Canada Labels ‘Proud Boys’ As A Terrorist Entity

The Canadian government has just listed the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity. The far-right Neo-fascist organization, which proudly referred to itself as “Western Chauvinists,” has been the topic of much controversy since its founding in 2016. Brought to prominence during the Trump Presidency, most notably when Donald Trump himself informed the group to “stand back and standby” during the first presidential debate with Joe Biden, the organization has been involved in several notable violent altercations with both Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters in cities across the United States. However, it seems their role in the insurrection at the United States Capitol during the electoral college certification has proven to be enough for the Canadian Government.

 

In a statement released on February 3rd, the Canadian Government placed the Proud Boys along with several Al-Qaeda affiliated groups and three other “ideologically motivated violent extremist groups.” In the same statement, Canadian Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair stated, “Canadians expect their Government to keep them safe and to keep pace with evolving threats and global trends, such as the growing threat of ideologically motivated violent extremism.” The statement also notes the economic significance for members of the organization noting that banks and institutions will freeze its assets. Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has criticized the actions of the Government, noting in a phone interview to the Associated Press, “There is no basis for it. It’s infringement of free-speech rights. All the Canadian Proud Boys have ever done is go to rallies.”

 

Though the Proud Boys membership in Canada is slim overall, the move is a quite significant and meaningful attempt at global action to counteract the ever-present danger of white supremacist terror. Whilst the move can be criticized for being long overdue with the group’s violent acts of terror throughout the United States being well documented and the groups beliefs being widely known since its inception in 2016, the Geo-political context cannot be ignored. The world is currently in a transition away from Trump’s erratic empowerment of white supremacy and this is just one significant step in the process. Whilst the FBI has labelled the group as an ‘extremist group,’ it remains to be seen if further steps will be taken by the Biden Administration with this announcement from the Canadian Government.

 

Whilst time will only tell what the Biden Administration’s actions will come to be, the threat of white supremacist terror is ever-present and will continue to be as the world unravels the web of white supremacy Trump emboldened during his presidency. An organization widely known for actions such as violence against leftist protesters, anti-Semitic beliefs and its role in the storming of the US Capitol is one which should be dismantled and widely monitored by intelligence agencies across the entire world. This move by the Canadian Government is a significant step and should be applauded. The Biden Administration must follow the lead of the Canadian Government and take further action to curb the spread of the groups influence and power.

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