Vancouver antiracists claim victory when neo-Nazis fail to appear at SkyTrain rally

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      Except for the supposed neo-Nazis, practically everyone turned up today (March 21) at the Braid SkyTrain station.

      A rally for white pride  that had been widely talked about didn’t materialize. But the counter-demonstration took place even with a no-show by the very people  the protesters  intended to shout down.

      Among the crowd was  the Vancouver chapter of the Anti-Racist Action, a group that includes skinheads, leather-clad youth, and individuals with spiked and brightly coloured hair.

      Activists of various types–from labour organizers to avowed communists, gays, migrant-rights advocates, and the now familiar hooded and masked protesters who were likely at the February 13 anti-Olympic riot–also showed up.

      Even a choir appeared. Lingling Claver, a member of the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir, noted to the Georgia Straight that one song the group rendered was a version of the "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", a popular protest song during the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

      Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart also came.

      “I’m here because I received an e-mail that really offended me,” Stewart told the Straight. “It was an e-mail that suggested that there were some people who are going to be challenging the diversity that we have in our community. I knew that some folks were coming out here to protest that perspective, and I wanted to join them.”

      There were cops from at least three law-enforcement organizations–the New Westminster police department, RCMP, and transit police.  

      The rally, which drew about 200 people, began and ended with no major incident. There was a minor altercation involving two young passersby and eventually, a cameraman  with Global TV.

      According to rally participant Maryana Payette, two men shoved their way through the demonstration after disembarking from the bus and were on their way to the SkyTrain platform.

      One of the men allegedly spat on a banner and was shouted at. When the same fellow was  at the SkyTrain station, according to Payette, “He was still like yelling things and then the guy said, ”˜Well, I may not even be a racist but I hate gay people.’ ”

      A number of rally participants came up the escalator to confront the two men, and so followed the police,  as well as  the Global TV cameraman and other media representatives.

      Activists repeatedly asked the Global TV videographer whether he would use a clip that supposedly caught one of the men saying he hates gays. The cameraman insisted that his equipment wasn’t on when the supposed comment was made.

      Maitland Cassia of the Anti-Racist Action sported a newly shaved head at the rally, and he maintained that based on a now pulled-down Facebook event, 48 individuals declared they were going to attend a demonstration by the group Advocates for White Civil Rights.

      “And if our presence forced them to cancel that, I consider that a victory for multiculturalism in Vancouver,” Cassia told the Straight.




      Mar 21, 2010 at 4:11pm

      Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to pull off the counter-demo. You have shown that the boneheads will NEVER AGAIN be allowed to march around and recruit in greater Vancouver without being confronted. Next step is to find their secret mead-guzzling hideout on Burnaby Mountain and dismantle it.

      Canadian National Front

      Mar 21, 2010 at 6:49pm

      This was obviously a set-up by leftist agitators to bring attention (and funding) to their various causes.

      kiddaa magazine

      Mar 21, 2010 at 7:30pm

      The racists didnt show up but they still exist everywhere.

      David J

      Mar 21, 2010 at 8:12pm

      It's a hoax. After destroying their credibility at the beginning of the Olympics by inviting their asinine black bloc, the idealists needed something, anything to get themselves into the spotlight they missed in February.

      Facebook and twitter would make facilitating this easy peasy.

      Roslyn Cassells

      Mar 21, 2010 at 10:56pm

      Thanks to everyone who came out to show their solidarity with a diverse and unified Canadian society. Clearly the bigots are also bullies because they were a no-show at their own protest. Much appreciation to everyone who came out to oppose hatred and intolerance, and support love and solidarity. The people together will never be defeated!!

      Truth In Advertising

      Mar 21, 2010 at 11:43pm

      The entire thing was an obvious hoax.. seriously, don't you people have better things to do than to promote a fake Nazi rally for selfish reasons.. Food Bank volunteering, Habitat For Humanity, Big Brothers/Sisters to name a few?


      Mar 22, 2010 at 12:13am

      Calling this a hoax was, is, and will continue to be ridiculous. Screenshots of the "advocates for white civil rights" group and event have been provided to the media. This is a link to the nazi event that also occurred today on Vancouver island, on their own platform:


      Mar 22, 2010 at 6:04pm

      These neo-Nazis just hate it when they can even get people to show up at one of their gigs. Kudos to the intelligent people who took the time to show up in support of our precious, diverse community and send a message to these jerks that they're not welcome here.. The haters had to go home and cry in their beer.


      Mar 22, 2010 at 8:29pm

      Wow, another "victory" by Harsha Walla and her gang of misfits. Don't get me wrong, I hate racists, but self promoting self righteous types make want to puke also. Question is "If you want people to take you seriously, why did you bring a bunch of violent cowards (aka the black blahs) to a rally against violent people?" You Obviously Really Naive people are just like those you detest. Hard pill to swallow isn't it? By the way, a couple of hundred people turning out could hardly be called a "victory".

      Imtiaz Popat

      Mar 23, 2010 at 1:55am

      Neo Nazi have been organizing such rallies and events here a long time now. They show up every so often and then go back under ground. They have organized concerts with racist lyrics in Surrey and they even murdered a care taker at the Sikh Temple in Surrey with plans to kill more people according to a police investigation. So we need to confront them and make sure they don't come out again.