Councilor Paul Christie
Station 1020,
2nd Floor Metro Hall,
Suite 225
55 John Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3C6



Dear Councilor Christie,

I am writing to you regarding an application for an $18,000 grant from the Metropolitan Toronto Council by a group known as "Anti-Racist Action", or "ARA". The grant will be used to fund a two-day "Anti-Facist Co-ordinating Conference", to be held from June 22nd to June 23rd at an undisclosed location.

In these hard economic times, taxpayers' dollars should not be used to fund special interest groups. If a group has the publics' interest and support, then they should be able to fund themselves, without having to dip into the public purse.

Anti-Racist Action is not an established organization. It is a name for a group of social misfits and violent anarchists. Their application is strange, because the three individuals listed as being responsible for the conference do not give a legitimate street address or a telephone number. Instead, they give a post office box address and a voice mail box telephone number. Furthermore, their conference is being held at an undisclosed location. All of this secrecy on their part has made me suspicious of their application.

My objection to the ARA receiving funding from the taxpayers is compounded by the fact that it has repeatedly used violence and terrorism to further its cause.

In June, 1993, Anti-Racist Action members stormed the East Toronto home of a Heritage Front supporter. They threw various projectiles at the house, including human excrement. Their attack caused substantial damage to the property, including smashed windows.

On December 9th, 1995, about two dozen ARA members interrupted a private dinner meeting that was being sponsored by Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform, at the Europe Restaurant in downtown Toronto. Ignoring repeated requests to leave, they spat on the owner and on several people attending the function. They also threw cream at items on a book table and assaulted an elderly lady.

On their world wide web site, they boast of having shut down the meeting. I include the entire text from their website. It has been reformatted for this letter, but the text has not been changed:

I want to make it clear to you that I do not object to the ARA having their conference. Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees them the right to freedom of speech, and the right of peaceful assembly. I do, however, strongly object to the ARA's conference being funded with taxpayers' dollars, considering their violent history. If Anti- Racist Action wishes to have their conference, then they should raise the funds themselves, and not rely on the taxpayer.

Based upon the evidence that I have presented to you, I respectfully demand that the Metropolitan Toronto Council reject Anti-Racist Actions' request for an $18,000 grant for their conference.

Yours truly,

Christopher Saunders