Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Screen capture taken during a live stream from Camp X outside of Ottawa. Source:Gordon James Berry Jr./Facebook
The Save The Children Convoy has arrived in Ottawa. Organized by a handful of individuals connected to 2022’s Truck blockades, the much smaller operation is promising daily protests outside of Parliament Hill rather than a mass clogging of the streets.
Supporters have been trickling into a recently set-up camp for participants outside of Ottawa for the past week. Despite descending into infighting both before and after arriving, the group staged their first march on Parliament on Wednesday.
Video of the protest shows anti-2SLGBTQ activist Chrystal Peters being led away by the Ottawa Police Service. Posts to her social media account show a ticket for $490 and a condition to remain at least 500m away from Wellington and Metcalfe Street, an intersection directly outside of Parliament. Another protester who allegedly tried to intervene was thrown to the ground by police but not detained.
Another man was captured on video on the ground. Police officers are shown using a conducted energy device while he lies in the street.
Source: Ron Clark/Facebook
“Some protestors were using large speakers and loud hailers in contravention of by-laws,” the Ottawa Police Service wrote on Twitter. “After various interactions with police, three people were arrested for obstruction and later released on conditions. While it is the duty of police to support legal demonstrations, we will not tolerate behaviours that endanger public safety or violations of the Criminal Code, By-laws or Liquor Licence and Control Act.”
The focus of the protest is primarily aimed at getting the government to address a number of issues participants feel are hurting children. These range from drag queen story readings to objections to comprehensive sex education in public schools, as well as conspiracy theories about the mass abduction and pedophilic grooming of children.
One speech broadcast over a megaphone, as well as previous announcements from individuals at the camp, make clear that many are still invested in COVID conspiracy theories. Protesters say they are not leaving and will hold protests occurring daily until their goals are met, though the actual goals are not apparent.
Footage and pictures from “Camp X,” a large rural property outside the capital, show dozens of vehicles and people. Several large tents have been set up as of Tuesday evening.
Meant to unite members of Canada’s disparate conspiratorial far-right movement, the “east meets west” event has already resulted in a raucous confrontation. One group visiting the camp faced accusations of being infiltrators and was physically driven away from the site.
During a Facebook livestream across multiple accounts, several organizers of the STC convoy attempted to address questions about the protest. While things started cordially, comments from one speaker were quickly cut off by a man in red clutching a small dog.
Screencapture from a since-deleted live stream of Jane Scharf (front left) and an unidentified man and a dog (right). Source: Gordon James Berry Jr./Facebook
“Trudeau for treason,” he repeats while being pushed out of frame. “There’s infiltrators behind us.”
Things continue to get heated, while one man attempts to defuse the situation by singing “Rich Men North Of Richmond.”
The man and Jane Scharf, a paralegal and part of an organization called Stand4THEE, are told to leave. A crowd repeatedly shoves the man in red who climbs into his vehicle, a brown SUV.
As the man in red pulls out of his parking spot, the vehicle is blocked by another man who stands in its path. When the car pushes forward, he jumps on the hood and punches the windshield repeatedly. The car accelerates and turns sharply, sending the rider rolling in the dirt.
The specifics of the new convoy’s plans have been difficult to ascertain, as besides the destination being Ontario, few details about the location or their plans are public.
Recent video posts to Facebook from the organizers indicate an Ottawa and Toronto camp. The Ottawa camp sits 40 minutes outside the city in Casselman, while the other camp is in Phelpston, a city north of Barrie, almost a two-hour drive to Toronto.
According to videos posted by Ron Clark, an organizer of the STC convoy who participated in a previous attempt to form another convoy, the plan is to march through Ottawa everyday.
Little news has trickled out of Phelpston, while footage posted on Facebook from the Casselman camp shows a variety of vehicles, from small cars to pickup trucks and recreational vehicles - about 45 in total.
Despite accusations from others in Canada’s far-right that James Bauder, a man facing criminal charges over his role in planning last year’s “Freedom Convoy” that snarled the streets of Ottawa and several border crossings, is involved in the organization both Bauder and STC organizers told Press Progress he is not involved.
Ahead of the vehicles arriving in Casselman, speculation and accusations about the intent of this convoy swirled in far-right spaces. In the lead-up to the STC convoy’s arrival, many organizers specifically remained silent about the specific details of the protest plans and location.
Veterans4Freedom, a group that formed after the 2022 convoy, made up of former members of the Canadian military, released audio, claiming to be from participants in the Toronto leg of the STC convoy, discussing plans about occupying a block of downtown Toronto’s financial district.
“We already know what’s going to happen, they’re going to bring in thugs like they did in Ottawa,” an unidentified voice says on the recording. “But the plan is, when they get everyone in, so to speak, there’s another larger group of people going to come with them.”
The voice goes on to explain that despite planning to box in the police, there will be no violence and that members also intend to all be carrying white flags. The individual explains that the act of attacking someone holding a white flag, combined with Canada’s political infiltration by the Chinese government, will cause the United States to respond.
V4F’s caption on Facebook says the statement sounds “treasonous to us” and suggests the man speaking “maybe another Grant Bristow” — a member of senior leadership within the Heritage Front who was later revealed as a contractor working for the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS).
“Regarding the audio clip, we aren’t commenting at this time,” a V4F spokesman told the Canadian Anti-Hate Network when asked about the recording’s origin. “I can confirm you’re correct in saying that V4F has absolutely nothing to do with this STC convoy and our organization has nothing major planned in the near future.”