Edmund Burke Society
- This organization is unrelated to the conservative debating society of the same name associated with the University of Chicago Law School or the University of Virginia.
In Canada, The Edmund Burke Society was a right-wing populist organization formed by Paul Fromm, Don Andrews, and Leigh Smith in 1967 at the University of Toronto. The group presented a front of being anti-communist and promoting traditionalist values in order to recruit members into its real agenda. Its members soon became involved in violent confrontations with anti-war groups and leftists in Toronto.
The group's main focus was opposition to the New Left and other left wing tendencies that were prominent during the period and which the Burkers identified with Communism. During the 1968 federal election, they distributed leaflets accusing the new Liberal Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, of being a communist. The "Burkers" were involved in disrupting various left-wing events and rallies, often violently. In 1970, the group disrupted a speech by William Kunstler resulting in the Chicago Seven's lawyer drenching EBSer Paul Fromm with a pitcher of water. A melee between Burkers and Kunstler's supporters ensued and Fromm was knocked unconscious to the floor. According to a report by the Security Intelligence Review Committee, In 1971, one Burker, Geza Matrai, a Hungarian refugee, attacked Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin during his visit to Canada. Matrai jumped on Kosygin's back, dragging him halfway to the ground before being arrested.
EBS members joined the small Ontario Social Credit Party in the early 1970s and took it over by 1972. The Social Credit Party of Canada expelled them resulting in two rival Ontario Social Credit parties existing for several years. In 1971, three of five Ontario Social Credit candidates in the 1971 provincial election were identified as EBS members.
In 1972 the Edmund Burke Society, as the result of major internal clashes over political metrology and fundamental ideology, self-destructed.