Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Anti-Fascist’ Category

———————————————————————————————–

Jay Phillips living up to dad’s example: Assault victim taught to stand up for himself
Swarming victim’s dad taught his son to be proud and stand up for himself

By Sam Cooper, The Province [British Columbia]
July 12, 2009

Hundreds showed up for an anti-racism rally in Courtenay last week to support assault victim Jay Phillips. Photograph by: Marcel Tetrault, Comox Valley Echo

Hundreds showed up for an anti-racism rally in Courtenay last week to support assault victim Jay Phillips. Photograph by: Marcel Tetrault, Comox Valley Echo

Many people were shocked by the video that surfaced recently of three young Caucasian men apparently swarming a lone black man in a strip mall parking lot on a hot summer night in the Vancouver Island city of Courtenay.

But having to fight because of his skin colour was no surprise for that black man, 38-year-old Jay Phillips. It was just history repeating itself.

His father also had to defend himself in B.C. because he was black.

On Friday, David Samuel White, 19, Adam David Huber, 24, and Robert William Rodgers, 25, were charged with assaulting Phillips on the evening of July 3, in an apparent racist attack captured on video and broadcast on the Internet.

The trio were allegedly involved in a separate attack on a young Caucasian man later that evening, RCMP Const. Tammy Douglas told The Province.

Phillips and his mother, Kirsten, who is Caucasian, responded to the charges in separate interviews with The Province.

Both remembered Jay’s father Reginald Phillips, who died before Christmas, as a man who taught his son to be proud of his colour and to defend himself.

Reginald and Kirsten first started dating in the 1960s in Prince Rupert.

“He was the only black man in town, dating a white woman, so of course he had to fight plenty,” Jay Phillips said with a laugh.

Racially-motivated fights continued in various B.C. towns, Kirsten said.

Reginald taught Jay Phillips to box from a young age, both mother and son recalled. Those skills are apparent in the July 3 video, as Phillips, a 210-pound man who can bench press 300 pounds, fought three men to a draw at the very least.

But it’s the way Jay has acted after the fight that Reginald would most appreciate, Kirsten said.

“He’d be extremely proud of the way Jason is handling this with his brain.” “He’d be beaming; he’d be so proud that I did this the right way,” Jay said. “My dad told me stand up for yourself — don’t be racist. Don’t take s— from anyone.” The family is well aware that the video of Phillips repelling three brawlers has become an Internet sensation. But the ugly incident can be used to teach and spark dialogue, they say.

Initially, Kirsten felt the gut-wrenching emotion of a mother watching her son on the pavement getting hammered by six fists.

“My heart stood still and I still choke up when I watch the video,” she said. “But I had to cheer when Jason got up and they started to scatter like little flies.” “It shows racism is alive and well,” she added. “First and foremost, people are talking about it.” Phillips says the media sensation around his actions has led to offers to teach in classrooms and even run for politics, as he proves he can “speak well” with his message against racism and gang-up attacks.

“I was at a rally [in Courtenay against racism] and eight mothers came up to me and said the same thing has happened to their kids,” he said.

“There’s a mentality bubbling up [with bullying and fighting in Courtenay] and I don’t want to see it explode.” Phillips says he will eventually show the now-famous fight video to his baby son, Malik. And like his father taught him, he’ll teach the boy to box.

“I’ll let him know racism is out there. I just hope he doesn’t have to go through this.” Before they were charged, the alleged attackers appeared in a TV interview with faces obscured under hooded sweaters. They admitted to racist language easily heard on the video, but claimed racial motivation in the fight was “blown out of proportion.” “We’re not white supremacists,” one said.

Police have presented evidence to Crown prosecutors and if the three are convicted, a judge will decide whether hate-crime law is warranted during sentencing, RCMP say.

Phillips told The Province he’s convinced he was the victim of a hate crime, but he’s not at all interested in vengeance on the three.

In fact, he hopes they get proper instruction — in the justice system.

“They’re young and stupid, so hopefully they’ll learn from this,” Phillips said.

“You start running around and doing this kind of stuff and sooner or later, someone loses their life.”

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

———————————————————————————————-

Protest groups upset over rally violence

By KATIE SCHNEIDER, SUN MEDIA
The Calgary Sun [Alberta]
March 23, 2009

CALGARY — Anti-Racist Action Calgary is condemning the violent actions of protesters demonstrating on their side of the line who clashed with the Aryan Guard at a weekend rally.

Three protesters were arrested Saturday when the anti-racist group confronted members of the Aryan Guard who were marching to celebrate White Pride Day.

The rally of several hundred people became violent when demonstrators began tossing water bottles, cans of food and signs at each other.

