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Shofar FTP Archive File: places/canada/bc/chilliwack/chilliwack-fights-back.0395


Archive/File: pub/people/s/scott.charles/press/chilliwack-fights-back.0395
Last-Modified: 1995/03/17
Source: Jewish Western Bulletin, Vancouver, B.C. (A1)

New Chilliwack group fights racism
By Michelle Betz

As the tentacles of racist organizations appear to creep in closer
and closer to Vancouver, anti-racist groups around the province have
begun to pool their efforts in the fight against far right-wing
groups.

Activities of violent racist organizations like Aryan Nations and
Posse Comitatus in the Chilliwack region prompted a leadership
training and community development conference dealing with racism.

The conference was held the first weekend of March and reached its
capacity of just over 50 people. But according to Kathy McDowell,
Chilliwack Anti-Racism Project Society (CARPS) co-chair, the
organization received a "fair amount" of phone calls from community
members interested in attending.

Only days before the newly formed, community-based society was
scheduled to meet, an anti-Semitic, racist phone line was promoted
in leaflets distributed throughout the area.

On the  line, Charles Scott, active in the Chilliwack area since
last fall and linked to both Aryan Nations and Posse Comitatus,
states, among other proclamations, that "we want to wipe out
Zionism" and that "all immigration from non-white countries must be
stopped."

"What's disturbing is the history of violence of these two
organizations and the apparent instability of Scott himself,"
remarked David Lethbridge, Salmon Arm Coalition Against Racism
(SACAR) director. "I'm a professor of psychology but you don't have
to be Sigmund Freud to see that [Scott is emotionally unstable]."

Lethbridge, attending the conference as an expert to help CARPS
form, spoke to _The Bulletin_ about the situation in Chilliwack.

In addition to the phone line, Scott has been distributing hate
leaflets in downtown Chilliwack. The weekend of the conference, hate
pamphlets implying that "mentally defective" people should be put to
death, were distributed at a [continued on page 3] nearby school.

Scott is attempting to recruit anybody by distributing hundreds of
leaflets in Chilliwack, Lethbridge said.

The conference also highlighted speakers such as Alan Dutton of
Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society and Aziz Khaki
of Committee for Racial Justice.

According to Lethbridge, the conference's goal was to "take a look
at the situation concretely. From their (CARPS) point of view, they
want some expertise. From my point of view, I want to see the
situation in its concreteness... What we'll be doing is to figure
out what the next steps are," Lethbridge told _JWB_.

Lethbridge believes that CARPS "have a chnace to squash it [the
proliferation of racist organizations] because they're new - if they
have the guts. It'll be hard," but it can be done, she stressed.

To date there has been little success in ridding the Interior of
hate groups. But Lethbridge said he feels there's a better chance of
eradicating the Chilliwack-based organizations due to the nature of
the groups.

SACAR's director explained that some fundamental differences exist
between the Chilliwack groups and those operating in the Interior.

"First, they [Chilliwack] are dealing with Aryan Nations and Posse
Comitatus which are known for their violence, whereas the
organizations up and down our valley [near Salmon Arm] are known for
their propaganda distribution."

"The other difference is that Salmon Arm groups, like Council for
Public Affairs, have been there for years and years so they're
already established. Working against an established organization is
harder and different from working against an organization that is just
immediately new."

As well, Lethbridge said he hopes some of the anti-racist
organizations will begin to tackle these groups on the Internet.

"The Internet presents a whole new ball game with free information
reaching millions [of people]. We're going to have to deal with it,"
he stressed, "and deal with it soon." (See _JWB_ Mar. 9, "mcvay
@internetfighter")

In the meantime, Lethbirdge fears the swing to the far right will only
get worse.

One of the problems, he said, is that there just aren't that many
people doing anti-racist work in Canada. "There's a limited amount of
time, money and courage to go around ...[Yet] we're confronted by
racist and fascist organizations that are incredably wealthy.

"It's never going to be enough as long as the social and economic and
political conditions are ripe," Lethbridge lamented.

"We have to make fundamental changes. In a way, what many of us are
involved in is a read guard action - trying to take care of small bits
and eat away at the edges."

=30=

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