Universities around Toronto found themselves bombarded with posters advocating for white supremacy Monday morning.
Vaguely reminiscent of World War II propaganda, the signs feature an image of two stoic-looking white guys in winter attire with the CN Tower in the backdrop; they promote a White Students Union.
A URL at the bottom of the poster directs people to the website for Students for Western Civilisation, a group that hopes to advance "the political interests of Western peoples."
In a post on its homepage, the group takes on York University, claiming the school's liberal arts programs are dominated by "leftist perspectives."
"All white people are racists, we're taught, and only white people can be racist, because white people are the sole beneficiaries of this white supremecist (sic) system."
Watch our documentary on a US-based White student union
To balance things out, the group claims its platform "would serve as a venue to explore those perspectives on ethnic politics that our Marxist indoctrinators seek to suppress and ignore."
Joanne Rider, a spokeswoman for York, told VICE eight posters were removed from the school's Keele Street campus Monday morning. She said Students for Western Civilisation is not a school-sanctioned group and that its members are unknown to York.
Reached by VICE Monday, Ryerson spokesman Michael Forbes said a security team was investigating the origin of the posters, several of which appeared on school grounds.
"We saw it as offensive. We don't condone it and we hope we can get all the signs down as quickly as possible," he said.
Bee Quammie, 32, an alumna of the University of Western Ontario and York, who is black, said the posters show that racism is still a major problem here, even amongst young people. "We have youth who are recruiting other youth who say they have interest to proceed with this idea," she said. "It just shows there is a lot more work to be done and there isn't room to be complacent about racism in Canadian society."
Toronto criminal lawyer Chris Rudnicki said the posters amount to hate speech and should be investigated by police. The Criminal Code prohibits inciting hatred against any identifiable group. "It's enough for them to say we support and promote white supremacy," Rudnicki told VICE. A spokesman for the Toronto police could not say offhand whether police were looking into the posters but said a complainant generally needs to come forward in order to start an investigation. Students for Western Civilisation did not respond to a request for comment. Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.