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Trial of a Montreal neo-Nazi accused of fomenting hatred against Jews

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Anti-Semitic slurs. A call to insult Jews in the street. The dream of a “non-stop” Nazism. And finally, the drawing of an SS commander with a carnivorous smile who is about to open a gas valve. It is for this article published on an American neo-Nazi site that a Quebecer has been tried since Monday for having fomented hatred against Jews.

From his apartment in the Rosemont district, Gabriel Sohier Chaput rose as a figurehead of the American far right in 2016. Under the pseudonym Zeiger, the 35-year-old man became a prolific author on the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer who defended President Donald Trump tooth and nail.

The Quebecer also became known for having participated in the rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017. Wanted for two years by the Montreal police, Gabriel Sohier Chaput had finally appeared in 2020 in the present case. Many “anti-fascist” activists were thus present Monday morning at the Montreal courthouse to attend the trial.


IMAGE FROM A VIDEO

Gabriel Sohier Chaput participated in the rally of American far-right groups that took place in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017.

But Gabriel Sohier Chaput does not find himself in court for all of his many writings aimed at Jews, but for one in particular, published in January 2017 on The Daily Stormer. The Quebecer also acknowledges having written “in part” this article under the pen of Zeiger, indicated his lawyer, Ms.and Helen Poussard. But according to the Crown, the “entirety” of the article actually comes from Gabriel Sohier Chaput.

In this short publication, the author quotes on several occasions from a Global News report on the discovery of neo-Nazi posters on a bus stop in British Columbia. On these, we can see in particular a key in the shape of a swastika and Nazi soldiers.

The author particularly ridicules the experience of an Auschwitz survivor quoted in the Global News report. The 91-year-old man recounts having been shouted anti-Semitic insults back in his native Hungary, when such posters were posted.

The “ancestral tradition” of swearing at Jews in the street should “definitely” be back, maintains the article’s author, using the same insulting expression hurled at the survivor of Auschwitz 70 years earlier.

Adherence to Nazism

From the first paragraph, the author unashamedly displays his adherence to Nazism. Moreover, the silhouette of Adolf Hitler thrones on each page of the site of The Daily Stormer which devotes a complete section to the “Jewish problem”.

“2017 will be the year of action. We need to be sure that no SJW [Social Justice Warrior] where Jews can stay safe [safely untriggered]. Nazism, everywhere, until our streets are flooded with the tears of our friends,” writes the author in English.

The term “untriggered” is particularly difficult to translate in this context. “It’s a mysterious word,” the translator even told Judge Manlio Del Negro, after trying the “non-inflamed” translation.

In the Daily Stormer article, the author jokes about the hatred of Jews by using a particularly offensive term to name them. “Some theorize that people blame Jews for their failings – like having all their money stolen by Jews,” writes the author, echoing this anti-Semitic prejudice.

To conclude his article, the author underlines in bold the end of the testimony of the survivor of Auschwitz: “I am here, I survived”, confided the old man.

To these words, the author of the Daily Stormer strikes these heavy words of meaning: “Yes. For now. »

hard to decipher

In the eyes of Crown prosecutor M.and Patrick Lafrenière, it is important to understand what the Daily Stormer represents in this trial. It’s not the same thing to write something on a “far right, fascist, Nazi” site or in The dutyhe argued.

Even if the supporters of the extreme right use on the web a jargon sometimes difficult to decipher, no expert of this movement testified for the prosecution. The judge thus seemed perplexed when a police witness tried to describe the frog meme “Pepe the Frog”. Beneath its innocuous looks, this frog has turned into a symbol of hate in recent years. His image is also found in the disputed publication.

Defense attorney M.and Vicky Powell pointed out that the Daily Stormer posts a “disclaimer” stating that the site opposes all violence.

The trial continues on Tuesday with the presentation of the defense and the closing arguments.

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