a critique of techno-industrialism, or the anti-imperialism of fools. That so many of these tendencies seem to converge in the conspiracist quagmire of far-right internet forums should tell us something about conspiracism’s cross-tendency appeal, and should highlight the need to develop better firewalls against red-brown alliances and more robust analyses of power.
1If you are interested in a deeper dive into the history of these ideas, this remains one of the best overviews of red-brown alliances that we are aware of: ravingsofaradicalvagabond.noblogs.org/post/2018/01/15/an-investigation-into-red-brown-alliances [archive]
2A long-time conspiracy theorist and early adopter of Soros conspiracies who believes that “Hitler was a Rothschild” and seems to see shadowy Jewish hands behind everything from WWI to 9/11.
3A particularly vitriolic TERF whose main contribution to the discourse seems to be promoting the idea that George Soros and a variety of other wealthy Jewish financiers are secretly behind “the trans agenda.”
4A far-right, conspiracist, Catholic bishop who rages against the “globalists religion” of the “Davos Sanhedrin” and believes (among other things) that Bill Gates and George Soros are the true architects of “the ethnic substitution plan in Europe,” and that the current Pope is beholden to the “homosexual agenda of the New World Order.”
15Crow says: “At least as many Russians died as a direct result of de-Kulakization as Jews died in the Holocaust. Im going to go out on a limb and say that it was probably a lot more. In any case, Stalin killed more people than Hitler, and we havent even talked about the greatest mass murderer of all time, Mao, which was of course also a Marxist.”
We should also note that we are definitely not trying to minimize the horrors wrought upon the world by Stalinism. This said, we do think that it’s important to put Crow’s rhetoric around genocide in context. The Mennonites certainly suffered from religious persecution in the USSR. However, unlike in the case of the Holodomor, or the deportations of the Chechens and Ingush, we are unaware of any scholarly literature that discusses this persecution as a genocide, least of all as one carried out by “Jewish bankers.”
In trying to inform ourselves about this topic, what we found instead was a far messier history of Mennonite participation in the Holocaust. As historian Ben Goossen puts it:
“Mennonite experiences of and involvement in the Holocaust differed widely. We know that a handful of individuals actively participated as executioners and concentration camp guards. We also know that a substantial percentage of Europe’s Mennonites benefited from and often sympathized with aspects of Nazism. Around 120,000 people, or about one-fourth of the denomination worldwide, lived under Nazi rule at the height of Hitler’s expansionism. Generally categorized as members of the Aryan racial elite, Mennonites sometimes received goods taken from murdered Jews or moved into their vacant homes. Others leased slave labor for their farms and factories, or otherwise profited from genocide. […]
Arguably more impactful than Mennonites’ own actions, however, was the denomination’s enrollment in Nazi propaganda. In 1929, popular opinion had pressured German politicians to help approximately 4,000 of the Mennonite refugees in Moscow relocate to Germany. The event became a founding myth of the Third Reich.”
17If you *are* confused about how to think about antisemitism, Mathew N. Lyons offers a pretty good overview here: threewayfight.blogspot.com/2018/11/principal-enemy-demystifying-far-right.html [archive]
18Incidentally, this also highlights some more questions about the “journalistic integrity” of Rob Brown’s reporting, whose CBC story failed to mention that the source he was quoting not only seems to have a fairly tenuous grasp on reality, but was also actively threatening him. Not that as anarchists we should spend too much time getting worked up about the CBC…but still…
33He has written an entire book on the subject: Enemies of the People: The Rothschilds and their Corrupt Global Empire. This is also one of the books that Crow cites as being particularly formative in opening his eyes to the “truth” about The Rothschilds.
41This blog has some truly mind-boggling, neo-nazi level antisemitism on it.
42Again, see Vagabond’s excellent article for more information on Global Research.
15/05/2023 – Correction: In the original version of this text we wrote that the Stirrer was a blog run by Helen Steel. It has since come to our attention that this is not correct. We apologize for any confusion that this has caused.
In 2007, in the course of preparations for actions against the 2008 Republican National Convention, an insurrectionary network of queer anarchists formed under the umbrella Bash Back! Over the following three years, this network participated in a vibrant array of confrontations, organizing efforts, and publications, expanding and intensifying the struggle against sex and gender normativity. Today, as fascists and other bigots renew their assault on queer and trans people and anarchists fight back, there is an urgent need for renewed coordination and innovation. In this context, participants in the original Bash Back! network have called for a new Bash Back! convergence in September 2023.
