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.
The latest example involved free-speech rally in Hamilton that took place on Mohawk College’s campus. The event was organized jointly by Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier. Before the rally was held, a member of CAN published an op-ed in a local newspaper where they demanded the group be de-platformed. This was because the rally was allegedly “ushering people into the neo-Nazi movement.”
Following this op-ed, Rubin claims Antifa activists threatened the venue and its participants, resulting in higher security costs.
“They absolutely got threats which is why the security fee was increased. Also at the event itself there were clearly plenty of threats outside,” Rubin told The Post Millennial.
College spokesperson Bill Steinburg told the CBC Mohawk did not receive any threats to cancel the event.
When the rally began, Antifa activists appeared and subsequently gained nation-wide attention when they refused to allow an elderly woman with a walker to cross the street. They did so by blocking her path so they had sufficient time to scream, “nazi scum” at her. They refused to listen to the women and were thus unaware that her family had fought against the Nazis in World War Two.
When The Post Millennial approached CAN for a comment, they responded by saying that the op-ed “wasn’t what alerted anti-fascists to the event. Organizing was already underway–which we had absolutely no involvement with.” The CAN spokesman went on to say that “I didn’t say the rally was ushering people to neo-Nazism, but that a study analyzing 79 million comments and 330,000 videos found that Rubin is part of a radicalization process on Youtube … my intention in the op-ed is quite obviously to have Mohawk make the principled decision not to host the event.”
CAN’s executive director Evan Balgord has also provided advice to the extremist group, stating that they should be “media aware” in response to the group harassing an elderly woman. When The Post Millennial approached Balgord for comment, he did not address the tweet, stating instead that he “condemned what happened.”
More seriously, however, the Chairman of the CAN, Bernie Farber, praised a journalist’s lauding of Antifa’s “muscular resistance”.
When Balgord was asked about the allegation from The Federalist that Farber himself praised Anitfa’s use of “muscular resistance,” he said, “Bernie didn’t say that. You’re quoting Bernie [Farber] quoting [another journalist]. Further, muscular does not necessarily equal violence. Farber is quite explicitly anti-violence, and any implication to the contrary is defamatory.”
Nevertheless, Farber quoted the journalist’s comments and then went on to praise the journalist who said it, saying “the understanding [the journalist] brings to a difficult issue is well worth your read.”
Farber has also been tied to people who promote extremist ideology and has protected individuals who preach hate. Earlier this October, for instance, Farber spoke at an event with Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) speakers, which has been described by Canadian Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith as a “hateful and racist movement that singles out Israel.” The Centre for Israel and Jewish affairs describes BDS as “antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism.”
Additionally, Farber has regularly defended allegedly anti-Semitic individuals. In one case, Farber stated that an Imam who said “slay them one by one and spare not one of them. Oh Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews,” had been treated unfairly.
When approached with this, the CAN spokesman said “At the time it was believed to be a mistranslation–I don’t know that it’s possible to know the truth of that one way or another given the different interpretations by different linguists … that’s the information Bernie [Farber] had.”
Balgord has a history of defending Antifa. In a blog post, he defended the amorphous organization by stating that there were “many examples of anti-fascists (Antifa) using violence to protect other protesters.” Balgord proceeded to state that the media presented “a distorted image of the movement.” He also co-wrote an article for Rabble with Kevin Metcalf, one of the protesters arrested by Hamilton Police three weeks ago for allegedly attacking a man at the aforementioned free speech rally.
In response to this, Balgord stated that he was a “proud supporter of the anti-fascist movement [not to be confused with the extremist Antifa group]. The vast majority of violence at the many Canadian demonstrations I have attended or reviewed footage of is began [sic] by supporters and sympathizers of hate groups, not anti-fascists.”
On writing an article with Metcalf, Balgord stated that “Metcalf is not affiliated with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, but I wish him the best of luck with his charges.”
For some context, U.S. Antifa has assaulted prominent journalist Andy Ngo (who is also now The Post Millennial’s Editor-at-large), leaving him with a brain bleed. The Canadian branch of Antifa has also attacked independent journalists in Quebec City. In response to this event, Antifa stated that “sometimes, it is necessary to go against what the mainstream considers ‘acceptable,’ to break the law in order to do the ethical thing.”
