Hundreds of protesters descended on downtown Edmonton for the second week in a row on Saturday to protest the United Nations and what organizers refer to as the “global world order.”
The protesters, many of whom donned yellow work vests, were met by a smaller group of counter-protesters, many of whom denounced the anti-globalist demonstrators as racists and fascists.
At last week’s rally, some of the people in attendance were wearing jackets with Soldiers of Odin patches on them. The Soldier of Odin are a far-right group in Canada.
On Saturday, the demonstrators that Global News spoke with said they aren’t racist. The said they are opposed to the recent UN migration pact which Canada and dozens of other countries recently signed.
The pact is a sweeping yet non-binding accord meant to ensure safe, orderly and humane migration and to crack down on dangerous and illegal movements across borders.
The debate over the Global Compact for Migration, the first of its kind, has proven to be a pivotal test of the UN-led effort to crack down on the often dangerous and illegal movements across borders.
Saturday’s protest began late in the morning at the Alberta legislature before attendees began marching towards Winston Churchill Square.
A Global News crew at the scene said some of the protesters called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “traitor” and others yelled racial slurs as they walked. Other protesters were heard speaking critically of the news media, and complaining of “fake news.”
The rally was endorsed by a political party, called the National Citizens Alliance, on its website, however, it was not immediately clear if the party organized it.
“[This is a] call out to all patriots, nationalists, Canadians in the Edmonton and greater Edmonton area to stand united against the United Nations and [the]global world order,” reads a page on the NCA’s website about Saturday’s rally. “It is all about our children and their future, and the country we love!”
It is all about our children and their future, and the country we love!
The NCA’s platform calls for a “no-nonsense immigration policy that puts the well-being and safety of the Canadian people first,” a reduction in taxes and the elimination of the carbon tax and an end to “all voluntary payments to the United Nations and its affiliates.”
The NCA also said its protests are in solidarity with “yellow vests” around the world. The so-called yellow vest movement has resulted in a wave of violent and deadly protests that have rocked France this fall.
Watch below: Police in Belgium deploy water cannons, tear gas against ‘yellow vest’ protesters.
That country’s yellow vest demonstrations began on Nov. 17, to voice discontent with a hike in fuel taxes. As the protests grew, they’ve also become expressions of anger about the high cost of living in France and a sense that French President Emmanuel Macron is detached from workers’ everyday struggles.
It is not clear to what degree, if at all, the Edmonton rallies are linked to events in France, or to what degree the Edmonton protesters’ grievances are aligned with the French yellow vest movement.
More to come…
–With files from Global News’ Albert Delitala and The Associated Press’ Elena Becatoros
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