A Canadian pastor who has been arrested three times during the past five weeks for protesting drag queen story events for children spent Easter weekend behind bars for alleged hate speech.
The Rev. Derek Reimer, 36, was arrested on outstanding warrants last week while protesting near a drag story time event, according to the CBC. He now faces eight new charges, including criminal harassment, causing a disturbance and breaching his release conditions.
The Calgary police confirmed to the CBC that the charges are being investigated as hate-motivated.
Reimer, who is the pastor of the street church ministry Mission 7, was first arrested after a Feb. 25 incident during which several men physically tossed him out of Seton Library in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for protesting a Reading with Royalty event that was put on by the Calgary Public Library and featured local drag performers reading to children.
He was arrested a second time on March 15 in a parking lot across the street from Signal Hill Library in Calgary, video of which shows police cuffing him and dragging him across the asphalt before hauling him away in a police vehicle. He was charged with breaching a release order that prohibited him from communicating with self-identified LGBTQ people or being within 200 meters of events involving the LGBTQ community.
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Derek Reimer, 36, was arrested and charged last month with one count of breaching a release order that prohibited him from being within 200 meters of events involving the LGBTQ community. (Courtesy Nathaniel Pawlowski)
Reimer’s most recent arrest took place after he allegedly caused a disturbance and engaged in criminal harassment during a Reading with Royalty event at the Country Hills Library in Calgary.
Police said Reimer showed up with a microphone and shouted hate speech at event participants, according to the CBC. When the pastor reportedly entered the library and requested to speak with a manager, he allegedly made derogatory comments, engaged in hate speech and harassed the manager and staff, leaving them feeling concerned for their safety.
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A drag queen story hour is held at the West Valley Regional Branch Library on July 26, 2019, in Los Angeles. (David McNew / Getty Images)
Reimer was also charged with causing a disturbance last Sunday outside the Saddletown Library, where police reportedly recorded him shouting things with a microphone that offended participants at the drag queen story time.
Shortly after Reimer’s first arrest, the Calgary City Council passed the Safe and Inclusive Access Bylaw, which prohibits protests within 100 meters of a recreation facility or library entrance. The council also modified its public behavior bylaw to include the term “intimidation,” according to the CBC.
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The Rev. Artur Pawlowski, who knows Reimer and made international headlines himself when he was repeatedly arrested and jailed for keeping his Calgary church open during the pandemic, told Fox News Digital that Reimer’s arrests indicate the government’s “open hatred toward Christianity.”
Since drag queen events involving children have sprung up in Calgary, Pawlowski said Reimer “decided he felt that God is calling him to expose that, to stand against that.”
The Rev. Artur Pawlowski, who was arrested and jailed multiple times for keeping his church open during the pandemic, said Reimer’s arrests indicate the government’s “open hatred toward Christianity.” (Artur Pawlowski)
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“I’ve warned Canadians for a very long time – and I’m warning Americans as well – that you will be ruled by what you tolerate,” Pawlowski said. “If you tolerate corruption, you will be ruled by corruption. If you tolerate perversion, you will eventually be ruled by perversion.”