White nationalist group says more racist posters coming to UNB

A white nationalist group says it's responsible for putting up more than 24 racist posters at University of New Brunswick in Fredericton this week.

University removes 24 posters as they are discovered

A white nationalist group says it's responsible for the racist posters that appeared at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton this week. (Daniel McHardie/CBC)

A white nationalist group is claiming responsibility for racist posters found around the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton this week.

The group calling itself the National Socialist Canadian Labour Revival Party said its "spur of the moment" campaign against the university was provoked by "anti-European propaganda."

The group seems to consist of about 35 friends on Facebook, mostly in Ontario, although a statement penned by an anonymous person suggested there was a New Brunswick "member." 

On Tuesday, UNB discovered six posters at Tilley and Carleton halls and six at the Harriet Irving Library. On Friday, UNB security found more than a dozen posters in those same buildings.

The university said it removed the posters as soon as they were discovered.

Micheal Thurlow, the Ontario man who claims to be the president of the National Socialist Canadian Labour Revival Party, said more posters can be expected but he refused to identify the person putting them up.

Thurlow said the group is not racist, but in an interview with CBC, he said the country was built by his European ancestors and it's being "handed away." 

"I don't believe that a single Arab individual, or a single African individual or a single native individual had anything to do with building a single building in Toronto or Montreal or Ottawa or Vancouver when our forefathers settled this land."

Michael Thurlow is the president of the National Socialist Canadian Labour Revival Party. He said more posters can be expected but he refused to identify the person putting them up.

Matthew Sears, a professor at the University of New Brunswick, said many professors, including himself, talked about the posters in their classrooms to make sure students were prepared to deal with the hateful content directed at Indigenous people.

"We cannot pretend these attitudes don't exist," Sears said, who felt "rattled" by the posters.

But rather than focusing on the message of a racist group, Sears suggested people learn about the history of First Nations.

The University of New Brunswick said it was disheartened to see the posters appear on campus. 

David Stonehouse, a university spokesperson said, UNB security is investigating and keeping the city police informed as well. Fredericton police confirmed they're investigating but had no information to share. 

The University of New Brunswick Student Union denounced the posters.

"We feel strongly that we must stand together as a community in support to our international and indigenous student populations," said Haley MacIsaac, vice-president for advocacy.

About the Author

Nathalie Sturgeon

Reporter

Nathalie Sturgeon is a reporter for CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She is a recent graduate from the journalism program at St. Thomas University. She is from Blackville.