Anti-Semitic, racist posters condemned at B.C. university
'Please promptly rip them down,' Anti-Racist Action urges as B'nai Brith joins condemnation of hate propaganda on University of Victoria campus
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Anti-racists at the University of Victoria are calling on anyone who sees anti-Semitic and racist posters associated with violent white supremacists in the U.S. to "rip them down" and report them.
Anti-Racist Action UVic posted an image of a poster on its Facebook page early Wednesday morning, describing them as having appeared "around campus" the previous week.
The poster features an image of several generations of white-looking people, with a slogan mirroring recent neo-Nazi chants in the U.S.: "(((Those))) who hate us will not replace us," followed by the text: "Defend Canadian heritage, fight back against anti-white hatred: A message from the Alt-Right."
"If you see any more like this, please promptly rip them down," the group urged. "We are calling on students to join us November 15th for a meeting to discuss a campus anti-racist strategy. Contact us for details."
The "will not replace us" slogan echoed one documented by the Washington Post and VICE News in Charlottesville, Virginia — where during an "alt-right" rally on Aug. 12, a white supremacist ran over 20 anti-racist counter-protesters and killed one with a car, after which President Donald Trump declared, "There's blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it."
The Charlottesville version of the chant, according to journalists present, was, "Jews will not replace us."
And if you're wondering about why "Jews" was replaced on the UVic poster with the triple-bracketed "(((Those)))," it's a social media tactic used by neo-Nazis to secretly identify Jewish people and their supporters for swarm-like bullying and threats.
The brackets around a name or words indicates "Jewish," explained B'nai Brith Canada in a statement condemning the poster on Thursday.
"The triple parentheses are frequently used by online neo-Nazis to identify Jews," the organization stated. In June, their U.S. counterparts, the Anti-Defamation League, added the symbol — known to white supremacists as "echoes," and started by The Right Stuff blog's Daily Shoah anti-Jewish podcasts — to its database of hate symbols in June 2016.
"When used around someone's name … it is intended by the user to indicate to others 'in the know' that the person being referred to is Jewish," the ADL wrote. "When used around a term or phrase—such as (((banker)))—the intent is generally that the word 'Jewish' be placed in front of the term or phrase, or simply that the term or phrase is actually synonymous with Jews."
B'nai Brith Canada's CEO called on the B.C. university to "do whatever they can to identify and discipline the culprits.
“This brazen outburst of far-right antisemitism at a Canadian university is a serious concern,” Michael Mostyn said in a statement.
UVic's equity and human rights director called the posters "profoundly disappoint(ing)" and "discriminatory," saying they appeared Oct. 18 in one buiding; campus security searched campus and found no others. "We have not to date found any connection between this incident and any university group or member," Cassbreea Dewis said in a statement. "Investigation into the matter continues."
According to The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies, the flier follows similar postering incidents on other Canadian campuses, including universities of McGill, Toronto, Calgary and Victoria, including some by Holocaust deniers and other racists.
"The alarm bell continues to ring," stated the organization's president Avi Benlolo, Avi Benlolo, in a statement urging all Canadians to speak out against hatred. "As we see groups identifying with the alt-right spilling out onto our streets on a regular basis, it will take all sectors to continue to confront the messages of intolerance they try to spread …
"... University administration and law enforcement must make every effort to identify those spreading such messages of intolerance and hate in hopes of recruiting students to their destructive cause."