Last week saw the ‘OK’ hand gesture and ‘Bowlcut’ hairstyle added to a list of hate symbols used by far-right extremists. Events in Hamilton, Ontario over the weekend would seem to indicate that consideration should be given to other gestures as well.
Video posted online of an antifascist demonstration outside Mohawk College shows protesters taking a brave stand against the time-honored tradition of helping elderly people cross the street. Masked antifascist protesters blocked a crosswalk outside the college, preventing an elderly couple from passing. Holding firm to their most deeply held antifascist convictions, the protesters shouted “Nazi scum” at the pair, one of whom was using a walker.
“It’s been known for some time that fascists will often use kind gestures, like assisting the elderly, to signal other fascists in their midst,” said one anonymous antifascist protester. “Of course, these practices are not just limited to helping someone cross the street. A fascist might hold the door for someone, or give up their seat on the bus to a pregnant woman. Although these gestures might seem harmless enough, make no mistake, these are symbols of hate, and if we have to inconvenience the elderly and disabled to take a stand against hate, then we’re willing to do it.”
The protests weren’t just confined to crosswalks, other antifascists blocked wheelchair ramps and pepper sprayed service dogs. “Service dogs were big with Nazis,” said one protester clad entirely in black, an eye sporting a monocle peered over the top of his face mask as he brandished a telescoping baton. “Fascism has many disguises,” he remarked, pointing at the elderly couple who had given up trying to cross the street and turned back.