the Ukraine for the Euro 2012 Championship for fears that they risk being attacked by Nazi mobs.
When the Metalist team scores, hundreds of Ultras punch their chests, salute and shout ‘Sieg Heil!’ Of their Nazi ‘Hail Victory’ gesture. Fans, however, insist that ‘It’s just a bit of fun.’
Perhaps I am being too hard on the White Power crowd. When I first realized that all was not right here in Canada, I turned to my ability to research. At that time, Stormfront was the only game in town, and I’ll bet you a million dollars that that is where these guys meet and organize.
After a series of high-profile hate crimes in B.C., including damage to a Jewish Cemetery in Victoria recently – and one of Taffy’s Youth centre kids ending up in hospital – racists are renewing their committment to their movement.
“Racism is an ugly truth about Canada,” said the No One Is Illegal statement. “The crimes of white supremacists are not exceptions, because they exist amidst an underlying racism that continuously places people of colour as Outsiders from an imagined White Canadian identity.
“We encourage our friends and allies to remain vigilant, to be pro-active in countering racism, to strengthen our communities of solidarity and resistance, and to never let the haters have power over us.”
“The really slow reaction from the police – two years to actually respond – is the generally legal atmosphere where racism isn’t taken that seriously in Vancouver,” the group said. “It seems the police know the group – there’s enough evidence for the police to shut them down, or investigate their operations.”
The VPD said it could not discuss details of its Blood and Honour investigation, but said that investigations often last years before charges are laid.
“Incidents involving potential hate bias or prejudice are extremely important to the VPD,” said spokesperson Cst. Lindsey Houghton. “We want to be able to investigate crimes and assist victims of crimes so we encourage anyone who’s been the victim of a crime to contact us. Everyone deserves to have the police investigate if they’ve been a victim of a crime.”
It’s easy to tell. Since the late 90′s, however, the level of internet discourse on this subject has risen one hundred-fold. But whereas the political activism of these skinheads reflects the level of intellectualism on Stormfront, the intellectual and high-brow arm of the nationalist/ reactionary community has zero political activism to complement their rhetoric.
‘Welcome to Canada, where all people are protected from prejudice, unless they are white’
What a ghastly, Orwellian disgrace attention grabber, that statement daring to question why Muslims can pass through scanners with their faces completely covered, but five white guys get stripped searched.
The number of gang members per 50,000 (small towns and suburbs) was 200-500 in the late 1990s. As the number of youths decreased and the implementation of community interventions was applied, that number dropped to about 100-300 as of mid-2004. This is based upon samplings from police data bases. As the number of juveniles has increased and the atrisk environment has remained about the same, jurisdictions across the US, Canada, and here in Britain, are reporting more gang activity. This increase is not as a result of street gang recruitment. Rather, these are gangs formed by youths in those communities.
There is a new risk factor that now accounts for 5–15% of gang recruitment outside of the inner-city: Both parents work full-time jobs, and both parents don’t have to work full-time jobs. This is now a common factor for other at-risk youth behaviors outside of the inner-city. Briefly, kids are made to feel like they have everything, but they are left without daily guidance, assurance, discipline, and so on. For many of these kids, it only fuels their rage.
We are not talking about both parents working to earn enough to keep one of the kids in college or to pay for grandmother’s medical bills.
Here, parents have put earning income as a higher priority than raising and nurturing their kids.
As a counterpoint, there are now many dramatic examples of parents who have quit their jobs, taken part-time jobs, work out of their home, etc. in order to give their children the time they deserve. The result? Severe at-risk behavior often comes to a halt.
Look for significant dialogue and changes in the workplace as this common sense factor becomes more widely known.
Employees who have stability at home, almost always are more productive and focused. They will produce more in fewer hours. Adjust hours for needy employees so they can be home before kids come home from school. Allow for certain types of tasks to be taken home that can be performed after kids go to sleep. It not only makes good business sense, its also the right thing to do.
Affluent gangs will be with us long into the next century. The choice is preemptive action now, or engaging a new uncontrolled form of terrorism in the future-the very near future.
There is no evidence whatsoever that this trend is going to diminish. My research only indicates that this will continue to grow.
Every day during a school year, youths are found with bombs and automatic weapons with plots to take out their schools. This is an unprecedented trend in world history. Very few of these incidents are ever reported.
The number of gangs in affluent, upscale communities has risen significantly since January of 1995. At that time, it wasn’t uncommon to find 50-250 gang members in a community of 50,000-75,000. Prior to that date, obtaining reliable statistics regarding gangs in upscale communities was difficult, typically due to political pressure preventing the collection or release of such surveys. Today, after numerous interviews over the last two years with law enforcement agencies across North America, and surveys that Korem & Associates have conducted with local educators and law enforcement, the numbers of gang youths in these communities has risen to an average of 200-500 in the typical non-inner-city community.
