Far-right groups shift protest site to Lacolle crossing
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.