Over the years, James Sears has taken on many shitty forms.
At first, in the early 90s, he was a medical doctor but when he pleaded guilty to two accounts of "sexual impropriety with three patients" he had his licence pulled. A decade or so later Sears reappeared under the guise of Dimitri the Lover, a pick up artist who would would train men in the “art of seduction” in a $3,000 two-day course.
And now in recent years it seems another transformation has occurred with Sears stepping into the public role of a hate-monger.
On November 15, Toronto Police charged Sears with two accounts wilful promotion of hatred against identifiable groups (women and Jewish people) for the content found in Your Ward News, a community paper in which he is the editor-in-chief. The publisher of Your Ward News, Leroy St. Germaine, 76, is facing the same charges. The two were arrested Wednesday morning.
The paper, in recent years, has become one of Canada’s most notorious publications. Inside its pages you can find rape advocacy, an abundant amount of anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories, and just too much to list here. One article, published last year, states that “age of consent should be the age at which a woman can safely have sex, and not a random number chosen by our ZioMarxist oppressors.”
It was this kind of writing that led to the duo of Sears and Germain, receiving the first charge focused on promotion of hatred against women. Lisa Kinsella and her husband Warren—two political operatives, writers, and activists—worked to stop Your Ward News and said that this is the first time charges connected to the willful promotion of hate against women have been laid.
"As a feminist, as a person who lives in Toronto, as a daughter, I'm so impressed that the government took this historic step to make sure that the violent misogyny contained within Your Ward News was kept within this charge,” Lisa Kinsella told VICE.
B’nai Brith, a Jewish advocacy group, also worked against Your Ward News—which published articles denying the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic material.
“We are pleased that criminal charges have finally been laid against the publishers of this hate-filled rag,” said B’nai Brith Canada spokesperson Daniel Koren in a statement. “For years, Your Ward News has attempted to promote hatred and poison the minds of impressionable readers against visible minorities.”
Sears in a statement provided to media stated that these charges are “politically motivated.”
Your Ward News was a community newspaper that had been around for years before Sears got his hands on it. Warren Kinsella, a long time resident of the Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto where the paper is distributed, said that while it did go after left leaning politicians in its pages beforehand, it didn’t become truly “hateful” until Sears got his hands on it.
"Sears took over a little over two and a half years ago,” Warren Kinsella said. “As soon as he took over it became a avowedly and aggressively anti-Semitic, Holocaust denying, racist, homophobic, misogynistic."
"The state using power against speech, obviously needs to be done sparingly and infrequently, right? It should only be done in the most extreme cases, and this is an extreme case."
Canadaland recently reported that paper reaches about 350,000 in Ontario, but outside of Canada it also has found a little bit of an online following among the unwashed masses hungry for content like this. On top of publishing this type of content, Sears is also the leader of New Constitution Party of Canada, a de-facto neo-Nazi political party.
Sears has claimed “satire” as a shield in regards to what he published. In a his interview with Free Bird Media, Sears said that he has been “trolling” people, especially women, for over 20 years. He said that when he started working at the paper someone told him “you’re working for Nazis”—meaning former Heritage Front members
“Of course, I reacted in the way any good Greek boy would react, I said ‘this is so cool, I’m the leader of a bunch of Nazis. This is like troll gold,'" said Sears. “So what I did is slowly transform the paper into an anti-Marxist paper.”
This isn’t the first time that Your Ward News, and their crew of “Nazis” have been in the public eye.
Until last year, the Canada Post would deliver the paper door to door in the neighbourhood, but, after intervention by a community group (which included the Kinsellas) led to the federal government issuing a ban to stop its distribution—Sears is fighting the decision which is now before a board for review. In the summer, the Kinsellas were able to convince the court to lay charges of uttering threats against Sears for writing that one of his readers might “lose it” and “bludgeon the Kinsellas to death.” Lisa Kinsella has also launched a defamation suit against the publication.
"Individuals like these, the neo-Nazis and white supremacists… They have been encouraged, powerfully, by the passage of Brexit and the election of Trump,” said Warren Kinsella. “It has created an environment, where they feel they have a license to disrupt civil society and to attack individuals and groups.”
“We live in a dark time, and something like Your Ward News is a manifestation of that."
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