Quebec's Extreme Right Had a Worrisomely Large Rally This Weekend
The closeness between ultranationalist groups was evident at the demonstration in Quebec City on Saturday.
Photos | Alice Chiche
This story first appeared on VICE Quebec.
Unlike in August, where far right group La Meute solely paraded quietly in the streets of Quebec, several ultranationalist groups agreed to demonstrate together in the capital on Saturday.
By 11 o'clock, a few hundred people were gathered in a park not far from the National Assembly. Some were wearing the colors of Storm Alliance, while others sported the paws of the wolf from La Meute or were wearing the military camo of the III%.
Members of the III% militia were present to ensure, they said, the safety of their colleagues on the far right. "There are far-left groups that come to scrap, as we saw this summer, we are here to protect people who protest," said one III%er.
The closeness between the various ultranationalist groups was obvious.
When the march began at 12:10 PM, the two organizing groups split in two. Storm Alliance took a first stand forward where public speaking was expected. One hundred meters behind, La Meute advanced without a word, as per the course during their march last August.
It looked relatively organized.
The counter-demonstration had been going on since 11 o'clock in front of the National Assembly, but the police, in large numbers, contained those people who came to contest the rally of the extreme right. A confrontation between the two camps seemed conceivable. Along the outskirts, the skinhead group Atalante Quebec showed itself, flags in the wind, chanting slogans against the Antifas.
Atalanta members left the police line as quickly as they arrived, but shortly after, sneaking in to take pictures, I found myself in front of their ranks. Always masked, they chanted slogans against the media and Antifa. Members of La Meute circled around them as they questioned the group. Some of them took up Atalanta's slogans in chorus.
While watching Atalanta members, I noticed that some were wearing hoodies with the logo of the Soldiers of Odin. I tried to speak to them, but I was quickly made to understand that no one was allowed to talk to the media.
When I questioned Dave Tregget, a former member of Odin's Soldiers about Atalanta's presence, he said, "They did not do anything illegal, they expressed their opinions."
By 2:30 PM about 20 people had been arrested by police, although the day ended with 44 arrests.