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‘This rhetoric isn’t harmless’: negative reaction to the presence of ‘Proud Boys’ in Halifax

Click to play video: 'Proud Boys: A look at the group who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax'
Proud Boys: A look at the group who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax
WATCH ABOVE: The interruption of an Indigenous protest by Canadian Armed Forces members representing the "Proud Boys" organization has many wondering who the "Proud Boys" are and what their presence means in Canada. Dave Squires has more on that story – Jul 6, 2017

The “Proud Boys” have made themselves a household name by interrupting an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax, but they haven’t been met with open arms.

El Jones, a Halifax sociologist, credits the organisation’s rise with the normalisation of “Trump style” political rhetoric.

“I don’t think it should be a surprise we are seeing these kinds of organizations in Canada,” she said.

“A lot of particularly young white men for example may not be seeing the kind of future they expected, the kinds of things people felt entitled too aren’t there for them.”

READ MORE: Canadian Armed Forces apologize for members’ actions at Indigenous ceremony in Halifax

She says these type of organizations then project onto vulnerable groups, like Indigenous people.

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“It’s easy to say it’s Indigenous people that are taking this from me. So look at them complaining. Their taking away my rights away. The reason why I don’t have what I want in society is those people.”

According the the Canadian chapter’s Facebook page, the group describes themselves as “western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”

Their beliefs include the idea that “the west is the best,” a call for closed border and a wish to “venerate the housewife.”

WATCH: Indigenous community welcomes military’s ‘respectful’ apology over Canada Day incident

Click to play video: 'Indigenous community welcomes military’s ‘respectful’ apology over Canada Day incident'
Indigenous community welcomes military’s ‘respectful’ apology over Canada Day incident

“Proud Boys” Growing

The Halifax Mi’kmaq community is making it clear, they don’t want the “Proud Boys” in their community.

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“I think anyone who proudly wears the title of chauvinist is someone I don’t necessarily want to see running around my city, ” said Mi’kmaq activist Rebecca Thomas on Tuesday.

But the group is gaining members, with chapters and Facebook groups popping up all around the country. The five men at the centre of the protest have all been identified as members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Jones makes it’s clear that that the group’s growth is dangerous.

“This rhetoric isn’t harmless…What we need to look at is the rise in general of a lot of this extremist rhetoric, radical rhetoric, the rhetoric around white nationalism and the so called alt-right. Why people are engaged in this rhetoric right now and why these groups are growing,” she said.

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