South of the Canadian border, Antifa has been criticized for its intimidation of broadcasters with the intent to de-platform speakers. They are also known to disseminate malicious conspiracy theories and attack innocent bystanders. Public intellectual Noam Chomsky has described Antifa as a “major gift” to the right.
Concerning the malicious conspiracy theories, the “Yellow Vests Exposed group,” who call themselves “CAN contributors,” have also encouraged outlandish conspiracy theories. This includes the organization repeatedly stating that “Andy Ngo is a threat to our community and provides kill lists to Atomwaffen” on Twitter without any evidence.
Balgord stood by these unproven claims. “It [was] not a conspiracy. Andy Ngo is dangerous and by pushing that non-study he got journalists on a kill list.”
This conspiracy theory has been widely disproven. Claire Lehmann, the editor of the magazine that published this article, has gone on record stating that “Andy Ngo played no role in the production of this article.” As well as this, Lehmann stated that “the whole situation is absurd … and [the kill list] has no connection to Quillette.”
CAN are only too eager to label conservative figures and groups as “far-right.” In a report, for instance, CAN stated that there were 300 hate groups in Canada. According to their arithmetic, there are 160 percent more hate groups in Canada than the U.S. per capita.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article claimed Mohawk College received threats before the Rubin interview with Bernier took place on the campus, in part from an op-ed written by CAN’s Evan Balgord. Balgord brought to The Post Millennial‘s attention that Mohawk College spokesperson Bill Steinburg told CBC there were no threats received. Rubin maintains otherwise, telling The Post Millennial: “They absolutely got threats which is why the security fee was increased. Also at the event itself there were clearly plenty of threats outside.” All of this has been added to the article to clarify the differing accounts of what happened.
Felicia Sonmez has received an outpouring of support from colleagues who were aghast at her suspension from the Washington Post. She was suspended after tweets reflecting mixed emotions over Kobe Bryant’s death, and while the media fusses and fumes over whether or not the suspension was justified, this is a classic case study in contemporary cancel culture. Sonmez took the reins on calling people out for alleged misdeeds, and now she’s being called out for her own.
It goes without saying that Sonmez should not have received death threats on Twitter about her mixed emotions about basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. She shouldn’t have had to live in such fear that she retreated from her home to a hotel. All that is unacceptable, but in our age of cancellations and persistent moralistic vitriol, it’s what a person can expect when they befoul the Twitter stream. Sonmez probably should have known all this. She has been vocal about the necessity of removing men and women from their positions without the benefit of due process. This turn of events, where the social media verse turns on her for a couple of tweets wherein she expressed her personal view, should not come as a surprise.
Sonmez is one of the architects of the cancel culture that currently plagues us. She was one of the first accusers of former LA Times foreign correspondent Jonathan Kaiman, sending a letter to the LA Times in which she described him as exhibiting “problematic behaviour.” While they were both heavily intoxicated, by Sonmez’s own admission, she writes: “Even though parts of the evening were consensual, while on the way, Jon escalated things in a way that crossed a line.” She noted that the alcohol made it hard for her to remember, and Kaiman has stated that he remembers it differently. Though he refuted the story, he lost his job, and like Sonmez, he was afforded no due process.
Sonmez is also the person behind two mobbings of women writers. She tried to get Caitlin Flanagan and Emily Yoffe fired from their positions (at The Atlantic and Reason respectively) for the high crime of criticizing her.
Brett Kavanaugh was shamed by Sonmez for his lighthearted speech to The Federalist Society in 2014, which she published along with excoriations against him and his college behaviours. She called him out for comments such as “Always act as if your actions are public,” and “You will make mistakes. Sometimes big ones. Admit it, resolve not to do it again, and make sure you don’t do it again.” Apparently that’s no good when you’re going to end up in confirmation hearings before the Senate and a woman who you don’t even remember ever meeting accuses you of raping her at a party you’re pretty sure you didn’t attend.
Now it’s Sonmez’s job on the chopping block. Maybe she’s looking for a way to apologize and keep her career intact, or maybe she’s going to double down. Neither, as we have seen, is likely to lead to success. There’s no due process for stupid tweets, and we know from years of this nonsense that apologies only lead to further public abrasions. Probably, she won’t lose her friends, so that’s lucky. Lots of her friends and colleagues don’t understand what the big deal is, or why so many in the media are out for her job. Hundreds of her colleagues have signed a letter to Marty Baron and Tracy Grant stating that they don’t think it’s fair that she should have been suspended. The Washington Post’s union has condemned the actions of management.
