Police 'aware' of paramilitary Guardians of Humanity, not working with them | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
Subscribe

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Partly Cloudy  17.1°C

Kelowna News

Police 'aware' of paramilitary Guardians of Humanity, not working with them

Marcus Ray from an Instagram video at the Freedom trucker rally in Ottawa in 2022.
Image Credit: Instagram

Kelowna RCMP says it’s aware that a paramilitary group is organizing in Beaverdell, but so far sees no need for action.

After several weeks seeking comment from the RCMP about the Guardians of Humanity, Cpl. Michael Gauthier, spokesperson for Kelowna RCMP, said the organization needs to stay in its lane.

“While the intentions of such groups are not illegal, they are cautioned against any actions which may overstep legal boundaries,” he said in an emailed statement.

Guardians of Humanity started organizing in Kelowna and bringing members to a training facility south of the city.

Last month, four members dressed in crested uniforms, anti-stab vests and two carrying handcuffs, appeared at a political rally.

‘Commander’ Marcus Ray told iNFOnews.ca the group was training to be first responders, learning fire suppression, search and rescue and security. He said they are preparing because they expect emergency responders will need them.

READ MORE: 'Guardians of Humanity' training in Kelowna for when 'hell breaks loose'

Team leader Marcus Ray, in Guardians of Humanity uniform. He says the group isn't active yet and won't be for another year when they are officially trained.
Team leader Marcus Ray, in Guardians of Humanity uniform. He says the group isn't active yet and won't be for another year when they are officially trained.

"The way we see it is we think within five years all hell is going to break loose,” team leader Marcus Ray told iNFOnews.ca. “Like, riots in the streets. And we believe that law enforcement is going to need a helping hand.”

But so far, police don’t appear to be receptive.

“The RCMP acknowledges the public's desire for safety and the proactive stance taken by groups like the Guardians of Humanity,” Gauthier said. “The RCMP is aware of this group; However, is not working alongside them in any official capacity.”

Ray said they had dozens of members in training and hundreds more expressing interest. They are considering expanding into Alberta.

Ray was drummed out of the “freedom” movement for being too extreme and other organizations said his calls for violence and antagonism by arranging protests at RCMP sites across the country.

Ray says he left the movement after he was visited by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, known as INSET, in late June 2022.

“I was taken in and reprimanded and everything else,” he said. “You didn’t hear a peep out of me after that.”

But the local RCMP says they weren’t informed by the group about their activities, despite what Ray told iNFOnews.ca.

READ MORE: Paramilitary organizer in Kelowna was too extreme for freedom movement

The Guardians of Humanity at a BC Town Halls political rally in Kelowna, March 14.
The Guardians of Humanity at a BC Town Halls political rally in Kelowna, March 14.

“It remains unclear which RCMP representative Marcus Ray reached out to inform us about their training activities and when and where he worked with us in a “limited capacity,” Gauthier said.

He also acknowledged some concerns about their methods so far.

“The use of uniforms resembling official law enforcement will likely cause confusion, potentially leading to unintended consequences,” Gauthier said. “Each of our officers take their job seriously and want the best outcome for the communities they serve. Community members are encouraged to report suspicious activities legally and safely.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024
iNFOnews

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile