Hate Among Us: Ottawa Conference on Hate and Far-Right Extremism

In September, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung USA & Canada (FES) convened an international conference on hate. Experts gathered in Ottawa to share strategies and tools from across Europe and North America in tackling the growing threat of right wing extremism.

This meeting location was particularly timely given the renewed focus on hate and right-wing extremism in Canada in the wake of the anti-vaccine convoy occupation of the nation’s capital earlier this year. Despite a well-earned reputation for tolerance, Canada is a net exporter of hateful material online, and the site of a number of high-profile racists attacks in recent years.

Hate Among Us: Combatting Right-Wing Extremism in Canada, the U.S. and Europe  was a one-day conference co-hosted by FES, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.  It featured speakers including NDP Member of Parliament Matthew Green, Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network Bernie Farber, journalist Rachel Gilmore and dozens of academics, activists and policy-makers tackling the issue of hate and extremism.

2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the FES's Transatlantic Network on Countering the Far Right. Over two decades, this network has created a unique space where every year, a small group of experts from Europe and North America can gather in a peer-to-peer environment to discuss new developments in the far right, exchange intelligence and share new ways of countering extremism.  

In celebration of this anniversary, Hate Among Us put these international experts into conversation with people working on the ground against hate in Canada, and opened up that discussion to the public. Topics included new and emerging types of hate, tools for education to help schools combat hate groups, exploring the role of disinformation in hate and radicalization, and discussions on empowering community responses to hate and extremism. 

The conference garnered national media attention and drove home the urgency of acting now to prevent hate from becoming mainstream. FES is proud to play a role in advancing this dialogue and in strengthen democracies on both sides of the Atlantic agains the rising threat of disinformation, and looks forward to supporting more of this vital work. 


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