Poilievre responds to threats made against his wife by far-right extremist
Pierre Poilievre promoted far-right conspiracy theories and messages during his leadership campaign, but he has now found himself the target of those same extremists he once courted.
Content warning: The following contains alleged threats of sexual assault. Please proceed with caution and care. If you require support, there are resources available.
Pierre Poilievre is calling on the RCMP to investigate after threats of sexual assault were made against his wife by members of the Diagolon movement.
Diagolon is a far-right accelerationist movement whose members have called for violent attacks against members of the medical profession and some of which were also involved in an alleged attempt to murder RCMP officers during the blockade in Coutts, AB, this past winter.
Their purported leader, Jeremy MacKenzie, made an explicit threat to sexually assault Pierre Poilievre’s wife Anaida during a conversation streamed on Telegram with fellow Diagolon leader Alex Vriend.
“Let’s rape her,” MacKenzie said. “It’s not really a sex thing. It’s like we just want to show people that we can do things to you if we want to. It’s a power move.”
Poilievre released a statement on Monday, September 26 denouncing MacKenzie and Diagolon as “dirtbags” and “losers.”
Statement from the Hon. Pierre Poilievre pic.twitter.com/LekmhiLbUa
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) September 26, 2022
Poilievre’s complicated relationship with the far-right
This however, was not Poilievre’s first encounter with Diagolon and MacKenzie in the past few months.
In late August, Poilievre was photographed with MacKenzie at a campaign event.
When the photo began to circulate on social media, Poilievre refused to denounce MacKenzie directly.
“As I always have, I denounce racism and anyone who spreads it,” Poilievre said at that time before deflecting by pointing to what he called ‘Justin Trudeau’s many racist outbursts.’
Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian AntiHate Network, spoke to rabble back in August. He believed Poilievre’s refusal to reject Diagolon at that time as dangerous.
“Is this somebody that a future leader of the opposition and a potential prime minister wants to be seen having common cause with? I ask the question rhetorically, obviously he does,” Farber said. “I mean, he’s not chosen at this point to in any way discredit him or say ‘I will have nothing to do with him’ and you’re left to make your own conclusions. You have no choice because this is important.”
For their part, Farber explained that members of Diagolon view Poilievre as a potential fellow traveller through whom they can parley legitimacy.
“I think Poilievre is seen by Mackenzie as their path into the political mainstream of Canada,” he said. “It wouldn’t at all surprise me if they believe that Poilievre embraces their views, or at least embraces some of their views.”
In an interview with The Canadian Press MacKenzie stated he was drinking alcohol during the course of the video where he threatened Poilievre’s wife with sexual assault. He claimed that he did not really intend to do her any harm.
Who is Jeremy MacKenzie and what is Diagolon?
In an interview on Monday with the CBC, Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University, explained how Diagolon is a movement seeking to establish a white-nationalist state running diagonally from Alaska through Canada to the southern United States.
While Diagolon lacks concrete plans to achieve their goals, Perry explained that they do use violent messaging and imagery to accelerate what they believe is a civil war against white people. Some Diagolon followers are adherents to the “white replacement” conspiracy theory.
The RCMP stated that they will be investigating the alleged threats made by MacKenzie toward’s Poilievre’s wife.
MacKenzie has been charged with allegedly harassing a medical professional in N.S., and is facing weapons charges in Sask.
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Nick Seebruch has been the editor of rabble.ca since April 2022.
He believes that fearless independent journalism is key for the survival of a healthy democracy. An OCNA award-winning journalist, for…
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