Protesters outnumber the two yellow vests outside Burnaby City Hall on Saturday, February 2, 2019. (Photo: Ted Alcuitas)
Protesters outnumber, disrupts far-right attempt to ‘sell’ their hate
By Ted Alcuitas
A pathetic attempt by a racist, anti-immigrant group to stage a ‘rally’ was easily overwhelmed by determined protesters who drowned the so-called yellow vest movement.
Only its leader and the purported candidate was visible at Burnaby’s city hall on Saturday, February 2.
Over 25 protesters with placards and chants confronted the two beleaguered racists with their yellow vests and MAGA-style red hats emblazoned with the National Citizens Alliance logo.
It’s Burnaby South federal byelection candidate, Zachary Johnson, told the crowd his group isn’t anti-immigrant and that they were simply proud Canadians who are against such things as “illegal” immigration and the carbon tax.
His announcement was quickly drowned by the crowd chanting, “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.”
Alliance leader Stephen Garvey (right) and candidate Zachary Johnson tries to talk to protesters. Note the MAGA-like red hats both are wearing. (Photo: Ted Alcuitas)
Burnaby’s Alan Dutton of the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society, told Burnaby Now that “We’ve got these people who are falling prey to this far-right ideology thinking it’s mainstream and it’s not,” adding that “It’s hateful, it’s mean and it’s hurting the country.”
The Calgary-based National Citizen’s Alliance was founded in 2014 and has been linked to far-right groups internationally.
Here is Wikepedia’s entry on the alliance:
“The party wants to limit the immigration rate, which they believe to be too high for proper screening and vetting, as well as restricting or halting immigration from nations with strong terrorist activities, or do not share what they describe as Canadaian values. They also advocate deportation of all illegal immigrants who entered Canada through the United States as part of a Safe Third Country Agreement loophole. The NCA supports abortion rights, but banning them after 3 months of pregnancy. The party states it supports LGBT rights but also states it will prohibit “schools and any other relevant organizations/institutions from exposing children to indoctrination [on] sexual identity”. The party supports gun rights, and describes the current gun regulations as excessive and ineffective. They want to increase penalties for animal cruelty, and a full ban on bestiality, which is currently only partly banned in Canada. National Citizens Alliance supports Quebec preserving their culture, but opposes full independence, instead advocating for greater cooperation between the federal government and Quebec.
Roles in anti-M-103 protests
Stephen Garvey is a former associate of the anti-immigrant group Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI), until publicly cutting ties with the group in June 2017. He has led or acted as spokesperson for multiple protests against M-103 as NAPC leader.
Garvey was the lead organizer of a March 2017 protest in Calgary against Motion 103 (M-103), a non-binding resolution in the federal House of Commons which condemned Islamophobia and all other forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.
In May 2017, Garvey was the spokesperson for a protest in Red Deer which alleged that Syrian students at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School were given more lenient punishments for participating in a fight than other students. The allegations were false, as school officials and local RCMP confirmed all eight students involved were suspended for one week.
In June 2017, the NAPC held an impromptu press conference in protest against the City of Calgary for revoking the special event permit for the party’s “Say No to Hate and Racism Festival”, which the City viewed as “anti-Muslim and Islamophobic” and other observers characterized as “anti-Islam”. Garvey, former candidate Kulbir Singh Chawla and several other National Advancement supporters were interrupted later that month at another press conference by marchers from the anti-fascist group Calgary Antifa.”