As they put it,
The intervening years have been marked by intensification—of crisis, alienation, loss, and struggle. The right wing no longer hides behind euphemisms: they want to exterminate trans and queer people. The left offers only false solutions: vote, donate, assimilate. A decade of representation, symbolic legal victories, social media activism, and mass-market saturation has left us worse off by all metrics. Our fair-weather friends won’t save us from the consequences of their strategy of empty visibility. The inescapable conclusion is that we must come together to protect ourselves.
History confirms the queer legacy of building connection in a world that hates us, the legacy of riotous joy—the legacy of bashing back. The attacks will continue on our nightclubs, forests, story hours, and siblings. To hold on, we need spaces—underground if necessary—to re-encounter each other, spaces to remember, build, share, and conspire.
To explore the legacy of Bash Back! and what it has to offer today, we conducted the following interview with previous participants in Bash Back! who are helping to organize the upcoming convergence.
Tell us about the gathering in September. What can people do to participate or contribute?
The 2023 Bash Back! Convergence will be taking place in Chicago from September 8-11. We’re inviting all of our queer comrades for a weekend of building connection, learning from each other, and developing new strategies and tactics to fight against the social order. We are organizing this because there have been so many inspiring examples of queer people bashing back against bigots—for example, the reactionaries who try to shut down drag shows. However, there is still a need for increased cohesion and strategizing, especially in light of the escalating attacks against queer and trans people across the country and across the world. Of course, these attacks come in the context of a deeply-rooted and escalating crisis of capital more generally and a climate crisis that deepens with every passing day.
More specifically, there is an obvious need to build anti-capitalist, anti-statist, and anti-assimilationist militant queer tendency. The liberals and leftists have pushed assimilation so that queer and trans people can be used as political pawns, to be sacrificed when electorally convenient. Any gains in the culture war have led only to the subsumption of queerness to the logic of capital and the false freedom of consumer politics.
In terms of what folks can do to participate or contribute, the main thing right now is that we are looking for folks to propose programming for the convergence. We’re accepting proposals until June 20. Beyond programming, the biggest thing that people can do is to start building relationships and affinities with people in their communities. That’s always been the essence of Bash Back!; it’s never been a centralized organization but rather a network to share ideas and camaraderie.
Bash Back! originated in the run-up to the 2008 Republican National Convention. Did the fact that it began largely in the Midwest rather than on the coasts influence its character and the way that it developed?
Bash Back!’s origins are rooted in a context that, a decade and a half later, seems worlds away. Two things, I think, were central to the political climate that gave rise to Bash Back!: the summit-hopping method of protest and a surge in the popularity of insurrectionary anarchism within the anarchist/radical milieu at the time. By summit-hopping, I mean the large demonstrations against the gatherings of capitalists, such as the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle in 1999 and the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, G8, and G20 throughout the 2000s. In hindsight, these protests were dramatic and high-profile, but largely symbolic. Then you had insurrectionary anarchism becoming more popular—especially, I think, with people who had been politicized or radicalized by the anti-war movement but also saw that movement for the utter failure that it was. In terms of tactics, the focus was on affinity groups and black blocs.
In that context, the original idea for Bash Back! came out of the organizing that was going on to disrupt the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) in 2008. A strategy session in Milwaukee in 2007 gave rise to the idea of a queer/trans blockade of the RNC, and Bash Back! grew from that initial idea.
One of the most significant things about the original iteration of Bash Back! is that it was largely a product of anarchists from the Midwest. At the time, a lot of the more visible “radical” or progressive queer activism was coming from the coasts, with established activist scenes that often stifled new ideas or were under the stranglehold of the ideology of non-violence. There was also a degree of cultural elitism, in which the assumption was that being a “radical queer” had to happen in the big, liberal, coastal cities. So Bash Back!, coming out of the Midwest and not beholden to any established “radical queer” scenes, opened up new possibilities for militance, especially in direct resistance to the extremely anti-queer churches, politicians, and other assorted gay-bashers of that time.
Recount some of the major events, struggles, and court cases in the first phase of Bash Back!
This is a tough question to answer, because there was so much that happened across the country because of Bash Back! But a few things that I think are important to highlight:
DNC/RNC 2008: the nascent Bash Back! network was involved in protests in Denver (for the Democratic National Convention) and the Twin Cities (for the Republican National Convention)
Pittsburgh 2009: Bash Back! held a rowdy march in Pittsburgh during the G20 Summit.