The chaotic clash injured two people, including Sun columnist Rick Bell.

But Jason Devine, spokesman for ARA, said the group does not condone violent protesting.

“We have said from the beginning it was supposed to be confrontational but not violent,” he said.

“We have never called on people to physically assault the Aryan Guard — our job was to ostracize them, getting the message out there are Nazis in our community.

“The signs are there to get the message out not there to bust people’s heads open.”

Devine said those who resorted to violence and were arrested were not associated to the ARA and had just joined the march off the street.

And once the debris was thrown, he said he tried to stop it.

“We immediately said to people ‘don’t do that because this is not what it’s about’,” he said.

“We in no way condone random people attacking them.”

But he said he doesn’t feel the ARA’s image has been tarnished with the violence that erupted from its side of the line.

“If people look into the situation … the ARA has not and is not advocating violence,” he said.

“They (the Aryan Guard) are the ones advocating violence.”

———————————————————————————————-

Protest turns violent as Calgary Aryan Guard, anti-racism activists square off

By Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary Herald [Alberta]
March 21, 2009

A white pride march through Calgary’s core quickly deteriorated into a violent melee Saturday as protesters flung rocks, aluminum cans and other projectiles into a crowd of people taking part in the demonstration.

Several fist fights broke out at the Aryan Guard rally and at least two people were treated for head injuries after being hit by the projectiles, although the injuries weren’t serious.

Police arrested three people, and charges are pending.

More than 400 anti-racist protesters confronted about 60 members of Calgary-based white supremacist group, the Aryan Guard.

The white pride marchers began their route near Mewata Armouries and planned to make their way to city hall.

The Aryan Guard waved white pride flags and chanted slogans as they zigzagged through the inner city. Their path was blocked at several turns by the raucous anti-racist activists, who first clashed with the marchers at 7th Avenue and 6th Street SW.

A strong police presence formed a human barricade between the two sides.

Authorities broke up several fights between the two sides along the way.

At one point, the Aryan Guard marchers brought traffic to a standstill on 6th Avenue as they threaded their way through vehicles.

“It freaks me out,” said one motorist, recording the protest on his cellphone through his car window.

The protest ended at about 4:30 p.m. when the Aryan Guard boarded a city bus and were shuttled out of the core.

Earlier in the day, the group of anti-racist activists held a “celebration of diversity” on the steps of city hall as part of efforts to overshadow the Aryan Guard’s event.

Several hundred people, many waving anti-racist signs and some of them masked, gathered for a series of speeches and songs promoting multiculturalism.

Rally organizers lashed out at the Aryan Guard.

“The message has to get out there, they’ve got to be exposed,” said Jason Devine.

“This rally isn’t going to get rid of the Aryan Guard, but it is a blow to them.

“This is a springboard we have to build of off. We have to take the energy of this rally and go further.”

Kelsey Mills learned of the event after reading an article in her high school newspaper. A similar event last year — which saw throngs of white supremacists and anti-racists clash on downtown Calgary streets — was shocking, she said.

“I just think that it’s not right. The Aryan Guard shouldn’t be around,” said Mills, 17.

Harmohinder Plaha, president of Calgary’s South Asian Canadian Association, called for Calgarians to stand up against racism.

“We don’t like racism. We are totally against it,” he said.

Read Full Post »

‘I was scared for my life’
Woman says racist attack at LRT station forced her to flee Calgary for Ontario

NEIL MACKINNON/METRO CALGARY [Alberta]
July 31, 2008

Alleged racial slurs hurled by a knife-wielding skinhead at a city LRT station left a young black woman feeling like she had no choice but to leave Calgary.

Last Friday around 11:30 p.m., Peta-Gay Smith, 20, just finished work and was hoping to board a southbound train at Erlton Station when she said a group of five white supremacists shouted racial epithets and threatened her with a “Rambo-style” knife.

“I was so scared,” Smith told Metro exclusively. “It was the first time anyone had ever called me a nigger but that was the last thing on my mind, I was scared for my life, I’d never had anyone come at me like that.”

A bystander stepped in, punching the would-be attacker in the face before he could reach her and a melee broke out, Smith said.

“I’d probably be dead if it wasn’t for that.”

Calgary police confirmed the presence of a knife in the fight , which was caught on transit security video, but those involved had fled the scene by the time cops arrived and Smith never filed a report of her own.

Smith said she bolted off the platform, running down the street with tears flowing, searching every alleyway, “afraid skinheads might dart out at any time.”

She hadn’t planned to, but Saturday morning she moved back to Ontario.

It was a hasty decision, but Smith said she won’t be coming back to Calgary until she can drive.

