The Heritage Front is a neo-Nazi group located in Canada. It was founded in 1989 by former Ku Klux Klan member Wolfgang Droege, Gerry Lincoln and other former members of the Nationalist Party of Canada who were disgruntled with the leadership of Don Andrews and felt a new organization and new tactics were necessary.
The Front formed an alliance with the Church of the Creator (a Christian Identity group) and its Canadian leader George Burdi. Other prominent figures in the Canadian far right such as Paul Fromm and Ernst Zündel worked with the Front but did not join the organization.
The group garnered a great deal of media attention and held a series of "racist rock concerts" in Toronto and elsewhere. Immediately after one of these concerts a Tamil man returning home from work and was beaten and partially paralysed by several skinheads who had just left the concert.
In 1992, the Front also brought prominent American neo-Nazis Tom Metzger and John Metzger to Canada to speak and provided security at a speech by Holocaust denier David Irving.
The Heritage Front also maintained a telephone message line to which people could phone in and listen to a different editorial each day. The "voice" of the Heritage Front on this phone line was Gary Schipper. The line resulted in complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and hearings into allegations that the Front violated Canada's hate crime laws.
The activities of the Heritage Front led to the formation of an Anti-Racist Action branch in Toronto which engaged in a series of anti-racist demonstrations and confrontations with the Front, culminating in 1993 with a riot on Parliament Hill between members of the ARA and the Front following a concert by the Burdi's rock band RaHoWa. Four Heritage Front members, including Burdi, were arrested and charged with assault. Burdi was sentenced to a year in prison for aggravated assault and subsequently dropped out of the movement and renounced racism.
A month later ARA held a militant demonstration outside the Toronto home of Gary Schipper which resulted in thousands of dollars of damage to the property. Droege and other members of the Front responded by attacking members of ARA outside a Toronto pub that evening resulting in Droege and others Heritage Front members being charged with assault.
In 1995, Droege was convicted of the assault and sentenced to five months in prions. He also spent time in jail for conempt of court and other violations in regards to the Canadian Human Rights Commission tribunal.
As a result of his legal troubles, Droege ultimately retired from the Front and turned over its leadership to Marc Lemire.
Grant Bristow, working on behalf of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), infiltrated the group and became one of its leaders. CSIS and Bristow claim that their role was to gather intelligence on the far-right and try to suppress its violent activity. Bristow's role in the Front was exposed in 1994 by the Toronto Sun and became the subject of an inquirty by the Security Intelligence Review Committee which published a report http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/orgs/canadian/sirc/heritage-front/ on the matter in 1994.
While the Heritage Front still exists, its membership and activity have declined sharply since the early 1990s.
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