Monday, August 21, 2017

'The tip of a rising iceberg': Lawyer predicts more Alberta sex abuse victims will pursue civil lawsuits

Lawyer Robert Talach
Alberta victims of sexual violence will have greater legal recourse thanks to the province's decision to drop the two-year limit on lawsuits involving sexual assault, says a lawyer who represents those victimized by clergy.

Lawyer Robert Talach says Alberta could see more lawsuits in the future similar to one recently brought against a Catholic religious order over historic allegations of sexual abuse by a Calgary priest and high school teacher.

"I think this is the tip of a rising iceberg in the sense that the way the law was previously in Alberta made it difficult," Talach told Postmedia.

"I think you'll start to see the shroud slip off all these historical claims that weren't able to proceed and it's really going to make a difference."

Prior to the change last May, Alberta required victims to sue for damages within two years of the sexual assault, sexual misconduct or domestic abuse. Victims could extend that to an ultimate limit of 10 years if they could demonstrate there was a significant impediment to proceeding sooner.

Talach's practice is one of the few in the country primarily dedicated to sexual abuse. The Ontario-based lawyer says his firm tries between 85 and 100 cases a year from across Canada, many involving educational institutions, youth organizations or clergy.  (more...)


Related:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

International Fascista: Brasil’s US-Funded “Libertarians” & the Far-Right


On August 18, Vice Brasil journalist and occasional Brasil Wire contributor Marie Declerq, broke the news that the Instituto Mises Brasil think tank, which receives funding from US libertarians, has published articles by Christopher Cantwell, the American Nazi who helped organize the Charlottesville Virginia protests. Cantwell made the news recently when he was filmed in a Vice documentary threatening to kill Jews and blacks, and later appeared in a YouTube video sobbing in fear of being arrested.

News that Mises Institute, founded in 2007 and part of the Libertarian Atlas Network, has published material by Augusto Pinochet fanboy Cantwell shouldn’t actually be that surprising. Atlas, which has been built over decades to distort Latin American politics, is funded by the Koch Brothers (a family with their own distinguished Nazi history).

Following Charlottesville, Cantwell sparked outrage among South Americans by appearing in his own T-Shirt design depicting the murder of leftists in helicopter “death flights” – a common practice in Chile, Argentina and elsewhere during Operation Condor in the 1970s – a US supported cross-border campaign which assassinated thousands of labor union members, opposition activists and intellectuals.  (more...)


Background:

Zooming in on that alt-right humour

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant Received Foreign Funding from ‘Anti-Muslim’ Think Tank

That includes the pro-life-ist lobby
Rebel Media owner Ezra Levant has received an undisclosed amount of funding from an American think tank that promotes far-right, anti-Muslim views.

Levant's alt-right website continued spiraling out of control Thursday, following the departures of Rebel Media's Gavin McInnes and Rebel Media director Hamish Marshall, who recently served as Conservative leader Andrew Scheer's campaign manager.

Scheer said Thursday he will not do interviews on Rebel Media until its "editorial direction" has improved.

Rebel Media UK correspondent Caolan Robertson also quit in dramatic fashion, leaking audio of a private meeting where he alleges Levant offered him $20,000 in "hush money" to buy his silence on Rebel Media's finances.

Instead, the former Rebel published a YouTube video describing Rebel Media's internal office politics, Levant's temper tantrums and raised questions about what Rebel Media does with money received through donations: "Where does your money go? Here's the thing: no one really knows."
"The Rebel is about nothing more than making money. The Rebel makes enough from its shows to cover its costs and apparently it even makes more from backers on top of that. So what on earth does it need with your money?"  (more...)


More on the mysterious foundations bankrolling counter-jihad:

Related:




Thursday, August 17, 2017

'I know how powerful hate is' — A one-time Canadian neo-Nazi speaks out on Charlottesville


It has been 10 years since Elizabeth Moore has spoken publicly about her years as the pretty, public face of Canada’s neo-Nazi Heritage Front.

Then came Charlottesville.

“I know what these people are feeling. I know how powerful hate is,” Moore says from her Toronto home. Now “older than 40”, married to a Jewish lawyer and mother of a young daughter, Moore said she was terrified watching the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., where tiki-torch-bearing white nationalists marched and chanted Nazi-era slogans.

“This was my life back in the ’90s, and with all that’s going on it seems everything old is new again,” she said. “Of course, in the ’90s we didn’t have a president of the United States who seemed sympathetic.”

Moore was a student in a racially diverse high school in Scarborough, Ont., in the early 1990s when she fell under the spell of the Heritage Front. The group was founded in 1989 by a group of Nazi-sympathizers who espoused racist, white supremacist views.  (more...)



Related:

Exchanging one ideology for another does not gain you freedom. Coping is not thriving. Close but no cigar.

Echoing Charlottesville – Ottawa’s own neo-Nazi riot


It was a cool evening in Ottawa on May 29. The weather, however did nothing to cool the fury of a white supremacist hate rock concert held that evening in the downtown area.

RAHOWA, or “Racial Holy War” banged out a set of racist, anti-semitic hard rock sounds that whipped the crowd of a couple hundred, mostly young skinheads and Nazi wannabees, into a frenzy.

