The Canadian Anti-Hate Network would like to have a word with the City of Dawson Creek.
“We are writing you this public letter today because we are deeply concerned by reports that the Soldiers of Odin are active in your community, engaging in volunteerism and participating in civic events, seemingly with the tacit acceptance or support of some public officials,” says the group, who expects to send the letter to officials in the Peace region today, and post online at antihate.ca as well.
“The Soldiers of Odin are an anti-Muslim hate group. They were founded in Finland by a self-identifying neo-Nazi who has been found guilty of racially motivated assault. It’s well documented that the Canadian organization has attracted white supremacists and neo-Nazis.”
“Several political parties and figures in Canada have disavowed the support of the Soldiers of Odin, like the United Conservative Party in Alberta. Others have found associating with the Soldiers of Odin to be a setback to their political aspirations. There is a growing recognition of what the group represents.”
The group has some words for the Dawson Creek RCMP as well after RCMP representatives told DC city councillors the group was not a concern in Mile Zero.
“The statement by the RCMP that the Soldiers of Odin are not a concern is incorrect. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network and others have documented overtly racist statements targeting Muslims and other groups, and posts celebrating or encouraging violence.”
“Whether the local chapter engages in these behaviours is besides the point – you wouldn’t welcome a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in your backyard even if they were doing garbage pickups and promised never to burn a cross,” note antihate.ca officials.
“By using the same name, engaging in volunteerism, and finding the tacit acceptance of prominent figures in your community, they are whitewashing the Soldiers of Odin brand Canada-wide,” reads a letter sent to the city.
“We call on you to send a strong message that you do not support hate groups such as the Soldiers of Odin operating in your community, and that they will not be part of any community policing plan.”
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is a non-profit organization which monitors hate groups and their activities in Canada.
“Our advisory group is made up of Canada’s leading experts on hate groups and hate crimes, including human rights lawyers, academics, journalists, court-recognized experts, and leaders in targeted communities.”
While only a handful of politicians or those running in municipal denounced the SOO or spoke to being against racism in general, others said they were looking into researching the SOO.
SPCRS noted they would be reviewing volunteer and event standards and procedures after SOO members were given thanks during the Dawson Creek Take Back the Night Watch earlier this year. A handful of elected officials and those running for office were walking in the same march, claiming no knowledge of the group in DC.
Dawson Creek city councillorsthen hosted DC RCMP at council; who noted the SOO were not a concern in the city.