“I don’t feel like it’s safe to ride the train at night anymore,” she said. “I’ll always be wondering when they’re going to turn up.”

Diversity resources Const. Christine Robinson said clashes between neo-Nazis and minorities are “quite rare” in Calgary and she hopes Smith steps forward so a proper investigation can be conducted.

“This is absolutely unacceptable and as a police service, we take these situations very seriously.”

Read Full Post »

Ontario Anti-Racist Action Shuts Down Fascists in London

On Sunday, July 27th, anti-fascists (“antifa”) came together from across Southern Ontario to confront and shut down an attempt by long time hate organizers to intimidate the participants of London’s 2008 Pride Parade. Acting on information found posted on white supremacist websites, antifa in several cities were able to organize and produce the numbers despite minimal preparation time.

Close to 30 people gathered at Victoria Park at 11:30AM to discuss the plan for the day and create banners that would be used to block out the homophobic and anti-gay signs. As expected, harassment from the London Police Department was heavy from the get-go. Police used several tactics in an unsuccessful attempt to get information from and intimidate those gathered at Victoria Park (i.e. good cop / bad cop, isolating individuals and pressing for answers, intrusive photographs, etc). The group was approached by the cops repeatedly before they even left the park.

At around 12:15PM the 30-person strong crew left Victoria Park with several large banners, flags, and signs, heading down to pay the the fascists a visit at their meeting spot, the corner of Dundas and Colborne. Rumors had circulated earlier that upwards of 20 white supremacists would be present for the hate demonstration. However, in reality an unimpressive 5 people (including Randall Linton, Melissa Guille, Dave Ruud, and Louis Morin), primarily washed up Canadian Heritage Alliance (CHA) members, managed to drag their sorry selves out of bed early enough on a Sunday to wave around bristol board signs with sloppy slogans scrawled across in black sharpie.

During the initial confrontation a minor incident broke out that resulted in one ARA activist being arrested after a bonehead grabbed at a member of ARA. This police action was completely unwarranted and was a weak attempt to discourage those involved in the ARA demonstration. Our comrade was released from detention after we came together and arranged support for him.

Throughout the entirety of the parade, the fascists’ signs were completely covered by ARA banners and flags, which was not exactly difficult considering that the homophobes were outnumbered by ARA 6 to 1. It did not take long for the members of the CHA and their supporters to become visibly frustrated and downright embarrassed that their day had been such an obviously miserable failure. On several occasions various boneheads found themselves completely alone and encircled by Rainbow banners, pro-Queer and ARA slogans as they scurried up and down the streets.

Towards the end of the parade the fascists called it quits after having several of their signs torn up, being publicly humiliated, and generally having a terrible Sunday out. They dispersed without incident, enjoying the police protection that they had greatly benefited from all day long.

No Homophobia! No Fascist Canada!

– SOUTHERN ONTARIO A.R.A.

Read Full Post »

Anti-Racist Action Calgary (ARA) confronts the Aryan Guard

[Contributed by Anonymous on July 16, 2008, to news.infoshop.org]

[Calgary, Alberta]

EMERGENCY DISCUSSION TO STOP THE CALGARY NAZI ARYAN GUARD TONIGHT. The meeting is happening at the Arusha Center on 223 12th avenue SW at 7:00 pm.

On Tuesday July 15th, 2008 in Calgary, the ARA sent a clear message to all neo-nazis and the Aryan Guard of Calgary. We will not tolerate a Nazi Gang in this town! Disappear!

Today, a Neo-Nazi gang member of the Aryan Guard was knocked out after he attacked a multi-racial group of youth, punching and spitting on them.

Members of the Anti-Racist-Action went to the Calgary skate park to hand out posters against racism. They warned youth in the Calgary skate park of a local White supremacist recruiter, Willis. Willis is an active member of the Aryan Guard and attends their protests. He would go to the Calgary Skate Park almost every day to recruit white skateboarding youth. He would also teach children as young as ten to fight, and give underage youth cigarettes to gain favor.

When ARA left the park Willis was seen giving a heil Hitler salute from the balcony of his apartment. He left the balcony and came down to attack the group of ARA members. The result of this attack, was that Willis was left unconscious on the ground.

ARA believes that the skate park belongs to all youth, not just Nazis and their sympathizers. We went to take it back and declare it a Nazi-free zone.

Show your support for Anti-Racist Action! On Wednesday July 16th, the ARA is hosting a panel discussion on the threat of the Aryan Guard organizing in our neighborhoods. The talk is free to everyone, and is happening at the Arusha Public Center on 223 12th avenue SW at 7:00 pm. Lets show the Aryan Guard they are not welcome on our streets.

Read Full Post »