Image:
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/kyle-rittenhouse-posters-vancouver-seawall

White Supremacy posters spotted in parts of Vancouver, Surrey and Nanaimo

By:
Guneet Pooni (@guneet_p)

In the days following the violent pro-Trump riots and attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC, posters in support of white supremacy have gone up across parts of British Columbia. 

Despite the common misconception popularly shared in Canada whenever there is an instance of racism in the United States, our country is no better when it comes to racism and white supremacy, and these posters are just one example of the need to look in our own backyard.


Posters found in Vancouver along the Stanley Park Seawall, were put up by a neo-Nazi group, the International Conservative Community, and featured a picture of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year old white male who targeted and shot Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

Rittenhouse faces charges that he allegedly shot three people, killing two of them during Black Lives Matter demonstrations that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha in August.

Alarmingly, the posters seen in Vancouver with Rittenhouse's image on them say “Kyle was Right.”

Although the shooting took place in the US, some Canadians evidently seem to agree with Rittenhouse horrific actions, and the sentiments behind them.

The poster shows that racism and anti-Blackness are deeply entrenched in Canada, a reality that non-white folks living here are too familiar with.

Still, it is shocking to see someone like Rittenhouse, whose actions were widely denounced in the media, being celebrated right here in Vancouver.

It’s another reminder that no matter how much “progress” we think Canada has made, no matter how “progressive” we believe Vancouver to be, this state was founded on white supremacy and until policies are implemented at a federal level, hate groups are only going to continue to grow. 

Following the incident, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy publicly denounced white supremacy in response to these posters. 

On Twitter, he wrote “White supremacy is evil. Whether it's here in #Vancouver or at the US Capitol, it must be named for what it is and stamped out.” He added that crews were out monitoring the area for new posters being put up.

However, some British Columbians are questioning if Kennedy’s response is enough.

People are calling for policies --  not just words -- that will eradicate hate groups and white supremacists, as well as asking how the Vancouver Police Department will be responding. 

In Surrey, a flyer was found at a bus stop promoting the replacement of Canada’s Multiculturalism Act with the “White and Indigenous People and Culture Preservation Act,” which would require 65% White and Indigenous majority in every city. 

This flyer was created by the group NoWhiteGuilt, another pro-Trump, White Supremacy group.

This isn’t the first flyer claiming a need to preserve “white culture” in Surrey. A similar flyer was put up in Surrey Central Station in October 2020.

In addition, during the pandemic, anti-Asian hate crime has also seen a rise compared to last year. 

Posters have also been spotted outside of the Lower Mainland, including in Nanaimo, where white power flyers were circulated by Stormfront -- yet another white supremacy and neo-Nazi group.

White supremacy posters are not a tactic that hate groups have recently adopted in Canada -- they’ve been spotted in cities across Canada and even in people’s mailboxes for years, demonstrating to Canadians this is a prevalent issue on this side of the border as well, and one that we need to be paying close attention to.

White supremacy and hate groups have been on the rise in Canada, and the federal and provincial governments need to take action now before any more escalation. 

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About the Author: Guneet studies International Relations & Law and Society at the University of British Columbia. She is the founder of Moksha, an initiative aimed at addressing internalized racism in the South Asian community. Guneet was a Youth Fellow with Leading in Colour’s Digital Insitute of Activism and is on the UBC Current Dragon Boat team.Guneet studies International Relations & Law and Society at the University of British Columbia. She is the founder of Moksha, an initiative aimed at addressing internalized racism in the South Asian community. Guneet was a Youth Fellow with Leading in Colour’s Digital Insitute of Activism and is on the UBC Current Dragon Boat team.Guneet studies International Relations & Law and Society at the University of British Columbia. She is the founder of Moksha, an initiative aimed at addressing internalized racism in the South Asian community. Guneet was a Youth Fellow with Leading in Colour’s Digital Insitute of Activism and is on the UBC Current Dragon Boat team.

5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.

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