Stop Those Nazi Salutes at Quebec Student Protests: B'nai Brith: Stop Those Nazi Salutes in Montreal: B'nai Brith

By Banerjee, Sidhartha | The Canadian Press, June 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

Stop Those Nazi Salutes at Quebec Student Protests: B'nai Brith: Stop Those Nazi Salutes in Montreal: B'nai Brith


Banerjee, Sidhartha, The Canadian Press


MONTREAL - The appearance of so-called Nazi salutes at Quebec student protests was condemned by a Jewish-rights organization that asked people to refrain from using the hurtful gesture.

Some protesters have been using it repeatedly in recent weeks to mock Montreal police at demonstrations in which chanting crowds have referred to local officers as the "SS," called them fascists and compared them to Nazi police for their alleged brutality.

There have also been swastikas on anti-police pamphlets being distributed.

While the gestures are meant as an insult to police -- and not as any expression of support for Nazism -- B'nai Brith Canada says that's no excuse.

It chose to issue a statement decrying the behaviour on Tuesday, which would have been the 83rd birthday of Holocaust victim and child author Anne Frank.

The group said the actions defile the memory of those who died in the Holocaust, of those who survived under the Nazi regime and of those who fought against the Nazis in the Second World War.

"We condemn, in the strongest of terms, this inexcusable display of hate by Quebec student protesters that has outraged the Jewish community and demonstrated just how low the level of public debate has fallen on the streets of Montreal," CEO Frank Dimant said in the statement.

"The actions of these protesters, whether for the purposes of deriding Montreal police or drawing attention to their cause, defile the memory of the Holocaust and remind us just how quickly anti-Semitism and the manifestations of hate can venture their way into our public discourse."

Photos of the Nazi-themed protests have been circulating on social-networking sites, causing some shock and outrage. The photos have been posted on the Internet in recent days, sometimes without context, leaving viewers puzzled about why Montreal protesters are using the salute.

One German visitor to Montreal remarked to a Canadian Press reporter over the weekend that he was shocked to see the salutes on Crescent Street, a trendy Montreal party strip.

In some countries like Germany and Austria, the gesture itself and Nazi-era symbols are outlawed. …

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