Mt. Hope Church: In November 2008, Bash Back! people disrupted a Sunday service at a notoriously anti-gay megachurch in Lansing, Michigan. This led to a lawsuit by the Alliance Defending Freedom against Bash Back! that, after a several-year legal fight, resulted in a permanent injunction against church disruptions.
Avenge Duanna campaign: In February 2008, Duanna Johnson, a black trans woman, was beaten by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee. She was murdered in November 2008, presumably by the cops that beat her months prior. This sparked a campaign in Memphis to avenge her death.
In addition, Bash Back! organized three convergences:
Chicago 2008: this focused on planning actions around the DNC/RNC in the summer of 2008.
Chicago 2009: this focused more on developing Bash Back! as a tendency, building connections, and sharpening our attacks on the social order. A street march in Boystown, the gay neighborhood in Chicago, was attacked by police. This caused a bunch of conflict within the convergence between those who fought back against the police and liberal/identity-politics types who pushed for non-violence in the face of police violence.
Denver 2010: this was the last convergence of the original iteration of Bash Back!; the same liberal/identity politics vs. queer insurrection divide was the elephant in the room for this entire convergence. These tensions were as palpable as they were insurmountable, and so Bash Back!, in its original iteration, was declared dead.
However, these highlights do not even scratch the surface of what Bash Back! did. Chapters across the country were involved in countless acts of vandalism, numerous street confrontations with police, protests against assimilationists and exterminationists, physically bashing bigots, and innumerable acts of propaganda. These things are the legacy of Bash Back!
Tell us how Bash Back! worked from existing identity politics frameworks in the late 2000s, but also pushed against them.
When Bash Back! was starting, the ideology of non-violence had a stranglehold on the activist milieu. In terms of identity politics, there was an assumption among many of these liberal/“radical” activists that any confrontation was inevitably pushed by macho, middle/upper class straight white men and thus was racist/sexist/homophobic because queer/trans people, women, and people of color would take the brunt of police repression and violence. Bash Back! pushed directly against that narrative; that was a big part of the drama around the Chicago 2009 convergence. Some people really could not believe that queer/trans people, poor people, women, and people of color had agency to fight cops or be more confrontational. Part of Bash Back!’s appeal was that marginalized people were unapologetically fighting back in a concrete way. In a very practical sense, Bash Back! was pro-violence, and people were not used to hearing this perspective from marginalized groups.
Further, Bash Back! always took a stance against assimilation and liberal identity politics that saw social/political/economic representation as an end goal. So back when issues like gay marriage and military service were the big issues for mainstream LGBT organizations, Bash Back! was firmly opposed to this, and even targeted groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the Stonewall Democrats for being assimilationists or for selling out trans people for political gain.
On a more abstract level, I think that competing approaches to identity were actually a central part of why the original iteration of Bash Back! dissolved. There was a spectrum of views about identity in Bash Back! On one hand, you had a tendency influenced heavily by queer nihilism and insurrectionary anarchism; for this camp, queer identity was an identity of opposition to the capitalist social order and its heteronormativity. Then, on the other hand, there was a more positive approach to queer identity; positive in the sense that it was not based on political opposition to the social order but instead more tied to an individual’s experience of gender/sexuality. Because Bash Back! was an identity-based organization, these competing understandings of queerness led to competing visions for Bash Back!, which ultimately dissolved the network.
What has changed since the heyday of the original network? What does the Bash Back! model have to offer today?
The original Bash Back! started just before the economic crisis in 2008. It feels like we have been moving from crisis to crisis since then—and on top of that, the crises are intensifying. I think that’s probably the biggest change since Bash Back! first started; the permanence of crisis and the sort of hopelessness about the future hadn’t really set in at that time. It used to be controversial to say that things were going to keep getting worse and that we effectively had no future; now, that’s the common understanding of the plight of millennials/Generation Z. Between the seemingly permanent crisis of capitalism and the ongoing climate disaster, things seem bleaker now than they did before.
But on the other hand, I think that many of the ideas that were being popularized not only in Bash Back! but also in the anarchist milieu more broadly in that era have gained traction in a way that opens up a lot of potential. For example, the concept of prison abolition and the idea of mutual aid have spread into the broader discourse. Labor organizing has also grown in sectors that seemed unreachable previously, and it seems like that has led to a rise in class consciousness as well. More along the focus of Bash Back!, the idea of people being non-binary or genderqueer has also moved into the mainstream in a way that I at least would not have anticipated, given the social climate that Bash Back! originally existed in.