They heard racist lyrics like: “These boots are made for stompin; and that’s just what they’ll do; and one of these days these boots are going to stomp all over Jews.” They sang using the “N” word: ” N—r, N—r, N—r, OUT OUT OUT.” The young thugs were primed for action.

Following the concert, lead singer George Burdi, the youth leader of the white supremacists, and its adult mentor, longtime neo-Nazi Wolfgang Droege, led their followers out on to the Ottawa streets, towards Parliament Hill. It was no surprise that many counter demonstrators, mostly young people from Anti-Racist Action (ARA) and “Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP)” confronted them.

The white supremacists chanted “Sieg Heil” and gave Nazi salutes. This was the tinder needed: It turned into a full-fledged riot in the shadow of the Peace Tower. Burdi and Droege charged at the counter demonstrators. People were injured. Burdi was convicted of assault causing bodily harm. It was the largest most violent neo-Nazi riot in modern Canadian history.

This sounds very reminiscent of a similar riot last weekend in Charlottesville Va, where a couple hundred white supremacists confronted counter demonstrators. Here, too, there was violence. Sadly one young woman, Heather Heyer, there to express her opposition to the Nazis, was killed when a car slammed into the anti-Nazi marchers.

The difference is that the Ottawa riot occurred on May 29, 1993.  (more...)


More on this topic:

My professional career took me to Ottawa for over a decade spanning this period. On multiple occasions, I had to step in for co-workers who were targeted by company thugs... at a cost to my own job security. This is not just a blue-collar phenomenon. So-called "educated" people do more damage, empowered by their credentials and upscale veneer.

Fugitive's trail exposes Red Bull co-owners' offshore deals

The (mostly) silent partner
The Bangkok billionaire family that co-founded Red Bull, the world’s leading energy drink, uses offshore companies to cloak purchases of jets and luxury properties, including the posh London home where the clan’s fugitive son was last seen.

The Yoovidhya family’s efforts to hide assets show how easily major global financial players can routinely — and, usually, legally — move billions of dollars with little or no oversight.

The family’s confidential deals were inadvertently exposed by the jet-setting son Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, who has attracted cries of impunity in Thailand after repeatedly failing to show up in court for allegedly racing away in his Ferrari after a deadly accident with a motorcycle cop almost five years ago. More than 120 Instagram and Facebook postings by friends and family led The Associated Press earlier this year to the Yoovidhyas’ London vacation home, where Vorayuth refused to comment.

Thai authorities revoked his passport and issued an arrest warrant, but say they don’t know where he is.

Now the investigation into Vorayuth’s whereabouts has led to the Panama Papers, a collection of 11 million secret financial documents that illustrate how the world’s wealthiest families hide their money, including some of the Yoovidhya family’s financial arrangements.

The Panama Papers leak first was obtained by the German newspaper Sudeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which began publishing collaborative reports with news organizations in 2016, putting wealthy and powerful people in more than 70 countries under scrutiny.

Since then, political leaders have been ousted, an estimated $135 billion was wiped off the value of nearly 400 companies, and governments are cracking down on offshore tax havens. Founders of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which owned the leaked documents, were charged earlier this year with money-laundering.

The Yoovidhya family’s network of offshore companies — set up by Mossack Fonseca — was so complex that, until now, the family name and Red Bull brand had not been exposed. But the Panama Papers shared with the AP show the family has used at least a half-dozen anonymous companies in tax havens for more than two decades.

The Yoovidhyas, who share ownership of Red Bull with Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz, did not respond to requests for comment. Red Bull said in a statement that Vorayuth’s legal situation “is not a matter for Red Bull” and that the company’s financial matters are private.

Vorayuth was last seen in public in April, outside his family’s London home.  (more...)


More coverage:

The (mostly) silent partner:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Does Canada take the threat of far-right extremism seriously?


Despite the recent racist violence in the U.S., and an increase in right-wing extremist activity here in Canada, experts disagree about whether Ottawa should make such groups a national security priority.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Canada's intelligence community has devoted much of its attention to preventing Islamist terrorism.

While right-wing extremism, including the activities of neo-Nazi and other racist groups, is monitored by CSIS and the RCMP, it doesn't receive the same amount of resources as threats from ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Yet the outburst of deadly racist violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend is not without parallels in Canada. Recent estimates suggest there are dozens of active white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups across the country.

They advocate everything from biological racism to anti-Semitism to radical libertarianism. Members of groups such as the Heritage Front, Freemen of the Land and Blood and Honour have been charged with dozens of crimes, including murder, attempted murder and assault.

Roughly 30 homicides in Canada since 1980 have been linked to individuals espousing some form of extreme right-wing ideology.

But the pattern of right-wing extremist violence in Canada is too inconsistent to merit being prioritized over the threat posed by Islamic extremists, according to two former members of the security establishment.

"I do think right-wing extremism is a national security problem, but we're not devoting the resources to it because we don't need to," said Phil Gurski, a former CSIS analyst who now runs a security consulting business.

"I have seen nothing to suggest that they pose an equally dangerous threat as that posed by Islamist extremism, which in and of itself is still a fairly minor threat in Canada."  (more...)


That can be a real head-scratcher:

She wouldn't hurt a fly