Toronto
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B’nai Brith Canada expressed deep concern over the weekend rally planned by an American extremist group that it says promotes hatred against Jews, white people and LGBTQ.

According to B’nai Brith, John Lightbourne of Philadelphia is scheduled to appear at various venues this weekend in Toronto.

Lightbourne “is a leader of the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) and is usually accompanied by members of this group when he appears in public,” B’nai Brith said in a statement.

The ISUPK is part of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement that claims African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans are actually Jewish and that white people and Jews are “satanic beings.” The ISUPK is widely recognized as a hate group, including by the ADL, which details on its website that the group sells antisemitic clothing under the brand UPKFRESH, including a T-shirt depicting a slave ship and the Middle Passage of the slave trade with the words “True Holocaust.”

B’nai Brith explained that “Lightbourne, who identifies himself as ‘Commanding General Yahanna,’ promotes the separation of black and white people, claiming the latter are ‘animals’ and ‘have no compassion.’ Lightbourne also claims Jews ‘run everything’ and are ‘nasty filthy devils.’ In the same video, Lightbourne said, ‘The Jewish man is a G-ddamn liar.’”

The advocacy organization noted that Lightbourne is scheduled to speak at a rally at downtown Toronto’s popular Dundas Square this weekend.

The City of Toronto confirmed to B’nai Brith that no permit has been issued to the ISUPK.

B’nai Brith previously alerted the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Toronto Police Service (TPS) about ISUPK’s anticipated arrival. Additionally, B’nai Brith has informed the owners of a private building that is scheduled to host ISUPK about the group’s beliefs.

“The ISUPK is part of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which has been linked to murder and violence in the not-so-distant past,” said B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn. “We anticipate that Toronto law enforcement agencies will heed our warnings and will act accordingly if violations of either the criminal code or the City of Toronto’s anti-discrimination policies occur, should they be permitted to enter Canada.”

B’nai Brith also contacted the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation (TPFR) regarding a scheduled rally by Lightbourne and his group in a Toronto park this weekend.

TPFR told B’nai Brith last week that it is “looking into” the matter.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)