Without diving too much into dry economic analysis, I think it’s indisputable that the contradictions of capitalism have become more glaringly obvious in recent years. And history pretty clearly shows us that crises in capitalism translate to an increase in reactionary politics and repression. Historically, we can look to the example of Magnus Hirschfeld, who was an early advocate for queer and trans people in Berlin in the 1930s. People know that Nazis burned books; what’s often lost is that they burned the library of Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, which was perhaps the first organization specifically advocating for and supporting queer and trans people. So there is a clear history of queer and trans people being the first targets during reactionary moments in history.
Ultimately, that’s what makes the current moment so important and where I think that we can draw on the lessons from the initial era of Bash Back! I think that the fundamental strength of the Bash Back! network was that it was focused on building power not only outside of but in staunch opposition to the state and capitalism. This is really important, because the selling point of the Democratic Party in recent years has been that things will be even worse if Republicans are in control. And that covers up the fact that the Democratic Party is ultimately a party of capitalism; they have no capacity or will to make things better for people. All they will offer is a sort of managed descent into fascism, and the price is assimilation. The alternative, of course, is the outright exterminationist approach of the Republicans.
Bash Back! rejected the assimilationist, statist, and capitalist politics of the mainstream LGBT organizations at that time and focused on queer people building community among comrades, practicing mutual aid and solidarity, and attacking the state, capitalists, and reactionaries. It’s the unapologetic and uncompromising militance that was, I think, the most important contribution of Bash Back! and should be the focus going forward.
How can people get involved? What are some tactics and strategies people can employ in their own communities on an ongoing basis, so this will not just be a convergence but the emergence of a new wave of momentum throughout the continent?
It’s hard to say exactly how to get involved with Bash Back!. Obviously, we want people to come to the convergence and share ideas, make connections, and build bonds of solidarity. But in terms of how to get involved, there is no really easy answer. Part of what made Bash Back! so important was that it was a fairly loose network with autonomous chapters doing what made sense for the people involved in those chapters to do locally.
But generally speaking, Bash Back! has focused on confronting bigots, mutual aid, self-defense, and propaganda. Fundamentally, there has to be an understanding that the state is not going to protect us, that politicians will not protect us, that we have to build solidarity within our communities as a matter of survival. For that reason, building trust and camaraderie is essential. Confronting those who would destroy us is essential. And in a world that seeks to keep us miserable, expressions and celebrations of queer joy are essential.
As for guidance, the old Bash Back! Points of Unity are a good starting point:
Fight for liberation. Nothing more, nothing less. State recognition in the form of oppressive institutions such as marriage and militarism are not steps toward liberation but rather towards heteronormative assimilation.
A rejection of capitalism, imperialism, and all forms of state power.
Actively oppose oppression both in and out of the “movement.” Racism, Patriarchy, Heterosexism, Sexism, Transphobia, and all oppressive behavior is not to be tolerated.
Respect a diversity of tactics in the struggle for liberation. Do not solely condemn an action on the grounds that the state deems it to be illegal.
You too can be Bash Back! Organize a chapter and take action in your community!
Conspiracy theorists, the far right, and a few neo-Nazis got together to intimidate drags queens; Standing shoulder to shoulder, the LGBTQ+ community and anti-fascists drew a line and resisted these despicable trolls; In what has become a tradition, the far right found itself isolated at the far end of a parking lot…
The drag artist Barbada de Barbades was invited by the municipality of Sainte-Catherine, on Montréal’s south shore, to host a drag queen story hour on April 2, 2023, for twenty interested families from the area, the key goals being to encourage children to read, to demystify gender diversity, and to promote openness to difference. The event was to take place at the municipal library in Sainte-Catherine.
Barbada has hosted story hours since 2016 (and she has not been the only drag queen to do so), but it is only in recent years —and in a particularly apparent way in recent months— that a section of the local far-right adjacent conspiracy theory milieu has had a bee in its bonnet about the issue, under the combined influence of the conservative evangelical right and the anti-protocol conspiracy milieu that coalesced around the so-called “freedom convoy.” This anti-drag hysteria is one element in a larger movement meant to demonize sexual and gender identity minorities, trans identities in particular, on the basis of a variety of conspiracy fantasies, including, for example, the “grooming panic,” “pedosatanism” (a key theme in the QAnon milieu), and, in some particularly extreme cases, the racist and antisemitic “great replacement” theory. This fundamentally far-right transphobic movement has, at this point, made legislative and institutional headway in the US.
