Canadian ‘Anti-Hate’ organization members support Antifa, stand by conspiracy theory
The far-left extremist group Antifa receives support from The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAN). They have also commended and disseminated far-left conspiracy theories.
In an article in The Federalist, CAN’s relationship with Antifa was uncovered, in which the organization’s members were found to be supporting Antifa by advising and protecting the extremist group in the media.
Antifa militants attacked a citizen journalist and chased members of a conservative group in Olympia, Washington on Saturday after a rumoured neo-Nazi rally failed to materialize.
A video recorded by Haley Adams, a leader of Portland’s Liberation, a right-wing Portland group, shows an aggressive mob of masked antifa militants advancing on and threatening them.
Portland-based citizen journalist Brandon Brown was documenting the event on Saturday at the state capital when he was beaten and robbed. He says the antifa militants directed their anger at the group after failing to find neo-Nazis to fight.
Adams frequently hosts rallies and marches in progressive Portland and the surrounding area, where her group’s members often troll antifa with signs and costumes.
Last week, a post on antifa blog, It’s Going Down, encouraged fellow comrades to come to Olympia for a “resistance” against a rumoured “Martyr’s Day” event held by the Hammerskins, a neo-Nazi group. The blog claims that numerous far-right extremists travel to the region around this time of the year to honour a neo-Nazi killed by police in 1984 on Whidbey Island.
Around 50 left-wing protestors, including many in masks and black uniforms, were left disappointed after the Hammerskins failed to show. They then targeted Portland’s Liberation and conservative journalist, Brandon Brown.
Brown was robbed of his camera equipment, worth thousands, and left bloodied as he attempted to flee. He says the masked militants used fists and elbows to hit him on the head.
“I would say at least 20 people struck me,” Brown told The Post Millennial. “I held on to the [camera] equipment until the mount for the GoPro was broken and the lanyard for my other camera tore apart. All I was left holding was broken torn junk. I didn’t let go.”
Brown sustained cuts and bruising to his face and was advised by medics to seek further treatment if his condition worsened. On Sunday, he checked himself into a hospital, where he was found to have injuries to his left eye that will require follow-up care.
The attack echoes that committed against Post Millennial editor-at-large Andy Ngo in Portland, who was beaten and robbed by antifa militants in June, and left with a brain injury.
The Puget Sound Anarchists, one of the antifa groups at Saturday’s protest, seem to take credit for Brown’s assault and robbery on a blog post, saying he was “relieved of his camera.”
Sgt. Darren Wright of the Washington State Patrol stated in a media release that they arrested a 40-year-old man from Chehalis, Wash. and charged him with fourth-degree assault. The release says an injured person was “a member of the Patriot Prayer [group],” but Wright clarified to The Post Millennial that this was information inferred by troopers at the scene. Brown says he is not a member of Patriot Prayer or Portland’s Liberation.
Olympia, Wash. is a progressive college town that has been marred by numerous left-wing and right-wing protests and riots. In 2017, the Evergreen State College devolved into anarchy following a “Day of Absence” event where white people were asked to stay away from campus.
In 2015, after two black brothers were shot by police in Olympia after a shoplifting incident, a small group of neo-Nazis organized a pro-police rally. While only about a dozen supporters attended, many black bloc militants, Black Lives Matter activists, and other allies showed up to counter-demonstrate.
Since then, there have been a number of red herring neo-Nazi rallies with no attendees, but many counter-protestors showing up in force.
“Antifa end up attacking journalists when there aren’t enough neo-Nazis,” Andy Ngo said.
In addition to Ngo’s attack, there are many incidents of antifa violence against members of the media. NBC’s Cal Perry was accosted and had his camera hit by a protestor at an antifa demonstration at the one-year Charlottesville anniversary in August 2018. In the same month, Stan Behal, a photographer for the Toronto Sun, was assaulted by a left-wing protestor at a Toronto demonstration. In November 2018, an antifa group descended on the Washington, DC home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
More charges have been laid in connection with an antifa-related protest at Mohawk College in September. Hamilton police are still looking to identify some additional suspects.
Alaa Al Soufi, 27, was the latest to be arrested on Nov. 19 and has four charges pending including assault, theft under $5000, intimidation, and disguise with intent.
The charges stem from an earlier altercation that took place during a Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier fundraiser for the People’s Party. The fundraiser was held at Mohawk College on Sept. 29, 2019. The event went viral after video appeared of an elderly woman having her pathway blocked by a group of protestors.
Soufi’s parents own a Syrian restaurant in Toronto called Soufi’s which had to temporarily close, citing death threats after the protest.
Soufi allegedly went up to a woman at the event in the parking lot, “impeded her way” and “slapped a baseball hat that she was wearing off her head,” said Hamilton Police Inspector David Hennick said in a public police report.
Police have since managed to identify the female victim in question and she supports the charges being laid. The theft charge is for stealing her hat.
Charges were also laid on Michael Lickers, 27-years-of-age from Hamilton. He is being charged with assault level one and intimidation. Lickers has since been released on a promise to appear with court date of Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
Police have released photos of the remaining suspects and ask that anybody who has any information to come forward.
UPDATE: On December 6th, a Twitter user reported to The Post Millennial that two of Michaels’ tweets had violated the Twitter Terms of Service. Michaels then locked his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Twitter to verify if disciplinary action had been taken against Michaels since his harassment of Andy Ngo was reported on, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The Post Millennial has learned that a Twitter account that has been engaged in targeted harassment of TPM Editor-at-large Andy Ngo appears to belong to none other than a Twitter employee.
Max Michaels, who goes under the Twitter handle Manchild, is an Operations Infrastructure Analytics Engineer at the Twitter Command Center. According to his Linkedin, he has worked at Twitter for over 7 years.
