MONTREAL – A 34-year-old man was arrested in connection with an incident in May when members of a nationalist, far-right group stormed the Montreal newsroom of Vice Quebec, police said Tuesday.
Montreal police spokeswoman Veronique Dubuc said the suspect is facing charges of breaking and entering, mischief, criminal harassment and intimidation.
The man was arrested in Quebec City Monday at the behest of the Montreal police and released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
Dubuc said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible.
Philippe Gohier, Vice Quebec’s editor-in-chief, said in an interview the person arrested was Raphael Levesque, whom he described as a leader of anti-immigrant group, Atalante.
Gohier said Levesque was the only protester who wasn’t masked when about six members of Atalante gained entry to Vice’s newsroom on May 23 in an apparent effort to intimidate journalists.
Vice Quebec reported after the incident the protesters dumped clown noses on the floor, threw leaflets, and awarded a journalist a trophy for working with a “garbage” media organization.
Since then, Gohier said his news team has focused on reporting about the right-wing group’s “dangerous and anti-democratic” discourse, rather than the police investigation.
“To decide whether what they’re doing is criminal or not, that’s not really of interest to us,” he said, adding Vice Quebec hasn’t received any further messages from the group.
Atalante’s actions drew condemnation by Quebec’s federation of journalists and Premier Philippe Couillard, who both denounced it as a form of intimidation.