In this case, it was the anti-protocol militant François Amalega Bitondo, best known for his shenanigans during the COVID-19 pandemic, who decided to lead the charge against the drag queen story hour, because opposition to health measures is no longer getting him the attention he’s clearly grown accustomed to. It seems that Amalega has grown increasingly fanatical in recent years, particularly as a result of his contact with the evangelists at Théovox and André Pitre (Lux Média), a key source of disinformation. He has become pro-Trump, pro-Putin, and has generally drunk the various flavours of conspiratorial Kool-Aid available, including the anti-drag hysteria, which is explicitly constructed around transphobic rhetoric. In recent weeks, he mobilized his followers to demonstrate against Barbada’s story hour in Sainte-Catherine. With a handful of his sympathizers, he also unsuccessfully tried to disrupt a story hour at the Westmount library on March 25.
In the face of the imminent threat posed by this reactionary movement, which in the final analysis wants to marginalize and suppress their communities, an ad hoc network of queer and trans antifascists and their allies decided to organize a community defense intervention in Sainte-Catherine. At the same time, other initiatives were spontaneously organized on social media to mount a festive counterforce in support of drag queens and against the conspiracy theorists and haters.
A week before the event, Barbada and her entourage indicated that they would prefer no response of any type against the anti-drag demonstration, labouring under the peculiar illusion that simply ignoring this movement will naturally lead to it dissipating and fading away. As we have often said, when it comes to fascist and fascist-adjacent movements, magic thinking doesn’t work. The organizer of the “OUI aux DRAGS” (Yes to Drag Queens) demonstration nonetheless chose to respect Barbada’s request and cancel her event. In reaction to this evasion, an anonymous statement was published two days before the event and circulated by the P!nk Bloc and Montréal Antifasciste addressing why this analysis is problematic and confirming that the self-defense mobilization would be going forward.
The Day Came. . .
Story hour was planned for 10:00 a.m. Amalega and his trolls called for a demonstration at the community center where the library is located at 9:30 a.m. Amalega arrived at 8:45 a.m. and parked his car at a small strip mall across the street from the community center. He was immediately encircled and blocked by a dozen militants, who prevented him from crossing the street and effectively trapped him in the parking lot. On his webcast, he claims he was the “victim of aggression” and “feared for his life,” but the video clearly shows that the militants simply blocked his way and demanded that he leave. This face-off lasted for a few minutes, as a growing number of anti-drag demonstrators gathered, (at that point, one particularly aggressive sympathizer decided to play the big man and needed a gentle reminder not to cross the line). Meanwhile, the community defense contingent was also growing, and the police from MRC Rousillon arrived and separated the two groups.
In the following half hour, the two camps continued to grow, and the confrontation gradually became static. The core of the anti-drag demonstration gathered around Amalega remained confined to a sidewalk behind a police line for two hours. While a section of the self-defense demonstration surrounded this core group, others circulated in the neighbourhood to greet the anti-drag demonstrators and make it clear to them that they were in a hostile environment. There were a few minor skirmishes but nothing serious. Over time, both sides gained reinforcements. There were a number of vehicles in the parking lot decorated with the nauseating flags and ornaments familiar from the conspiracy theorists of the “freedom convoy,” and a bus chartered for the event arrived with around thirty community defenders, who brought snacks and coffee, festive costuming accoutrements, and a sound system. For the subsequent hour and half, the defensive bloc took on a festive, colourful, and irreverent quality, with comrades dancing in the street to popular songs and Disney classics, while the mortified anti-drag demonstrators remained trapped on their bit of sidewalk.
It’s worth noting that the conspiracy theory milieu was largely spared having to deal with anti-fascists during the last three years of the pandemic. In spite of the close and often explicit proximity of the far right to conspiracy theory fantasies, the challenges raised by the health measures had to do with personal decisions, and responding to people and vaguely defined organizations whose key shortcoming is to adhere to anti-scientific nonsense is complicated and far from straightforward. Nonetheless, a line is crossed when these conspiracy theory fantasies directly target our communities and compromise our security, whether in the short-, medium-, or long-term, and that is the line the anti-drag movement has crossed with its ridiculous panic, and it is absolutely essential to deliver the message that queer and trans communities will defend themselves in the face of this intimidation. There should be no doubt: if the queerphobes/transphobes persist in their demonization exercise, they will always come face to face with us. Queers bash back, darling. . .
Finally, at around 11:00 a.m., the information began to circulate that the story hour had been moved to another municipal building and had unfolded as planned undisturbed. Anyway you look at it, the anti-drag contingent lost, and the community defenders can feel a certain pride in their strategic victory.
