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2 charged with intimidating health professional after protests outside home of top N.S. doctor

Click to play video: '2 charged after protests outside Nova Scotia  top doc’s house' 2 charged after protests outside Nova Scotia top doc’s house
WATCH: Two people, including the founder of what’s been described as a neo-fascist militia group, have been charged with criminal harassment and intimidating a health professional after holding protests outside the home of Dr. Robert Strang. The protests outside Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health’s home were against COVID-19 rules. Graeme Benjamin reports. – Mar 23, 2022

Two people, including the founder of what’s been described as a neo-fascist militia group, have been charged with criminal harassment and intimidating a health professional after holding protests outside the home of Nova Scotia’s top doctor.

Halifax Regional Police initially issued a news release late Tuesday night saying a man and a woman had been arrested in the 300 block of Pleasant Street in Dartmouth in relation to offences against a “prominent health official.”

It directed all further questions to the RCMP, as the incident happened in their territory.

Read more: N.S. top doc calls protest outside home ‘concerning’ as province lifts most COVID-19 measures

On Wednesday, the RCMP said the two people were involved in protests against COVID-19 restrictions in Fall River.

Neither police release named Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, but on Sunday evening a group of protesters gathered outside his house to protest the mask requirement for children in schools.

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Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia’s top doc calls protest outside home ‘concerning’ as province lifts most COVID-19 measures' Nova Scotia’s top doc calls protest outside home ‘concerning’ as province lifts most COVID-19 measures
Nova Scotia’s top doc calls protest outside home ‘concerning’ as province lifts most COVID-19 measures – Mar 21, 2022

The following day, Strang called the protest “concerning” and told Global News that he was up until 2 a.m. that night dealing with prank phone calls.

In its release Wednesday, the RCMP said officers with the Halifax district first responded to a complaint of a protest being held outside a home in the Fall River area on Sunday.

“Police attended and blocked off the area to prevent protestors from interfering with home owners’ property,” it said. “The protest lasted a few hours and protestors left on their own.”

Jeremy MacKenzie, one of the people charged with intimidating a health professional, attended the convoy protests in Ottawa last month. YouTube

Similar protests followed on Monday and Tuesday. While protesters left on their own after a few hours on Monday, Halifax Regional Police made the arrests on Pleasant Street in Dartmouth Tuesday while the protest was occurring “as part of an ongoing investigation into activity associated with the protests.”

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“The protestors (in Fall River) were informed that two people had been arrested for offences related to the protests and the protestors left,” the RCMP said.

“These protests were targeted at an individual and their private residence. The evidence collected during the investigation gave investigators reasonable ground to believe that criminal offences had been committed.”

Read more: Man who attended Ottawa protest convoy arrested on firearms charges

Jeremy Mitchell MacKenzie, 36, of Pictou, along with Morgan May Guptill, 31, of Cole Harbour, have been charged with criminal harassment, mischief, harassing phone calls and intimidation of a health professional.

Both were held in custody overnight and appeared Wednesday in Dartmouth Provincial Court. The pair remain on remand until their next court appearance on Friday, according to the Public Prosecution Service.

MacKenzie, who attended the protest convoy in Ottawa last month, was also recently arrested on firearms charges. He is also the de facto leader of Diagolon, which has been described by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network as a neo-fascist militia group with a sizeable support base across the country.

The network says Diagolon is an accelerationist movement that believes a revolution is inevitable and necessary to collapse the current government system. It wants to build its ideal nation-state, which runs diagonally from Alaska through the western provinces down to Florida.

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Read more: Anti-hate experts concerned about possible neo-fascist involvement at Alberta trucker convoy

Strang declined to comment about the arrests in a statement through Nova Scotia’s Department of Health.

“Dr. Strang wishes to pass along his sincere thanks to law enforcement for their action in addressing the incidents taking place outside of his home,” it said. “As this is now a matter before the courts, he will not be commenting further.”

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