Socialist coups? No--Canada's extremist problem is on the right

Postmedia, the American-hedge-fund-owned corporation with a near-monopoly over Alberta’s newspapers, is going hard this month on the narrative that Canada has “a left populism problem” and that our (actually centrist and not socialist at all) Prime Minister is engineering a “socialist coup.” But as we’ve seen very clearly in Alberta over the last few weeks, Canada’s extremist problem isn’t radical socialists--it’s the far-right.

After a participant in an anti-racist rally in Ponoka was targeted in what the RCMP believe to be a politically motivated car attack, Wexit organizer and noted far-right conspiracy theorist Pat King encouraged his followers to disrupt the next anti-racist rally, in Red Deer. The counter-protestors were recorded assaulting rally participants there, and the RCMP almost declined to investigate--until the story got a lot of attention online.

Organizers took a second crack at a successful rally against racism in Red Deer and pulled it off over the weekend. King and co again aimed to disrupt it, but couldn’t marshal enough people. In a perfect encapsulation of how the mainstream media constantly fails to properly cover incidents involving the far-right, Global News initially described King as a ‘barbecue organizer.’ Great work, guys.

You might wonder why the fringe of Alberta’s extreme right wing are so opposed to anti-racism demonstrations. The answer isn’t pleasant. The far-right in Alberta is, and has been for a very long time, thoroughly entangled with white supremacists. The latest example: the Alberta Youth Separatist League, an organization of young men closely tied to the Wexit movement. One member, Sam Bell, served on the board of the Wildrose Independence Party. Another, Eli Weisberg, was a founder and the secretary of the Alberta Advantage Party.

Leaks provided to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network reveal that the ASYL is significantly more sinister than just a political club for separatists. The ASYL organizers are apparently full-on Nazis, regularly posting on the infamous neo-Nazi forum Stormfront about their project to build fascist power here in the province through their involvement with the Wexit movement.

Duncan from the Progress Report podcast will be speaking with the researcher who broke the ASYL story tomorrow. Check the Progress Report site for that in a few days, or subscribe to our podcast on Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or Apple Podcasts, to get it sent right to you.


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