A Proud Boy supporter listens to speeches as a few hundred people attend a second amendment rally at Riverfront Park on Saturday May 1, 2021 in Salem, Ore. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paula Bronstein

A Proud Boy supporter listens to speeches as a few hundred people attend a second amendment rally at Riverfront Park on Saturday May 1, 2021 in Salem, Ore. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paula Bronstein

Proud Boys Canada’s demise could stiffen resolve of members, expert warns

Some extremists in the movement will try to advance causes on their own in cyberspace

Targeting the Canadian chapter of the Proud Boys with anti-terror legislation has led to the group’s apparent demise, but a leading expert says it might have little effect on the broader far-right movement.

The development could simply harden the resolve of former members, prompt them to join other groups or spawn an increase in individual online activity, said Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University.

Proud Boys Canada announced Sunday it was dissolving after the Liberal government listed it as a terrorist organization following the January assault on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Being on the list means the group’s assets and property are effectively frozen and subject to seizure or forfeiture.

A statement posted to the Proud Boys channel on the app Telegram and attributed to the Canadian chapter of the white nationalist group said it thought about pursuing a legal case, “but we have no financial support.”

In a separate statement, the group said those in its Canadian chapter have to consider their livelihoods and “fighting this in court will prove to be expensive and time consuming.”

But it said the “fight for liberty” isn’t over.

“They will continue to fight for western values … but now … as individuals.”

Perry said while Ottawa’s listing of the Proud Boys could deter some members, it might stiffen the resolve of others.

“It reinforces their victim mentality,” she said in an interview Monday. “Now they can claim that they’re the targeted ones, they’re the ones that are being silenced.”

It is possible that some local chapters of the Proud Boys would continue to operate in Canada, given their independence, Perry said. In addition, the “real diehards” will morph into a different group or take up with an existing one, she predicted.

“I think that that many of them will continue to engage in the movement in some way,” said Perry, who pegs the number of far-right groups in Canada at about 250.

Some extremists in the movement will try to advance causes on their own in cyberspace, she added, noting “a lot of individuals who are threading their way in and out of different social-media platforms associated with the far right without necessarily affiliating with with a particular group.”

Perry also flags the next general election as a rallying point “that is likely to bring folks out of the woodwork again” as members of the far right try to amplify their messages.

Mustafa Farooq, chief executive of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, cautiously welcomed the Proud Boys’ announcement.

“Obviously, we do not take the words of this violent Islamophobic organization at face value,” he tweeted. “However, this is an important step.”

Farooq said there is still “a lot more work to do” to dismantle the many other white-supremacist groups in Canada.

“Let’s make the flags of hate come down. Together.”

Race-based, white supremacist violence is a tragic reality in Canada, said Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

“We have taken significant action as a government to end such violence in our communities. We also know there is more to do, and we are committed to doing that work,” she said.

“Intolerance and hate have no place in our society.”

READ MORE: 4 men linked to Proud Boys charged in plot to attack Capitol

Stephanie Taylor and Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Domestic Terrorism

Just Posted

Armstrong Regional Co-op board members Brett Kirkpatrick (left) and Robbie Hoyte (right) flank Scott John of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society. The co-op donated $2,500 to the society for its Save the Towne Theatre campaign. (ARC photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap cooperative contributes to Vernon theatre campaign

Armstrong Regional Co-op kicks in $2,500 for Okanagan Screen Arts Society’s Save the Towne Theatre campaign

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery, scholarship for rescue at Sicamous beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

A young Sicamous Canada Day parade-goer is awed by a colourful float filled with beloved Disney characters during the July 1, 2020 community event. (File photo)
Editorial: Now is the time for Sicamous to shine

Shuswap community might be just what people who work from home are looking for

Greyhound Canada announced May 13 it was closing operations permanently after more than a century of operation. (Black Press file photo)
COLUMN: Goodbye to a never forgotten friend

Greyhound bus trips played a big role in columnist’s life

Someone or something is vandalizing birdhouses built and erected along Salmon Arm’s Foreshore Trail, much to the chagrin of a Shuswap biologist who looks after the houses. All but one of 32 along the trail are occupied. (Facebook photo)
Ongoing birdhouse vandalism rocks Shuswap trail, groups

Eight more boxes were destroyed Saturday, May 15

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Brandon Messier of Messier’s Concrete and Landscaping has added some unique, glowing features to his front yard at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in the Okanagan

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

Coldstream Fire Department is on-scene Sunday, May 16, battling a fire in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Okanagan fire crew tackles orchard blaze

Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the Coldstream firehall on Aberdeen Road

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a "substantial seizure" according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
Search continues for diver who went missing in Okanagan Lake

Emergency crews continue to search for the 52-year-old who didn’t resurface Saturday

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Most Read