By: Allison O’Brien
Last week, a number of UPEI students reported seeing white nationalist posters around Charlottetown. The posters read, “Stop the ethnocide of old-stock Canadians” along “Defend Your Freedom” and “Defend Your Identity.”
The posters were placed at a number of locations in Charlottetown in addition to at least one location in Summerside.
The posters were put up by ID Canada, a white nationalist organization with an interest in promoting “old-stock Canadian values.” The organization claims four chapters in central Canada, with five other affiliate chapters across the country. PEI is the only Atlantic province with an affiliate chapter.
UPEISU and University Respond
After hearing about the posters, the UPEISU released a statement, saying it “opposes these statements and rejects any insinuations of racism.” The Office of Recruitment and International Relations and the Student Union have stepped up to offer support for anyone who feels affected by the messages of the poster.
UPEI provided the following statement to The Cadre about the posters:
“The University of Prince Edward Island is a diverse community of people with diverse ideas and beliefs. UPEI has become aware of posters that have been placed in public spaces in Charlottetown that promote racism and hatred—messages which are upsetting those who believe in the dignity and worth of all people.
UPEI reaffirms its commitment to free speech and to inclusiveness and the right of all individuals to be heard. All members of the university community—including students, faculty, staff, and visitors—have the right to participate in activities at the university without fear of discrimination or harassment, in accordance with the UPEI Fair Treatment policy.
Students upset by these messages are invited to contact UPEI Student Affairs. Anyone who feels physically threatened by another person or group on campus, for any reason, is encouraged to contact UPEI Security Services, or dial 911.”
“I’m Appalled That People Can Still Think Like This”
Dr. Ann Braithwaite, the coordinator of the diversity and social justice studies program at UPEI, says these posters have no place at UPEI.
“Frankly I’m appalled that people can still think like this,” she said.
“The richly diverse group of students, faculty, and staff that make up our campus bring many ways of being in the world and an array of perspectives and ideas that contribute so much to the university,” she added.
Braithwaite believes the people behind these posters are uninformed.
“Posters like these reflect fear and anxiety and anger about a changing world, not any real knowledge of whiteness or a history of Canada,” she said. “ID Canada needs to get more educated.”
Similar Incidents at Other Universities
At the University of Toronto, rumours suggested there were razors behind the posters intended to injure anyone trying to take them down; however, there were no confirmed reports of razors being found.
Photo: ID Canada