On the morning the far-right Proud Boys had been added to Canada’s listing of proscribed terrorist organizations, a video appeared in a personal group on Telegram.
It confirmed a person seated at a picket desk, sporting a pink Make America Nice Once more hat and holding up a coin inscribed with the Proud Boys emblem.
He then recited the Proud Boys oath.
“Proud boy for all times,” learn the remark that accompanied the 17-second video clip.
International Information has discovered the person within the video is lawyer Colin A. Browne. The Legislation Society of Ontario lists him as a personal follow lawyer with no regulatory historical past.
In accordance with the Northumberland County Legislation Affiliation, Browne focuses on prison and household legislation in Cobourg, about 100 kilometres east of Toronto.
“Am I a member of the Proud Boys? I instructed you that earlier than. Ya,” Browne instructed International Information over the cellphone.
Browne stated he was engaged on an attraction of the federal government’s choice to place the Proud Boys on Canada’s terrorist listing and would have extra to say later.
“How did I find yourself a member of the Proud Boys? That’s an extended story, and that’s a part of what we’re going to be speaking about subsequent week, however take my phrase for it, you’re going to like it.”
It isn’t unlawful to be a member of a bunch on Canada’s terrorist listing. However the Canadian Anti-Hate Community stated it could be submitting a grievance with the Legislation Society of Ontario.
“I might suppose that the Legislation Society could be extraordinarily involved to find that considered one of their members took an oath to belong to a government-recognized terrorist group,” stated CAHN chair Bernie Farber.
“It’s form of mind-boggling.”
Requested if attorneys might belong to terrorist teams, the Legislation Society stated it “could think about allegations that attorneys’ conduct in both their skilled or private capacities tends to convey discredit on the authorized occupation.”
Ontario lawyer seems to take Proud Boys oath on similar day as group added to terrorist watchlist
The video was posted on Feb. 3 beneath the username Colin Q. Browne, who recognized himself as a 61-year-old lawyer.
“Proud Boy oath, take one,” the video started.
He then appeared to learn from the Proud Boys coin.
“I’m a Western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the fashionable world,” he stated.
One other member of the chat responded with a video of his personal.
“F—ok ya brother, that’s the form of satisfaction I wish to see,” he stated, earlier than making a hand gesture related to the far proper.
Taking oath is Proud Boys membership ceremony, researcher says
Taking oath is membership ceremony, researcher says
Judyth Rekai, a lawyer in Roseneath, Ont., who is aware of Browne and is considered one of his Fb associates, stated becoming a member of the Proud Boys “could be very uncommon” for him.
“He’s a defence council who does actually good, laborious work for his purchasers,” she stated.
She stated she couldn’t level to any particular purchasers however “he’s taken with them, he treats them with respect and I might discover it uncommon for anyone to hitch the Proud Boys.”
However Blyth Crawford, a analysis fellow on the London-based Worldwide Centre for the Examine of Radicalisation, stated the video appeared to point out the Proud Boys membership ceremony.
“There are 4 levels of Proud Boy membership, every being accompanied by an initiation ritual. The primary diploma merely entails publicly declaring you’re a Proud Boy,” she stated.
The coin within the video resembles “problem cash” that symbolize Proud Boys membership, stated Crawford, a doctoral candidate at King’s Faculty London who specializes within the alt-right.
She stated it was unclear from the video whether or not the coin had been provided by a Proud Boys member. “Nonetheless, the coin does seem to resemble cash nonetheless accessible to buy on-line,” she stated.
“After all, the choice to make the announcement on the identical day because the Canadian designation casts the video as a form of act of revolt, and successfully doubtless an try and mock the choice.”
Samantha Kutner, a U.S. researcher who research the Proud Boys, additionally stated the video appeared to point out the first-degree membership course of.
Proud Boys are “neo-fascist,” Canadian terror itemizing says
Shaped by a Canadian in 2016, the Proud Boys skilled a progress spurt final 12 months however have been beneath strain since a number of U.S. members allegedly performed outstanding roles within the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol constructing.
Because the assault, the Proud Boys have confronted arrests, the lack of their on-line platforms and classification as a terrorist group by the Canadian authorities, which describes them as a “neo-fascist group that engages in political violence.”
The itemizing alleges that members “espouse misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and/or white supremacist ideologies and affiliate with white supremacist teams.”
“The group and its members have brazenly inspired, deliberate, and carried out violent actions towards these they understand to be against their ideology and political opinions,” it says.
On an internet site known as Proud Boy Truths, the group denied involvement in violence or crime, and claimed it was solely taken with “reinstating a spirit of western chauvinism.”
“There is no such thing as a proof we’re a terrorist group,” it stated. “Positive, there’s been some fights at rallies, however that isn’t political violence. That’s defending your self from folks stopping you from exercising your proper to protest.”
Terror listing appeals go to minister, then Federal Court docket
Specialists have been anticipating the Proud Boys to attraction Canada’s choice.
Beneath Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation, teams can apply to the general public security minister to be faraway from the listing.
If the minister declines their attraction, the choice can go to the Federal Court docket.
A choose then examines the intelligence experiences that shaped the idea of the choice, and hears proof from either side, earlier than ruling on whether or not the itemizing was affordable.
“The choose could obtain into proof something that, within the opinion of the choose, is dependable and applicable, even when it could not in any other case be admissible beneath Canadian legislation, and will base his or her choice on that proof,” the legislation reads.
Just one group has ever been taken off Canada’s terrorist listing. In 2012, the Conservative authorities eliminated the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, an exile group against the Iranian regime.
The Worldwide Aid Fund for the Bothered and Needy, which was listed for its alleged ties to Hamas, took its case to the Federal Court docket in 2017 however dropped the case after two years.
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