As many as a dozen posters with distinctly racial overtones were plastered up around Sudbury's downtown on Sept. 11.
Messages like, "Did you ever notice how 'diversity' just means fewer whites? I don't want my children to become minorities in their own country!" were taped to light posts around the city's downtown core.
A group calling itself Sudbury Against Fascism (SAF) told Sudbury.com its members were alerted to the posters via Facebook, and took to the streets to remove and destroy them. They took the posters down and burned them.
In a Sept. 13 Facebook post, SAF called the posters "vile, racist and homophobic."
The post goes on to state, "So in just a couple hours, SAF was on the streets to cut down all such posters we found, removing over a dozen from the downtown region. Many had been deliberately taped over our SAF posters, showing that the fascists fully identify with the bigotry that we combat.
"We urge all members and supporters to stay vigilant: quickly report all fascist activity to SAF, including any remaining posters we may have missed. And if you want to remove a poster yourself, remember fascists have been known to put razor blades behind their posters, so only use a blade or other tool (never bare hands) to cut them down."
The origin of the posters is somewhat of mystery, as the only identifying markings are a link to the website NorthFront.ca.
Despite the SAF's contention North Front as fascist, racist, homophobic group, a visit to the North Front webpage provides no insight as to the group's origin or intention.
The site is little more than a landing page with the words, "If you want to shine like the sun first you have to burn like it," and, "We are the followers of natural law and the seekers of eternal truth", along with a link to contact the group by email.
Sudbury.com reached out to North Front via the email link provided, but we have not yet received a response.
Pavel Park, a member of SAF, told Sudbury.com the group believes the posters taped up around the city's downtown on Monday evening were a recruiting tool of the North Front.
"We don't believe in giving fascists any platform, whether it's through poster propaganda, or through demonstrations, or community service work that they try to do, we don't believe that any of these efforts belong in our community," said Park.
"We don't believe that anything prompted these people to put up these posters other than their own hateful beliefs and their own inability to identify the main crisis in society, which we believe is the crisis of capitalism."
Who is Sudbury Against Fascism?
The membership of SAF is a diverse one, according to Park, with members varying in age, sex and social standing.
"What prompted SAF, along with a host of other similar organizations in different cities, was an open call for a series of Canada-wide anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rallies, by the so-called Canadian Coalition for Concerned Citizens," said Park. "The rallies were set for March 4, and as result a number of organizations popped up to stage counter-demonstrations, including here in Sudbury."
Sudbury Against Fascism held a vigil for victims of the Aug. 12 incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman was killed and numerous others were injured after a car slammed into a crowd of people counter-protesting a "Unite the Right" white nationalist rally.
Here in Sudbury, SAF has recently launched a campaign against the Soldiers of Odin, to attempt to prevent the group from volunteering at Blue Door Soup Kitchen.
"We don't think that their proclamations to a lack of racist beliefs is very convincing, especially when they're electing to keep the name of the original, outwardly racist parent organization, the Soldiers of Odin of Finland," Park said.
The full Sudbury Aginst Fascism Facebook post relating to the posters taped up downtown can be found below.