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thumb-2023-08-03-save-the-children-convoy This article is more than 10 months old
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Canada’s Far-Right is Planning a Convoy to Toronto to ‘Save the Children’. It’s Already Spinning Out of Control.

The ‘Save the Children Convoy’ is struggling as organizers accuse one another of being ‘undercover cops’ or planning ‘violence’ and ‘terrorism’

Canada’s far-right “freedom movement” is planning yet another convoy, except this time their goal is not to end vaccine mandates or replace the country’s democratically-elected government – this time, they say, their goal is to “save the children.”

The “Save the Children Convoy,” a spin-off of recent anti-2SLGBTQ+ protests targeting schools and drag storytime events as well as loosely inspired by the controversial film “Sound of Freedom,” is being planned for Toronto in late summer or early fall.

Organizers say they are currently holding secret, in-person meetings to iron out their plans and aren’t sure where they’ll stay when they get to Toronto.

They also admit that what exactly they’re trying to “save the children” from is not straight-forward and could be open to multiple interpretations.

“Save the children is basically a generic statement obviously,” lead convoy organizer Gordon Berry told PressProgress. “There’s a multitude of things you could be saving them from.”

Berry says the convoy wants to save children from the “human trafficking industry,” but also from “mandating the shots to kids and kids getting sick and frigging education and all the stuff they’re teaching them in schools and the trans agenda and the math agenda, gender dysphoria – all of these things.”

“You got to save them from the whole system.”

Elliot McDavid (Facebook)

Berry is even more pointed about his concerns in the convoy’s private Facebook group where he and others have shared graphics claiming “the World Health Organization and the United Nations are instructing elementary schools around the world to have pedophilia normalized.”

One graphic features a photo of a child with a QR code tattooed to its forehead next to the symbol of the freemasons.

The graphic expresses opposition to a number of disturbing crimes, including “child trafficking,” “child pornography,” “child slavery” and “child abduction.”

The convoy’s private Facebook group, which counts nearly 3,000 members, indicates that it is focused on issues like “pedophilia, child trafficking, grooming” and “indoctrination in schools.” Postings in the private group include “tips for finding pedophiles and child traffickers,” videos about “child grooming” and memes featuring Christian religious messages and symbols.

Facebook

Berry, a former provincial candidate with Nova Scotia’s populist, ultra-libertarian Atlantica Party, is one of the lead organizers of the convoy, alongside Elliot McDavid, a man who made national headlines after aggressively harassing Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in Grande Prairie, Alberta last summer.

In videos viewed hundreds of thousands of times on TikTok, McDavid claims Canada has seen a rise in child abductions since the beginning of the “plandemic,” something he claims has led to “thousands” of missing children and mass suicides by parents.

McDavid accuses Alberta’s Child Protective Services of running a “child trafficking ring” and alleges the Government of Alberta is “colluding” with insurance companies to produce child pornography. McDavid also claims without evidence that “Trudeau’s paying LGBTQ a million dollars” to promote “the sexualization and the grooming” of “children in the hospitals and at schools and stuff.”

“Get up off your god damned couch and show some passion for this country and some passion for the children that don’t have a voice, they get kidnapped, thrown in a railcar,” McDavid told viewers of one recent TikTok video, adding that children are being “tortured, hunted down like animals by – not the elites – by the degenerates on horseback.”

Elliot McDavid (TikTok)

While previous attempts at staging sequels to the “Freedom Convoy” occupation of Ottawa have struggled to take off, the “Save the Children Convoy” is managing to secure endorsements from a number of key far-right influencers.

Kurt Phillips, an extremist researcher and board member with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told PressProgress the “Save the Children Convoy” is shaping up to be a “catch-all for a number of conspiracy theories, including not only child trafficking, but 15 minute cities, vaccines and weather manipulation.”

Phillips says some convoy organizers appear to have been radicalized while they were at home online during pandemic lockdowns and simply got “sucked down rabbit holes that they haven’t gotten up from.”

While Phillips says some of those involved deserve genuine sympathy, there is also a danger in people who fervently believe someone is “going after the children” and have reached the conclusion that “anything is justified” to stop them.

“It could result in criminal activity,” Phillips said, noting reports emerging from recent convoy planning meetings that suggest some “participants in the convoy might engage in citizen’s arrests of politicians or even law enforcement, should police try to interfere.”

