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Response to PEGIDA rally prompts Londoner to file code of conduct complaint against mayor, councillors

Counter-protesters outnumbered PEGIDA members by about ten to one at a rally at London City Hall on Aug. 26, 2017.
Counter-protesters outnumbered PEGIDA members by about ten to one at a rally at London City Hall on Aug. 26, 2017. Victor Young/AM980

The fallout from last month’s tense anti-Islam rally in front of city hall is continuing, with a code of conduct complaint filed against the mayor and members of council.

READ MORE: Policy advocate criticizing London council’s emergency motion as an “attack on free speech”

Local activist Mark Vandermaas has filed a code of conduct complaint against Mayor Matt Brown and all members of council, aside from Paul Hubert, who was not present at the council meeting referred to in the complaint.

On August 22, an emergency motion was introduced at a full council meeting following calls on social media from The Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, also known as PEGIDA, for a rally in front of city hall the following Saturday.

READ MORE: Two people arrested at anti-Islam rally at London City Hall

At that meeting, Brown stated, “white supremacy and nationalist ideologies threaten the security of our community”.

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The complaint alleges the politicians “did a terrible injustice to innocent Canadian citizens and London residents between August 22–26, 2017 by labelling them as white supremacist purveyors of hate.”

READ MORE: London city council stands united against hate and bigotry

Vandermaas wants council to ask police to investigate whether the mayor could be charged with defamation for his comments.

The complaint also requests an independent investigation to determine if the mayor was “improperly colluding” with counter-protest groups to defame PEGIDA, an apology to PEGIDA Canada to be read out loud and presented at a council meeting, the implementation of legal training on the obligation to uphold the Charter rights of Canadian citizens, and to amend the Code of Conduct for Members of Council to note that false accusations do not support the goal of promoting inclusiveness and unity.