A group of people calling themselves Action Against Discontent City, and members of Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island are planning to march to tent city and the steps of Nanaimo’s city hall this weekend. NEWS BULLETIN file

Soldiers of Odin to march past homeless camp in B.C. city

People associated with anti-immigration group join with those opposing tent city in Nanaimo

A group of people calling themselves Action Against Discontent City, and others affiliated with an anti-immigration group are planning to march to the steps of Nanaimo’s city hall this weekend.

According to a Facebook post from Action Against Discontent City, a newly formed group of residents in Nanaimo who are upset by occupants of the homeless camp, as well as the Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island, are planning to march past Discontent City and city hall on Sunday.

“We are planning a citizen patrol/march and needle cleanup through downtown past city hall towards Discontent City with our friends of the Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island chapter,” notes the Action Against Discontent City post, which has garnered more than 300 comments since it was published on July 30.

Cpl. Tammy Douglas, Island District RCMP spokeswoman, said Nanaimo RCMP will be monitoring the march.

“The Nanaimo RCMP are aware of this and they will be monitoring and that they will be adding a couple of extra officers on for that specific event,” Douglas said.

Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island’s president, who requested anonymity, confirmed with the News Bulletin in a series of Facebook messages that his group will be marching with members of AADC this Sunday in Nanaimo at 1:30 p.m.

“Soldiers of Odin will be accompanying a group of concerned citizens who wish to exercise their right to free speech in protesting inaction of local and provincial governments in dealing with Discontent City. We will be providing security and doing a safety walk. We are by no means there to encourage or promote violence or hate in dealing with this problem,” the president said.

His statement went on to explain that members of his group are anticipating a large turnout for Sunday’s march and that while they feel for the problems homeless people face, the march is designed to put pressure on local politicians.

“We sympathize with the plight of homeless people and hope that this action pressures city hall to provide safe accommodations elsewhere with a more controlled environment. The citizens of Nanaimo have had enough of the constant harassment and crime that goes along with this camp being in our city,” the statement said.

Action Against Discontent City also communicated with the News Bulletin via Facebook, saying, “We are a non-violent group here to voice our concerns peacefully with anyone who shares the same concerns.”

In a Facebook post from July 28, AADC explains its position by calling Discontent City a part of the drug epidemic problem and not a solution. The post goes on to explain that Discontent City has created an environment that “not only supports but encourages” drug activity, harbours drug dealers, creates “stigma” for those who need help and fails to create an environment that promotes “healthy choices and lifestyles” safe for all.

According to the Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island Facebook page, its mission is “to improve people’s sense of security, if necessary, by intervening in threatening situations, and by reporting incidents to the police.” Their main purpose is to “protect people, especially women” and help everyone regardless of their “ethnic background.”

Soldiers of Odin was founded in Finland a few years ago by Mika Ranta, an admitted neo-Nazi, according to a 2016 article by the Agence France-Presse, which later notes that members patrol Finnish streets to “protect” citizens from asylum seekers.

The president of Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island said the chapter is made up of individuals from all walks of life and disputes claims of neo-Nazism.

“We have members of all creeds and religious backgrounds. Those are baseless allegations; I defy anyone to produce evidence of my club being anything other than Canadian patriots,” the president said in a Facebook message.

Action Against Discontent City said Soldiers of Odin reached out to them regarding the idea of a march.

“I’d really like people to be informed that they are not here to hurt anyone or fight anyone and they have really awesome intentions that don’t involve harming anyone,” stated AADC.

Discontent City advocates could not be immediately reached for comment.

-with files from Chris Bush/The News Bulletin



nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDCK reduces number of properties under evacuation alert from Talbott Creek Fire to 46

Improved visibility has allowed helicopters to resume water suppression efforts on fire

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Kootenay teachers’ union going to labour relations board over COVID-19 related work conditions

Union issues open letter to premier, education minister, health minister and Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Trail market goes garlic

The event goes Saturday in downtown Trail from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Most Read