Online conspiracist Romana Didulo — infamous for burning a Canadian flag during Ottawa’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ and encouraging her supporters to arrest police officers — has established a base on Landslide Road this weekend
One of the most recognized names in the online conspiracy group QAnon is believed to be in Sault Ste. Marie this weekend.
Proclaiming herself as the “Queen of Canada,” Romana Didulo and several of her supporters have set up a fenced-in base on Landslide Road near the corner of Fish Hatchery Road within the last 48 hours.
Didulo’s rise in the far-right QAnon movement peaked during the pandemic when her followers began handing out cease-and-desist letters across Canada on her behalf, demanding an end to all COVID-related restrictions.
The self-proclaimed queen has even called on her followers to execute healthcare workers, politicians, and other dignitaries who support the vaccine.
She has also issued “decrees” that she claims cancel people’s debts. As a result, some followers have had their water or electricity shut off — or lost their homes.
In January 2022, Didulo was recorded burning a Canadian flag on Parliament Hill during the so-called Freedom Convoy rally in Ottawa.
Last summer, her followers made national headlines after they attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of police officers in Peterborough.
In response to the incident, Diane Therrien, the city’s mayor, became a household name when she responded to the visitors with a viral tweet: “F**k off, you f**kwads.”
Since then, her 40,000+ Telegram supporters have been following her as she travels from small town to small town.
SooToday contacted the owner of the Landslide Road property where Didulo’s team has assembled, but he was unable to provide details about what the group will be doing in the Sault or how long they’ll be staying here.
The temporary fence on Landslide Road has generated plenty of social media chatter by neighbours and other residents around town. Some are concerned about how long the visitors will be staying.
Christine Sarteschi, a professor of social work and criminology at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, has closely studied Didulo and her group since the QAnon movement took off several years ago.
“She has a pretty big following if you compare her to other conspiracy theorists — and they’re very devoted,” she says. “They believe in her decree so strongly, but she’s hurting people with these things and telling people things that aren’t true, and they’re responding accordingly.”
“There are some really diehard followers who in the last couple of weeks have been sending out her decrees all over Canada to all the courts.”
Sarteschi believes Didulo has upwards of a 10-person crew who lives with her in the group’s travelling RV, holding meet and greets once every two to three weeks.
“They’re very secretive about their location because there’s another group of people who are ex-followers — a very small group — who have been showing up there with horns,” she says. “They’re really trying to be low-key about their locations.”
The Chatham University professor says these events will usually include a self-righteous speech from Didulo, followed by handing out awards to people within their movement for special things they’ve done.
“I expect a lot of that will be the same [in the Sault],” she says. “They’ll send special invitations for people who they call their ‘city coordinators.’ Usually it’s around 20 people, maybe more – it depends. They’ll have a picnic and will play music. She even has her own theme song that will play over and over.”
SooToday will update this story as more information becomes available.