Quebec men respond after being spotted at Charlottesville rally
Melanie Marquis, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:53PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:54PM EDT
A Quebec man who travelled south to participate in a white supremacist rally last week in Charlottesville, Va. has taken to Facebook to express his anger. An anti-fascist group posted a screen capture from the event that showed his face and that of four other men.
"These people are idiots who drive forward the globalist media narrative to silence anyone who is right of centre," Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald wrote on his Facebook page.
A spokesman for right-wing group La Meute said Beauvais-MacDonald's membership was suspended pending an investigation into the rally attendance.
La Meute "formally dissociates itself from white supremacist groups, racist groups and violent groups of all political orientations," Sylvain Brouillette told The Canadian Press in an email.
A second Quebec man, whose photo was also published on social media, said he travelled to Virginia partly for his own amusement.
"I did it mostly 'For the lulz,' meaning I expected to be entertained and it was indeed the case," Vincent Belanger-Mercure told The Canadian Press in a Facebook message.
Belanger-Mercure said while he isn't a white supremacist, "I'm not ashamed of being white either," and added that attempts to make all cultures uniform "make the beauty of the world disappear."
The photos of the men were pulled from a report on the Charlottesville event made by Vice with the collaboration of HBO.
The administrator of the anti-Pegida Quebec Facebook page republished screen grabs from the report and encouraged the public to identify the men.
The "Unite the Right" rally in Virginia resulted in violent clashes between white supremacist groups, including neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan (KKK), and the other camp, which was made up of activists opposed to the policies of the self-described "alt-right."
One woman was killed and several people were injured after a vehicle plowed into a crowd of people.
The suspected driver, James Alex Fields, is facing several charges, including one of second-degree murder.
The event has prompted provincial and federal politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to speak out against racism and hate.
In Quebec, International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre has warned that the province's international reputation could take a hit due to the increased visibility of homegrown far-right groups.
These include La Meute, which is planning a demonstration in Quebec City on Sunday.