Category Archives: We Are Change Victoria

We Are Change Victoria is an alt-right group obsessed with conspiracy theories, including 9/11 “Truth,” the New World Order, chemtrails, Jewish bankers, communism, Holocaust denial, climate change denial, and the feminist conspiracy to take over the world and enslave all the men.

Haters still gonna hate

Wingnut sighting! Turns out that Josh Steffler is now deputy leader of the BC Libertarian Party and he’s planning to run in the May 2017 BC election. Have the years mellowed his petulant rage at everyone who is not a white male Libertarian? Apparently not!

This month, Josh is angry at women. Thousands of women, and some men, too. While other provincial politicians came to the Women’s March to shake hands and express support, Steffler stood on the sidelines with members of the alt-right group We Are Change and heckled the marchers.

Josh Steffler (centre) with a sign mocking trans people at the Women's March

Josh Steffler (center) with a sign mocking trans people at the Women’s March in Victoria, January 21 2017. The other side of the sign reads “Grab Life By the Pussy.”

Truly a bold campaign strategy!

Full report and more photos at Anti Racist Action.

Earlier encounters with Josh Steffler and We Are Change:

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Filed under Feminism, Josh Steffler, Misogyny, Politics, Racism, Ryan Elson, transphobia, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

Turfing out the Racists

Originally published in the People’s Voice January 2013

VICTORIA BC – Anti-racist organizers report they have won several skirmishes with a "conspiracy cult" linked to US patriot and militia organizations. Anti-Racist Action says members of a group called We Are Change Victoria (WAC) began sparring with social justice activists and the People's Assembly (Occupy Victoria) over a year ago.

WAC is part of a North American network loosely connected to US radio host Alex Jones, the Libertarian Party, the militia movement and patriot groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group promotes conspiracy theories about 9/11, chemtrails, gun control, human rights law, climate-change denial, and Holocaust denial.

In Victoria, WAC members joined the Occupy movement soon after it began, but they split over angry disagreements about the camp's stance on social justice and indigenous rights. Later, WAC members disrupted meetings, denounced the movement, and launched an online harassment campaign targeting women and trans activists, and anyone they considered an organizer.

A year later, in October 2012, WAC “activist” Josh Steffler announced that Doug Christie, Canada's best-known white supremacist, would address their rally on the BC Legislature lawn. Anti-Racist Action called for a counter-protest and blew the whistle on the event. Ultimately, Christie didn't show and some of the other speakers stayed away as well. Fewer than a dozen people attended the rally.

It was not a proud day for WAC. As volunteers set up the sound system for the speakers, three angry "free speech advocates" crossed the Legislature lawn to confront the counter-protestors picketing on the sidewalk 150 meters away. The shouting match that ensued drew the attention of nearby police officers. The WACkos demanded the arrest of the counter-protestors, but instead the cops sent the wingnuts scurrying back to the stage with their tails between their legs. The counter-protestors spent the rest of the afternoon handing flyers to passers-by and explaining why they were protesting WAC's racism and sexism.

A month later, ARA confronted WAC at its hangout, a downtown diner where the group held well-advertised but poorly-attended weekly meetings. ARA called for a meetup at the same diner and dozens responded. They filled every table and the wingnuts were turfed out before they could get in the door.

Since then, WAC no longer advertises its events or meeting locations. Its only response to the controversy is a Youtube video. Speaking for the group, Steffler, a failed Esquimalt city council candidate, blames the conflict on "Bolsheviks" who are the "real racists."

More recently, members of WAC were harassing a Victoria environmental activist in an effort to suppress photos of the October confrontation and take down her websites. Now one WACko is embroiled in an ugly Supreme Court battle that he is bound to lose.

Anti-Racist Action has four points of unity:

1. We go where they go. Whenever fascists are organizing or active in public, we're there. We don't believe in ignoring them or staying away from them. Never let the Nazis have the street!

2. We don't rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us. This doesn't mean we never go to court, but the cops uphold white supremacy and the status quo. They attack us and everyone who resists oppression. We must rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and stop the fascists.

3. Non-sectarian defence of other anti-fascists. In ARA, we have a lot of different groups and individuals. We don't agree about everything and we have a right to differ openly. But in this movement an attack on one is an attack on us all. We stand behind each other.

4. We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. ARA intends to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement against racism, sexism, anti-immigrant, anti-indigenous sovereignty, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination against the disabled, the oldest, the youngest, and the most oppressed people. We want a classless, free society. We intend to win!

Anti-Racist Action Victoria's Facebook page.

