From bravado to begging.
That’s how a $5,000 ticket will deflate even the brashest fanatic — and there are few who will argue Kyle McKee didn’t deserve a fine for blocking Calgary’s rainbow-coloured pride bus.
The notorious local neo-Nazi just hopes there are some people who sympathize with his one-man protest against “homosexual life choices,” because the 29-year-old ex-con is online begging for help paying the big ticket, issued by police last week.
“I took it upon myself to take a stand in front of the bus to prevent it from driving,” reads a statement on McKee’s Facebook page, echoing a matching post made on gofundme.com.
“This ended with the police sending 4 cars lights flashing to give me a ticket worth $5,000. This was about $4,750 more than I expected to get. So I am asking for donations to help pay this ticket earned by peaceful protest for our rights!”
The GoFundMe page, with two donations adding up to $60 so far, was offline Wednesday afternoon, but it wasn’t immediately clear why.
It’s the second time the public plea for cash has been yanked, after complaints from a local anti-racism group resulted in the first disruption for McKee’s fund-raising page.
For a guy trying to raise $5,000 before his court appearance on November 3, it’s a rocky start.
The white supremacist’s journey to public panhandling started after a Calgary Transit driver volunteered his opinion on the rainbow bus to local media, saying his staunch Christian values meant he could not in good conscience drive a vehicle dedicated to gay pride.
City Manager Jeff Fielding quickly responded by saying the city will always promote tolerance.
“All people are welcome here in this city,” said Fielding. “There shouldn’t be any concern about what walk of life they come from.”
Not surprisingly, McKee didn’t agree.
McKee, sentenced to 13 months in 2013 for illegally possessing a shotgun, decided the bus driver needed support with his anti-gay stance, so he decided to protest the rainbow bus by blocking it from moving.
“Recently there was a story all over the news about an issue of a Calgary public transit driver claiming that it would be against his religion to promote the homosexual life choices by driving a bus that was decked out in a rainbow wrap,” wrote McKee.
“The driver was attacked all over the mainstream media and social media for standing up for his convictions. It was as if his religious rights were far less important than those of the gay community.”
A seasoned protestor, McKee has previously helped organize white supremacist rallies in Calgary, and for years he has spoken out against races and cultures that don’t match his own.
Still, before embarking on this latest rage against the system, McKee probably should have read the fine print, available online under the Calgary Transit Bylaw.
There, he might have seen exactly what awaits any person who purposely does anything to “prevent or interfere with the operation of a transit vehicle.”
Apparently that’s just what McKee did, for around 20 minutes, according to his own description of the one-man demonstration.
It must have seemed a little like a white supremacist’s version of the Tiananmen Square tank protest, albeit without the moral backing of the entire world.
Of course, police were called — and McKee might have predicted the rest.
The fine for blocking a bus, the harshest available under the bylaw, calls for a specified penalty of $5,000, and a minimum penalty of $2,500.
The police constable who wrote the ticket wasn’t throwing the book at McKee, so much as following the book.
McKee has vowed to fight the matter before a judge, and if any cash is left over, he says it’ll go to a church or organization with similar views.
He explained his cause to the Sun in an email, writing, “We are told we have to accept things that are clearly in conflict with our faith … if we are expected to do this to make a neutral setting for people then what place does promotion of any other groups life style have on city transit?”