Annual march against bigotry could be confrontational again

Anti-Racist Action Calgary (ARA) will be holding its seventh annual anti-racism rally on Saturday March 22. The event is planned to potentially counter an annual march held by local skinhead Kyle McKee and people he assembles under his white supremacist banner.

The largest turnout at such an event was in March 2009 when 60 Aryan Guard members came up against 400 anti-racism protestors leading to two people being injured. Since then the white pride movement has waned considerably with 12 white supremacists turning up to the march in 2011 and two last year. The rally was held in Edmonton in 2012.

ARA founder Jason Devine says he and ARA supporters have been monitoring McKee’s activities since McKee was released from jail following his arrest for assaulting two men outside an Edmonton liquor store. Devine alleges McKee has been recruiting students outside Jack James High School in northeast Calgary though he says there is evidence McKee will hold his rally in Edmonton instead of Calgary.

Devine says it’s important to continue the anti-racism rally even as the supremacist movement fades into oblivion.

“Calgary gets regularly bashed across the country for being a racist place [when] it is actually one of the most multicultural. So hey we’re having another annual anti-racist rally I think that can be only a good thing” he says. “Undoubtedly there are people who are looking to audibly express their disagreement with [McKee] so I think some people rationalize ‘well they’re not here there’s no pressing need for me to go if we’re not going to get to see them.’ [But] if it’s not nipped in the bud as it were they’ll just continue to go at it.”