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The Aryan Guard was an Albertamarker-based neo-Nazi group with members primarily located in the city of Calgarymarker. It was founded in 2006 and disbanded in 2009 as a result of internecine conflict including pipe bombing attacks.

Origin

The Aryan Guard was founded in late 2006 but became noteworthy in 2007 when members began a flyering campaign targeted at immigrants. Some of these flyers had been surreptitiously placed in the free Calgary arts and culture newspaper, “Fast Forward” by Aryan Guard members. The Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centermarker for Holocaust Studies suspect that the individual responsible for the flyers may be Bill Noble, a neo-Nazi well-known to law enforcement for his online activism and who is was charged under Section 319 of the Canadian Criminal Code for wilful promotion of hatred. The Aryan Guard's website is also registered in Noble's name.

At a human rights panel discussion at the Glenbow Museum on August 14, 2007, the topic of the Aryan Guard was discussed. Although the flyers were “racially charged” and “disturbing,” Inspector Bob Couture of the Calgary Police Services, a speaker on the panel, stated that “there was not enough basis to take action against the group.”

Activities

In response to the Aryan Guard's activities in the city, Calgary anti-racist activists held a rally in support of Calgary's multiculturalism and opposition to racism and racist movements. Some members of the Aryan Guard organized a counter-protest in response to the anti-racist rally. On October 14, 2007, approximately 15 Aryan Guard members protested at Calgary City Hall but were drastically outnumbered by anti-racism protesters. Police were forced to step in as a safety precaution.

On March 21, "a date recognized as both a white pride world wide day and as a celebration for the elimination of racism", in 2008, the Aryan Guard staged a demonstration in downtown Calgary. More than 40 supporters of the Aryan Guard faced an angry crowd of over 200 anti-racist protesters who prevented the Guard from reaching their planned meeting place at the Mewata Armouriesmarker. Police then formed a human barrier between the two groups and blocked the movement of the counter-protesters while escorting the Aryan Guard down Stephen Avenue and up the steps of City Hall, where they proudly waved flags proclaiming "White Pride Worldwide". Members of the Aryan Guard also taunted Jason Devine and Bonnie Collins, local anti-racism activists whose home was firebombed on February 12, 2008, while they and their four children were inside. As the demonstration wound down, members of the Aryan Guard were escorted to a waiting school bus by police and evacuated from the scene. An unknown number of anti-racism protesters, who had been under video surveillance during the demonstration, were detained as they left and forced to have their identification recorded by police.

On March 21, 2009, the Aryan Guard held another white pride rally in downtown Calgary where they clashed with anti-racist, counter-protestors which led to a brawl between the two parties that brought traffic to a standstill. Several people had to be treated for injuries. The Aryan Guard had received media attention earlier that year on January 10 when they appeared at a protest against Israelmarker's actions in the Gaza Stripmarker, despite being asked to leave by the protest organizers.

Criminal convictions and other legal troubles

According to Const. Lynn MacDonald, the hate crimes coordinator for the Calgary Police Service, the Aryan Guard is considered a "criminal activity group."On August 28, 2008, four members of the Aryan Guard were arrested for vandalism that occurred on the Siksika First Nations Reserve near the community of Gleichen, Alberta. On July 27, 2008, a 17 year old member of the Aryan Guard assaulted a Japanese woman leaving a Calgary bar. The Aryan Guard member was later convicted of the assault on March 13, 2009; he was released in April 2009 having been in jail since October 2008.On the morning of November 21, 2009, two homemade bombs were left on the doorstep of W.E.B. member Tyler Sturrup. The devices were found and removed to a nearby parking lot moments before detonating.Just hours after Aryan Guard member John Marleau was questioned by police in connection to the bombing, warrants for attempted murder and other charges were issued for Aryan Guard founder Kyle McKee and a 17-year-old accomplice who cannot be named under provisions of Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act. After the bomb attempt, the Aryan Guard's web site indicated the group had disbanded.

References

  1. "Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center advises of Calgary-based neo-nazi’s recent activities", David Eisenstadt, The Communications Group, CNW Group 19 August 2007
  2. "Cyber hate-monger targeting Calgary?", Pablo Fernandez, The Calgary Sun (Calgary, Alberta), pg A5, 14 August 2007
  3. "Jewish and minority groups condemn racist’s attempt to stir trouble in Calgary", Alberta Index (Calgary, Alberta), 15 August 2007
  4. "Racists interrupt rallies", Katie Schneider, The Calgary Sun 26 August 2007
  5. Tarina White, "White supremacists scuffle with anti-racism group", Calgary Sun, October 14, 2007.
  6. Sherri Zickefoose, "White supremacist rally ends with arrests", Calgary Herald (canada.com), October 14, 2007.
  7. Jamie Komarnicki, "Anti-racists clash with Aryan Guard", (canada.com), March 21, 2008.
  8. "Skinhead rally causes clash", Pablo Fernandez, Calgary Sun (Calgary, Alberta), pg 3, 22 March 2008
  9. "Faces of hate unashamedly spew message", Pablo Fernandez, Calgary Sun (Calgary, Alberta), pg 4, 23 March 2008
  10. Komarnicki, Jamie. Protest turns violent as Calgary Aryan Guard, anti-racism activists square off. Calgary Herald. 22 March 2009.
  11. "Racism erupts on Siksika First Nation Reserve", CTV Calgary (Calgary, Alberta), 28 August 2008
  12. "Alleged Aryan Guard guilty of assaulting Japanese visitor ", Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta), 13 March 2009
  13. "Aryan Guard teen gets rehab instead of jail for vicious attack ", Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta), 23 April 2009


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