thumb-2023-010-03-save-the-children-convoy This article is more than 7 months old

‘Save the Children Convoy’ Leaders Plotted to Capture Police and MPs at Secret Meetings, Participants Allege

Participants say convoy leaders held secret meetings where they allegedly shared plans to send convoys to Toronto, Ottawa and Tofino

During secret planning meetings, leaders of a convoy inspired by far-right pedophile conspiracies allegedly told participants they planned to round-up police officers and Members of Parliament in Toronto and Ottawa, before sending a final convoy to Tofino, British Columbia to “take the head off the snake.”

Over the summer, groups and individuals previously associated with the Freedom Convoy have been holding secret in-person meetings at locations across Canada to iron out plans for the so-called “Save the Children Convoy” this fall.

This week, the convoy set-up a rural base camp near Casselman, 40 minutes outside Ottawa. A livestream to announce the opening of the camp was interrupted by a rival convoy group, leading to an incident that saw a man thrown from the hood of a moving car while attempting to punch in its windshield.

On Wednesday, the convoy headed into Ottawa and attempted to confront MPs leaving the House of Commons, ending in multiple arrests and one convoy supporter getting tasered by police.

Gordon Berry, Chris Dacey (Facebook)

The convoy is a spin-off of recent anti-LGBTQ+ protests targeting schools and drag storytime events. It is also loosely inspired by the controversial film “Sound of Freedom.”

A 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 cited 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. They have also circulated images of children with QR codes tattooed to their foreheads alongside Freemason imagery.

Gordon Berry (Facebook)

While leaders of the convoy headquartered near Casselman now insist their plans are “peaceful,” some of the group’s own supporters have expressed concerns that their original plans were not.

“There’s a lot of stuff about this being violent and all that out there,” convoy influencer Tyson Billings said at the opening of the group’s base camp this week. “You know, I had my doubts too when I got here, but everything’s changed.”

The convoy’s secret meetings have been held in-person at several locations across Canada to avoid the possibility of infiltration and to contain leaks. Attendees say they were asked to hand over phones and electronic devices – they even say organizers used “RF meters” to scan their bodies for radio signals before sharing their plans.

Following these secret meetings, a number of convoy groups and individuals publicly denounced the “Save the Children Convoy,” alleging that organizers were discussing plans that could well be criminal or even potential acts of “terrorism.”

Two attendees of these secret meetings told PressProgress they were alarmed to learn those plans included rounding up and detaining police officers and federal Members of Parliament.

Jody Ledgerwood, a real estate broker from Cobourg, Ontario who played a behind-the-scenes role during the 2022 Freedom Convoy occupation, told PressProgress she attended two secret “Save the Children Convoy” meetings in Marmora and Mississauga this summer.

According to Ledgerwood, at these meetings some Save the Children Convoy leaders shared a plan that allegedly involved three “phases.”

“Phase one” of the plan involved sending a convoy to occupy Toronto’s financial district. When Toronto Police mobilized public order units to end the convoy occupation, a second convoy would surprise police and box them in, forcing police to surrender.

“Phase two” involved surrounding eight federal buildings in Ottawa and detaining MPs, holding the elected officials in custody until they gave into the convoy leader’s demands.

While phase two was unfolding, another group would simultaneously execute “phase three” by sending a final convoy to confront the Freemasons in the oceanside village of Tofino, British Columbia where they would “take the head off the snake.”

“Phase one was Toronto financial district, phase two was Ottawa Parliament Buildings and phase three was Tofino,” Ledgerwood reiterated to PressProgress. “That’s what they said, they were going to Tofino where the Masons were.”

The Save the Children Convoy’s Facebook group contains numerous conspiratorial posts about Freemasons, with some suggesting physically attending Masonic Temples where they believe “rituals and pedo stuff” are taking place.

Ledgerwood, who clarified she was “100% opposed to the plan,” elaborated in more detail about her “serious allegations” in a Facebook livestream video Wednesday.

