Convoy organizers in Ottawa considered using the “diversity map”
Text messages filed in evidence on Friday reveal discussions between Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, including about Pat King (archives).
The organizers of the convoy, which occupied the center- City of Ottawa in February, discussed the possibility of using their ties to Métis identity to play the “diversity card” as part of a strategy to control their public image and generate sympathy for their cause, suggest text messages filed in evidence by the Crown.
Messages exchanged between Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, obtained by Ottawa police and presented as evidence by the Crown at Ms. Lich's bail hearing this week, indicate how knowledgeable organizers were. stream of the optics of manifestation.
The appearance of Nazi and Confederate flags at the start of the protest as well as the convoy's connection to Pat King, who spread racist conspiracy theories, led to accusations that the convoy was sympathetic to white nationalist causes. p>
While planning the convoy, Tamara Lich and Chris Barber seemed aware that racial identity could be raised during criticism.
Tamara Lich described herself as Métis. Then, on January 20, about a week before the protesters arrived in Ottawa, Chris Barber sent him a text message telling him that his wife is also Métis.
This will work in our favor, Tamara Lich replied in English, adding that playing the diversity card works both ways lol (sic).
Editor's note: The quotes from the messages, which are included in this text, have all been translated from English.
That same day, Ms. Lich praised Mr. Barber for his podcast interview, calling him very PC, or politically correct, but also direct.
On January 22, Chris Barber told Tamara Lich that all her years of trollingon social media were going to pay off. I will shape [or spin, Editor's note] and use everything against them, he said, referring to people who criticize the convoy.
The protest against COVID-19 restrictions and the Liberal government has taken over the city center of the federal capital, with large trucks blaring their horns and blocking the streets for about three weeks.
Protesters elsewhere in the country also blocked several border crossings. All of this prompted the federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act and the police to use force to clear the crowd.
Protest by truckers: Tamara Lich remains in prison
Six new charges brought against Pat King, one of the organizers of the convoy
Ottawa protest: Chris Barber released on conditions
At Tamara Lich's bail hearing this week, Barber's lawyer Chris Barber has obtained a publication ban on court documents that show his client's cell phone communications, except those with Ms. Lich.
Chris Barber's lawyer, Diane Magas, said the Crown's report may not understand the full context or intent of the messages, and that it could be misleading or misinterpreted.
The 4,000-page document filed with the court says it contains all of the messages – which number in the thousands – found on Chris Barber's phone. This includes dozens of messages exchanged directly between him and Tamara Lich, not counting those in group chats.
Tamara Lich's attorney, Lawrence Greenspon, declined to comment on the messages outside court on Friday.
The conversations between the two seem to shed some light on their changing feelings about Pat King. The latter is known to promote the theory of the great replacement, which is based on the fear that a conspiracy is underway to replace the place of white people in society.
Before his arrest, Pat King (left) chained Facebook Live during the convoy (archives) .
Pat King is currently being held in an Ottawa jail for mischief, intimidation, obstructing police, disobeying a court order, perjury and obstructing justice. His lawyer has not yet responded to requests for comment.
On January 22, Ms. Lich wrote to Mr. Barber that they needed to have a very candid discussion with Mr. King, raising concerns about past allegations against him.
Despite these concerns, Tamara Lich also indicated that the movement needed Pat King, which seems to contradict her later statements that the convoy tried to distance themselves from him.
We need him and I don't care about his past, but it only takes one, she said. We have to control his rhetoric. Not even threatening to throw snowballs at Parliament.
I know he had problems. I have skeletons in the closet too, replied Mr. Barber.
Lawyer Keith Wilson at a press conference by truck convoy organizers in Ottawa on February 3, 2022. Behind him are Chris Barber and Tamara Lich (files).
A few days later, on January 26, Tamara Lich said that if Mr. King doesn't stop now and then, he has to go home.
Honestly, I hate doing this. I believe part of his heart is in this case for the right reasons, but he will bring this whole thing down, Ms. Lich continued.
On January 29, the day after the convoy arrived in the federal capital, Chris Barber messaged Ms. Lich about an interview with Pat King.
I'm afraid it does not put us in a bad light. Is he supposed to speak today? I am worried about what he will say, wrote Mr. Barber.
No. He does not speak. Period. We have people who will take care of him, replied Tamara Lich.
A text message from Tamara Lich to Chris Barber dated January 30 indicates that she had received a call from the command center which had a strategy to congest the city.
Can you leaving with me soon?, she asked Chris Barber. I don't want to make these decisions alone, she added.
During this period, some MPs from the Conservative Party of Canada applauded the arrival of the convoy, as the party opposed the vaccination requirements imposed by the Trudeau government for federal workers and travellers.
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Conservative MPs meet and support protesters at convoy in Ottawa (archives).
On January 31, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu posted on social media a photo of herself and her caucus colleague Candice Bergen at a restaurant with two men whom Gladu described as hard-working truck drivers in Ottawa. .
Former Conservative leader Erin O'Toole's reluctance to state a clear party position on the convoy was one of the reasons a majority of his caucus ousted him on February 2 and replaced him with Candice Bergen as interim leader of the CCP.
A few days later, Tamara Lich wrote to Chris Barber, Candace Bergen (sic) wants to meet us soon. What do you think?
Chris Barber did not answer the question directly. The next day, Tamara Lich expressed her excitement over her appearance in an American media outlet. We have to be at Fox by 6:30, she wrote to him.
Christopher Martin-Chan, spokesman for Candice Bergen, said that ultimately no meeting took place between the convoy representatives and the interim chief.
Tory MP Glen Motz had spoken with Tamara Lich and was willing to act as a liaison to get MPs to listen to her concerns. He suggested arranging a meeting with Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Christopher Martin-Chan said.
Tamara Lich and Pat King in court
For his part, Glen Motz confirmed that he spoke directly to Tamara Lich in an attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute and that he had attempted to facilitate a meeting with the ministers.
Unfortunately, after several conversations with the two ministers, they refused any resolution meeting with the organizers of the demonstration, he said, adding that, in his opinion, if the Liberal government had held this meeting, the situation would have been addressed differently.
Minister Omar Alghabra's office said it was neither appropriate nor responsible to Canadians to meet with people who blocked our borders, harmed our economy and terrorized residents of downtown Ottawa. A spokesman for Marco Mendicino echoed those sentiments.
After the ministers refused to meet, Motz said he tried to arrange a meeting between Tamara Lich and Candice Bergen, a meeting that Ms. Lich's legal team declined, because the resolution would only be beneficial if it included the government.
Ottawa Police, with with the help of other police forces from across Canada, removed protesters from the capital in a massive operation that began on February 18.