I have to feel for the good people of the city of Calgary. I wake up this morning and go to CBC News to find this story about 50 members of the Aryan Guard who gathered to disrupt an anti-racism march on the International Day to Eliminate Racial Discrimination.
The real concern here is that this group is growing. According to the always reliable wikipedia, there were 20 members in August 2007, 40 at a protest in October 2008, and now 50 this March. And, to top it off, Calgary Police claim to need to protect the Charter Rights of these neo-nazis who celebrate Hitler’s birthday. Apparently, the Calgary Police have not heard of Section 319 of the Criminal Code prohibiting the promotion of hate.
Calgary needs to seriously consider its image. They are the first international stop for George Bush, the home of a growing neo-Nazi group, and the 5-time electors of MP Rob Anders who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist. Yes, the Nobel Prize winner and the man who brought in the Truth and Reconciliation instead of Zimbabwe-style revenge.
I doubt very much that Calgary is a bad place or full of bad people. But, the leaders of the city need to step up and actively work against the extremist elements on their far right. In particular, I would suggest that it is the moderate right-wing – the reasonable, level-headed majority – that needs to put these nuts in their rightful places.