What they don’t seem to understand is that the plight of Felicia Sonmez is an object and abject lesson about cancel culture. She has done this to others. She has called for the suspension of due process and the termination, of her own peers. Her voice has loudly denounced those who have been hit with allegations without evidence. Sonmez has helped us get used to the idea that accusations are enough to take you down. It’s a commonplace idea, now, thanks to her and her peers in thought crime. Once we are so long immersed in the sludge of it, turnabout seems like fair play.
It isn’t, of course. Everyone deserves a second chance (or a proper first chance)—an opportunity to clear their name, to shake off wrongful incriminations and proceed with life and livelihood. It’s better when we do away with game theory and start treating each other like human beings. After all, life is not a game and the people we love are not players. Sonmez foolishly thought she would always thrive in a world without due process. She thought that due process was irrelevant when we could all discern the truth based on platitudes and hashtag callouts. But her situation is illustrative of the truth that no one survives in such a world. That’s the nature of this beast. The accuser will always become the accused.
Don’t believe us? Just wait.
Actor Laurence Fox says that “the wokist is a fundamentally racist bunch.” On BBC’s Question Time, he said that the backlash against Meghan Markle was not racist, and called a woman of colour racist for suggesting that his identity means he can’t discern racism.
“The problem we’ve got with this is that Meghan has agreed to be Harry’s wife,” a woman spoke up from the audience, “and the press has torn her to pieces, and let’s be really clear about what this is, let’s call it by its name: it’s racism.”
He decried her view, saying “It’s not racism, we’re the most tolerant lovely country in Europe.”
“Says a white privileged man,” she shot back.
“It’s so easy to throw the charge of racism at everybody,” Fox replied, “and it’s really starting to get boring.”
“What worries me about your comment,” she said, “is you’re a white privileged male.” A round of audience boos rose up.
Fox was clearly annoyed by her comment. “I can’t help what I am, I was born like this,” he said, “it’s an immutable characteristic, so to call me a white privileged male is to be racist. You’re being racist.”
For this, he was skewered in the press and received death threats. Even after “Equity’s minority ethnic members committee… called on fellow actors to ‘unequivocally denounce’ Laurence Fox for comments he made during an appearance on BBC1’s Question Time,” author Shappi Khorsandi spoke against that denunciation.
And Fox wouldn’t back down. Instead, he took to the airwaves with Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio’s Breakfast Show this morning to expand upon his views.
It was in talking with Hartley-Brewer that he said “I think there’s racism everywhere but I don’t think we’re a systemically racist country. I don’t see a lot of racism, but then I’m a straight white male.” He went on to say that “identity politics is fundamentally racist as well,” because “it’s about silencing opinion,” and “seeing colour everywhere.”
Fox gave voice to what many people have been thinking, that the language of racism and accusations of bias have jumped the shark. Racism had been a charge that could only be levelled by minority racial groups against dominant racial groups. It was a scourge that needed to be rooted out at the highest levels of power to prevent systemic inequity. This project was undertaken by Civil Rights activists, and that work has continued in all of us. As Fox notes, there is still racism.
But the way to fix that racism is not by categorizing everyone into their own little identity boxes and determining what they are allowed to say or think based on the rights and privileges of that identity. The thing to do is to treat everyone like a human being, capable of having their own thoughts and ideas. People must look for the best in one another, not the worst, and not seek out every opportunity to be offended.
Calling someone a privileged white male, said Fox, is a way of “silencing opinion,” saying “you’re not allowed an opinion, mate, you’re white.” Fox has had enough of it, as have so many people.
There are no identity factors that make someone a bad person. Identity factors, such as race, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation should not have value judgements associated with them. For one hot minute, we used to know this. The goal was to look at each other and not parse up individuals into their requisite labels, to not use a person’s external characteristics to determine the worth of their ideas or their rights under the law.
That all turned around with concepts like “valuing differences,” wherein we were supposed to look at the ways in which we were different first, dissect and acknowledge those, before seeking for the ways in which we were the same. How much better it is to find kinship with one another first, before sorting all the ways in which we are different.
