May 25, 2019

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Norway massacre proves one nut can make a difference

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/8/2011 (2847 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Kevin Goudreau’s blue golf shirt is buttoned to the collar. Were it not, heads would surely be turning, because there is a large tattoo of a swastika on his chest.

He keeps it under wraps during a recent interview, but it is on the Internet for all to see, along with photos of him blanketed in a Nazi flag and with his arm raised in the Nazi salute.

The Oshawa, Ont., drywaller is the leader of the White Nationalist Front, which wants to turn Canada into a white homeland by deporting millions of Canadians of other skin colours.

While Goudreau does not consider the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik an ideological peer, the similarities in their online writings are hard to ignore.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/8/2011 (2847 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Kevin Goudreau’s blue golf shirt is buttoned to the collar. Were it not, heads would surely be turning, because there is a large tattoo of a swastika on his chest.

He keeps it under wraps during a recent interview, but it is on the Internet for all to see, along with photos of him blanketed in a Nazi flag and with his arm raised in the Nazi salute.

Kevin Goudreau, leader of the White Nationalist Front, says he condemns violence but understands the 'frustration and helplessness.'

BRENT LEWIN / POSTMEDIA NEWS

Kevin Goudreau, leader of the White Nationalist Front, says he condemns violence but understands the 'frustration and helplessness.'

The Oshawa, Ont., drywaller is the leader of the White Nationalist Front, which wants to turn Canada into a white homeland by deporting millions of Canadians of other skin colours.

While Goudreau does not consider the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik an ideological peer, the similarities in their online writings are hard to ignore.

Both demonize multiculturalism, immigration, hate-crimes laws, the media and the left. Both see the solution as social engineering that they imagine will return them to a condition of national homogeneity that never truly existed in the first place.

Where they diverge is on the subject of exactly who poses the primary threat to their Utopias: while Breivik sees Muslim immigrants as the problem, Goudreau wants all non-whites expelled.

"I feel that Canada’s makeup should be predominantly white European," he said, adding that would be accomplished through "basically the repatriation of Third World immigrants back to their country of origin."

Although Goudreau claims to represent "a lot of Canadians," the WNF blog has just eight members, one of whom is Goudreau himself.

Few have visited his blog, and some of those are almost certainly police and anti-racism activists keeping an eye on him. But as Norway showed, it only takes one to commit terrorism.

"If one of these people crosses the line, they can cause a lot of problems to innocent people," said Det. Sgt. Don McKinnon, a retired London Police Service officer who spent years investigating Canadian hate groups.

"There are lots of lone-wolf people out there that are just on the edge but they haven’t done anything yet."

Canada’s racist far-right is not what it was in the 1980s, when the Canadian Ku Klux Klan had an office in downtown Toronto and the now-defunct Heritage Front formed in an attempt to unite white supremacists across the country.

But there are clearly still believers out of step with Canada’s multicultural reality. On Monday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney issued a statement condemning anti-immigrant posters produced by a racist group that had appeared in Calgary.

Last month, a coroner’s inquest was held in Nanaimo, B.C., into the 2009 police shooting of Jeffrey Hughes, who was allegedly active in the Northwest Front, which wants to establish a white homeland in the Pacific Northwest.

In Winnipeg, two children were seized by the province in 2008 after case workers visited their home and found neo-Nazi symbols and flags. One of the children had been sent to school with a swastika drawn on her arm.

Anti-immigrant racist sentiments like those espoused by Goudreau are "more prevalent than people would like to believe, less prevalent than he would lead you to believe," Det. Sgt. McKinnon said.

"You can’t put a number on how many there are, but there are people out there that are that extreme, and they think that this is the way to get something done. And there’s no real, accurate way to keep tabs on them all."

Like extremists of all stripes, racist groups have gravitated to the Internet. Goudreau said members of his group "try to get the word out on the Internet and try to do as much networking as we can." He has also posted his opinions on YouTube under the name Aryangod, and on Stormfront, a U.S. web forum run by former Ku Klux Klansman Don Black.

Professor Abbee Corb, a Canadian expert on hate and extremism, recently interviewed 100 white supremacists for a paper commissioned by Google Ideas, titled Into the Minds of Mayhem: White supremacy, recruitment and the Internet.

"Although the full scope of their success cannot yet be measured, the evidence from this study suggests that the Internet has become a leveraged tool for white supremacist recruitment and radicalization of the young," the study concludes.

So could a Norway-type attack happen in Canada? Goudreau thinks so.

"A lot of people, like this guy perhaps, don’t feel that change is happening quick enough and kind of see the future as bleak... So they feel that they have to take it upon themselves to do something drastic."

He was quick to point out that he does not advocate violence, and his blog also makes that same point. "We don’t want to be linked in with that kind of behaviour," he said. "I can understand, like, the frustration, perhaps. Like I said, the feeling of helplessness. That there’s nothing we can do. And things aren’t happening fast enough. And you want to make some kind of statement.

"But this guy’s obviously a sick individual and perhaps mentally ill. It’s one thing to make a statement and attack a symbol, but to bomb a building when people are there or shooting students, that’s just ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense to us."

The WNF was formed five years ago, Goudreau said. He will not say how many members or supporters he has accumulated.

"Eventually we’d like to become a political party under a different name, perhaps," Goudreau said

"In Canada a lot of us feel kind of oppressed in the sense that when we try to speak out, or there’s events or issues that we’re trying to tackle and make public, there tends to be a lot of media blackouts, of course," he said.

 

— National Post

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