Protesters confront far-right party leader

The leader of a fledgling, far-right political party was confronted by about 100 protesters in Halifax today.

Stephen Garvey, head of the National Citizens Alliance (NCA), arrived at Grand Parade around noon, two hours before his party’s scheduled “Canada First” rally.

Garvey was quickly surrounded by chanting protesters, who herded him across Grand Parade and up the stairs to Argyle Street. One protester was taken into police custody for allegedly dislodging the NCA leader’s party-branded hat.

Protesters pursue National Citizens Alliance leader Stephen Garvey (red hat and shirt) across Grand Parade. (Photo: Scott Costen)

Among its policies, the NCA advocates reducing annual immigration numbers to “50,000 or less,” banning “political Islam,” and deporting immigrants who fail to adopt “traditional economic, social, and cultural norms.”

“They’re using fear to fuel hatred,” said Logan Gray of Solidarity Halifax while posting signs around the protest site. “We don’t want that in this city.”

A masked anti-fascist protester, who identified himself only as John, said the protest was an important counterpoint to the NCA’s “hateful message.” Individuals and groups, including Halifax Against Hate and Solidarity Halifax, were on hand to “fight against fascism and oppression,” he said.

Curiously, Garvey — who recently penned a warning about the “Great Replacement” — called the protesters “fascists” and “racists.” Nevertheless, he told this reporter he didn’t mind the activists who chased him away, albeit temporarily, from Grand Parade. “It’s good,” he said, while being pursued by protesters down Argyle Street. “You know, Charter of Rights. They can protest.”

The NCA is a federally registered political party and received permission for its Grand Parade rally through Halifax Regional Municipality. The rally went ahead later after many of the protesters (and this reporter) had left the area. However, based on a video posted to the party’s Facebook page, it drew only a few supporters.

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