Aryan Guard mixes in
The neo-Nazi Aryan Guard are the people holding the defaced Israeli flag. Apparently, their hatred of Israel and jews seemed to temporarily supersede their hatred of other groups, who they marched along side of. The Nazis made up a fraction of a percent of the overall group. The people all around them aren't associated with them.
The Anti-Racist Action (ARA) is one of the other groups at the protest (not seen here), and they have told me they were strongly opposed to the presence of the Aryan Guard, telling them to leave right at the start, and finally getting them to leave when the Aryan Guard started to drag the Israeli flag in the mud, which was near where the march ended, at the Harry Hays building.
While a couple prominent blogs, referencing this picture, have suggested the Aryan Guard were given a "prestigious second place", that's misleading, as this picture doesn't show the whole front of the protest (such as the Canadian flag bearer leading the whole march and numerous people off-camera to the right), and the organizers didn't "give" any position to them. None of my photos captured the full size, or even full width, of the march, and the position of people here isn't the same as it was when the march first started. One blogger, Ezra Levant, said they were behind "the lead Hamas supporters". But, there's nothing to indicate that the women seen were pro-Hamas. I did hear other people (almost all men) chant pro-Hamas slogans in Arabic, which were discouraged by organizers, who encouraged only pro-peace slogans, in English. I can't read people's mind, so I can't say who supports what if they don't say, but neither can anybody else.
Another photographer's picture that included the Aryan Guard, but which doesn't highlight them, is here. Notice, they are not in any "prestigious" spot.
This is one of the pictures I took at a protest of Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, January 10, 2009. It was held in downtown Calgary, starting at City Hall, and, after a march, ending at the Harry Hays Building. It was one of several held across Canada by the Canadian Peace Alliance and other organizations on the same day.
Photographer: Robert Thivierge