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Filed under Feminism, Hate Mail, Josh Steffler, Legal Battles, Misogyny, Politics, Racism, Ryan Elson, transphobia, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

The judge should arrest me for calling this dingbat a racist

Original artwork (c) 2013 Zoe Blunt

Ryan Elson of We Are Change Victoria
Original artwork (c) 2013 Zoe Blunt

You remember this dude, the one who was stealing my copyrighted work and trying to blackmail me? The idiot has been telling anyone who will listen that I’m a “reverse racist,” a “feminazi,” part of a sinister New World Order conspiracy, and so on. Now he’s asking a BC Supreme Court judge to have me arrested for calling him a white supremacist jerk on Facebook and on this blog. (Spoiler: He is a white supremacist jerk.)

The wingnut, who obviously does not have the benefit of legal counsel, has filed a bizarre pile of claims on behalf of himself, a group called We Are Change Victoria, and neo-Nazi sympathizer Doug Christie. Ryan Elson defends Christie’s views as free speech, while insisting that my speech is a crime.  Yes, really.

The oddball demands are part of the jerk’s counterclaim to my civil action to stop the wingnut republishing my photos and articles. Note: this is not how you’re supposed to make a claim in court – unless you’re a libertarian nutbar, in which case the rules do not apply to you.

STATEMENT OF FACTS
1) On October 14, 2012, Plaintiff [Zoe Blunt] targeted Defendant [Ryan Elson] labelling him and other members of WAC Victoria as “white supremacists” and “racists” in a Facebook event posting. Doug Christy [sic] was labelled this as well … Here we establish the Plaintiff’s Vendetta towards the Defendant.

RELIEF SOUGHT

3) Civil restitution AND court order for criminal investigation and prosecution be brought fourth [sic] on the Plaintiff for Criminal malicious prosecution, Criminal harassment, Conspiracy.

4) Criminal charges be brought fourth [sic] on the Plaintiff for Perjury in association with her claims of “perjury” within her statement of facts on civil claim 12-4008.

5) Injunction to restrain the plaintiff from further harassment of the defendant and his family/friends.

The wingnut claims to own copyright on photos I took of him October 20, 2012 at a counterprotest near a Victoria rally where Christie and other nutters were scheduled to speak. I photographed Elson and two buddies threatening me and the police intervening. He republished the photos and the entire article a dozen times to harass me. Now he claims it is libelous. (Legal tip: This case is a non-starter. Consent is a full defence to libel.)

What will the nutjob do next?? Stay tuned.

(Answer: Predictably, the dude went apeshit about being mocked. Tsk! Some folks can’t handle criticism. In May and June 2013, Elson tried to get a court injunction to take down this website. He failed, of course – he has no case and doesn’t know the first thing about the justice system. He did manage to get an order preventing me (@blunt1) tweeting anything with his Twitter handle (@fixx_revolution) to avoid losing any more arguments on Twitter.

Read the wingnut’s claim against me:

Cover page

Page 2: Statement of Facts

Page 3: Relief Sought

Related:

Wingnuts’ guide to the legal process

So I’m suing this local wingnut

Turfing out the racists

Hate Mail from Haters – the post that started it all

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Filed under Hate Mail, Legal Battles, Ryan Elson, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts

Hate mail from haters (now with more hate!)

What can you do with obnoxious racists? Reason doesn’t work, and even baseball bats can’t knock sense into a bonehead. But we can expose and mock them.

Ryan Elson (John Pettit), right, at BC Supreme Court in Victoria, BC

Ryan Elson (John Pettit), right, at BC Supreme Court in Victoria, BC. Photo (c) 2012 Times Colonist.

In October 2012, members of the conspiracy cult and Occupy splinter group We Are Crazy Victoria announced that lawyer and white supremacist Doug Christie would be speaking at a rally at the BC Legislature in Victoria BC.

No way. That’s not okay. I’d never met any of these nutbars, but we all knew their reputation for harassing women and people of colour. Clearly, we needed to call a counterprotest.

Friends and allies helpfully contacted all the other speakers to inform them they were sharing a stage with Canada’s best-known racist. They had no idea Christie was coming. Five speakers – including the keynote – immediately canceled. In a panic, the organizers dropped Christie from the event – and then blamed me for “censoring” him. Ryan Elson and Josh Steffler scrambled to cast themselves as advocates for “free speech” while vilifying me for infringing Christie’s “rights.” Among other threats, Elson said they would sue me for criticizing WeAreCrazyVictoria, and have me arrested if I showed up for the counterprotest.

That didn’t happen, but it was a hilarious day nonetheless.

