Thursday, February 27, 2020

Neo-Nazi Patrik Mathews’s arrest highlights Ottawa’s support for Ukrainian far right

Canada Ukraine fascism military Nazi police war politics

The recent arrest of a Canadian neo-Nazi on the run in the United States should embarrass the federal government — and not just for the obvious reasons.

Last week former Canadian Forces engineer Patrik Mathews pled not guilty to gun charges, a month after he was arrested by the FBI. The prosecution says he called for the poisoning of water supplies and derailment of trains in order to provoke conflict leading to the creation of a white ethnostate. Mathews had fled southward in August after he was outed as a recruiter for The Base, a neo-Nazi group that helped him go underground in the U.S.

Mathews’s case, of course, highlights concern about white supremacists in the Canadian Forces. While the issue has received recent attention, it’s as old as the Canadian military. Many commentators point to the 1990s Somalia affair, when Canadian soldiers tortured and murdered a Somali teenager while on a humanitarian mission, but up to the end of World War II, Royal Canadian Navy policy said that “candidates must be of pure European descent.” In other words, the problem of racism in the Canadian Forces is structural and longstanding, never having been properly acknowledged and dealt with.

But there is another angle to Mathews’s arrest that should concern every Canadian worried about the rise of the far right. The Base has ties to the most well-organized neo-Nazis in the world — whom Ottawa has not only failed to condemn, but in fact bolstered.

In 2014 the far right benefited from the right-wing nationalist EuroMaidan movement that ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Ottawa supported the U.S.-backed coup against Yanukovych, who was oscillating between the European Union and Russia. In July 2015 the Canadian Press reported that opposition protesters were camped in the Canadian Embassy for a week during the February 2014 rebellion against Yanukovych. And since the mid-2000s, Canada has provided significant support to right-wing, nationalist opponents of Russia in Ukraine.  (more)...


Canada Ukraine fascism military Nazi police war politics

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