A man connected to a fringe far-right group camping in downtown Ottawa attempted a citizen’s arrest on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau twice last week and for his troubles, was arrested instead.
Both of the citizen-arrest attempts were recorded and posted on Facebook where they were viewed thousands of times. During the first effort on July 23, a man, who identifies himself to police as Brian Kidder, marches to the gates of Rideau Hall, Trudeau’s current residence in Ottawa, with a small entourage.
“I’m here to make a citizen’s arrest of Justin Trudeau. The charge is obstruction of justice,” Kidder tells one of the RCMP officers standing outside of the gates. “I’m not going to hurt him; I’m just going to (Kidder does a reaching forward movement) and say, ‘You’re under arrest.’”
Multiple RCMP and Ottawa Police officers tell Kidder that he’s “not getting in there.” After an hour, the man acquiesces and leaves the area.
During the second attempt on July 25, the same man is seen walking inside the Rideau Hall gates. He lifts his shirt to show that he’s unarmed and police stop and handcuff him. As three officers lead him away, the man slowly falls and shakes for a few seconds before quickly being brought to his feet by police. Those peering through the gates bars urge the officers to call 911 and tell the police they’re “cowards.”
“Protecting pedophiles is not upholding the law,” one woman yells.
Later in the video, the man says he has a condition that causes seizures. An ambulance is called and paramedics treat him. He’s released from the custody of the police and paramedics in less than an hour.
Kidder’s entourage is part of a group calling themselves “the Canadian Revolution,” which has been camping out at the National War Memorial in Ottawa since an anti-Trudeau rally on Canada Day (July 1). Since then, the group has posted videos of members going to Trudeau’s parliamentary office to accuse him of being on house arrest, held small rallies, and filmed a “comedy” sketch where a man dressed as “Captain Freedom” mows the lawn of the War Memorial.
During the arrest and aftermath, the members of the Canadian Revolution yelled at the RCMP officers about how they’re helping pedophiles and cursed at them.
“I hope God lays a curse on your family that never, ever, ever outgrows your bloodline, sir,” one woman yelled at an RCMP officer. “You’re little bitch-asses,” yelled another.
After about 40 minutes Kidder was released and asked one of the people live streaming, “Did it look good?”
“I fully expected them to arrest me,” he said in an interview with one of the livestreamers afterwards. “I will put $1,000 on (that) when I go to court this charge will be gone.”
Ottawa RCMP told VICE News that while there was an arrest on July 25 at the gates of Rideau Hall, no charges were filed “and the individual was released with a trespassing notice.”
Kidder and the Canadian Revolution did not reply to a request for comment. They had previously released a statement saying, “The Canadian Revolution is here at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, to demand the Prime Minister of Canada... step down.”
The Canadian Revolution is one of the more outlandish groups in the Canadian Patriot movement that has become prominent in the country’s reactionary-right during Trudeau’s time as prime minister. The group is “representative of an anti-government element that has become more visible in the ‘patriot’ movement during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Drew, an activist who has been following the movement and posted a snippet of the arrest video on Twitter. He only wanted to use his first name because of fear of reprisals.
“While previously these people would try to advance their agenda through the system by supporting right-wing parties like the PPC (People’s Party of Canada), they increasingly have more fanciful solutions such as getting all politicians in the ‘de facto’ government to resign or arresting Trudeau,” Drew told VICE News.
According to Capital Current, a local outlet in Ottawa, the Canadian Revolution has spearheaded anti-mask protests in the city in past weeks. The group’s leader told the outlet that the people camping come from all over Canada and won’t say when they plan to leave.
In the second video, the group lamented their small numbers and inability to take on the RCMP and arrest Trudeau. When Kidder joins them after his arrest he, and those filming him, are adamant they’re not dissuaded.
“I can’t say anything more but this ain’t over,” said Kidder. “I would appreciate it for all those in Canada with some balls to join arms and come with me.”
Kidder’s botched citizen arrest is the latest stunt by the Canadian Patriot movement to oust Trudeau. Earlier in the month, another man connected to the group attempted to deliver documents to a closed U.S. embassy in the hopes Trump would investigate and charge Trudeau for pedophilia, child trafficking, using COVID-19 to seize power, intentionally repealing laws, and corruption within the worker’s compensation program. According to GoFundMe, he had raised $140,000 for his mission.
While the groups are not explicitly tied to the massive QAnon conspiracy—which is broadly about the elite’s connection to pedophilia—the conspiracies regarding child trafficking and pedophilia by Canadian politicians are similar to many Q theories.
Kidder’s attempts come less than a month after a man allegedly stormed Rideau Hall while armed with several firearms on July 2. The accused, Corey Hurren, posted a few conspiracy memes, including one Q meme, on social media. He reportedly had a note on him with some of the same grievances including a claim that Canada is becoming a “communist” country.
Politicians and their staffers recently came forward to VICE News about an increase of violent threats they have received, and several blamed the recent rise of far-right and conspiracy groups. The RCMP said since January there have been “approximately 130 threat files against the prime minister and the ministers.” One MP who asked to remain anonymous said the threats have become “routine.”
“I’m talking, ‘I’m going to kill you and your family and enjoy it’-type shit,” they said.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.