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Canadian extremist groups on Capitol Hill

Canadian is not immune to violence similar to that of Wednesday in Washington

Among the thousands of supporters of defeated US President Donald Trump who broke down doors and invaded the Capitol despite the presence of police on Wednesday in Washington, were Canadian far-right groups.

OTTAWA | Violent and armed far-right groups with strong roots in Canada and Quebec participated in the assault on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, prompting experts to fear that such violence is occurring here.

The III%, an anti-Islam militia with a strong presence in Quebec, and the Proud Boys, a small group founded by Canadian Gavin McInnes, were on the front lines of the insurgency and visible in several images.

During the election campaign, Donald Trump called on the Proud Boys, who glorify guns and freedom of expression in particular, to stand ready for a fight if the election does not turn out in his favour.

Terrorist

New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh says Ottawa must name the Proud Boys a terrorist organization to prevent it from gaining more influence.

So far, only one far-right Canadian organization is on this blacklist.

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“It is more urgent than ever that the government immediately ban and dismantle all hate organizations operating in Canada,” he said Thursday.

Canada is not immune to manifestations of violence and hatred similar to those in Washington, he said.

The founder of the Cultural Action Party of Canada, a far-right movement in Vancouver, took advantage of Wednesday’s violence to threaten Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a social network.

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“Will chaos in Washington be replicated in Canada when Trudeau becomes prime minister for a third term online,” asked Brad Salzberg. He’ll be lucky if he gets through without serious damage. “

The pandemic effect

David Morin, of the UNESCO Chair in the Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism at the University of Sherbrooke, believes that “it would be wrong to believe that we are immune, as shown, for example, by the rise of conspiratorial thinking in the past. pandemic ”.

“I don’t think we would see violence here on the scale that we saw in Washington, but there is growing tension and the potential for similar violence on a smaller scale,” said Barbara Perry, of the Center on Hate, Prejudice and Extremism at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

The criminologist adds that the pandemic increases the risk of extremists taking action. They could, for example, attack provincial authorities, because they believe they threaten their rights and freedoms by imposing containment measures.

This is an argument surfed on by the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, “a Donald Trump wannabe” according to Ms. Perry.

However, the Quebecer does not have sufficient popularity to motivate a mass movement like the Republican did, she points out.

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