At a certain point, three individuals had the questionable idea that they would plant themselves in the middle of the defensive contingent and unfurl a banner that read “sales pédos hors du Québec” (filthy pedos out of Québec). While ultimately it is entirely noble to denounce and combat pedophilia, in this instance one can safely presume that these dubious characters were not there with good intentions, and as a result their banner was immediately confiscated, which led to some pushing and shoving when one of them tried to reclaim it. He got knocked around a bit, so the police intervened to end the altercation and escort the three intruders off to the side at some distance, but another altercation occurred, which led to the arrest of one of these irritating individuals. When examining the photos of the people in question, comrades identified the leader of the local White Lives Matter network, which was the topic of a Montréal Antifasciste article in March 2022.
The banner unfurled by whites supremacists at the anti-drag protest in Sainte-Catherine, on April 2 2023, and quickly confiscated by antifascists.
On the left, Raphaël Dinucci St-Hilaire, a leader of the whites supremacist project White Lives Matter; on the right, someone we believe to be Bruno Lacasse-Freeman, an (ex-)militant of the Soldiers of Odin.
This very active white supremacist militant, whom, up to this point, we have only identified by his Telegram sobriquet “Whitey,” is a Laval resident named Raphaël Dinucci St-Hilaire. This little neo-Nazi twerp got his warning shot last winter and has had an entire year’s reprieve to give up his militant activities, but instead he has redoubled his efforts, putting up hundreds of white supremacist stickers in the Montréal area and participating in banner drops. He made a fatal error in Sainte-Catherine. The gloves are off, and Mr. Dinucci can take it for granted that the Montréal anti-fascist community’s patience with him has run out.
As to his comrade, who was arrested, we can’t be a 100 percent certain, but we believe he is a (former) member of the Soldiers of Odin, Bruno Lacasse-Freeman, aka “Burn SOO,” who was never at pains to disguise his white supremacist proclivities.
That, however, wasn’t the last surprise! A few minutes later, another neo-Nazi, and not the least of them, showed up at the edge of the demonstration: none other than Sylvain Marcoux, a special target of antifascist surveillance activities (a raging antisemite, a great admirer of Adolf Hitler and Adrien Arcand, a close associate of the Fédération des Québécois de souche, the leader of the Parti nationaliste chrétien, etc.) in the company of two young adults. He was intercepted and politely encouraged to join the anti-drag contingent to avoid any escalation. He chose instead to strut his stuff and increase the tension, which didn’t take long. He met some opposition and started flailing about like a madman before finally hitting a comrade, after which he ate a knuckle sandwich. The police intervened with pepper spray and detained Marcoux, who it seems was later released with no charges.
The Nationalist Identitarian -> Conspiracy Theory -> Queerphobe Hatred Pipeline
In a video released several hours after the event, the doddering fascist and former Farfadaa, Luc Desjardins, who was decompressing and recovering from the stress all by his lonesome at home (20 Chemin Talbot, L’Assomption), whined about the complete humiliation suffered by the anti-drag crowd and called for a “militant” alliance to “really, really, really” resist “the antifa and all the crazy faggots,” while pouring bile on his old comrade Steeve Charland.
It’s no coincidence that all of these known far-right figures (soft and hard) now find themselves together sharing the conspiracy theory hysteria that is currently in vogue. For some years now, these milieus have submerged themselves in various social media bubbles where all manner curious amalgamations, disinformation, and toxic fantasies that incessantly promote fanaticism on the part of those exposed to them circulate freely, leading to these crazes being imported from the US. The vast majority of the people involved are completely unaware that they are being pulled into a down spiral that gradually desensitizes them to hatred and inexorably pushes them into the sphere of the far right and neo-Nazis.
Faced with this phenomenon, we have no choice but to mobilize our forces, develop community self-defense, and do everything in our power to deconstruct and defeat the hateful discourse targeting our communities. Transphobic discourse in particular has been increasingly resonating in mainstream society for some time now. Laws have been adopted in the US to strip sexual and gender minorities of their rights, influential comedians have normalized mockery and threats targeting the trans community, and the religious right is gaining greater traction every day.
It would be a grave error to think that these phenomena will stop at the border and Québec will remain impervious to them. The mobilizations against drag queens are only the first sign of the contamination, and we think this movement must be nipped in the bud, as is the case with any attempt by the far right to impose its ideas and its program.
Never forget that together we are stronger, and that when our rights and our very existence are attacked the only possible response is community self-defense.