This past Saturday white supremacists attempted to celebrate, “World White Pride Day” across Canada. It was to be a chance for the nation’s fascist movement to make its presence known in a public show of force on the streets. In the end only two cities – London, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta – attempted to stage marches. Neither succeeded.

In both cities events played out along very similar lines. In each around twenty Nazis were met by a hundred or so raging antifascist counter-demonstrators, and hilarity ensued. Both groups were forced to take shelter behind police lines which held the angry crowds at bay while carefully allowing them to disperse. In Edmonton, fascists were chased into a subway station, in London, gathering marchers became corralled in an underground parking garage. For the attempted resurrection of Canada’s Nazi movement, it was a bitter defeat. Or, to use the contemporary proletarian vernacular, they got fucked up.

Organizing efforts for the fascists seem mostly to have come from Blood and Honour. For those unfamiliar, they’re a skinhead street gang started as a form of outreach by Ian Stuart Donaldson, lead singer from seminal Neo-Nazi hardcore band Skrewdriver in the 80s. They’ve become known recently in Canada after being tied to a number of violent attacks in British Columbia. White pride websites were also used to spread word – probably not the wisest move in hindsight…

Clashes like these are, unfortunately, still common across the Western world. Antifascist activists are facing charges in both Duluth, Mn. and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia after recent confrontations. Though the movement has faded a fair bit since its heyday in the 1980s, Nazi skinhead groups like Blood and Honour still terrorize the streets of most western nations. Part subculture part street gang, part terrorist cell, they use old-school Nazi imagery/ideology and incredibly violent tactics to intimidate communities around them. Assaulting and even murdering minorities, political (or ‘subcultural’) opponents and even rival fascist groups are common fare. Despite this, police are notoriously uninterested in them, and even often end up siding with fascists when violence breaks out at these rallies. In the worst cases, particularly nations like Columbia or Russia, they act as unofficial arms of the state, knocking off dissidents. Communities, though, have found their own way to fight back – Organized resistance through groups like Anti-Racist Action (ARA) and Antifa now stalk these Nazis pretty much everywhere they go, “outing” them to communities and battling them in the streets, generally in “black bloc” fashion . In a great many cities, especially in North America, Nazis were literally run out of town.

I’m not too young to remember a time when Neo-Nazis proudly strutted around downtown Hamilton, and when the threat of an ass-kicking from them was a very real fear for many of my friends. Even today, there still seems to be somebody in my neighbourhood spray-painting swastikas on walls and trails. As we near 70 years since the fall of Hitler’s regime, the symbols and ideals are still haunting our communities and galvanizing the extremes of racist, nationalist and authoritarian thought. Authorities may not mind, but the population certainly does. This past weekend, Canada made our feelings clear: never again.

Good night white pride, and don’t get up.

See more updates at Anti-Racist Canada

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