‘This Is the Gestapo’: Conservative Canadian Journalist Arrested for Asking Question
Canadian police have arrested a reporter for asking a question. David Menzies of Rebel News approached Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia Freeland on Monday to ask her why Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is not classified as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government. Freeland was leaving a vigil honoring the memory of 55 Canadians who were killed in 2020 after the IRGC fired surface-to-air missiles at a plane leaving Tehran. Ontario’s Superior Court at the time ruled the attack an intentional act of terrorism. All passengers aboard the flight were killed.
“How come the IRGC is not a terrorist group?” Menzies asked the deputy PM “Why is your government supporting Islamic nationalism?” Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers grabbed Menzies and slammed him bodily against a nearby partition, saying, “Sir, you’re under arrest for assault.” Menzies offered Freeland’s bodyguards his press credentials, explaining that he was just trying to ask the deputy prime minister a question. The guard stared at Menzies before saying, “Police. You’re under arrest for pushing her.” When Menzies asked what crime he’d committed, the officer changed his narrative and said the reporter was under arrest for “assaulting a police officer.”
Another officer then told Menzies that he was simply being too “aggressive” and “almost pushing people over.” When Menzies noted that he had the entire incident on video and could show that he hadn’t shoved anyone, the officer said, “There were a lot of shuffling feet.” Uniformed officers then pressed Menzies’s face against a wall and handcuffed him, saying, “Don’t resist.” The reporter cried out, “I’m just doing my job.” He then turned to the camera and said, “This is what they do to journalists. … This is now a trumped-up charge of assault, folks.” He added, “This is your Canada now, folks. This is the Gestapo taking Blackface’s orders,” referring to leftist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal. “A Canadian government that props up an Islamo-fascist regime, that’s okay,” Menzies quipped as he was being marched away. “But if you ask questions about that, that’s not okay. This is an absolute outrage.”
Pierre Poilievre, a member of parliament and the leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, condemned the arrest of Menzies, writing on Twitter, “Trudeau has divided media into two groups: those he’s bought off with bailouts and those he censors and has arrested.” Twitter owner and founder of Tesla Elon Musk also commented on the arrest, predicting that Trudeau and his Liberal Party “won’t make it past the next election.”
Members of the Conservative Party have announced their intention to launch a parliamentary investigation into Menzies’s arrest. Freeland’s treatment of the reporter has also been covered by mainstream news outlets like Fox News, the National Post, the Toronto Sun, and even left-wing government broadcaster CBC. Menzies noted, “The entire mainstream media in Canada has been bought and paid for by the Liberal government. … How can you expect somebody on the government payroll to cover the government fairly?”
The police’s treatment of Menzies is in stark contrast to their treatment of pro-Palestine protestors. For example, police brought coffee to protestors who were blocking off a bridge on Saturday. Rebel News founder, CEO, and publisher Ezra Levant vowed to take legal action against Freeland, the RCMP, and the York Regional Police for arresting Menzies.
This comes as the U.S. has seen its own increase in government-ordered censorship. Last year, the Biden administration moved to oust reporters from the press briefing room, especially conservative and independent reporters. Additionally, a series of reports — from the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, from committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and from independent journalists — have revealed the lengths to which the federal government went to silence and censor not only journalists and news outlets but everyday American citizens, especially leading up to and in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.