Half an hour before the haters’ rally was set to begin, we set up a couple signs at the Cenotaph on the corner of the Legislature lawn, 200 meters from the wingnuts’ stage, and handed out leaflets explaining we were counterprotesting against racism, bullying, and hate speech.

Just before noon, the “free speech advocates” came over to shut us down. Ha! Fat chance.

Tough guys coming for us. Ooh, scary.

Photo by Zoe Blunt

Left: Certifiable lunatic and white supremacist Ryan Elson (alias John Pettitt, StealthC, XtoFury, Fixx_Revolution). Centre: Conspiracy freak and amateur astrologist Philip Livingston (aka Adam Evan Livingston), allegedly a fourth-year psych student at UVic. Right: Slimeball creep “Henry Tudor,” who is dumb as a sack of poop.

They came straight for me, ignoring the rest of the group. Elson got right up in my face screaming abuse. That’s when I got out the megaphone. Elson was trying to get nose-to-nose with me, but with the bullhorn deployed, he got a face full of “Back off racist scum” with the volume cranked to 11.

Trying to get in my face and failing

Photo by Zoe Blunt

Naturally, this tough guy was more interested in picking on me (I’m 5 feet and 110 pounds) than the linebacker-sized ex-bouncers standing around me with the signs. Any one of them could pick Elson up with one hand and break him like a twig, and they were ready in case he laid a hand on any of us.

The “back off racist scum” commotion drew two police officers from their post at the Legislature Building. As they approached, Elson pointed and hollered: “Officer, arrest her! She doesn’t have a permit to be here!” The cops said, “Step over here son, we’re gonna explain something to you.” Here’s the little bully, getting TOLD.

Free speech for me, but not for thee? Nope, doesn't work that way

Photo by Zoe Blunt

The nutjobs had no choice but to slink back to their “rally,” which consisted of fewer than a dozen people on the Legislature steps. We serenaded them with rousing chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, racists have got to go!” and handed out hundreds of flyers. The wackjobs got schooled. It was a fine day.

Racist got told

Photo by Zoe Blunt

But it’s not over yet – the haters are setting themselves on fire in a desperate grab for attention. In a long, incoherent blog post, Elson proclaims he’s a “victim” of homophobia and accuses me of somehow outing him as gay, which is news to everyone but his boyfriends, apparently. So now Elson is Canada’s version of the gay conservative who beat himself up. Except that Elson claims he was in the closet before he announced that he’s gay and that makes it all my fault, or something.

Well played, haters! Looking forward to next time.

—– UPDATE November 1 —–

It seems I have hurt the racists’ feelings. So they are calling me a terrorist and howling for my arrest on charges of “criminal defamation.” Funny! I thought they were opposed to censorship. Anyway — bring it, boys. The publicity would be worth the price of admission.

I mentioned that these wingnuts are setting themselves on fire. Here’s an example: According to Elson, this video is irrefutable proof that PAOV (People’s Assembly of Victoria) and I secretly control Facebook. The video was recorded at an October 2012 meeting of WeAreCrazy, and we get to eavesdrop as Josh Steffler and other members discuss things like dealing with the “Zionist-controlled world government” and being called “Holocaust deniers.” Which they certainly are NOT, because you can’t deny something that never happened, amirite?

While you’re at it, check out this video (also from October 2012) of Elson trying to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission about an imaginary future “genocide against white people.”

And take a look at this image Elson posted on the Occupy Victoria B.C. page on Facebook around the same time. It’s a swastika with a photo of Hitler and the text “Last time it was the JEWS, this time it’s white men.”

Of course, just a couple weeks ago, WeAreCrazyVictoria was proud to feature a video of Doug Christie speaking at their 2011 rally — until they realized their racism was showing, and purged him. What a shame! Especially since they were so pleased with themselves for inviting him to speak as a surprise guest at their rally last year. Where is your “white pride” now?

But wait, there’s more. Josh Steffler has made his own video to show us he and WAC are not really racist at all. That’s because there are no “races,” there is ONLY ONE RACE. So that makes us the real racists, because we keep talking about race and racism. DUH. (Bonus: BOLSHEVIKS!)

It’s easy to mock their ignorance, but these idiots are trying to recruit new members and launch new assaults on our friends, fellow activists and “the left” in general.

So IT’S ON, assholes.

Related:
So I filed a lawsuit against this local wingnut

The Judge Should Arrest Me for Calling this Dingbat a Racist

Turfing Out the Racists

How to Oppress Men

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Filed under Hate Mail, Josh Steffler, Legal Battles, Ryan Elson, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt