NEWS

Charlottesville: Canadians Who Attended White Supremacist Rally Identified

The "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. resulted in violent clashes, scores of injuries and one death.

08/17/2017 19:32 EDT | Updated 08/18/2017 10:35 EDT
VICE News
A group of men who attended a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday identified themselves as Canadian.

OTTAWA — At least two Quebec men have been identified after they travelled south to participate in a white supremacist rally last week in Charlottesville, Va.

One of them took to Facebook to express his anger after an anti-fascist group posted a screen capture from the event that showed his face and that of four other men.

VICE News
"In Canada, hurting people's feelings is basically illegal," one man told white nationalist Christopher Cantwell in a VICE News documentary from Charlottesville, Va.

"These people are idiots who drive forward the globalist media narrative to silence anyone who is right of centre," Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald wrote on his Facebook page.

A spokesman for right-wing group La Meute said Beauvais-MacDonald's membership was suspended pending an investigation into the rally attendance.

La Meute "formally dissociates itself from white supremacist groups, racist groups and violent groups of all political orientations," Sylvain Brouillette told The Canadian Press in an email.

Went to white supremacist rally 'for the lulz'

A second Quebec man, whose photo was also published on social media, said he travelled to Virginia partly for his own amusement.

"I did it mostly 'For the lulz,' meaning I expected to be entertained and it was indeed the case," Vincent Belanger-Mercure told The Canadian Press in a Facebook message.

VICE News
A group of men interviewed for a VICE News documentary about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. identified themselves as Canadian.

Belanger-Mercure said while he isn't a white supremacist, "I'm not ashamed of being white either," and added that attempts to make all cultures uniform "make the beauty of the world disappear."

The photos of the men were pulled from a report on the Charlottesville event made by Vice with the collaboration of HBO.

The administrator of the anti-Pegida Quebec Facebook page republished screen grabs from the report and encouraged the public to identify the men.

The "Unite the Right" rally in Virginia resulted in violent clashes between white supremacist groups, including neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan (KKK), and the other camp, which was made up of activists opposed to the policies of the self-described "alt-right."

One woman was killed and several people were injured after a vehicle plowed into a crowd of people.

The suspected driver, James Alex Fields, is facing several charges, including one of second-degree murder.

The event has prompted provincial and federal politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to speak out against racism and hate.

In Quebec, International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre has warned that the province's international reputation could take a hit due to the increased visibility of homegrown far-right groups.

These include La Meute, which is planning a demonstration in Quebec City on Sunday.

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