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

Just Posted

Langley’s Wyatt twins make Pan Am team

Wyatts back home after completing freshman year at University of Memphis

VIDEO: Beer lovers tip a few for Langley Rotary Clubs

17th Annual Tip ‘n Taste at Cascades Casino serves up craft suds for local charities

Former Langley school moved to new site for condo project

The old Murrayville Elementary’s core was shifted on its site

VIDEO: Langley couple’s home goes from worst to first

Penny and Leif Sogaard get home makeover on HGTV reality show

Cutting a path to a brighter future in Langley

Syrian refugee takes ownership of Ol’ Crow Barbershop in McBurney Plaza

VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

Dozens of First Nations leaders gather on grassy plateau to call on action by provincial government

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Alleged driver of semi-truck in fatal Burnaby hit-and-run identified

No charges have been laid and police say the driver is cooperating with the investigation

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

Most Read