One arrested during heated demonstration at Lacolle border
Published Saturday, May 19, 2018 1:23PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2018 7:38PM EDT
The Canada-U.S. border was the scene of a face-off between right-wing identity groups and their anti-fascist counterparts on Saturday at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle.
The Surete du Quebec arrested one demonstrator for assault on an officer after anti-fascist crusaders from Solidarity Across Borders attempted to block Highway 15 North at Montee Guay on foot.
The highway was temporarily closed to traffic for a few hours during the afternoon rally, and traffic was diverted south.
The organization staged the protest to denounce the racism of the far-right and promote an "open and welcoming" border.
Well-known anti-fascist activist Jaggi Singh was arrested for diverting protestors onto the highway.
Because of the traffic diversion by Solidarity Across Borders - about 150 demonstrators total - Storm Alliance, an alt-right affiliate group, didn't arrive until later.
Storm Alliance, and other organizations opposed to Canadian immigration policies, gathered at Lacolle - 200m from the police lines - around 2 p.m.
In a video posted on Facebook, Storm Alliance spokesperson Eric Trudel posited Saturday's rally as a means of denouncing illegal immigration.
Accprding to him, the Canadian government is spending too much money to "invite people who don't need help," instead of "feeding and caring for children in Quebec."
During Saturday's rally, approximately 150 members of Storm Alliance and its affiliates gathered in front of the trailers that house asylum seekers.
"We do not have anything against these people, but illegal immigration must stop," Trudel told The Canadian Press.
However, La Meute - another Quebec-based alt-right group - refused to join in the weekend demonstration. La Meute spokesperson, Sylvain Brouillette, said that Storm Alliance is mistaken in their targeting of asylum seekers.
Instead, Brouillette wrote in an online publication, "it's human to want the best for your family" - referring to asylum seekers.
La Meute believes the real target in this debate should be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who Brouilette said, "prevents the RCMP from doing their job."
With files from The Canadian Press.