Friday, July 19, 2024

Ottawa councillor, residents condemn arrival of ‘hateful’ group Diagolon ‘Terror Tour’

Must read

A community group and an Ottawa city councillor have come forward to condemn the arrival of the far-right group Diagolon after it brought its ‘Road Rage Terror Tour’ to Ottawa over the weekend.

On Saturday, the group held an event at the Carp Agricultural Hall in Ottawa’s west-end as part of a cross-country tour. Diagolon is described in a 2022 House of Commons report as an “ideologically motivated” and a “violent extremist” organization.

“It has come to my attention that a group that promotes hateful and racist rhetoric hosted an event in Carp this evening,” said area councillor Clarke Kelly in a news release.

“I would like to make it abundantly clear that there is no place for such behaviour in West Carleton-March and I strongly condemn the presence of such a group in our community.”

A website for Diagolon said the July 6 event was a “success” and had been selling tickets priced at $60 to enter. It’s unclear how many people attended the event.

The Ottawa Police Service said in a statement to social media site X on Saturday that it was “aware” of the tour and had “received reports” from residents about the event.

“OPS are monitoring the event and situation,” police said on Saturday evening.

The group intends to hold more events throughout the country this month with dates scheduled in Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Saskatoon.

“Appalled that Diagolon, an ideologically motivated violent extremist organization, brought their ‘Road Rage Tour’ to Carp this weekend,” said Kanata-Carleton MP Jenna Sudds on X.

“I strongly condemn Diagolon’s presence in our community. Hateful organizations of this sort have no place in our community & no place in Canada.”

Community Solidarity Ottawa (CSO), an anti-fascist community group, describes Diagolon as a neo-Nazi and White supremacist group. CSO had been bringing attention to the event for residents on social media.

Jeremy MacKenzie is seen in this photo from his Facebook page. (Jeremy MacKenzie/Facebook)

“Tonight, the Carp Agricultural Society hosts speakers whose past materials includes: Denying the Holocaust, discussions of re-enacting Nazi book burnings, working with a US-designated terrorist group, admitting intentions to rape women,” the community group said on X.

CSO said it had been calling on the Carp Agricultural Society, who runs the Carp Fair grounds, to cancel the planned event. On Saturday, the organization who rents the venue said it did not know about the planned event.

“Carp Agricultural Society was not aware of the group identity nor the intent of the rental taking place at our grounds this evening,” the organization said in a statement.

“This rental in no way reflects our values or mission.”

The Diagolon group is a loose network of people with neo-fascist, militant views which emerged from a group of live streamers called “The Plaid Army,” according to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN). It originally started as an online joke about a fake nation state but has since come to attract thousands of followers rallying against authority and government control.

Its founder, Jeremy MacKenzie, a Canadian military veteran, previously made headlines for taking part in the 2022 ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests and making comments about sexually assaulting the wife of Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre. 

MacKenzie testified during the 2022 Emergencies Act inquiry following the Convoy protests.

Diagolon has been described as a “Canadian far-right ‘extremist group'” by the U.S. State Department.

With files from The Canadian Press

Latest article