The CBC made the decision not to name the groups that participated in this campaign, but we have no problem with telling you that they are the Yellow Vests, Soldiers of Odin and People’s Party of Canada. At the time of this writing, there have been several police reports that have been filed against members of these groups regarding their ongoing intimidation of the LGBT community in Sudbury.
The police’s response in the CBC article was not great and merits some discussion:
First of all: As much as many of us like to employ a false layer of abstraction to things that happen online, things that happen online are real. Whether you like it or not; the internet is where much of what is termed “civil society” takes place now. The distinction between online and real life is not a real one. It’s all real. Pretending that far-right activity online isn’t real effectively cedes that space to the far-right.
Even besides that, the aggression did not only take place online. If accosting someone on the street doesn’t cross the threshold of criminality, then what the hell does? GSPS’s response is very weak and will likely embolden further targeting of marginalized groups.
The groups behind the harassment were unusually late in responding, but the usual vague threats, claims of being the real victims and threats to “expose” people took place. They have no evidence Pride have anything to do with Anti-Racist Sudbury or vice versa. They can’t have evidence because there isn’t any, but that hasn’t stopped them from throwing out accusations left and right, or as one member of the LGBT community put it candidly to us: “Trying to prove they are not nazis by making a list of local homosexuals.”
It is a testament to the homophobia, transphobia and misogyny of these groups that they have assumed we must be the individuals they are targeting, who are mostly LGBT people that present as female. The truth is: The two people who run this blog are both cis and straight.
Of course, you can’t mention hate groups in Sudbury anywhere online without the friendly sealion showing up.
And Jason’s wife Mandi Labelle (Lafauci) felt the need to make a statement clarifying that she is, in fact, totally transphobic.
One local man threatened to shoot trans people.
Since the CBC reported on the harassment there have been further doxing attempts. All of the doxes are completely wrong and we’re not sure that even the far-right believe much of this nonsense themselves. We’re not surprised they are doing this because the police have pretty much told them that are free to harass as many people online as they like, as long as it doesn’t spill into the quote unquote “real world”.
We’re beginning to suspect they are just naming random people to start drama.
None of this is occurring in a vacuum. The same groups that are targeting the LGBT community in Sudbury have attacked Pride events elsewhere.
As we pointed out in our last post, there are connections between these individuals and the ones that have attacked Pride in other cities. Much of the doxing has now moved to the “Countering the Hate” group that local Yellow Vest JR Demellweek runs with Derek Storie, who was present at both of the attacks mentioned above. Since the CBC story broke, JR has shared content praising disruptions of LGBT events.
It’s hard to assess the severity of Sudbury’s hate problem when we don’t have good data from other cities of similar size. With that said, the best city we have to compare ourselves to is Hamilton and everything we’ve seen indicates that per capita our problem is as bad or worse.
In the meantime, we will continue to do what we do and standing with Pride and other cities experiencing these same issues.