Far-right groups shift protest site to La­colle cross­ing

Montreal Gazette - - CITY - MICHELLE LALONDE mlalonde@post­media.com

Or­ga­niz­ers of Satur­day ’s so­called “United for Border Pro­tec­tion” protest have changed the lo­ca­tion of the event from the ir­reg­u­lar border-cross­ing site at Rox­ham Rd. to the of­fi­cial La­colle border cross­ing.

The lo­ca­tion change ap­peared Thurs­day in a post on the Face­book page of Storm Al­liance, a splin­ter group of the openly anti-im­mi­grant group Sol­diers of Odin.

Sol­i­dar­ity Across Borders, which de­scribes it­self as a mi­grant jus­tice net­work based in Mon­treal, hailed the change in lo­ca­tion as a vic­tory for anti-racist groups. The net­work claims me­dia cov­er­age of its planned counter-protest Satur­day at Rox­ham Rd. spurred the change of lo­ca­tion.

Storm Al­liance spokesper­son Eric Trudel posted a video Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon in which he re­ferred to “cer­tain changes in the plans in or­der to keep ev­ery­one safe.” In that video, he urged mem­bers of Storm Al­liance, Les Pa­tri­otes, La Meute and other “Que­bec iden­tity groups, more com­monly known as ex­treme right, racist groups” to at­tend the rally in great num­bers, adding he would be dis­ap­pointed if fewer than 200 pro­test­ers showed up.

In an­other video posted Thurs­day morn­ing, he warned pro­test­ers not to show up at the rally site alone. He said group lead­ers would let pro­test­ers know by late Fri­day or Satur­day morn­ing where they should gather be­fore the protest, so that they can move to the protest site to­gether. Oth­er­wise, he warned, Storm Al­liance could not guar­an­tee the safety of pro­test­ers.

He also said his group is con­cerned about in­fil­tra­tion, so he urged would-be pro­test­ers to reg­is­ter with re­gional group lead­ers and to bring iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with them to the rally. He said those who were not regis­tered and did not have ID would be turned away from the protest.

Mean­while, pro-mi­grant, anti-racist groups plan to go ahead with their “Open the Borders/Refugees Wel­come” event on Satur­day at Rox­ham Rd., an event or­ga­niz­ers de­scribed as “fes­tive and fam­ily-friendly.”

In a state­ment is­sued Thurs­day, Sol­i­dar­ity Across Borders said that event will go ahead and they also plan to main­tain a “fes­tive and de­ter­mined pres­ence” at the La­colle border cross­ing on Satur­day “in or­der to counter the racist far-right.”

“The anti-im­mi­grant Storm Al­liance and their al­lies an­nounced the change to­day, af­ter see­ing me­dia cov­er­age an­nounc­ing the Open the Borders/Refugees Wel­come demon­stra­tion planned by Sol­i­dar­ity Across Borders, Mon­treal An­tifas­ciste and al­lied groups,” said Sol­i­dar­ity Across Borders in its news re­lease.

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