While January 2021 was marked by Far Right events leading up to and including J6 in Washington, D.C., January 2022 gained international headlines with a Far Right truck convoy that landed in Ottawa, Canada. Both capital city occupations had extensive media coverage of the various formations of Far Right and white nationalist individuals and organizations that converged for these events. In so-called Canada, the media highlighted the role of Pat King (United we Roll), Tyler Russell and others from Canada First (Groypers), and Diagalon—whose members had their arms cache seized at the Coutts, Alberta border blockade, one of several held in tandem to the Ottawa occupation (https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2022/08/26/diagolon-founder-jeremy-mackenzie-faces-assault-weapons-charges-in-saskatchewan.html). Subsequent government hearings raised concerns over a swastika flag seen among many other Far-right affiliated flags. One image, that of a truck in Ottawa bearing the telltale sign of a group banned by the Canadian state as a terrorist organization—and one that played a key role in J6—slipped by, barely noticed. (https://pressprogress.ca/photo-shows-ontario-mpp-randy-hillier-with-flag-of-group-linked-to-armed-freedom-convoy-plot/). This group calls themselves the “Three Percenters”, or “Threepers” for short.
In June 2021, the Three Percenters were listed as a terrorist group by the Canadian government. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/06/25/canada-three-percenters-terrorist-entity/). They are a far-right paramilitary organization that operates nationally with standardized combat training in both Canada and the USA (https://www.vice.com/en/article/kzvyae/canadian-anti-islam-militia-changes-leadership-starts-new-training-program). Long before J6 and the truck convoys across Canada, the Three Percenters demonstrated their capacity for violence at protests in the USA. For instance, they were a sizable contingent at the deadly Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017 (https://unicornriot.ninja/2018/far-right-nationalists-attack-democratic-socialist-gathering-in-kentucky/). Over the years, they have provided security to neo-nazi groups, harassed and assaulted Leftists, and have had a track record of plotting assassinations and bomb attacks (https://unicornriot.ninja/2021/leaked-iii-security-force-chats-show-fractured-militia-thirsty-for-violence/).
Kazimir Nowlin is deeply invested in paramilitary organizing for the far-right. Prior to taking over the Three Percenter national leadership in 2018, he was the leader of the “Soldiers of Odin” in interior BC (https://www.vice.com/en/article/kzvyae/canadian-anti-islam-militia-changes-leadership-starts-new-training-program) In 2020, Nowlin was once again in the media spotlight when Erik Myggland, a BC based member of the Canadian Armed Forces, was exposed for membership in both the Soldiers of Odin and as a BC/Yukon lead of the Three Percenters. (https://www.therockymountaingoat.com/2020/09/canadian-armed-forces-to-expel-local-ranger/). Myggland claims he was sworn into the Solidiers of Odin by Nowlin. Given Nowlin’s status as national leader of the Three Percenters, it is likely that Myggland was also sworn into the Threepers by Nowlin.
The revelations prompted yet another inquiry by the military into white nationalist presence – it did not fair well (https://www.cbc.ca/news/ipolitics/erik-myggland-rangers-three-percent-soldiers-odin-1.6085006). In an easy sidestep maneuver to the 2021 “terrorist” designation, the BC based national leader Kazimir Nowlin began repackaging the Three Percenters as “The Kindred” months prior. Weeks later, he and The Kindred were actively recruiting.
Nowlin was involved with BC based truck convoys including one in February 2022 that attempted to go through Vancouver. Widespread resistance to the convoy forced organizers to re-direct subsequent convoys to the rural Surrey border crossing. This indicates that his sphere of influence and interest is beyond the rural areas of BC from which he is based. With the spotlight elsewhere, Nowlin ended 2022 making ready their paramilitary organizing into a private security outfit due to launch in January 2023. Nowlin has advertised his private security outfit as the “Canadian Sheepdogs Securities” along with his recruitment post about the Kindred. Replete with backwoods training in advanced firearms training, security training, personal protection, patrol, stationary, and first-aid, these far-right actors have advanced militant capacity and now a legal pretense for their boots on the ground.
Nowlin stated on his public Facebook page that they are looking for contracts to expand their operations. This would provide a material and legal way to bring paramilitary groups to both rural and urban places. As the Far Right and white nationalists continue to press their bigoted agenda by way of confrontations at libraries, school boards and community centres, their frequency and militancy increase the risks for serious harms. Should the re-branded Three Percenters model prove successful as a para-militarized private security force, others may follow Nowlin’s lead in creating their own in Canada. Far-right paramilitary organizations outfitting themselves as private security is already a model in the United States (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/01/portland-far-right-rally-republicans-militia-security) . Antifascists on the Canadian side of the border will need to think strategically while confronting fascist organizing in this new era and learn hard won counter organizing lessons.
Nowlin has been very clear identifying his enemies. In addition to the Muslim community which were the primary target of the Soldiers of Odin, he staunchly denounces antifascists and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. This is consistent with the Three Percenter’s ideology and actions in the US that target antifascists and BLM protesters. Despite his re-branding, the worldview and politics are fundamentally the same.
The media often mis-characterizes the Three Percenters and other Far Right armed militias as “anti-government”. At first glace, it’s easy to equate their plots to kidnap and execute US government officials as “anti-government”; however, it is a deeply misleading take that centrists and fascists use to conflate anarchism with fascism (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/terrorist-list-three-percenters-1.6079984). Rather than being “anti-government”, they want to be the government, re-entrenching historic and contemporary inequalities and bigoted hierarchies. The paramilitary route is to train and become the armed branch of a supremacist government that they wish to prefigure into existence.
One important factor to analyze from the surging proliferation of far-right groups is not only their propaganda to incite a “race war” but also the material steps taken to make it a reality. The disturbing strategic advantage of Nowlin’s group is the attempt to legitimatize themselves with the legal protections and economic benefits of a private security company while providing para-militarized support and intelligence gathering to far-right and white nationalist organizers. It would be wise to know the level of militancy that is being exercised and the material capacity of the far-right both on and off the field – January 2023 is here.