The outburst of protest across Canada and beyond that followed the RCMP invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory has inspired all who support Indigenous rights to political and territorial sovereignty.
Unfortunately, the Wet’suwet’en defense of their homelands and allied protests have been met by threats of violence and retribution from the far right. An uptick in online threats and bigotry against Indigenous peoples, including a recent recent bomb threat directed at the Wet’suwet’en and Tyendinaga Mohawks, has been reported by the Canadian press. These threats have come from both far-rightists and unaffiliated individuals.
One such online call for violence from a well-known movement figure came from Paul Fromm, a Canadian white nationalist known for his ties to American neo-Nazi figures like David Duke and Don Black, notorious anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald and Ku Klux Klan leader Thom Robb.
In a February 13 tweet, Fromm called for cutting off food supplies to tribal supporters of the Wet’suwet’en:
On February 10 Fromm had coupled his opposition to First Nations peoples with a call for the “Dispossessed Majority” to block access into Canada of refugees fleeing the horrors of war:
In the distorted worldview of white nationalists, the “Dispossessed Majority” refers to the idea that whites have been displaced from their rightful place atop Canadian (and/or American and/or European) society and must engage in action to reclaim it. The Dispossessed Majority is also the title of a 1972 book by Humphrey Ireland (aka Wilmot Robertson) that became a cornerstone in constructing the idea of racial dispossession that undergirded the development of the white nationalist movement.
Another voice apparently cheering on violence against those who support First Nations’ struggles is John Southern, a pseudonym used by a Vancouver-based YouTuber known for “doxing” anti-fascists, environmentalists and others – that is, videoing them, researching them, and circulating their personal information. He is also known for engaging in online anti-Semitism and boasting of having once offered security advice to Wolfgang Droege of the neo-Nazi Heritage Front.
When an individual drove a vehicle through protesters blocking a bridge in Regina, Saskatchewan in support of the Wet’suwet’en, Mr. Southern tweeted “Too bad he didn’t splatter them.”
As the case of “John Southern” illustrates, the threats directed at the Wet’suwet’en can parallel those directed at anti-fascists as they struggle to counter the growth of white nationalism and far right threats to democracy. This convergence highlights the need for anti-fascists and non-tribal peoples working for justice to seek common ground with Indigenous Nations by learning to respectfully support their struggles for self-determination.
Another case specifically directed at anti-fascists and anti-racists came in October 2019 when supporters of Students Against Bigotry (SAB) at the University of British Columbia rallied to protest white supremacy and Students for Freedom of Expression – a group that once attempted to host Lauren Southern, author of Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants and Islam Screwed My Generation.
Andrew James Cavaliero of British Columbia responded to Students Against Bigotry by threatening anti-fascists (antifa) in comments laced with slurs against LGBTQ people:
Elsewhere, Cavaliero has fantasized about violence against anti-fascists:
In addition to threatening people and fantasizing about violence, Cavaliero is an ardent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump. He also “likes” a page titled “Militia News.”
In a section of its website titled “Start and Run a Militia,” the Militia News advises potential paramilitary activists to first “determine your goals,” posing the question, “Are you going to be running a Civil Defense Organization, a revolutionary group, an armed Militia, or a neighborhood watch? Each of these groups has different methods, training, goals and purposes.” While a Civil Defense group is “primarily concerned with things such as war (both conventional and nuclear), natural disasters, and other emergency situations” and a “revolutionary group” is “not armed” and engages in actions such producing newsletters and demonstrating,
An armed Militia is a group who trains with the express purpose of engaging an enemy in combat. They have a clear and deﬁned goal and prepare to ensure that when their country, city, or home is under attack they will be able to respond properly… An armed militia will probably need hand-to-hand combat.
The struggle for human rights and justice has long been met with resistance, violence and threats of violence. This has not changed. Nor has the need to build a broad coalition for justice for all peoples. The Indigenous struggle to defend and control their own homelands is central to this and non-Native people must stand in solidarity with First Nations’ struggles and embrace the refrain that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
As we move forward together, it is also imperative that we do this smartly – and to organize and have the backs of those that will inevitably be targeted by calls to violence by the likes of Paul Fromm, “John Southern” and Andrew Cavaliero.
 Fromm, Paul. Twitter. February 13, 2020. https://twitter.com/FrommPaul/status/1228117488367480833
 Fromm, Paul. Twitter. February 10, 2020. https://twitter.com/FrommPaul/status/1227045571397144577
 For detailed discussion of the importance of this book in recent white nationalist history, see Zeskind, Leonard. 2009. Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream. New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux.
 Green, Melanie. Vancouver talk derailed as free speech versus hate speech conflict escalates. The Star. March 13, 2019. https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2019/03/13/vancouver-talk-derailed-as-free-speech-versus-hate-speech-conflict-escalates.htmlhttps://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2019/03/13/vancouver-talk-derailed-as-free-speech-versus-hate-speech-conflict-escalates.html.