Proud Boys Canada’s death may harden members’ resolve, experts warn

OTTAWA – The Canadian Chapter of the Proud Boys with Terrorist Law has been created due to the group’s apparent demise, but a leading expert says it may have little impact on the broader broad-right movement.

Barbara Perry, director of the Center for Hate, Bias and Extremeism at Ontario Tech University, said the development could only harden the resolution of former members, prompting them to join other groups or increase personal online activity.

Proud Boys Canada announced on Sunday that it was dissolved after the Liberal government listed it as a terrorist organization following a January attack on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Being on the list means that the assets and assets of the group are effectively frozen and subject to seizure or confiscation.

A statement posted to the Proud Boys Channel on Telegram and attributed to the Canadian chapter of the white nationalist group said it thought to pursue the legal case, “but we have no financial backing.”

In a separate statement, the group said those in its Canadian chapter would have to consider their livelihoods and that “this battle in court would prove to be costly and time-consuming.”

But it said the “fight for freedom” is not over.

“They will continue to fight for Western values ​​… but now … as individuals.”

Perry said that while the list of Ottawa’s Proud Boys might deter some members, it could harden the resolve of others.

“It reinforces their victim mentality,” she said in an interview on Monday. “Now they can claim that they are the target person, they are the one who is being silenced.”

Perry said that it is possible that some of the local chapters of the Proud Boys will continue to operate in Canada. In addition, “real deathbirds” will transform into a separate group or take along an existing one, he predicted.

“I think many of them will somehow engage in the movement,” Perry said.

Some extremists in the movement will try to advance the cause in cyberspace on their own, he adds, “Many people who are getting out of their way into different social-media platforms and not necessarily with it Join. Special group. “

Perry also characterized the next general election as a rally point “likely to bring people out of the woodwork again” as far-flung members try to amplify their messages.

Mustafa Farooq, the chief executive of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, cautiously welcomed the announcement of the Proud Boys.

“Obviously, we do not take the words of this violent Islamophobic organization at face value,” he tweeted. “However, this is an important step.”

Farooq said there is still “a lot more work to be done” to eliminate many other white-dominated groups in Canada.

“Let’s come down to the flag of hate. Together.”

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s spokeswoman Mary-Liz Power said race-based, white supremacist violence is a sad reality in Canada.

“We have taken significant action as a government to end this type of violence in our communities. We also know that there is so much to do, and we are committed to doing that work.” he said.

“Intolerance and hate have no place in our society.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 3, 2021.


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