Harold Ristau, a respected veteran and theology professor from Canada, has relocated his family to Kenya in response to his home government’s decision to enforce stringent measures against those who participated in a protest where he led prayers and sang the national anthem. The protest, known as the “trucker convoy,” was against pandemic lockdowns last February. Ristau is now involved in a legal case asserting that the government’s countermeasures to the Covid crisis, which included labeling dissent as terrorism, infringe on Canadian citizens’ fundamental rights.
Marty Moore, a legal representative from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which handles Ristau’s case, confirmed that the legal battle isn’t over.
Ristau claims that as a consequence of peacefully assembling to express his grievances to the government for just one day, he was threatened with the revocation of his security clearance and government seizure of his retirement savings, children’s education funds, and other life savings. He also alleges that his reputation, professional life, and friendships have suffered dramatically due to the government’s anti-terrorism measures against non-violent demonstrators.
In a recent video interview from Kenya, Elise Ristau, Harold’s wife, expressed the couple’s openness to relocate. “In the event of another pandemic, there’s no assurance against future mandates,” she explained. In addition to the burdensome health regulations, the Ristau children were subjected to ridicule at school due to their family’s religious and political beliefs, according to Elise.
After experiencing over two years of harsh societal and government oppression, the Ristau family moved near Nairobi, Kenya, with their five children last August. Harold Ristau expressed uncertainty about returning and practicing his Christian faith in Canada. In Kenya, Ristau, a former chaplain with a Ph.D. in philosophy, now mentors Kenyan pastors at the Lutheran School of Theology.
The practice of “debanking” as a punitive measure against dissent is reportedly rising in Western countries. According to Moore, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has applied this tactic to virtually every participant in the convoy protest who could be identified.
“Upon identifying a protester in Ottawa, their bank account was immediately frozen,” Moore revealed to The Federalist. “The federal government worked in unison with the banks, providing them with the names of the protesters. Subsequently, the banks were compelled to freeze the accounts of anyone bearing those names. This account freezing represented an example of autocratic cooperation.”
Conservative political figures in the UK, including Brexit champion Nigel Farage, have recently announced that their banking accounts were closed due to their political ideologies.
In the United States, whistleblowers unveiled in May that the FBI had procured a substantial amount of private banking data about citizens without requisite warrants during its investigation into the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. According to whistleblower testimony, the investigators targeted any American who legally purchased a firearm using a Bank of America account dating back to the 1990s.