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thumb-2023-019-01-save-the-children-convoy-basecamp This article is more than 6 months old
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Far-Right ‘Save the Children Convoy’ Gathering at Rural Base Camp Outside Ottawa

Pedophile conspiracy convoy says it is planning daily marches to 'shut down Ottawa'

A new convoy rallying against a wide-range of conspiracies about pedophiles has set-up a base camp and is gathering in a rural area 40 minutes east of Ottawa.

Leaders of the so-called “Save the Children Convoy” say they are using the location as a staging area before “marching into Ottawa” on Wednesday and then holding daily marches to “shut down Ottawa.”

On Tuesday morning, PressProgress confirmed the presence of over 30 vehicles affiliated with the “Save the Children Convoy” camping out at a location along County Road 8 outside Casselman, Ontario.

Vehicles at the location range in size from RVs to pick-up trucks and sedans, but notably do not include transport trucks or other heavy vehicles. A mobile office trailer and portapotties were also visible on site.

A pick-up truck guarding the entrance to the base camp features signs opposing “Agenda 21,” a far-right conspiracy that alleges sustainable development policies are part of the United Nations’ secret agenda to establish a One World Government.

Other vehicles could be observed flying the flag of Russia and a flag associated with the “World Unity Convoy 2023” to Winnipeg earlier this year.

Luke LeBrun (PressProgress)

Organizers of the “Save the Children Convoy” have been holding secret in-person planning meetings for the last three months to iron out plans for a convoy this fall.

The convoy is a spin-off of recent anti-LGBTQ+ protests targeting schools and drag storytime events as well as loosely inspired by the controversial film “Sound of Freedom.” The recent wave of anti-LGBTQ+ “Million Man Marches” held across Canada emerged around the same time and involved organizers who splintered off from the “Save the Children Convoy” earlier this summer.

Lead organizers of the “Save the Children Convoy” have listed a variety of conspiratorial and unfounded claims that the government is running child sex trafficking rings, or that the United Nations is promoting pedophilia in schools.

Facebook

Elliot McDavid, another convoy organizer who made headlines harassing Chrystia Freeland last year, believes the Government of Alberta is colluding with insurance companies to produce child pornography and has claimed children are being “hunted down like animals” and “thrown in a rail car” by “degenerates on horseback.”

Recent livestream videos from the base camp outside Casselman show many top convoy organizers have now converged on Eastern Ontario.

One livestream shows Save the Children Convoy founder Gordon Berry flanked by a number of prominent Freedom Convoy organizers, including Ron Clark, Colin Ross, Norman Blanchfield, Mathieu Venne, Chris Shoemaker and Tyson “Freedom George” Billings — a man who served as Pat King’s side-kick during the Freedom Convoy.

Clark and Ross were two main organizers of a failed Winnipeg convoy earlier this year.

Gordon Berry (Facebook)

In an announcement Monday, the convoy leaders said they are planning to hold daily “Save the Children” marches through Ottawa.

“We will be marching every single day,” convoy leader Ron Clark said. “I will be here for as long as it takes marching every single day into that capital city that we have every right to do so.”

In a livestream video Tuesday afternoon, Clark suggested the Save the Children Convoy is aiming to “shut down Ottawa.”

“You guys remember back in 2022 when all them trucks filled up downtown Ottawa core, blocking the streets, remember that? We can do that again, but this time we’ll do it with the people standing in the streets,” Clark said. “We will be filled out onto Wellington Street so police have to block Wellington Street.”

Convoy organizers are also careful to address concerns that the convoy could be violent. “There’s a lot of stuff about this being violent and all that out there, and I had my doubts too, but everything’s changed,” Billings said in a livestream. “We’re going to show everyone that we can do this out of love and unity.”

Other social media postings suggest significant in-fighting between members of the “Save the Children Convoy” at their base camp outside Casselman, with livestream videos showing organizers yelling at each other and accusing one another of being “infiltrators.”

One moment captured on a livestream showed two convoy members physically attacking a vehicle belonging to another convoy member. One man can be seen getting thrown from the hood of the moving vehicle as he repeatedly punches the windshield.

Convoy organizers later said they were deleting livestreams that featured video of the incident while Clark blamed another convoy group called Stand4Thee.

“That was Jane Scharf, just because this whole thing is not about her movement, she came in yelling and screaming, the gentleman that she brought in basically hit a guy on the way out of here, storming out of here,” Clark said. “I’m very ashamed of Stand4Thee.”

While it has slowly gained momentum and secured endorsements from key leaders and influencers of the 2022 Freedom Convoy occupation of Ottawa, the 2023 Save the Children Convoy has proven highly divisive even within far-right circles.

A number of far-right groups and individuals have pulled out out of the convoy, warning that it is planning violence.

Earlier this summer, one participant in the convoy’s secret in-person meetings alleged some participants were planning acts of “terrorism” and suggested convoy members would detain people and assume roles similar to police.

Last week, groups affiliated with the Freedom Convoy and later convoy events released a statement publicly disavowing the Save the Children Convoy, claiming “information received has led us to believe this may not be a peaceful protest.”

The far-right convoy group Veterans 4 Freedom later released an audio recording purporting to show members of the Save the Children Convoy’s “inner-circle” discussing plans to occupy “several blocks” in Toronto’s financial district. The alleged plans include setting-up concrete “blockades,” using “gas masks” and “shields” and making use of a second convoy to surprise and “surround” police.

The authenticity of the audio recording has not been verified and the group did not provide any specific information about the identity of the speaker.

Last week, Toronto Police blocked off streets in downtown Toronto following a false alarm that the Save the Children Convoy was heading to Queen’s Park.

Location of ‘Save the Children Convoy’ base camp (Google Maps)

According to livestream videos posted Monday, a number of convoy supporters said they had called police in response to the violent incident that saw one convoy member thrown from a moving vehicle as they punched its windshield.

The Ontario Provincial Police would not say if they had responded to any incidents at the base camp, but both the OPP and local by-law enforcement with The Nation municipality confirmed to PressProgress that they were aware of the convoy base camp and monitoring the location.

“We are aware of what’s going on,” a spokesperson with the local OPP detachment told PressProgress. “They’re on it and they know what’s happening right now.”

No police presence was observed at the convoy base camp Tuesday morning.

 


 

Update: This article was updated to include additional details about the Save the Children Convoy’s plans announced in livestreams Tuesday afternoon.

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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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