Thursday, August 17, 2017

Echoing Charlottesville – Ottawa’s own neo-Nazi riot

It was a cool evening in Ottawa on May 29. The weather, however did nothing to cool the fury of a white supremacist hate rock concert held that evening in the downtown area.

RAHOWA, or “Racial Holy War” banged out a set of racist, anti-semitic hard rock sounds that whipped the crowd of a couple hundred, mostly young skinheads and Nazi wannabees, into a frenzy.

They heard racist lyrics like: “These boots are made for stompin; and that’s just what they’ll do; and one of these days these boots are going to stomp all over Jews.” They sang using the “N” word: ” N—r, N—r, N—r, OUT OUT OUT.” The young thugs were primed for action.

Following the concert, lead singer George Burdi, the youth leader of the white supremacists, and its adult mentor, longtime neo-Nazi Wolfgang Droege, led their followers out on to the Ottawa streets, towards Parliament Hill. It was no surprise that many counter demonstrators, mostly young people from Anti-Racist Action (ARA) and “Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP)” confronted them.

The white supremacists chanted “Sieg Heil” and gave Nazi salutes. This was the tinder needed: It turned into a full-fledged riot in the shadow of the Peace Tower. Burdi and Droege charged at the counter demonstrators. People were injured. Burdi was convicted of assault causing bodily harm. It was the largest most violent neo-Nazi riot in modern Canadian history.

This sounds very reminiscent of a similar riot last weekend in Charlottesville Va, where a couple hundred white supremacists confronted counter demonstrators. Here, too, there was violence. Sadly one young woman, Heather Heyer, there to express her opposition to the Nazis, was killed when a car slammed into the anti-Nazi marchers.

The difference is that the Ottawa riot occurred on May 29, 1993.  (more...)

More on this topic:

My professional career took me to Ottawa for over a decade spanning this period. On multiple occasions, I had to step in for co-workers who were targeted by company thugs... at a cost to my own job security. This is not just a blue-collar phenomenon. So-called "educated" people do more damage, empowered by their credentials and upscale veneer.

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