Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island president Conrad Peach at last week’s march at Nanaimo’s Discontent City. NICHOLAS PESCOD/The News Bulletin

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Coverage of Soldiers of Odin march wasn’t critical enough

I am disappointed and disgusted with the coverage News Bulletin gave this group, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Soldiers of Odin confront supporters of Discontent City, Aug. 9.

I am disappointed and disgusted with the coverage News Bulletin gave the Soldiers of Odin leading up to their march, allowing the spokesperson for this group to remain anonymous while giving him a full platform to promote this rally.

You allowed them to pretend that they are not associated with the neo-Nazi that formed the Soldiers of Odin, even though they wear the same logo and insignia on their biker uniform. You should have challenged this local group about their connection to fascists, bigots and racists. There may be some naive people tied to this group and they need to be made aware in no uncertain terms who they are associating with – anti-immigrant fascists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Reporting on the rally after the fact is one thing but providing a platform for SOO to promote the rally without any critical analysis is irresponsible and dangerous.

The Soldiers of Odin have a right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly but not media coverage to promote their message – the Bulletin made the decision to give them a platform. Over the years I have seen many groups and individuals submit press releases to this paper for positive things that are happening in our community that have been ignored and yet you are willing to provide this fascist organization with what amounts to advertising for this rally of bigots. Shame.

I don’t think anyone is happy to have a homeless camp in the heart of our city, especially the people living in tents. The place to protest against homeless camps is at city hall and the B.C. legislature. Extremist vigilante groups are not needed at these protests and they should not be welcomed into our community.

Paul Manly, Nanaimo

RELATED: Soldiers of Odin confront supporters of Nanaimo’s Discontent City

To the editor,

Re: Soldiers of Odin confront supporters of Discontent City, Aug. 9.

It says plenty about the anti-homeless group, Action Against the Discontent City that they would unashamedly ally themselves with neo-fascists.

The community response to defend Discontent City shows a positive way forward in times of crisis. Support and care rather than stigmatizing rage and scapegoating that further harm people who are already victimized by structural violence. Solidarity works against fascists as the situation in Nanaimo showed.

It is curious that AADC want to pose as respectable citizens compared to the unrespectable tent city residents, yet do so by collaborating with neo-fascists and white supremacists. Who would you want as a neighbour: poor people acting to build a supportive community or ‘good citizens’ who would ally themselves with neo-Nazis?

Jeff Shantz, Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey

RELATED: Discontent City planning rally in response to Soldiers of Odin march in Nanaimo

RELATED: Soldiers of Odin to march at Nanaimo’s Discontent City

To the editor,

Re: Soldiers of Odin confront supporters of Discontent City, Aug. 9.

How not to organize a protest march:

Plan it for a long weekend when people go out of town or have visitors.

Align yourself with a hate group to muddy the purpose of the march and keep people away.

March past city hall on Sunday when it is closed.

I am a discontented taxpayer. I did not join this march because it was designed to fail. I wonder if that was the intent.

Annie Maxim, Nanaimo


The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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