“I said: ‘This is my house, not yours.’ - Alberta senior fights to reclaim her rental unit from Freeman who declared it an embassy
An Alberta pensioner says she feels like a prisoner after her rental property was claimed as an “embassy” by a man she says identified himself as a Freemen-on-the-Land, a growing movement of so-called sovereign citizens that is raising concerns with authorities both north and south of the border.
“I am an army of one,” says Rebekah Caverhill at her home in Sylvan Lake, near Red Deer. Tears stream down her face. “I’ve been beat up so badly by people that should be helping that I don’t know where to turn.”
Caverhill rented half a duplex she owns in Calgary’s upscale Parkdale neighbourhood to a new tenant in November 2011 on the recommendation of a friend.
The renter, Andreas Pirelli, had recently moved to Calgary from Montreal and was a self-described handyman. She says he agreed to “spruce up” the property in return for three months of free rent. What she thought was a good deal soon turned into a nightmare.
A few months after Pirelli moved in, Caverhill went to inspect the work and she says she found the entire kitchen and bathroom had been gutted. All the doors inside had been removed and the floor of the master bedroom had been painted black, she says
But Caverhill quickly learned she had much bigger problems.
“He walks me to the door and he’s yelling at me, ’I’m a Freemen-on-the-Land,”’ Caverhill says.
“I said: ’This is my house, not yours.’ He said: ’No. This is an embassy house now and it’s mine and you have no rights’, so then he slams the door.” (Photo: Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press)