I am happy to report that the Edmonton & District Labour Council held a successful 29th annual Labour day BBQ despite the appearance of xenophobic alt-right groups in the area.
A group of concerned community members & unionists gathered together to prevent a group of fascists from serving up their unique brand of hate to the marginalized community mere blocks away. They conveyed a very simple message: “No matter what these groups claim, they are associated with fascist organizations internationally and their brand of intolerance is not welcome in their community!”
In contrast, the EDLC continued to serve this marginalized community in an inclusive, safe and family friendly environment as we celebrated Labour Day in a way befitting its namesake. Labour has always sought to stem division amongst workers knowing that any effort to divide us, weakens us. It is important to remember these historical lessons as we move amongst the world and the work floor. Sister Trudy Thomson (HSAA) wrote a magnificent piece on this which I highly recommend you read here.
While letting these xenophobic hate groups know they are not welcome in our neighbourhoods on Labour Day is an important victory we simply can’t stop here. This group has been hiding behind the altruistic image of fulfilling a need in the community feeding the marginalized on days the Mustard Seed Church is closed. A message letting them know they are not wanted in our community needs to be followed up with actions showing they are not needed as well. We need to give these groups no reason to exist outside of their mandate of hate and division so the world can see them for who they are.
We will do what we can to continue to organize and extinguish these groups moving forward as their existence is antithetical to the world we wish to create for ourselves and our children.