Many thanks to everyone else who’s been keeping tabs on this group and all your help!
Freedom Keepers are an anti-vaccination group primarily based in the United States that liken their opposition to vaccinating their children to the Civil Rights movement. With COVID-19 they have morphed into a general anti-lockdown movement and now, it seems, they are fed up with facemasks as well.
The Facebook group originally had this anti-Semitic and anti-Black cover photo.
Sudbury Freedom Keepers have existed since early July and in the beginning were comprised mainly of well-to-do white women, mirroring their counterparts south of the border. This has since changed a bit, as the rest of the local far-right found out about them and hopped on board, but the actual organizing still appears to be dominated by white, middle-class white women.
Group rules are the closest thing they have to a real platform or mandate.
Conspiracy theory and cult Q-Anon has been a major fixture of them since the beginning. Many of the group’s early members were individuals we had already encountered when we were researching Q-Anon spread locally. As we cannot find any real ties to the group of the same name in the United States and there are so many members who are Q-Anon believers; we believe it is also pretty accurate to think of the Sudbury Freedom Keepers as a spinoff of Q-Anon.
We included some links about Q-Anon in our last piece on it, but here’s a few more recent ones:
- Was the Identity of Q Really Just Revealed
- The Men Behind Q-Anon
- This yoga instructor is fighting the rise of QAnon in the wellness community
- Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare”
- QAnon – A Statement from KidSafe Foundation
- QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded
- Compiled resources for Qult recovery
Their first event was organized at the last minute so as to participate in the “March To Unmask” called for by an anti-lockdown group out west. It was hampered by short notice and poor weather. Some members also expressed concerns that were dismissed by organizers.
The two organizers of that rally were Tena Jones (Zena Crozzoli) and Sandie Gascon. Prior to all this freedom keeping nonsense Tena Jones was most known for running the Sudbury Craft & Gift Show that occurs annually at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. Sandie Gascon runs a bizarre new-age counselling business called Motivated2Heal.
Conspiracy theories posted in the group are outlandish as well as sometimes Islamophobic and anti-Semitic.
They use extremely offensive metaphors comparing the wearing of masks to the Holocaust and chattel slavery.
Self-proclaimed leader Tena Jones has a lot to say about BLM and Antifa.
They have indicated that they plan to protest at government buildings and the Health Unit. They also want to set up disinformation stations outside of stores.
The prospects for changing their views to more sensible ones through good faith dialogue and education have been shown to be very bleak. They are militantly irrational and like to claim that their positions are backed by higher authority.
They claim to be proselytizing and winning converts around town, though there is reason to treat their accounts with some skepticism.
They have also been going to stores and bothering retail employees.
Their next big public appearance occured on September 22nd. The primary organizers of this event appear to have been Tena Jones (again) and Lizanne Leclair, who runs a new-age joint on Elgin St. called Vere Golden Journey.
Photos from the event show that Lizanne Leclair was indeed the woman who brought a Q-Anon sign.
Tena Jones made headlines again by accosting a Sudbury.com reporter, though the outlet chose not to name Tena or the Freedom Keepers.
Other local characters of note at the rally included Yellow Vest JR Demellweek and conspiracy theorist Michel Deschamps.
The Freedom Keepers have since responded to Sudbury.com, calling them liars and saying the fact that Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) were on scene and did not intervene or follow up shows they did nothing wrong.
Sudbury Freedom Keepers also announced their next rally, which would take place on Sept. 27th.
At the same time all this was going on, anti-maskers here in Sudbury targeted DiGusto’s restaurant on Regent St. and harassed them to the point where they deleted their own Facebook page.
The rally on Sept. 26th received no media coverage, possibly because they had just attacked the media at their previous event. It was attended by the usual suspects like Tena Jones and JR Demellweek. A mysterious man dressed head to toe in red screamed a lot, overshadowing most of the other attendees.
Here’s some more video taken by a passerby and shared with permission.
One Freedom Keeper, a yoga instructor named Jennifer Dodd (Jenuine), also attended another anti-mask demonstration in Toronto the previous day.
Their next rally on October 4th at the Four Corners was fairly well attended with about sixteen people there at it’s height.
Here’s some notes from eyewitnesses:
We can’t emphasize enough that this group are essentially a cult and people are going to get hurt if it isn’t stopped quickly. If someone you know has fallen prey to them or to Q-Anon, we suggest checking out this resource.