Online writing

Suspected Montreal Neo-Nazi Testifies His Online Writings Intended for Humor, Not Hate

A suspected neo-Nazi known online as ‘Zeiger’ testified in his own defense at his trial on Tuesday, saying his online content was intended as satire and ‘irony that is not irony’ , rather than hatred.

Gabriel Sohier-Chaput, 35, who freely admits to being a right-wing nationalist, appeared before Judge Manlio Del Negro of the Court of Quebec at the Montreal courthouse. He said his writing was designed to “disarm” people on the left, who are “overly sensitive”.

“The goal was that in the future, when someone calls you a Nazi, you can say, ‘Oh, like the people at the Daily Stormer using pictures of frogs? That’s ridiculous,'” he said. -he declares.

Sohier-Chaput pleaded not guilty to a single count of willfully promoting hate propaganda against Jewish people.

He admitted that as Zeiger, he contributed to the Daily Stormer between 2016 and 2017 and wrote part of the article at the center of this case, titled “Canada: Nazis Trigger Jews By Putting Up Posters On Ch– k Church,” using a racial slur to refer to the Asian community.

Using anti-Semitic memes and editorial commentary, the article celebrated neo-Nazi posters plastered on a bus stop in British Columbia insulting a Holocaust survivor who had been questioned about the incident. The 91-year-old said seeing the posters reminded him that he had been the target of racial slurs as a child in Hungary.

“Here I am: I made it,” said the man World News. “For now,” the Daily Stormer article added.

Sohier-Chaput said some of the inflammatory comments and images were added by Daily Stormer editor Andrew Anglin after he sent Anglin a draft.

Sohier-Chaput said he chose to republish this article with comments because he found it absurd that journalists would choose to interview a Holocaust survivor after posters claiming Nazism was the key to Canada were placed at a bus stop.

He said people who would read his articles and feel encouraged to participate in Nazism “do not exist in real life” and that “Nazis who want to do ethnic cleansing and want a full-fledged Holocaust do not exist. Actually”.

“It’s a Hollywood invention,” he said.

Gabriel Sohier-Chaput, 35, is accompanied by his defense lawyer Vicky Powell at the Montreal courthouse. (Erika Morris/CBC)

However, he acknowledged that someone could read his article and interpret it as inciting the persecution of Jews, and he admitted that part of his purpose was to offend, but not to promote hatred.

“We have to make sure that no SJW [social justice warrior] or Jew can safely remain without being triggered,” Sohier-Chaput admitted in his article. “Non-stop Nazism, everywhere, until the very streets are flooded with the tears of our enemies.

The Holocaust is a ‘sacred cow’, defendant says

He said the Daily Stormer used humour, irony, sarcasm and jokes to fight the far left. He said those on the left are driven by their emotions and invoke the Holocaust and the words “fascism” and “Nazism” to put people on the right down. He said his goal was to poke fun at this approach.

“We wanted to create a boogeyman for the left,” he said.

“If we want to bring down political correctness, we have to attack the Jews and the Holocaust, the sacred cow,” said Sohier-Chaput. “As long as it remains a sensitive subject, talking about it freely will be impossible.”

Sohier-Chaput testified that the Daily Stormer has two audiences: young people who “understand the jokes and the irony and find it funny”, and those who take it seriously, get offended and “groan online”.

When the judge asked him how he could find Nazism funny, he replied that he made fun of Nazis as characters, “like Homer Simpson”.

“We exaggerate how awful they are for humorous purposes. He’s an exaggerated character to the point of absurdity,” he said.

Crown prosecutor Patrick Lafrenière then asked whether the content of The Daily Stormer generally portrayed Jews in a bad light, which Sohier-Chaput agreed with – but only in a satirical tone, he said. said.

He said articles in the Daily Stormer made fun of black people, women, gay people, Jews, Muslims and all those who are marginalized, always in a satirical tone. He said the site makes fun of anything politically correct.

When asked if the site had content making fun of white men, Sohier-Chaput said yes, they make fun of “soy boys”, a pejorative term used for effeminate men, and “bugmen” or men who base their personality on the content they consume. like Star Wars or Marvel comics.

Sohier-Chaput faces up to two years in prison if found guilty. The trial resumes Friday.