Brotherhood of Hate
On the streets, it’s the laces that show their dedication.
“The white laces symbolize white pride or white power, so that you’ve been essentially indoctrinated and you’re one of the crew. Or the red laces which are usually earned through spilling lots of blood.”
For ten years Daniel Gallant wore white laces. He was 18 and living on the streets.
“I knew that my childhood was awful. But I didn’t have anyone to blame for that except my parents,” he says. “And so this really – the movement- really gave me a focus as to who was to blame for the state of my life.”
And the internet, social media especially, is the life blood of the movement.
“People don’t think that white supremacy is prevalent in Canada, but there are a lot more networks than people are aware of. There’s mass discussion forums that are there, chats, social network groups and so on that youth can engage with.”
It was in Vancouver where Daniel first joined the white supremacist movement – a movement that soon turned his world to a life of crime and violence.
“I shot, stabbed, beat with baseball bats, propane bottles, chains, um batons, blackjack, steel-toed boots, on and on and on. I was violent.”
To Daniel, being a part of the white supremacist group was like being part of a brotherhood. He showed his loyalty by committing daily acts of violence.
“It was just nonstop. And there would not be a day that went by that I did not get into a fight or commit an assault,” he says. “I say, there has to be around 500 assault altogether.”
Daniel was not only violent, but he was constantly recruiting new members.
“I would meet with four or five people off the internet and bring three or four people with me from the street. And then we’d automatically have a group,” he says. “The more you convince other people that this is the right way to be, it automatically brings out this unification.”
Under current law in Canada, hate messages spread on the internet are considered hate speech. But any day now, that law could change. If Bill C-304 is passed into law it will repeal section 13 of the Human Rights Act, the section that prohibits the spread of hate on the internet.
Conservative MP Brian Storseth introduced the bill because, he says, it violates freedom of speech.
“It doesn’t allow people to express perhaps some of the dialogue they would like to,” he says. “I do believe that the necessary provisions are in the Criminal Code of Canada and that’s the place where real hate speech should be looked at with real punishments.”
Even though he admits to committing over 500 assaults, Daniel was never charged with a hate crime.
“I haven’t been charged,” he says. “Although I should have been repeatedly.”
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