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On April 6 an explosive was detonated at the house of Maitland Cassia, an activist with SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP) and Anti-Racist Action (ARA).
Papers extensively covered the action that left a quiet Abbotsford neighbourhood visibly shocked.
Adding more trouble to Cassia's plate, Rafe Arnott of the Abbotsford Times ran a story on the incident using the activist's name after promising not to. "Arnott agreed specifically not to run my name in connection to the incident, for the safety of my family, in front of several witnesses," said Cassia. "The next morning, he ran my name, affiliation and address, as well as speculating on a possible neo-Nazi connection, and even including a picture of our house as it appears from the street. He also attributed statements to me that were either fictitious, or taken wildly out of context (and not from conversations with me). To boot, the Abbotsford Times ran photos of the device fuse, further jeopardizing the investigation."
Cassia agreed to have his name used on VMC since it is already in the news due to Arnott's reporting.
"The Times pulled its initial article after somewhat of a screaming match and the threat of legal action," explained Cassia, "But by then Canwest/Global (ie the Sun & Province) were running Arnott's article, or twisted versions thereof."
The incident has enormous ramifications within the anti-racism community, which just ended a large demonstration on the International Day for the Elimination of Racism.
"We are a political organization, not a street gang," concluded Cassia. "I want to prevent this from degenerating into street level violence, but with 4-500 people mobilized, and a large portion of them now screaming for Nazi blood, these actions have created a delicate situation. I wish to state my public opposition to a violent offensive, but I urge my brothers and sisters to defend themselves by any means necessary."