Ledgerwood said “it was two gentlemen who were telling us that,” identifying convoy founder Gordon Berry and another individual named “Little Wolverine.”

“They were the two that went to the Marmora and Mississauga meetings and those were the two that presented the plan for everybody to get on board with.”

Gordon Berry declined to respond to questions about the allegations.

“I don’t care what people are talking about, I don’t have any comment,” Berry told PressProgress when told attendees of his secret meetings had alleged that he shared plans to detain MPs.

“You’re mainstream, you’re going to spin it against us,” Berry added. “You guys cut my throat last time, you’re not cutting my throat this time.”

Gordon Berry (Facebook)

Ledgerwood said she was being careful to only share information that she can personally verify. Her allegations were separately corroborated by another convoy activist named Cory Sager, who told PressProgress he had heard the same plan at a meeting he attended, apart from the details about targeting the Freemasons in Tofino.

“She’s telling the truth about Ottawa and Toronto for sure,” Sager told PressProgress. “I wasn’t there long enough to hear about Tofino, but I was there for Toronto and Ottawa details.”

Sager, who made national headlines this summer after leading an aggressive group of protesters that swarmed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an appearance in Belleville, has posted several videos on social media distancing himself from the convoy after attending a secret meeting.

“Towards the end of the meeting, they start to talk about some things that aren’t all that peaceful,” Sager said on a Facebook livestream in July.

“All these people are planning on committing acts that are straight up terrorism,” Sager added. “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.”

On a podcast last month, Sager said he believes the convoy leaders were leaving rank-and-file supporters in the dark about their real plans.

“My biggest concern about it is the way that regular people who have no idea what’s going on are being used,” Sager said in a podcast last month. “Some of the moves that were talked about, like … using crowds of people against police, those crowds are made up mostly of people who don’t know what’s going on.”

“They don’t know the plan, so they’re going to be stuck in the middle of this.”

Luke LeBrun (PressProgress)

Sager and Ledgerwood are not alone in disavowing the Save the Children Convoy. Last week, several Freedom Convoy-affiliated groups released a statement publicly disavowing the convoy, claiming “information received has led us to believe this may not be a peaceful protest.”

The group Veterans 4 Freedom also released an audio recording purporting to show an unidentified member of the Save the Children Convoy’s “inner-circle” discussing plans to occupy Toronto’s financial district at one “in-person meeting.”

According to the recording, which has not been independently verified by PressProgress, the alleged plans included setting-up concrete “blockades” to occupy “several blocks,” using “gas masks” and “shields” and making use of a second convoy to surprise and “surround” police.

In a podcast Thursday, Veterans 4 Freedom President Andrew MacGillivray said the group was first tipped off about the plans after the “police called us about it a couple months ago.” He speculated the speaker could be some kind of undercover agent.

“I believe those guys and the other organizers are being led into something that they aren’t aware of,” MacGillvray said, adding he was not sure Berry and other lead convoy organizers were fully aware of what they were getting themselves into. “We’re worried for their safety.”

“We didn’t want to release the full clip because in this full clip it could potentially be incriminating a bunch of people”

“That guy’s in that video talking about civil war, he’s talking about treason against the government,” MacGillvray explained. “If you think you’re going to get a bunch of people together to go arrest politicians and hold a kangaroo court and try them, you’re out of your mind.”

After Veterans 4 Freedom released the recording, some Save the Children Convoy leaders lashed out at the group, accusing Veterans 4 Freedom of using a plant to stage the recording.

Despite this, Ledgerwood maintains the recording accurately describes the same plan that Barry communicated to her at two separate meetings.

“All I can say is the Veterans 4 Freedom recording was not false because that’s the exact same plan that we heard, minus the fires because we didn’t hear the fire part at the two meetings that we went to.”

“Other than the burning of bridges and hay bales on the 401, that’s the exact same plan that we were told at the Marmora and Mississauga meetings.”


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Luke LeBrun
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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