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The far-left extremist group Antifa receives support from The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAN). They have also commended and disseminated far-left conspiracy theories.
In an article in The Federalist, CAN’s relationship with Antifa was uncovered, in which the organization’s members were found to be supporting Antifa by advising and protecting the extremist group in the media.
The latest example involved free-speech rally in Hamilton that took place on Mohawk College’s campus. The event was organized jointly by Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier. Before the rally was held, a member of CAN published an op-ed in a local newspaper where they demanded the group be de-platformed. This was because the rally was allegedly “ushering people into the neo-Nazi movement.”
Following this op-ed, Rubin claims Antifa activists threatened the venue and its participants, resulting in higher security costs.
“They absolutely got threats which is why the security fee was increased. Also at the event itself there were clearly plenty of threats outside,” Rubin told The Post Millennial.
College spokesperson Bill Steinburg told the CBC Mohawk did not receive any threats to cancel the event.
When the rally began, Antifa activists appeared and subsequently gained nation-wide attention when they refused to allow an elderly woman with a walker to cross the street. They did so by blocking her path so they had sufficient time to scream, “nazi scum” at her. They refused to listen to the women and were thus unaware that her family had fought against the Nazis in World War Two.
When The Post Millennial approached CAN for a comment, they responded by saying that the op-ed “wasn’t what alerted anti-fascists to the event. Organizing was already underway–which we had absolutely no involvement with.” The CAN spokesman went on to say that “I didn’t say the rally was ushering people to neo-Nazism, but that a study analyzing 79 million comments and 330,000 videos found that Rubin is part of a radicalization process on Youtube … my intention in the op-ed is quite obviously to have Mohawk make the principled decision not to host the event.”
CAN’s executive director Evan Balgord has also provided advice to the extremist group, stating that they should be “media aware” in response to the group harassing an elderly woman. When The Post Millennial approached Balgord for comment, he did not address the tweet, stating instead that he “condemned what happened.”
More seriously, however, the Chairman of the CAN, Bernie Farber, praised a journalist’s lauding of Antifa’s “muscular resistance”.
When Balgord was asked about the allegation from The Federalist that Farber himself praised Anitfa’s use of “muscular resistance,” he said, “Bernie didn’t say that. You’re quoting Bernie [Farber] quoting [another journalist]. Further, muscular does not necessarily equal violence. Farber is quite explicitly anti-violence, and any implication to the contrary is defamatory.”
Nevertheless, Farber quoted the journalist’s comments and then went on to praise the journalist who said it, saying “the understanding [the journalist] brings to a difficult issue is well worth your read.”
Farber has also been tied to people who promote extremist ideology and has protected individuals who preach hate. Earlier this October, for instance, Farber spoke at an event with Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) speakers, which has been described by Canadian Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith as a “hateful and racist movement that singles out Israel.” The Centre for Israel and Jewish affairs describes BDS as “antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism.”
Additionally, Farber has regularly defended allegedly anti-Semitic individuals. In one case, Farber stated that an Imam who said “slay them one by one and spare not one of them. Oh Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews,” had been treated unfairly.
When approached with this, the CAN spokesman said “At the time it was believed to be a mistranslation–I don’t know that it’s possible to know the truth of that one way or another given the different interpretations by different linguists … that’s the information Bernie [Farber] had.”
Balgord has a history of defending Antifa. In a blog post, he defended the amorphous organization by stating that there were “many examples of anti-fascists (Antifa) using violence to protect other protesters.” Balgord proceeded to state that the media presented “a distorted image of the movement.” He also co-wrote an article for Rabble with Kevin Metcalf, one of the protesters arrested by Hamilton Police three weeks ago for allegedly attacking a man at the aforementioned free speech rally.
In response to this, Balgord stated that he was a “proud supporter of the anti-fascist movement [not to be confused with the extremist Antifa group]. The vast majority of violence at the many Canadian demonstrations I have attended or reviewed footage of is began [sic] by supporters and sympathizers of hate groups, not anti-fascists.”
On writing an article with Metcalf, Balgord stated that “Metcalf is not affiliated with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, but I wish him the best of luck with his charges.”
For some context, U.S. Antifa has assaulted prominent journalist Andy Ngo (who is also now The Post Millennial’s Editor-at-large), leaving him with a brain bleed. The Canadian branch of Antifa has also attacked independent journalists in Quebec City. In response to this event, Antifa stated that “sometimes, it is necessary to go against what the mainstream considers ‘acceptable,’ to break the law in order to do the ethical thing.”
South of the Canadian border, Antifa has been criticized for its intimidation of broadcasters with the intent to de-platform speakers. They are also known to disseminate malicious conspiracy theories and attack innocent bystanders. Public intellectual Noam Chomsky has described Antifa as a “major gift” to the right.
Concerning the malicious conspiracy theories, the “Yellow Vests Exposed group,” who call themselves “CAN contributors,” have also encouraged outlandish conspiracy theories. This includes the organization repeatedly stating that “Andy Ngo is a threat to our community and provides kill lists to Atomwaffen” on Twitter without any evidence.
Balgord stood by these unproven claims. “It [was] not a conspiracy. Andy Ngo is dangerous and by pushing that non-study he got journalists on a kill list.”
This conspiracy theory has been widely disproven. Claire Lehmann, the editor of the magazine that published this article, has gone on record stating that “Andy Ngo played no role in the production of this article.” As well as this, Lehmann stated that “the whole situation is absurd … and [the kill list] has no connection to Quillette.”
CAN are only too eager to label conservative figures and groups as “far-right.” In a report, for instance, CAN stated that there were 300 hate groups in Canada. According to their arithmetic, there are 160 percent more hate groups in Canada than the U.S. per capita.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article claimed Mohawk College received threats before the Rubin interview with Bernier took place on the campus, in part from an op-ed written by CAN’s Evan Balgord. Balgord brought to The Post Millennial‘s attention that Mohawk College spokesperson Bill Steinburg told CBC there were no threats received. Rubin maintains otherwise, telling The Post Millennial: “They absolutely got threats which is why the security fee was increased. Also at the event itself there were clearly plenty of threats outside.” All of this has been added to the article to clarify the differing accounts of what happened.