Toronto (January 7, 2021) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is appalled by the violent attack on democracy and the horrific extremism and hate witnessed at the U.S. Capitol yesterday.
Smaller protests in cities across Canada showed that the country is not immune to the division and extremism occurring south of the border, fueled by conspiracy theories and hateful rhetoric spread on the internet and beyond. This has been confirmed by Canada’s Department of National Defence, which recently released a report suggesting that the longer the coronavirus pandemic continues, the stronger far-right extremism and other threats to democracy could become.
Reports and photographs of yesterday’s protests and insurrection show links to the far-right extremist movement, with one rioter seen wearing a shirt that reads “Camp Auschwitz – Work Brings Freedom” and another seen holding the confederate flag.
"The events that occurred yesterday at the U.S. Capitol and the smaller protests here in Canada should serve as a wake-up call to all Canadians, especially those in government and law enforcement positions, that the threat of extremism and hate is alive and well. Hate online or elsewhere knows no borders,” said Michael Levitt, FSWC President and CEO. “As history has taught us, it is critical for all people to not be passive bystanders but rather to speak out and take action against those who incite hate and violence. Yesterday’s events affirm the importance of Holocaust and diversity education and advocacy work being done by FSWC and so many ally organizations to combat all forms of hate, including antisemitism.”