Controversial Soldiers of Odin group recruiting on southeast Avalon
Kijiji ad posted Oct. 1, later removed
Soldiers of Odin, a group that critics claim is anti-refugee, anti-Islam and anti-immigration, is looking for members in Newfoundland.
In a Kijiji classifieds ad posted Oct. 1, the group called for supporters in the St. John's and Mount Pearl area to join their cause, and refuted claims of xenophobia.
The post, which was in the Newfoundland listings, has since been removed.
"We are not a criminal organization, we do not condone or support racism or any sort of criminal activity," the ad read.
"We are here to support our citizens, we are here for you. If you have what it takes to help make difference in [our] communities please leave a message."
The group has also established the Facebook group "Soldiers of Odin / Newfoundland Support," which has about 50 members.
The Canadian chapter of Soldiers of Odin is part of an international organization founded in Finland in late 2015, with the Canadian arm aiming to "take back the streets."
CBC Hamilton reporter Samantha Craggs covered the story when Soldiers of Odin set up shop in Hamilton, and said when she spoke with the group's national president Joel Angott, he was emphatic the group was not white supremacists, but more of a neighbourhood watch.
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"He described it as people going out on patrols, helping people who are in distress, he described as cleaning up parks, he referred it as being like the old neighbourhood watch," Craggs said.
"But, of course, critics of the group say that this is an inaccurate assessment of what they actually do."
Craggs said the group denies they're extreme in their beliefs, however a report published by the American Anti-Defamation League said connections with right-wing extremists "leaves no room for doubt."
She said the group hasn't gained much traction in Hamilton and hasn't been seen patrolling the streets.
"In Ontario, they've had a real problem, I think, personnel wise, getting people to get together and stay together," Craggs said.
"There's a lot of attrition from the group, they have a hard time getting mobilized, it seems."
With files from the St. John's Morning Show