The notoriously xenophobic Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right 'Party for Freedom' - which holds 24 seats in the Dutch parliament - descended on the Canadian Christian College in northern Toronto on May 9 to spew his racist filth to a receptive audience of Christian chauvinists, as their far-right allies, the Jewish Defense League (JDL), managed parking. The event was given extensive coverage in the National Post and Sun Media, thereby advancing the idea of a 'culture war' between good white Judeo-Christians and the wretched 'others'.
With very short notice an, admittedly small group of anti-racist anarchists and First Nations solidarity activists were able to mobilize to confront Wilders and his horde of social degenerates. Bearing placards reading, amongst other slogans, “Semantics can't hide racist logic” and “No to racism, colonialism, and islamophobia,” this handful of activists stood their ground as a disproportionate number of police and security agents took photos and notes.
At one point, a beefy older man approached the protesters and stood beside them. After feigning hurt feelings when asked why he was wearing an earpiece, the man later identified himself as a RCMP agent. After a bit of painfully awkward banter, one of the assembled protestors bluntly asked him if he knew how many native people his organization had murdered. The pig then scurried away, making dismissive excuses.
Later, a member of the ultra-right Canadian Hindu Advocacy, whom the JDL had derisively labelled a “self-hating Hindu” - in an effort to distance themselves from violently homophobic remarks he had made at an earlier event - was, not surprisingly, greeted with hugs from his fellow racists upon arrival. At a JDL-organized protest outside the Pride Toronto office on April 15, this same individual had threatened to “shove a knife up the ass” of one reporter from the LGTBQ magazine Xtra, and shouted “we'll be back, faggots!” as the crowd of haters dispersed. However, at this particular event the familiar JDL faces were on their best behaviour; clad in suits and wrap-around sunglasses, this time the name of the game appeared to be respectability - and hence they refused to engage the anti-racist protesters with their typical slurs.
Despite the overwhelming police presence at such a secluded uptown location, the protest was treated to a slow drive-by from the Toronto Police's swat team, the Emergency Task Force (ETF) - the same team whose snipers were deployed on downtown rooftops during the anti-police brutality protest on March 15. Any attempt at intimidation was unsuccessful, however; their presence at such a tiny peaceful protest instead sparked laughter and jeers from the small crowd.
A reporter from Macleans magazine came by the group to ask for a statement from the ARA, to which one protester responded, “that depends, are we too Asian for you?” in reference to a disgusting story the magazine printed recently exploring the patently racist idea that the existence of too many Asian students at the University of Toronto was ruining the educational experience of whites. Another protester followed this up by noting that her magazine was “pretty racist” - to which she responded, unfazed, “yeah... I know that” before continuing with her line of questioning.
The protest was given some coverage in a front-page article in the National Post and reporters from other media outlets also covered the mobilization, however the small number of anti-racists was lamentable. Extremely short notice aside, such low numbers highlight the need for a more stable organization of anti-racists in a city that in years past was able to defeat a vastly larger and viciously violent white supremacist movement with one of the strongest ARA chapters in the country. The deep economic recession combined with continuing wars in the Middle East present a looming threat of a resurgence of organized racist violence that anarchists and progressives alike must be prepared for.