PSA for politicians: How to spot your local white supremacist
Being a politician is hard. Sometimes a bunch of people dressed up as bikers with matching hoodies, patches, rockers, t-shirts and hats all RSVP and show up to your political party's pub night, and you're like, Soldiers of Odin? Whoever could these folks be?
If you and your campaign staff and your party activists don't watch television news, or read the many stories in your local newspaper, or listen to the CBC, or even read news on the Internet you could find yourself in a sticky situation when extremists 'crash' your event and you can't tell by all the weird skulls on their biker jackets that they might, in fact, be bad guys.
Well, Progress Alberta is here to help. We've rounded up some information on Alberta's more prominent right-wing hate groups for you, so you can kick them out of your political events before they cause a problem--or at the very least not take so many embarrassing selfies with them that your party leader has to go apologize for you on Twitter.
Soldiers of Odin (S.O.O.)
- Anti-Muslim hate group founded by a neo-Nazi in Finland during the Syrian refugee crisis
- Structured like an outlaw motorcycle gang, complete with a patch system and hierarchical cell structure
- Online communications valorize violence against Muslims, LGBTQ people, “antifa,” and the political left
- In places where S.O.O. has become more established, they engage in political intimidation
- In Alberta, S.O.O. is attempting to sanitize their image with token community efforts while they recruit and expand
- Soldiers of Odin have an easily-identifiable ‘biker’ aesthetic: leather jackets/rockers with patches and obvious insignia
- Low-ranking members who have not been ‘patched’ instead wear S.O.O. branded hats and hoodies
Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI)
- Anti-Muslim hate group founded in Calgary
- Operates in Calgary, southern Alberta, Ontario and Quebec
- Positions itself as an umbrella organization coordinating events attended by many other anti-Muslim hate groups
- Produces content and organizes events featuring far-right, anti-Muslim, and/or white nationalist figures like Paul Fromm, Sandra Solomon, Brad Salzberg, etc.
- The actual membership of WCAI is very small, and they do not have an official uniform
- Members tend to wear obviously WCAI-branded apparel to protests and demonstrations
Canadian Combat Coalition (C3)
- Soldiers of Odin splinter group founded in Alberta--shares their values, particularly hatred of Muslims
- Founder charged with violent crimes including domestic assault--group temporarily collapsed to infighting
- Presently re-organizing in Alberta around another former Soldiers of Odin member
- Canadian Combat Coalition is recognizable by their logos on their apparel: a maple leaf imposed on a bear’s claw. Some of their other apparel simply says ‘C3’
- Alt-right men’s-only organization founded by former Rebel Media host Gavin McInnes
- Tendencies towards racist, homophobic, and misogynist views, but not organized around any specific principles
- Valorizes street level violence against “antifa” and leftist political figures
- Loosely allied with, and will show up to support, other hate groups in Alberta--frequently present at S.O.O. and WCAI events, etc.
- Their unofficial ‘uniform’ is a black Fred Perry polo shirt with two yellow stripes on the collar and on the sleeves
- Proud Boys frequently sport symbols of the online alt-right, e.g. the ‘Pepe’ character and the flag of ‘Kekistan’
- Soldiers of Odin splinter group which broke off because they reject the presence of women in leadership roles in S.O.O.
- Structured like a paramilitary or militia group
- Closely allied with S.O.O. and present at most S.O.O. and WCAI events
- Aesthetic combines biker-like apparel with pseudo-military garb (camo, armor vests, etc.)
- Recognizable by their logo: the words ‘Northern Guard’ around a shield and two crossed axes
- “Sovereign citizen” / anti-government militia with anti-immigrant and white nationalist tendencies
- American far-right extremist organization, related to the American “Oath Keepers,” which has expanded into Canada
- Provides ‘security’ at events by other hate groups--i.e., manpower for intimidation and violence
- Like the Northern Guard the III% aesthetic is a combination of biker and pseudo-military apparel
- Their logo is the number III on a Greek/Spartan helmet
If you are a community leader or political candidate it is your civic duty to never collaborate with hate groups. You have a moral responsibility to never enable or legitimize far-right extremism.
But if that moral responsibility is not enough to convince you to keep hate groups out of your coalition, remember: if you associate with these people, we will find out.
We will make sure the media finds out.
We will make sure the public finds out.
We will not let you get away with it.
So save yourself a little trouble--do your homework--and keep these hate groups away from your movement.