Anti-immigration groups at protest demand apology from Trudeau | Ottawa Citizen

It would be interesting to know more about the background of the Asian Canadians at the protest as, at first blush, these appear to be curious bedfellows (the website listed below is largely unpopulated):

Hundreds of Asian-Canadian protesters, supported by several white, far-right, anti-immigrant groups stormed Parliament Hill on Sunday afternoon to demand an apology from the prime minister.

According to plans for the protest on, members of the Asian-Canadian community feel victimized by a Toronto girl’s false claim in January that an Asian man cut off her hijab and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apparent rush to view the fictitious incident as a hate crime.

Anti-Muslim and anti racist protestors voiced their views on Sunday on Parliament Hill. Anti-Muslim protestors joined with a group of Chinese-Canadians who were upset about the controversial hijab news story in Toronto. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia ASHLEY FRASER/ POSTMEDIA

“As the real victim of the hijab hoax, our Asian community was completely ignored by PM Trudeau,” reads a statement on the website.

A man who identified himself as “Yuanyuan” said, “There are some out-of-town conservative Chinese racists and they are collaborating basically with some white nationalist groups here in Canada. As a Chinese Canadian, I’m pretty ashamed about that. That’s why I’m here.”

The large Asian group, with members coming from Toronto and Vancouver to join members of the Ottawa Chinese-Canadian community, chartered buses for the event.

“We want to oppose them,” Yuanyuan said. “We don’t want them on our Hill saying they get to represent Canadian values. We know that their rhetoric is basically trying to normalize violence against minorities and marginalized folk. It’s not really a discussion about whether or not multiculturalism is good or not. We know that they stand for genocide.”

About 100 anti-racist protesters — while denouncing white supremacy and chanting about how welcome Muslims are — also repeatedly screamed “f-ck the police.”

Providing security for the Asian protesters were several anti-immigration, ultranationalist groups such as Quebec’s La Meute — or Wolf Pack — and the Northern Guard. Several Proud Boys — a far-right men’s group — were also in attendance.

La Meute’s Stéphane Roch said his members — of which there are 42,000 in Quebec — were in Ottawa to support the Chinese community.

Roch called them “real Canadians” who have been in the country for hundreds of years. “The Chinese community are a very good community. Trudeau don’t listen to them.”

“The government has to work for the citizens, not for themselves,” Roch said. “The power has to go to the citizens. They have to listen to us.”

An organizer with the Chinese-Canadian community who asked a reporter to “just call me Monica” said the event was behind schedule and chose not to speak to a reporter from this newspaper.

Several Chinese-Canadian protesters were there with their children, who held signs condemning the “hijab hoax” and “fake news.” The signs urged the government not to “stir up ethnic disputes.” Multiple people approached by a reporter indicated they did not speak English.

But speakers urged respect for “human rights” and asked that all Canadians be treated equally.

Among the sea of protesters were several placards taking aim at Trudeau, not Muslims.

Evan Balgord, a journalist and researcher who is following the rise of the new far-right movement in Canada, said that what was branded as anti-Muslim is being re-purposed as anti-Trudeau rhetoric.

“They always were anti-Trudeau, anti-Liberal government, anti-multiculturalism, anti-M-103 (a motion to condemn Islamophobia in the country) but the anti-Trudeau rhetoric is coming more and more to the front.”

Police escorted members of both groups away from the demonstration and some were banned from the Hill.

RCMP officers made a handful of arrests during the demonstration, but several of those people were released. A large group of Ottawa police escorted both groups on and off the Hill.

via Anti-immigration groups at protest demand apology from Trudeau | Ottawa Citizen

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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