Social media history of Julie Berman’s alleged killer paints a complicated picture
The homicide of transgender activist Julie Berman last week in Toronto remains under investigation but her death has sent shockwaves across Canada, leading to a torrent of rumours and speculation.
Colin Harnack, a 29-year-old Toronto resident, was charged with second-degree murder but his relationship to Berman and the LGBT community is still unknown. While Berman’s death has largely been interpreted by activists and politicians, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, as a transphobic hate crime, Harnack’s extensive social media posts complicate that narrative.
Harnack’s social media activity is mainly focused on his musical endeavours and appears to have dwindled over the last year. However, a number of posts indicate support for left-wing positions, including LGBT rights. Harnack himself specifically declined to identify with a gender in some posts.
In one post on Instagram from 2017, he shared a photograph of an “all-gender restroom” sign and used the hashtags #lgbt, #bewhoyouwanttobe, #love and others. In an older post, he poses in a female Indian dress.
In one video published in February 2019 on YouTube, Harnack superimposes his face on both male and female bodies and includes a number of spiritual images connected to the Indigenous community. He has numerous other posts on his Facebook expressing criticism of colonialism.
One of his musical covers posted on YouTube is of the song “Gay Rude Boys Unite,” by the anti-homophobia, anti-racist radical punk band Leftöver Crack.
Of the few social media friends linked to Harnack’s Facebook is the owner of a women’s clothing shop which sells “breast forms” and caters to the trans and fetish communities.
According to new information provided to The Post Millennial, Toronto Police detective Rob Choe says that Berman and Harnack met the day of the incident and spent time socializing together before the attack occurred. Choe was unable to confirm whether or not the two had become intimate and said police are still investigating.
The Post Millennial was unable to reach Harnack for comment and it is unknown if he has a lawyer.
Andy Ngo contributed to this report.
A lesbian event has been removed from Sydney, Australia’s LGBT Pride after a vocal minority protested the participation of a popular lesbian YouTuber with critical views towards transgender self-ID.
Arielle Scarcella runs an LGBT-centred YouTube channel with over 630,000 subscribers.
She has also spoken out against self-ID laws which have enabled biological males to be transferred to women’s prisons after the commission of serious offences, such as sexual assaults. In 2018, Scarcella collaborated on a video with Blaire White discussing how lesbian sexual preferences that do not include an attraction to biological males who transition to female were not “transphobic.”
Les-Talk was originally planned to be one of the events featured at Sydney Mardi Gras, the local Pride parade and festival. A panel-style discussion also featuring Tania Safi of Buzzfeed, the event began to draw ire from trans rights activists for including Scarcella. A petition was launched on February 15 demanding Scarcella be removed and replaced “preferably by someone of intersectionality.”
The petition was launched by Johnny Valkyrie, a transman and drag performer most notorious for a January incident at the Brisbane National Library. Valkyrie hosted Drag Storytime at the library, and was one of the two performers confronted by demonstrators from the University of Queensland National Liberal Club chanting “drag queens are not for kids.” The protestors were filmed and doxed.
The doxing resulted in one of the protestors, an openly gay student named Wilson Gavin, committing suicide the next day. Valkyrie used the opportunity at the library to raise funds for his “top surgery,” including a post on the day-of Gavin’s death—later updating the post to claim it was made prior to knowledge of his passing.
According to Valkyrie’s petition, Tania Safi of Buzzfeed has already dropped out of Les-Talk stating “I do not agree with Arielle’s transphobic and biphobic beliefs.”
10 Hours ago, Valkyrie uploaded an update to the petition, celebrating the “deplatforming” of Scarcella and Les-Talk.
Les-Talk was not officially cancelled, but was disassociated from Mardi Gras, according to a Facebook post made on the event’s official page. According to the post, the event is going forward being “privately held” by the “POC Queer women” organizing it.
Scarcella has not been disinvited from the event, and the event will proceed at another venue, separate from the LGBT Pride festivities.
Les-Talk’s Facebook page was littered with offers of support posted to the page’s wall by individuals outraged by Scarcella’s treatment.
Even multiple transpeople defended Scarcella’s beliefs, asserting she was not transphobic. One transwoman pleaded with the community to give Scarcella a “second chance,” while a transman praised Scarcella for “saying things no one else talks about.”
Scarcella is dismissive of the claims of transphobia, asserting she is anything but. “People have labeled me transphobic for being critical of trans ideas. I have no issues with being transgender. I’ve had more trans people in my videos than any other YouTuber to date,” she told The Post Millennial, noting that her only issue is with self-identification laws which might put women in danger.
“To those who truly believe I’m transphobic, I hope you change your hive-mind mentality and see how much you’re hurting your own community by acting so hateful.”
A judge ruling the case of a man responsible for the death of his infant son says that he will reduce the man’s sentence because he has dealt with assault and segregation while in jail, according to CTV News.
Joey Crier was found guilty of manslaughter in January of Anthony Joseph Raine. The 19-month-old child’s body was discovered close to a church in Edmonton in 2017.
Crier’s cell had been the target of “urine bombing” and “fecal bombing” according to a statement of facts that Crown prosecutors agreed on.