Cory Sager, one of the ringleaders of an aggressive mob that swarmed Justin Trudeau in Belleville last month, posted a video disavowing the “Save the Children Convoy” after attending a meeting where he alleges participants planned acts of “terrorism.”

“All these people are planning on committing acts that are straight up terrorism,” Sager said on a Facebook livestream. “I know that they’re terrorism if I read the law on terrorism and then I compare with what they have told us that they are going to do.”

Sager explained that during the meeting, he saw a document detailing violent plans that included convoy supporters performing roles associated with police officers.

“Towards the end of the meeting, they start to talk about some things that aren’t all that peaceful,” Sager said. “They somehow think that by presenting a document that regular citizens that are playing parts of authority, like the police officers and other people like that, that they’re going to accept this document as something that overrides the legal system.”

Facebook

Phillips says Sager’s comments point to the influence of “sovereign citizen ideology.”

“It appears to be motivated to a significant degree by a sovereign citizen ideology that rejects the authority of the state and replaces it with a pseudolegal belief that suggests that they have what amounts to be a secret formula of legal phrases that will take them out of the system,” Phillips told PressProgress.

“In the United States we’ve seen sovereign citizens engage in significant violence including the murder of law enforcement.”

In a follow-up video last week, Sager speculated that “two guys” who showed up to a recent convoy planning meeting were “undercover police” trying to entrap organizers.

“They’re saying things that you would not say in front of a person unless you trusted them with your life and they’re doing it in front of people that they don’t know,” Sager told convoy supporters.

“They’re willing to speak in front of people they don’t know and say things that are clearly federal offences and tell you to do it openly without repercussion, and tell you that it’s okay and everything will be fine in the end, don’t worry about it, that’s alarm bells for me.”

“If you went to that meeting and you gave them your email, because they’re asking for emails, that email was forwarded to another guy that’s already looked at as a terrorist,” Sager said. “You’re now up for conspiracy to commit.”

Morgan Guptill, a far-right influencer who goes by the name “Queen of Diagolon,” has similarly disavowed the Save the Children Convoy, suggesting the convoy is a “psyop” orchestrated by the federal government in advance of a “potential fall federal election.”

“I am disavowing this convoy,” Guptill wrote in a public Facebook post. “The behind-the-scenes leaders of this movement, (I believe Marcus Ray and James Bauder), are preying on the emotions of freedom lovers IMHO by disingenuously using the #savethechildren slogan right after the release of the Sound of Freedom.”

Facebook

Bauder, who is currently awaiting a criminal trial in connection with his role as one of the original lead organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” occupation of Ottawa, denies he has any involvement in planning the “Save the Children Convoy.”

“I am 100% not involved,” Bauder told PressProgress, adding he’s only “re-shared some social media content” about the convoy. “I don’t even know this Morgan person, nor do I care.”

Gordon Berry confirms Bauder is “unequivocally not involved” and stresses that he has been “specifically clear” that he is “not about violence.”

“I don’t know where the hell they’re getting their intel,” Berry told PressProgress, adding that he believes “they’re lying, they’re making it up, they’re creating division.”

“I don’t know why, controlled opposition? Benefits?” Berry speculated. “Some people make a really good living off the downfalls of others in the last three years, whether it’s via donations or selling merchandise or all of this stuff, some people have made businesses out of that.”

In a recent Facebook video, Berry warned viewers that if they don’t “stand up” against “Minor Attracted Persons” and the “MAP agenda” in schools, then things could well end in a violent social conflict.

“If we don’t do something, then we’re getting towards a civil war scenario,” Berry said. “The objective is for us to stand up and take our power back and arrest these criminals in politics and everywhere.”

“I’d rather be proactive than reactive and we can avoid that,” Berry added. “Everything that we do is peaceful. Everything we talk about is peaceful.”

“A lot of people are really starting to stand up and we realize we have to save the children and it’s up to us, it’s our responsibility.”

This week, reports surfaced that one of the Sound of Freedom’s original funders had been arrested on child kidnapping charges in Missouri.

 

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Luke LeBrun
Editor
Luke LeBrun is the Editor of PressProgress. His reporting focuses on the federal political scene, right-wing politics as well as issues in technology, media and culture.

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