Mobilize on March 23 against white supremacist violence

Statement from the Communist Party of BC, March 19, 2019

In the wake of the mass killing of 50 members of the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Communist Party of BC urges all progressive people in the Vancouver region to take part in the annual United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in particular the rally at Vancouver City Hall at 11 am, Saturday, March 23. The growing attempts to fan white supremacy, Islamophobia, racism, misogyny, transphobia, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hatred and bigotry must be resisted by mass public mobilizations. Our party condemns the efforts to provide cover for far-right, fascist terrorism using the arguments of “protecting free speech” or “blaming both sides.” These forms of protecting white supremacism were seen here just last week, when the so-called “UBC Free Speech Club” attempted to hold a speaking event featuring two prominent racist, anti-immigrant spokespersons. When a wide range of community activists (including our party) demanded to cancel the room rental for this group, we were accused of “stifling free speech”, and the Vancouver Police Department alleged that “both sides” were likely to engage in violence. Such arguments deny the reality that terrorist violence and murder arise almost exclusively from the ideology and actions of white supremacist, racist and fascist movements and individuals. For many years, Canada’s police and security forces have focused their attention on alleged threats from the Muslim community, while ignoring a torrent of hate speech emanating from white supremacist and far-right groups, or dismissing threats from these sources as the work of “lone wolves.”

If politicians and police are serious when they say that racism has no place in our society, they should support the courageous efforts of anti-racists and anti-fascists, instead of shamefully implying that those who organize and speak out against right-wing terrorists and extremists somehow “share the blame.” The best way to send this message loud and clear is to make events such as the March 23 as large and inclusive as possible, and to defeat the predictable attempts by white supremacist thugs to provoke violence on these occasions.