The statement also revealed that the man had a physical altercation with a fellow inmate. Crier was punched in his neck and head in the altercation.
Crier spends 23 hours of his day locked up because of the type of offence he committed.
Justice David Labrenz of the Court of Queens Bench agreed to reduce Crier’s sentence after accepting a joint submission on his charter challenge.
Tasha-Lee Doreen Mack, who is Criers former girlfriend, was convicted of manslaughter for the infant’s death as well.
Her sentencing has not yet been carried out.
On Thursday, a civil class-action lawsuit was filed by ten women against Peter Nygard. The lawsuit accused the wealthy Canadian businessman of raping the women at his mansion in the Bahamas, according to CBC News. The women claim that he was operating what they called a “sex trafficking ring.”
Six of the women involved in the lawsuit were between the ages of 14 and 15 when the alleged rapes occurred. The women, now ranging from ages 18 to 36 seek damages for the alleged crimes which occurred between 2008 and 2015.
The plaintiffs names are not being revealed “to protect their identities because of the sensitive and highly personal nature of this matter.”
The lawsuit claims that Nygard “recruited, lured and enticed young, impressionable and often impoverished children and women, with cash payments and false promises of lucrative modelling opportunities to assault, rape and sodomize them.”
No criminal charges are connected with the allegations.
In a statement on Thursday, Nygard’s lawyer said the claims are “completely false [and] without foundation”
Jay Prober said, “Peter Nygard looks forward to fully exposing this scam, and once and for all clearing his name.”
The 77-year-old is the owner of a large clothing empire that is run out of Winnipeg. The multimillion-dollar company has over 170 stores in North America.
The lawsuit also accuses the businessman of drugging the women by placing “Rohypnol and/or other mind-altering drugs in their drinks.”
It alleges that Nygard, “initiated a scheme to purchase police protection and political cover in the Bahamas by making regular payments of tens of thousands of dollars to law enforcement, government officials, regulators and even to a former cabinet minister who became the prime minister of the Bahamas.”
The lawsuit claims “Nygard also paid people, using Nygard Company money, to intimidate his former ‘girlfriends’ by slashing their tires, committing arson, paying police to threaten to arrest them and by having them followed.”
The alleged rapes happened during or after parties hosted by Nygard, which he has called “pamper parties” according to the lawsuit.
Nygard’s staff were apparently told to bring young women to the parties which took place weekly. Guests information would be collected and put into a database when they arrived at the parties. Photos would even be sent to Nygard to look over, CBC reported.
The lawsuit says, “Nygard would then use this information to select his potential victims for the night.”
According to the lawsuit, there are over 7,500 women and underage girls in Nygard’s database.
The allegations put forward on Thursday come after Nygard was accused of sexual assault in separate lawsuits in January in L.A.
Nygard denies those allegations as well.
The Post Millennial can report that one of the assailants who destroyed a College Republicans booth and assaulted a tabler at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been identified as 23-year-old queer activist, Martina Martin, who also uses the name Artimus Martin.
On Feb. 7, Martin and another young woman were filmed vandalizing the booth at Quarry Plaza on the UCSC campus. Martin, who uses “they” and “them” pronouns, can be seen taking the lead on the attack by trying to forcibly yank a “Trump 2020” flag from Hayden Williams, who was tabling at the booth and was scheduled as a guest speaker later that day.
“This is a flag of white supremacy,” Martin says in the video, which has since gone viral after being uploaded this week. As the two tussle over the flag, chairs and items are knocked over before Martin shoves Williams to the ground. Martin then tears down the booth’s banner and spits on the Betsy Ross flag before fleeing from the scene with the accomplice, who had torn up a sign.
The video does not show what happened before the vandalism began but Dylan Temple, president of College Republicans at UCSC, says the incident started when Martin tried to steal a flag. He says the incident was immediately reported to campus police.
On Wednesday, Martin took to social media to claim credit for the vandalism. Responding to Williams on Twitter, Martin wrote: “I had three dudes on me at once and nobody could stop me lol.”
Martin’s social media history shows a long commitment to radical left-wing views, including attending anti-Trump protests. It is unclear if Martin is currently an active student at UCSC. A GoFundMe created in March 2019 by Martin says they are “taking a leave of absence” from the university.
Both Temple and Williams were unaware of Martin’s identity, but have signalled that they intend to press charges for assault and destruction of property.
Temple says the UCSC administration has not been supportive and has made no effort to reach out to him or the College Republicans chapter following the attack.
The incident at UCSC comes at a time of increased reports of politically-motivated attacks against Conservatives. Last Saturday, a man in Jacksonville, Fla. used a van to plow into a GOP tent where voters were being registered. Earlier the same day, another man in Eureka, Cal. smashed the windows of a local GOP office before dumping a flammable chemical inside. Then this week, a New Hampshire man allegedly assaulted a 15-year-old Trump supporter and two adults at a polling site.
Last year, Hayden Williams, who was assaulted by Martin in the video, gained national notoriety after he was sucker-punched by left-wing protester Zachary Greenberg while tabling with Turning Point, USA at the UC Berkeley campus. Greenberg has been charged with multiple felonies for assault and battery. He pleaded not guilty and faces trial later this year.
UCSC and campus police have been reached for comment.