Fox’s perspective on racism and identity will most likely continue to be discredited because his identity factors are deemed more essential than his actual perspective. His views are taken with large grains of white cis het male privileged salt. But it’s time to start realizing that the brilliant Civil Rights movement, which told us not to judge someone on the basis of their physical characteristics, has been co-opted by haters who would have us do that very same thing. It doesn’t matter who is being boxed by immutable identity factors and judged by them, it matters that it’s being done at all, and it must stop.
Last October, a well-known Portland antifa militant was killed under mysterious circumstances after leaving a pub popular with far-left extremists. Sean Daniel Kealiher, 23, was killed near the Cider Riot pub after being hit by a car that had been fired upon with live rounds. His friends dragged his body away and did not call the police.
Kealiher’s death immediately rippled throughout Portland and beyond, leading both the far-left and even establishment Democrat leaders to mourn publicly. A GoFundMe for his funeral raised thousands. And while he was lionized in the press as a murdered “anti-fascist activist” and even called a “martyr” by some, an investigation by The Post Millennial can reveal that newly uncovered evidence show he was far more radical than previously reported. In a series of discovered writings, Kealiher urged fellow comrades to commit violent terrorist acts and led training sessions to radicalize other youth.
Before his death, Kealiher was known in the militant anarchist community as “Armeanio Lewis,” one of the many names he also used online. His radical activism goes back to when he was around 13 or 14 during the Occupy Portland demonstrations in 2011. As a minor, Kealiher was filmed being arrested on numerous occasions. The details of juvenile cases are not available to the public.
As previously reported by The Post Millennial, Kealiher was filmed in recent years fighting at left-wing protests and threatening journalists who had cameras at public demonstrations. On numerous occasions, he was also seen travelling with members of the Red and Anarchist Skinheads, or RASH, a violent gang-like group known for brawling with right-wingers at riots. It is unknown if Kealiher was a member of the group. But aside from his known street militantism, The Post Millennial can now report that he also authored extreme literature calling for terrorist acts against schools, law enforcement and the public.
An excerpt from a September 2014 zine by Kealiher titled, “Why Break Windows” reads: “From the simple smashing of windows to the placement of a bomb or the robbing of the bank, our actions are heard and felt rather than ignored and treated as everyday life.”
The zine continues: “The attack is the most beautiful moment an anarchist can undertake. Feeling the adrenaline of rushing to a window with a rock in hand, or the moments before striking a cop with your fist. Planting the bomb, pulling the trigger, shouting f— the police!”
In 2015, an 18-year-old Kealiher tried to stop a police officer from investigating an incident of suspected domestic violence, according to a report by Portland Police. The officer notes that Kealiher physically obstructed the investigation, cursed at him and resisted arrest. The officer says the domestic abuse suspect likely used the distraction to flee. Kealiher was found guilty for interfering with a police officer and sentenced to 15 days in jail.
Two weeks after his death, Kealiher’s extremist zine romanticizing violent extremism was distributed at a memorial potluck in downtown Portland attended by his mother. Several masked individuals acted as security.
Beyond that tract, Kealiher would go on to author more pieces urging explicit terrorist attacks. On his blog, the “Lumpen Prole Distro,” he uses the pseudonym “Armeanio Lewis” and suggests that his writings may have inspired real-world attacks in Portland.
“Shortly after the publishing of this essay, 15 [Aramak] Trucks, the company that supplies school lunches and prison lunches, were sabotaged,” reads the new preface in a November 2014 update to Kealiher’s “Manifesto Against Schools.” The 12-page document continues: “Shortly after that, an entire condo complex was burned to the ground. This fire was the biggest fire seen in Portland, and everything was torched.”
In August 2013, a 46-unit building under construction in northeast Portland was destroyed in a large fire. The flames spread to surrounding apartment buildings, leading to emergency evacuations of residents and further damage. The heat was so intense on the block that cars parked nearby appeared “melted,” according to media reports. Though the fires were among the largest in the city’s history, causing around $6m worth of damage, nobody was injured. An investigation by authorities determined the fire was started through an arson attack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $5,000 cash reward for information at the time. The incident is listed by the Department of Homeland Security as an instance of far-left domestic terrorism.
Beyond the manifesto’s preface, Kealiher explicitly called for others to engage in violent attacks. “It’s time to get off your knees, unclasp your begging hands and pick a weapon, because those on the other side have already done so,” it reads. The “other side” references current society. “My side, hopefully our side, has so many weapons to choose from. Be it the power of a pen, the strength of a rock, or the power of a gun.”
