Hundreds attend anti-racism rally

A group of 200 Calgarians have gathered in an anti-racism protest at Stampede Park.

CALGARY — A group of 200 Calgarians have gathered in an anti-racism protest at Stampede Park.

The Thursday rally organized by the Jewish Community Council is intended to bring attention to recent hate crimes committed in Calgary including a tagging spree that spread anti-Semitic symbols and sayings through two neighbourhoods.

Vandals first targeted the Calgary Jewish Centre and the Holocaust Memorial and then a few days later, vandals painted more graffiti, including on two schools.

It is not known if the incidents are related and police continue to investigate.

Two bombs that were detonated in the parking lot of an apartment complex last weekend have also come to the attention of anti-racism advocates.

Police arrested a 17-year-old in the incident but have also issued an arrest warrant for Kyle McKee, founder of the white supremacist group Aryan Guard. He is wanted for attempted murder and explosive charges.

He was stopped by RCMP in Saskatchewan on Wednesday but escaped while the officer checked his ID.

That night, the Aryan Guard posted a statement on their website saying that they are disbanding because “the group continued to degenerate, falling further from the ideal the main membership body strived for the group to become.”

Sources in the police department say they believe the Aryan Guard is disbanded but they don’t necessarily believe Calgary has seen the last of white supremacists.

They believe that members of the Aryan Guard may simply regroup under a new name, possibly cutting loose the so-called extreme element which they are apparently blaming for a lack of support here in Calgary.

“This (rally) is an opportunity for Calgarians to say what kind of city we want to live in,” said Judy Shapiro of the Jewish Community Council. “An attack on any minority group is an attack on all of us.”

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