The overall number of youths in gangs is over 900,000 in over 25,000 gangs according to the National Youth Gang Study conducted by the National Youth Gang Center. We know that the numbers are actually much higher, because many rural communities have gangs, and these communities were not included in the report. Additionally, it is a common practice by most suburban communities to under-report their actual gang statistics by at least 50%. Therefore, the best estimate today of the total number of gang members is about 1,000,000–1,500,000.
Youths can adopt a facade, but not choose to form a gang, such as youths who adopt the skinhead persona but don’t join gangs and commit crimes. The majority of youths who call themselves Straight Edge are not violent nor do they identify with the neo-nazi persona. Straight Edgers in this area are typically involved in body piercing (tongues, lips, eyebrows, belly buttons, genitals), and frequently; have detailed and artistic tattoos. They will frequently carry or wear heavy silver chains, which can double as a weapon. Recently, they have been linked to graffiti with racial overtones, including swastikas, other Nazi symbols, and slogans such as “White pride” and “Skins.”
The total and utter lack of common sense by authorities is staggering.
But the worst part of it all is the childish insistence that all is in hand.
“It is not uncommon for criminal investigations to last a significant period of time as evidence is gathered, a criminal case built up, and information compiled before it is submitted to Crown Counsel for their consideration.”
Alan Dutton, chair of Canada’s Anti-Racism and Education and Research Society (CAERS), told the Vancouver Observer he is pleased the alleged Blood and Honour members were arrested – but questioned how seriously the legal system is taking hate crimes. He said members of Blood and Honour being released on bail raises many concerns.
“I can’t understand how or why these individuals are not in jail – why are they out on bail?” Dutton asked. “These are serious charges. It certainly looks like they’re hate-crime involved. Why are they out walking the streets?”
The veteran anti-hate researcher – who has documented racist groups for 25 years – told the Vancouver Observer that he believes hate crimes are on the rise in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.
“In the early 2000s, we saw ... the ebb of hate group activity,” Dutton said. “Now what we’re seeing is the growth again.
“This is spurred on by continuing fears about the economy – downturns in the economy always result in people blaming others, in particular minorities and immigration for the loss of jobs, when we know that’s not the case. That is one of the ways they mobilize young people and get them to join hate groups – by blaming other people for the problems we’re facing.”
Alarcon told the Vancouver Observer she witnessed exactly that phenomenon recently on a bus from Joyce Skytrain station.
“A guy walked onto the bus,” she recalled. “(He) said, ‘You guys’ – it was a bus full of immigrants from Joyce station – ‘You should go back and build our railway, this is our land, you’re stealing our jobs.’
“Nobody said anything except me ... calling him out for being a white supremacist.”..
Dutton said that Commercial Drive – where the Blood and Honour incidents occurred – has a several-decade history with organized hate groups. But many other parts of the city have seen activity, he said, citing New Westminster, Surrey and Richmond in particular.
The incidents of hate crimes reflect a growing acceptability of racial prejudice across class lines in Canadian society, and fears and resentments which can can be stoked by government policies.
“If you don’t have that underlying racism in society, then hate groups would never be able to recruit,” Dutton said. “When you have politicians
that appear to be blaming people who are Muslim and who appear to be different, you are going to have resentment and fear – people will use that as a basis for mobilizing young people.
“What we see, across Western Europe and in North America, is the rise again of organized hate groups and political parties representing those hate groups. We are very concerned that we do not have the mobilization of the community at this point.”
It is so easy to get distracted in our daily routines. Some of those distractions we create purposely. Many times these are distractions in our minds that have little to do with the ‘Bigger Picture’.
From time to time we are reminded, for whatever reason, how we have failed someone in the past. We may get distracted by how we have failed ourselves or how we have failed each other. We all have those reminders, or triggers, in our head which can distract us.
“Never again,” we said after the Holocaust. And after the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s. And then again after the Rwanda genocide in 1994. And then, just a year later, after the Srbrenica massacre in Bosnia.
We find ourselves yet again, with Libya free and in the face of more mass killing and dying in Syria, whether we really are capable, as an international community, of stopping the murdering and killing. With what is happening in the Middle East, can we have a blanket response?
When it comes to genocide and all the other atrocity crimes by which we have been horrified -- not only in the more distant past but very much over the last 15 years under the nose of the UN Security Council with no more Cold War excuses to explain its impotence -- will we live up to “Never again”?
We need to be aware of what’s going on and bring out large numbers of people to demonstrate against hate. If we do not, a little dark time in history just may be repeating itself. ” William