The manifesto continues: “You can craft your own destruction. Be it burning down a school, smashing a banks window … There is so much to destroy, and so much for you to choose.”
Elsewhere on the blog, Kealiher expressed “unapologetic support” for killing law enforcement and destroying buildings with fires. Most of the blog’s essays were written between 2014–15, when Kealiher was 18 and 19 years old.
He also made efforts to export his ideas into real-world training sessions. In December 2013, a 17-year-old Kealiher organized a training event with the intention of introducing minors to extremist anarchist ideas, according to the flyer for the event. He spoke at The Red and Black Cafe, a now-defunct left-wing Portland cafe, using the pseudonym “John Cracklemore.”
Kealiher’s extreme views were also published on various social media platforms. On Reddit, using a different pseudonym, he recounted a time where he says he trained high school students to fight police officers.
Kealiher’s extremism may have eventually landed him under the investigation of federal authorities, however.
In January 2017, Kealiher posted on Facebook that two DHS agents showed up to his mother’s house to try and speak with him. The details of that alleged investigation are unknown. DHS did not respond to The Post Millennial’s request for comment. His mother, Laura Kealiher, declined to comment for the story.
More than three months have passed since Kealiher’s death but Portland Police have not released any new details in their investigation. What is known is that Kealiher was struck by a vehicle following an argument outside the Cider Riot pub. The attorney for Hyatt Eshelman, who was with Kealiher at the time of the incident, says Eshelman pulled out a handgun and fired at the SUV. The vehicle crashed outside the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, where the driver and passengers fled on foot.
A vagrant who witnessed part of the incident says Eshelman, 26, and another man dragged Kealiher’s body away, leaving a bloody trail. Emergency responders were never called to the scene by those involved. Eshelman has not spoken publicly about the incident himself but his far-left activism is documented. In November 2016, he was arrested at a violent antifa riot in Portland against Trump’s election win. He was charged with one count of failing to obey a police officer, but the charge was subsequently dismissed. He is also a member of the Rum Rebellion, a radical anarchist punk band.
Online, various antifa activists and groups instructed their comrades to scrub their messages with Kealiher and to not cooperate with police in their investigation. Kealiher’s mother has also come out publicly to demand that nobody associated with her son speak to the media.
While his history of extremism online was known only to his comrades, his violent actions offline were well-documented through law enforcement and the press. Despite this, local mainstream Democrat politicians joined various antifa activists to publicly mourn his death. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted: “This is alarming and heartbreaking. Our deepest sympathies go out to family and friends of the victim.”
And on the Sunday night following his death, Kealiher’s comrades responded by vandalizing the Democratic Party of Oregon building with antifa propaganda and spray paint. The graffiti messages encouraged others to kill law enforcement, among other things.
Brad Martin, the executive director for the Democratic Party of Oregon, downplayed the graffiti and expressed support for the vandals at the time. He told KATU: “We know that [pain] expresses itself in a lot of ways, including the graffiti on the building and we understand that. It’s just paint.”
But for Sean Kealiher, vandalism was never “just paint.”
In the final paragraph of his “Manifesto Against Schools,” it reads: “We all die anyway, and we will be miserable somehow and somewhere, so why sit by when you can burn? Why sit in your room, dreading going to school? You need not have to, especially when you can BLOW IT UP OR BURN IT DOWN.”
Some stories do have happy endings. Yesterday, we reported on journalist David Leavitt’s mean spirited attempt to shame an innocent Target employee over a mislabelled toothbrush. He even went so far as to call the police because the electric toothbrush wasn’t $0.01.
Well, shortly after the viral moment, Twitter user and notorious meme-maker @CarpeDonktum decided to set up a GoFundMe page to give the Target employee, Tori, a much-needed vacation.
Today, we’ve learned that the fundraising endeavour was a massive success, with over $19,500 raised for Tori to take a break and put this nasty incident behind her.
@CarpeDonktum tweeted today: “I have made contact with #TargetTori, she has received authorization to release 2 photos to verify that we are in contact. I need a representative from @gofundme to contact me to arrange the transfer of control of the account to Tori.”
GoFundMe has arranged the transfer of the funds to Tori and now the story is complete. Happy ending achieved!