Rally against hate and fear in Richmond on December 9th&11th!
Some weeks ago Racist anti-immigrant flyers started appearing at peoples' door steps in Richmond. They were being distributed by the anti immigrant group Immigration Watch Canada. It is the same group that in 2014 distributed anti Sikh leaflets in Brampton, Ontario and hung an anti immigration banner from a Richmond overpass. In September this year the group had denied it was behind the similarly hateful and racist posters circulating at the University of Alberta carrying their URL which the group contended was carried without its permission. Last Wednesday a Vancouver Kerrisdale resident reported finding a similar hateful leaflet pushed through his mail slot. At the rally organised by the alt-right oriented Rebel Media on the Alberta Legislature steps last week the ralliers chanted "lock her up" referring to the duly elected Premier of Alberta Rachel Notley. At the rally Immigration Watch Canada was distributing anti immigrant leaflets while some participants were carrying homophobic placards.
It is clear therefore that what is happening in Richmond is not an isolated matter. It is part of an insidious nationwide campaign that seeks to undermine the healthy and diverse fabric of Canadian society. At present, due to the large scale loss of jobs due to the oil glut in the world, Alberta may attract more attention from groups like the Immigration Watch Canada. We understand and believe Canadian context to be better and different from that of the USA. But there are pockets in the country where the Canadian alt-right finds fertile ground, encouraged by the rise of US alt-right whose founding members now find themselves at the helm of affairs in the xenophobe, misogynist and racist Donald Trump's White House.
We need to be vigilant. We must actively challenge the Canadian alt-right and Rebel Media's narrative before the alt-right becomes as powerful in Canada as it has become in the US. I was away from Canada and returned only on December 3rd and was delighted to read about the harsh denunciation of the Immigration Watch Canada's activities by Premier Christy Clark and about the rally held last week by the residents of Richmond to stand up to racism. It is quite encouraging that the RCMP have publicly confirmed that an investigation is underway to determine what legal steps can be taken to confront the menace of hate and racism peddled by groups such as Immigration Watch Canada.
The challenge to the hate mongers has now been joined by sixteen Christian leaders and who have banded together and organised a rally against the inherently racist anti-immigration massage of the likes of Immigration Watch Canada. The rally will take place at noon on Friday, December 9th at the main Richmond Public Library. Many other community members have joined hands to hold a second rally on December 11th at the Brighouse SkyTrain Station at 2:00PM. Hope to see you there.