Skinhead material resurfaces

Posters placed outside Stauffer and on Princess St.

A Southern Ontario Skinheads poster outside Stauffer Library.
A Southern Ontario Skinheads poster outside Stauffer Library.
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Over the past week, flyers promoting the Southern Ontario Skinheads (SOS) have been seen on and around Queen’s campus.

The flyers were also seen earlier around Kingston this year in March and May, and the group was seen and videotaped marching down Princess St.

This is the first time that these flyers have been seen on campus. One was posted on a street post outside Stauffer Library.

The flyers show quotes from various people, including United States World War II general George S. Patton. One displays the name of the group and a logo of “Oi!” surrounded by a laurel wreath, below which it reads, “Wars may be fought with weapons but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the men [sic] who leads that gains the victory!”

The flyers also say “14 words”, a reference to a slogan used by neo-Nazis inspired by an excerpt from Mein Kampf.

Const. Steve Koopman, media relations officer for the Kingston Police Force, said the flyers aren’t openly promoting hate speech.

“We don’t see this small, loosely affiliated aspect as growing. We haven’t seen anything that reaches into a criminal aspect yet — whether that be verbal, by hate speech, threats, or physical violence,” he said.

He added that it can be difficult to draw the line between the right to free speech and the promotion of hate speech.

“We need to tread carefully in regards to not infringing upon free speech but at the same time weigh that with whether or not it could be a hate-based crime.

“If there was a possibility of a criminal offense it would be relegated to a detective and the detective would investigate — and at the point in time we would determine whether or not charges would apply.”

In an email statement to the Journal sent by Kristyn Wallace, University communications officer, Stephanie Simpson, associate director of the Queen's Human Rights office, said the issue can be difficult to address because the distributors of flyers are anonymous.

“Addressing the distribution of hateful material on or off campus can be very difficult, particularly when the distributor/creator of the material is anonymous. For this reason we encourage people to turn evidence of this kind of activity over to Kingston Police, Campus Security and/or our Office to ensure that a record of the incident is made and that Police have as much information as possible in order to proceed with any subsequent investigation,” Simpson stated.

Kayley Pugh found one of the flyers in the Princess and Division St. area, near Shoppers Drug Mart.

“The signs are non-violent, as far as is known,” Pugh, ConEd ’17, said.

“I did some research into them and they have very conflicted views within their own group. They say that there’s only 12 members in all of Southern Ontario, so they’re not anything to worry about.”

Pugh said that the group has the right to free speech, but she has the right to take the posters down.

“Don’t give them the power to make you feel afraid, but don’t sit there and feel like you have to take it either,” she said.

This story has been altered to reflect the following clarification:

Kristyn Wallace, University communications officer, sent an email statement to the Journal on behalf of Stephanie Simpson, associate director of the Queen's Human Rights Office.

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