Man who attended Ottawa protest convoy arrested on firearms charges

Click to play video: 'Truckers protest: Ottawa police to deploy additional officers ahead of anticipated demonstrations this weekend'
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A man who was allegedly seen in a video waving a handgun “in a reckless manner” has been arrested and faces four firearms charges, according to the Nova Scotia RCMP.

Although police did not identify the accused in a news release, a court document identified him as Jeremy MacKenzie, who was in Ottawa for the so-called truckers’ protest against COVID-19 measures.

The host of an anti-authority podcast and YouTube channel, MacKenzie is a Canadian military veteran who served in Afghanistan. The RCMP alleged in a search warrant application that he had post-traumatic stress disorder.

The police investigation began on Jan. 10, after a video posted on social media showed MacKenzie briefly pointing a gun at the head of another man, the RCMP alleged in the warrant.

Although MacKenzie had a valid firearms licence, the gun seen in the video appeared to have an over-capacity magazine, police said.

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During a Jan. 26 search at a home in Pictou, N.S., police seized “five restricted firearms including rifles and handguns, one unrestricted firearm, prohibited magazines, ammunition, body armour, a duty belt with attached holster and magazine pouches and cellular phones.”

In the video, MacKenzie referred to “Diagonola,” the RCMP warrant alleged.

Police were likely referring to Diagolon, which the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) reported Wednesday was “a fictional country running diagonally from Alaska southeast towards Florida.”

MacKenzie is its creator, the group said. The Diagolon flag allegedly appeared in the video.

“Stating this new country would encompass all the ‘sane’ regions of North America, what began as a joke has broadened as a symbol for his larger community of supporters,” CAHN wrote.

Supporters have embraced Mackenzie’s phrase “gun or rope” for dealing with their enemies and government, the anti-hate network reported.

“Beyond the violent rhetoric, the cross-country Diagolon network recently began organizing into in-person groups – a move they believe helps avoid widespread infiltration by law enforcement and anti-fascist activists. While many of these meet-ups have been benign, others include days on the shooting ranges and members actively discussing preparing for a coming and inevitable conflict.”

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MacKenzie could not be reached for comment.

The video was allegedly filmed by MacKenzie and showed him at a Nova Scotia business with the owners.

“While waving the firearm around, MacKenzie briefly pointed the firearm at [a man’s] head, causing [the man] to flinch, momentarily close his eyes, and move his head away from the muzzle,” the RCMP warrant alleged.

“I just go where the gun tells me to go,” he allegedly said.

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MacKenzie told police he “did not recall any of the events from the video as he was hammered at the time,” the warrant alleged.

He was released on conditions, including that he not possess any firearms, weapons, ammunition or explosive substances.

He was scheduled to appear in court on May 30 to face charges of careless use of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, possession of a prohibited device and possession of a firearm at an unauthorized place.

Videos posted on YouTube show him subsequently in Ottawa at the so-called truckers’ protest near Parliament Hill, and he was interviewed about the event on the conspiracy theory platform InfoWars.

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