Blackshirts in Toronto

[ Part of The Canadian Far Right in the Time of COVID ]

THE LINE Canada is an anti-mask group that has been organizing weekly protests in Toronto’s Dundas Square. They’ve been doing this throughout the summer and in major cities across the country.

Retrieved from Twitter, Oct 17 2020

On their Twitter feed and their website, THE LINE emphasizes that people should spread their logo everywhere, to spray paint it and draw it on protest signs in solidarity.

THE LINE makes appeals to right-wing libertarian ideals and to religious freedom (for fundamentalists). It appears to be a far-right wing populist group rallying thousands of people around these anti-mask protests.

The logo, which is so important to them, immediately struck me as somehow familiar. It didn’t take long to find a strangely similar flag in Singapore’s People’s Action Party:

Retrieved from Wikipedia, Oct 17 2020. The People’s Action Party (PAP) has been the governing party of Singapore since 1959, founded by Lee Kuan Yew in 1954.

Why would right wing populists in Canada be using a rip-off of the PAP flag? Singapore is, like Canada, a part of the British Commonwealth. What do we find when we look into the connections between Britain, Singapore, and the right wing populists in Canada?

The genealogy of this symbol is surprisingly easy to trace. Lee Kuan Yew was directly inspired by the British Union of Fascists while studying at Cambridge:

Retrieved from Financial Times, Oct 17 2020

Surely these are just coincidences. Just a coincidence that Lee Kuan Yew founded a political party with similar slogans, uniforms, and emblems to the British Union of Fascists. Just a coincidence that his PAP has been described as fascist for decades.

Flag of the British Union of Fascists, 1935

And it is another coincidence that the far right group THE LINE Canada uses a logo inspired by the British Union of Fascists and sells it printed on black shirts:

Retrieved from thelinecanada.com/shop, Oct 17 2020

And the most outlandish and meaningless coincidence of all? That the group’s leader wore his Flash and Circle Blackshirt in an interview where he said THE LINE is ready for street violence.

From Broderick Visser at Diverge Media

1 thought on “Blackshirts in Toronto”

  1. […] The first image in the video is this solidarity fist clenching the logo of THE LINE. The fist is an old symbol connected to left-wing movements. Throughout America’s Days of Rage in 2020 the symbol was seen everywhere in connection with Black Lives Matter. Here the famously revolutionary fist is grasping a new symbol which revives the British Blackshirts of the 1930s. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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