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This article was published 19/9/2017 (932 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Organizers of a Sept. 30 anti-Antifa rally in Winnipeg say they've told a controversial group in Alberta volunteering to provide security at the event not to come because their presence would only add fuel to the fire.
"We have told the Three Percenters to not bother coming out," said Winnipeg's Josh Sigurdson, a co-founder of Winnipeg Alternative Media organizing the Sept. 30 event dubbed the "Rally For Reasons Against AntiFa & Nazism".
Antifa is a militant political movement of self-styled anti-fascist groups.
The Three Percenters is a pro-gun, anti-government group formed in the U.S. after Barack Obama was elected its first black president in 2008, and the group is growing, according to the Anti-Defamation League in the U.S. This summer in Canada, a VICE report on Alberta's Three Percenters described them as "a far-right anti-Islamic organization that claims to be heavily armed and ready for 'war' on Canadian soil."
The Alberta group offered to provide security to the Winnipeg rally at the end of the month after Antifa protesters allegedly assaulted Sigurdson's colleague who was condemning "state-run media" at a Sept. 9 rally outside the CBC building on Portage Avenue. No one asked the Three Percenters to come to the next rally planned for 3 p.m. Sept. 30 outside Winnipeg city hall, said Sigurdson.
"We never invited them," he said Tuesday in an email. "Two guys from Alberta simply wanted to come out and make sure no one got beaten up," he told the the Free Press.
"It's been taken way out of proportion. The event isn't about them and yet that's all people are talking about," Sigurdson said of the upcoming rally organized by Winnipeg Alternative Media, a group with a Facebook page touting itself as an alternative to mainstream media.
Sigurdson, whose first rally Sept. 9 was allied with the World Coalition Against Islam until that group dropped out, defended the Three Percenters, saying they're the true anti-fascists.
"They aren't a fascist group," Sigurdson said. "They are a pro-gun group. Mussolini and Hitler took the guns. Historically fascist governments aren't a big fan of anti-government people who support gun rights," he said.
"Anyways, we told them not to bother coming as it only inflames (sic) the situation."
Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.