July 24, 2019

Anti-communism and Vice Media : is all alternative media really progressive?

Special to RY 

This article is a response of the YCL-LJC Canada to an article published on July 24th by Vice Media.

In an article published online on July 24th, the so-called alternative media reported on two young men, Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, both researched by the RCMP in relation with two murders that occured in BC on July 14th. Reporting on facts revealed by the Globe and Mail linking these two individuals to ultra-right, neonazi and violent groups especially, the Vice article also states that « on Facebook, Schmegelsky also liked the Young Communist League of Victoria page » before continuing to enumerate his gun loving activities.

With regards to this affirmation, we would like to make the following clear : Bryer Schmegelsky has never been a member of the YCL-LJC nor has he participated in any of our events. The YCL-LJC is an organisation deeply rooted in the progressive struggles of Canada’s youth against racism, xenophobia, fascism and ultra-right populism. We fight for democratic rights, for full gender equality, for LGBTQ+ rights and for peace. Therefore, we have nothing to do with anyone who propagates hate speech or promotes violence. These people have never been and will never be welcome into our organisation.

That Schmegelsky ‘liked’ the Facebook page of the YCL-LJC Victoria can be interpreted in many ways, but certainly not as a statement of support towards our organisation. It would not be the first time that ultra-right people troll progressive organisations’ pages (including the YCL-LJC’s) and media to attack and disrupt their activities and try to intimidate progressive activists.

We also denounce the gratuitous and rather furtive attempt by Vice media to discredit the YCL-LJC
by randomly drawing attention on the fact that Schmegelsky had virtual ‘affinities’ with the YCL-LJC Victoria. Perhaps this was done to fulfill Vice Media’s quest to sensationalism, but in the end, it enforces the ruling class’ anti-communist dogma that equates socialism with nazi-fascism.

By doing so, Vice Media shows its real face : one of a fake alternative to corporate media. Indeed, through its sensationalist editorial line, Vice Media simply revamps, through alternative channels, the image of corporate media. It is nothing else than another profit-driven venture that has no interest in informing people, but rather in selling information to a target audience. Otherwise, how could we understand that 15% of Vice Media’s capital comes from Walt Disney investments, while people like the US - Australian businessman Rupert Murdoch (world’s 76th wealthiest person) and investment funds or giant media monopolies like TPG are also part of Vice’s most important investors?

Moreover, Vice Media has objectively collaborated with Western imperialism by sending their ‘reporters’ in the middle of ultra-right and fascist groups during the so-called colour revolutions or during the imperialist war on Syria. It is also not much of a coincidence that one of the three founders of Vice Media, Gavin McInnis founded in 2016 the ultra-right, chauvinist, pro-arms and masculinist organisation of the ‘Proud Boys’.

Coincidently, this happens while we are preparing the 1st edition of the Rebel Youth / Jeunesse militante Festival during the September 6-7 week-end as a way to celebrate alternative and progressive media throughout the country. Interestingly enough, one of the main topics will be to distinguish genuine media that represent an alternative to corporate media from the so-called alternative media such as Rebel Media which, although using alternative ways to diffuse their information, are the most fierce representatives of the ruling class’ media empires…

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