Michaels’ abusive behaviour towards Ngo began in June of 2019 after Ngo was bloodied while reporting from an Antifa riot in Portland. Beneath a tweet calling for information which might lead to the arrest of those involved, Michaels wrote: “It’s almost like there are repercussions for being a piece of shit.”
Under another tweet by Ngo, Michaels replies “you should just get fat again and hangout on reddit acting sad. I liked fat, sad Andy better.”
Michaels also replied to journalist Peter Hasson, who was reporting on Ngo’s brain bleed as a result of his beating at the riot, calling the hemorrhage a “lifelong, pre-existing condition from garbage Andy.”
Michaels was featured in a 2016 Vice article describing the important functions of the Command Center. In the piece, Michaels is quoted as saying he and his team are responsible for “keeping the lights on at Twitter.”
A recent job posting for the Twitter Command Center suggests staff have a great deal of insight and control over the intricate details of Twitter’s technical infrastructure, calling into question what impact potential biases in the staff might have over users’ personal information and security on the platform.
Ngo was recently suspended from Twitter for tweeting a truthful claim that “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.” Ngo was forced to delete the verifiably truthful claim in order to regain access to his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Michaels for comment but has not heard back by the time of publication. He did, however, confirm on Twitter that he still works in Operations for Twitter.
Targeted harassment is explicitly against Twitter’s Terms of Service. A Twitter spokesperson said, “Abuse and harassment have no place on Twitter. We take enforcement action against any content that is violative of our rules, regardless of the account involved.”
A popular parody account has been suspended from Twitter following outrage by one of the largest media outlets in the world. The man behind Shaniqua O’Tool, an account that had over 15,000 followers at the time of suspension, says The Guardian forced Twitter to censor comedy.
He spoke to The Post Millennial to reveal details on the campaign waged by The Guardian against his satirical tweets. While his identity is known to The Post Millennial, it is being withheld for reasons of privacy.
Starting as a Godfrey Elfwick-styled account, the account owner says the Shaniqua O’Tool character was meant to “poke fun at both the far-left and the far-right.” He says the name was inspired by the 2003 single “Shaniqua don’t live here no more” by Little T and One Track Mike.
The account’s owner points out the existence of a Twitter account dedicated to compiling the Guardian’s most meme-able headlines, including one where Guardian columnist Abi Wilkinson suggests the “tears of joy emoji” mocks human suffering.
“Some of [The Guardian’s] headlines bordered on insanity, so I felt it was worthy of satire.” He says. In 2017, he began posting edited Guardian headlines with Shaniqua’s face photoshopped in as the columnist.
Some of Shaniqua’s antics were so indiscernible from authentic Guardian headlines that they attracted the attention of outraged media outlets. Gateway Pundit wrote an article decrying Shaniqua as an “ISIS sympathizer” for her headline on police needing to learn the importance of spotting a “fake suicide vest” before shooting. The Gateway Pundit article, which claimed to have read the non-existent Shaniqua column, was quickly deleted.
“I mocked [Gateway Pundit] for it,” the account owner says, “and when my headlines caught conservative commentator Katie Hopkins off guard, I mocked her for it too.” He says, asserting that his satire was bipartisan. However, he notes that there was a difference in how people of different political orientations handled being the target of his comedy.
“It is a consistent and recurring pattern over the last few years that if you poke fun at conservative or right-leaning people, they tend to just go with the joke or ignore you. If you poke fun at left-wing people, my experience is very different. They report you, verbally attack you, mobilize their followers to report and block, and ensure your name is added as a ‘Nazi’ to block lists.”
On November 29th, 2019, the account received a copyright strike notice from Twitter. The claim was apparently filed by Guardian editor Tom Stevens, who wrote that Shaniqua’s infringement was “pretending to be a Guardian writer. The tweets are fake and offensive.”
The claims were made through Twitter’s copyright system, which is intended to protect the rightful owners of intellectual property. Prior to completing a claim within this system, a complainant must acknowledge that they considered “Fair Use” laws, and accept responsibility for damages in the event they misrepresented fair use material as infringement.
Fair Use is a provision which states that copyrighted work can be utilized if the use is sufficiently transformative. According to the University of Minnesota, transformative content uses original work in a “completely new or unexpected way,” and lists parody as being the clearest example of “transformative content.”
In the case of Shaniqua, the account was not utilizing anything more than the template of Guardian headlines. The headlines themselves, lede, and photo were original.
In 2017, Buzzfeed called Twitter’s copyright system “hair-trigger,” and stated that “a copyright violation from a major media company is the surest way to lose access to one’s account.”
The Guardian filed two subsequent copyright claims on December 2nd, and the account was suspended the same day. In the claim, Guardian editor Tom Stevens writes “Becoming a serious problem now. Please take appropriate action.”
After the news of the Guardian‘s apparent campaign against Shaniqua surfaced, Twitter users began posting their own parodies of Guardian headlines using the hashtag #trollingtheguardian
Prior to getting suspended, the man behind Shaniqua attempted to open dialogue with Guardian media editor Jim Waterson, but his direct messages were not returned.
“He never replied, presumably, because he knew my days on Twitter were numbered.”
While appeals on copyright strikes are possible, the account owner says he was discouraged from doing so as it would mean providing consent for Twitter to share his personal information with The Guardian. Fearing harassment or a lawsuit, he did not appeal.
“It’s clear they don’t like being mocked,” he says, “I was followed en mass by Guardian journalists [the day of my suspension]. Being followed suddenly like that was deeply unnerving. It felt like they were letting me know they were watching me.”
The account owner has filed an appeal with Twitter over the account’s suspension but has not heard back as of publication.
The Post Millennial reached out to The Guardian but has not heard back by the time of publication.