Proud Boys: Canada will list the movement as a terrorist group
The Proud Boys will be considered an “ideologically motivated violent extremist group” along with 3 others: Atomwaffen Department, The Base and Russian Imperial Motion, the federal government stated in a press release.
“Their violent actions and rhetoric are fueled by white supremacy, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and misogyny, and unfortunately, often in combination of all of the above,” stated Public Security Minister Expense Blair at a press conference Wednesday.
Federal government authorities state the relocation will assist Canada freeze the groups’ monetary possessions and criminalize funding, training and recruitment for all such groups.
When inquired about the brand-new terrorist classification for the Proud Boys, Blair stated that the occasions of January 6 on the United States Capitol did start a “political response” in Canada, however that the choice was not political.
“And as disturbing and concerning as those images and those events were, they also provided law enforcement and our intelligence services with a trove of new information in which quite frankly, many of these groups revealed themselves,” stated Blair, including that Canada’s choice was based upon “evidence, intelligence and the law.”
Canadian federal government authorities state they understand of no other country that has actually designated the Proud Boys a terrorist group.
“What I can tell you is over the past several months, basically since 2018, we have seen an escalation and there is an escalation towards violence for this group,” stated Blair describing the Proud Boys including that, “In the aftermath of the US presidential election we’ve seen an escalation in supports that signal an escalation towards violence in a number of different groups, including the Proud Boys.”
CNN connected to the leader of the Proud Boys, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, for remark however has actually not heard back.
“We work very closely with law enforcement agencies and our national security partners, … (and in the case of the Proud Boys) we have been monitoring very carefully and gathering evidence that supports the determination and the decision that was made with respect to this,” stated Blair.
Last month, Parliament all passed a movement contacting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government to designate the Proud Boys as a prohibited terrorist group.
Some Canadian rights’ groups state noting the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity might widen the meaning of terrorism to the point of threatening demonstration and complimentary speech rights.
In January, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) stated in a post that, “The Canadian Proud Boys should continue to be countered, exposed, and held accountable, but a terrorism designation is a serious step that merits further discussion.”
Evan Balgord, CAHN’s executive director, informed CNN throughout an interview after the statement that his company’s issue was that demonstration groups, for example, Native groups, not be hurt by a “broadening” of the terrorist classification.
“I think the minister (Blair) met some of our concerns today which we appreciate, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to continue to look how terrorism is discussed, how the labels are applied and so on,” stated Balgord, including that the federal government has actually not openly revealed any intelligence or charges versus the Proud Boys in Canada.
There’s no United States law to designate a completely domestic group as a terrorist company.
Canadian authorities likewise stated they would continue to engage with digital business concerning the activities of such groups.
“I think it’s about time that some of these groups are listed. They have operated for a long time out in the open. They have recruited out in the open, fund-raised, sold branded merchandise and so on,” stated Amarnath Amarasingam, a Canadian scientist who has actually done substantial research studies on the origins and inspirations of Canada’s extremist groups and their members.
In online declarations, Proud Boys have actually declared they have actually utilized violence just in self-defense. However members are typically seen bring guns and bats and putting on protective equipment, and some have actually been founded guilty of criminal offenses versus anti-fascist protesters.
The group’s ideology has been labeled “misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration” by the Anti-Defamation League.
In September, members of the Proud Boys celebrated comments made by then-US President Donald Trump after he was asked to condemn White supremacists, and refused to do so, during a presidential debate.
Trump instead used his allotted time to blame what he called “antifa and the left” for violence and to tell the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
CNN’s Paul Murphy and Sara Sidner added to this report.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.