Chris Carbert, 44, is one of four facing charges of conspiring to murder a police officer
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Chris Carbert, 44, is one of four facing charges of conspiring to murder a police officer

Chris Carbert, 44, is one of four facing charges of conspiring to murder a police officer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is claiming that the Freedom Convoy protests are being guided by extremists, as the final crackdown looms on demonstrators remaining in Ottawa.   

Trudeau’s Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino blamed extremist groups for helping organize the protests, and repeated allegations that some involved wanted to overthrow the Liberal government. 

Police in the province of Alberta this week arrested 13 people near a border blockade at the town of Coutts and seized guns. 

Four of the suspects have been charged with conspiring to murder Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers — though the mayor of Coutts claims the suspects are all ‘outsiders’ who were not part of the border blockade.

Mendicino claimed that several of the individuals at Coutts have strong ties to a far-right extreme organization with leaders who are in Ottawa.

‘What we’re beginning to see emerge now are the hallmarks of a sophisticated and capable organization of a small number of individuals, but with a steel resolve, driven by an extreme ideology that would seek to create to overthrow the existing government,’ he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the little-used Emergencies Act, giving the Liberal government extraordinary powers to end the protest.

Candice Bergen, interim leader of the official opposition Conservatives, said invoking the act was akin to using a ‘hammer on Canadians’ and called it unnecessary. 

On Wednesday afternoon, police in the Canadian capital Ottawa began warning truck drivers blockading the downtown core that they should depart or face arrest, part of a promised crackdown to end a three-week-old protest over COVID restrictions. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the little-used Emergencies Act, giving the Liberal government extraordinary powers to end the protest

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the little-used Emergencies Act, giving the Liberal government extraordinary powers to end the protest

Mounties in Alberta seized this cache of weapons on Monday morning, but the mayor of the village where they were discovered claims the weapons weren't part of the Freedom Convoy protest

Mounties in Alberta seized this cache of weapons on Monday morning, but the mayor of the village where they were discovered claims the weapons weren’t part of the Freedom Convoy protest

Meanwhile, four suspects face charges of allegedly plotting to murder police officers in connection with a trove of firearms that were seized at the Freedom Convoy border blockade in Coutts, Alberta. 

Chris Carbert, 44; Christopher Lysak, 48; Anthony Olienick, 39; and Jerry Morin, 40, were arrested on Monday and charged with possession of weapons for a dangerous purpose, mischief, and conspiracy to commit murder.

The allegations are in connection with the trove of weapons seized in a police raid on raid on two camper trailers and a mobile home on 1st Avenue North in Coutts — a property near the border crossing but not part of the actual blockade. 

The mayor of Coutts told DailyMail.com that those arrested were not members of the Freedom Convoy, despite them being initially tied to the ongoing anti-vaccine protests. 

‘The people who were actually involved in the arrests were not part of the blockade group,’ Mayor Jim Willett said. ‘They were outsiders.’ 

The mayor described the individuals as outside agitators who came to town after the protest began.

‘As time went on, the protest began to attract people from the outside,’ he said. ‘They were starting to attract the undesirable element. The people who were actually involved in the arrests were not part of the blockade group. They were outsiders.’

Police themselves say that the individuals charged were a ‘small organized group within the larger Coutts protest’ and a ‘small segment of the protest’ with a ‘militant mindset’.  

Anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators leave in a truck convoy after blocking the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta on Tuesday

Anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators leave in a truck convoy after blocking the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta on Tuesday

One of the four charged with plotting to kill Mounties in Alberta, Lysak, has ties to a right-wing Canadian movement dubbed ‘Diagolon’ and faces an additional charge of uttering threats. 

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network dubs Diagolon ‘a network of far-right accelerationist survivalists’ and says that Lysak was once called the ‘head of security for Diagolon’. 

Diagolon founder Jeremy MacKenzie, who podcasts under the moniker ‘Raging Dissident’, issued a video statement in response to images showing the symbol of his movement on body armor seized in the Coutts raid, in which 13 long guns and multiple handguns were recovered by Mounties.

‘I have no idea where those came from, who those belong to, who put them there, who brought them there — did the police put them there?’ said MacKenzie of the Diagolon symbol, a diagonal white band on a black field. 

MacKenzie claims his movement was conceived as a joke while ‘pretty stoned on edible marijuana’ and that the name and symbol represent a diagonal swathe from Alaska to Florida, across Canada and the US, of states and provinces that oppose mandates and other pandemic restrictions.

Symbols of the 'Diagolon' movement were found on the body armor seized in Coutts on Monday. The movement's founder claims the police might have planted his flag on the seized material to incriminate his cause

Symbols of the ‘Diagolon’ movement were found on the body armor seized in Coutts on Monday. The movement’s founder claims the police might have planted his flag on the seized material to incriminate his cause 

Facing lesser charges in connection with the Coutts raid are: Luke Berk, 62; Joanne Person, 62; Johnson Law, 39; Jaclyne Martin, 39; Evan Colenutt, 23; Ursula Allred, 22; Justin Martin, 22; Eastin Stewart Oler, 22; and Janx Zaremba, 18. 

They are charged with mischief and unlawful weapons offences in relation to the blockade, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

‘Monday’s weapons seizure and subsequent arrests speak to the serious criminal activities taking place during this protest and illegal blockade,’ said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablock in a statement.

‘The dangerous, criminal activity occurring away from the TV cameras and social media posts was real and organized, and it could have been deadly for citizens, protesters and officers,’ he added. 

Johnson Law, 39

Johnson Law, 39

Johnson Law, 39, was among those arrested on lesser charges of mischief and unlawful weapons offences in relation to the blockade in Coutts, Alberta

Police vehicles look out over a an empty highway after anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators left following their blockade of the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, Tuesday

Police vehicles look out over a an empty highway after anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators left following their blockade of the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, Tuesday

Anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators leave in a truck convoy after blocking the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, Tuesday

Anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators leave in a truck convoy after blocking the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, Tuesday

Meanwhile, following the resignation of Ottawa’s police chief, Trudeau’s government is considering imposing ‘no-go’ zones in the nation’s capital using special powers under the Emergencies Act. 

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said at a news conference that the action could include declaring ‘certain zones that are adjacent to critical infrastructure like borders, like our national symbols including legislatures, like war monuments … as a no-go zone,’

The Freedom Convoy, a trucker-led movement calling on the government to lift vaccine mandates, is largely based in Ottawa, where parts of the country’s capital city have been occupied by protestors since late January.

The convoy also blocked US border crossings, including a key trade route into Detroit that was cleared by police last weekend.

Now, the only remaining blockade is in Emerson, Manitoba, but the RCMP says that blockade is expected to end peacefully on Wednesday.

In a written statement Tuesday, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson and Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen thanked law enforcement in the province for ‘respectfully de-escalating this situation without the use of force.’ 

They also called on the federal government in Ottawa to work toward lifting border restrictions, including the vaccine mandate for truckers that inspired the protests across Canada. 

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