Canadaland once said of Kurt Phillips that he was hunting Nazis online before it was cool. Experts in online hate like Phillips have been very busy lately following the developments of the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, which has now launched several branch convoy protests, including the most recent one on the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor. How did it get this far?
For the people covering Canada’s far-right the last couple of years, recent events are not that surprising. People angry about COVID-19 restrictions often become the willing pawns of neo-Nazis, Proud Boys, antisemites, and other far-right groups who see disaffection with the government as a gateway to their hateful ideology. If you see what’s happening in Ottawa and think it’s a bunch of ill-informed yahoos making noise, you’re only partially right.
No one knows that better than Phillips, who has been scouring the dark corners of the internet uncovering the Nazis and other far-right hate mongers since 2007. He was the founder and former lead writer for Anti-Racism Canada and he’s currently a board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, but when he’s not working humbly as a history and social sciences teacher in Alberta, he’s still a keyboard warrior exposing Canada’s far-right.
Phillips joins us this week to offer his analysis of what we are seeing in Ottawa and beyond. He will talk about how we got here, and why we should not be surprised about current events. He will also talk about some of the marquee players in the movement, and how you can tell the grifters from the true believers. And finally, he will discuss what happens next, and whether the mainstream media is up to the task of understanding what the convoy is really about and who’s driving it (pun intended).
So let’s compare notes about Canada’s far-right politics on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
You can follow Kurt Phillips @ARCCollective on Twitter to get up-to-date coverage and insight about the Freedom Convoy from his unique perspective. You can also see insight and analysis about Canada’s far-right movement at the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. Another good resource is Friend of the Politicast Dan Collen, who’s actually on the ground in Ottawa, and you can find his reporting @SpinelessL on Twitter.
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Photo By Adrian Wyld of the Canadian Press.