Regardless of saying they’ve disbanded, Canada’s Proud Boys is probably not completed, specialists warn

COMMENTARY: We can condemn and combat extremism without loosening the definition of ‘terrorism’

2021-05-04 13:30:30

After a press release started circulating amongst Proud Boys members final week, saying the group had disbanded in Canada, some took to social media to reject it.

In keeping with a personal chat shared with World Information, members in Ontario denied the Proud Boys had been completed, and mentioned the assertion’s creator lacked the authority to inform them what to do.

Consultants additionally warned the assertion, claiming the Proud Boys Canada had “formally dissolved,” may not imply the top of the group.

Whether or not the regional chapters will settle for the choice stays unsure, and a researcher who research the Proud Boys mentioned even when the group was completed, its members might re-emerge below a brand new banner.

“Usually when a gaggle is proscribed, they could try to regroup below a brand new title in an try to evade the proscription,” mentioned Blyth Crawford, a analysis fellow on the Worldwide Centre for the Examine of Radicalisation.

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“So it stays to be seen whether or not that is what the Canada Proud Boys will do,” mentioned Crawford, who co-authored a latest paper that referred to as the Proud Boys a continued safety risk.

Learn extra:
Proud Boys Canada says it was by no means a ‘white supremacy’ group, dissolves itself

Self-described “Western chauvinists,” the Proud Boys had been fashioned in 2016 by Canadian Gavin McInnes. They depicted themselves as a fraternity, usually carrying black and yellow polo shirts.

However at public rallies, they grew to become identified for what a Canadian Armed Forces report referred to as “confrontational and at instances violent techniques,” in addition to misogyny and anti-Muslim sentiments.

Supporters of Donald Trump, U.S. Proud Boys members allegedly performed a key function within the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol constructing in Washington, D.C.

Within the wake of the assault, MPs handed a movement urging the federal authorities to position the Proud Boys on Canada’s record of terrorist teams.

The Liberals did so on Feb. 3.

“The Proud Boys is a neo-fascist group that engages in political violence,” learn the itemizing, which mentioned members espoused “misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and/or white supremacist ideologies and affiliate with white supremacist teams.”

Particularly, it mentioned the Proud Boys had focused Black Lives Matter supporters, and “performed a pivotal function within the revolt on the U.S. Capitol. Leaders of the group deliberate their participation by setting out targets, issuing directions, and directing members in the course of the revolt.”

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Click to play video: 'Proud Boys: A look at the group who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax'

Proud Boys: A take a look at the group who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax

Proud Boys: A take a look at the group who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax – Jul 6, 2017

The choice to position the Proud Boys on Canada’s terrorist record was a blow to the group, Crawford mentioned, upsetting its efforts to turn out to be a part of the right-wing mainstream.

Initially, the Proud Boys mentioned interesting the terrorism designation. The assertion, launched publicly on Sunday, mentioned the problem was dropped as a result of “we’ve got no monetary help, given we aren’t funded by the wealthy.”

However researcher Elizabeth Simons mentioned the phrases lacked credibility since there was no denunciation of the Proud Boys’ worldview, or amends for the hurt the group has brought about.

“The assertion itself is telling that the choice is a matter of self-preservation, and I’m completely constructive that some members or associates disagree with the choice, because of its lack of management construction,” mentioned Simons, deputy director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Community.

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She mentioned there was no scarcity of different teams that Proud Boys members might align themselves with.

“The main target must be on hate actions, and never hate teams,” mentioned Simons.

Learn extra:
Ontario lawyer seen in video reciting Proud Boys oath

Proud Boys supporters had been defiant after the group was designated for terrorism, writing in a personal chat group that they meant to hold on.

“If it takes going to jail, f__k, I don’t care, I’ll go to jail once more,” one wrote within the chat, shared with World Information by a member. “I’m in right here for all times.”

“Keep the corse [Sic] brothers individuals are waking up throughout us,” one other wrote.

The assertion saying the top of Proud Boys Canada blamed a “tyrannical leftist authorities” it claimed had singled out the group “for purely political causes.”

A associated assertion from the U.S. Proud Boys mentioned the group was getting used “by the ruling elite of the Canadian authorities to additional their authoritarian agenda.”

The federal government has mentioned the Proud Boys had been listed as a terrorist group as a result of they “brazenly inspired, deliberate, and performed violent actions in opposition to these they understand to be against their ideology and political opinions.”

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However Crawford mentioned the Proud Boys statements had been problematic as a result of they promoted the notion that the political proper was being unfairly focused, which might additional gasoline extremism.

“Going ahead it isn’t clear whether or not some semblance of the Canada Proud Boys would possibly proceed below a distinct title, however for now the truth that they’ve disbanded is getting used to push the narrative that governments can’t be trusted to uphold the pursuits of the precise,” she mentioned.

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