At a press conference at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel on Monday, open to media other than the conservative-leaning media for one of the first times, there was an air of gravity in a room that echoed with the constant coughing of dozens of supporters without masks.
“Some of you might take issue with our grievances,” Tamara Lich, one of the most visible group leaders, told TV cameras. “However, democratic society will always have non-trivial disagreements and righteous dissenters.”
But when TV reporter Glen McGregor asked about a large arms cache found that day at a protest in Alberta, others in the conference room became furious, shoving the journalist and calling for his expulsion shouting “how dare you!” as Mr McGregor and his TV crew fled down the street. Tom Marazzo, a spokesman, then defended the action.
What messaging discipline exists comes from the first public face of the effort, Ms Lich, said Jay Hill, the interim leader of the Maverick party, a small right-wing center group based in Calgary, Alberta, created to promote separation of the three prairie provinces of western Canada from the rest of the country. Ms. Lich has deep ties to the group.
Even before the convoy assembled, his messaging was Ms. Lich’s concern, according to Mr. Hill, who says he called him several times before he even arrived in Ottawa to strategize.
“We had a number of discussions about maintaining the message, about the need in this modern political world to have a very clearly defined, understandable and simple message, a message that people can grasp and use,” said he declared. noted. “Tamara clearly understands that.”
Ms Lich was instrumental in organizing a GoFundMe campaign for the protests which raised $7.8 million before the crowdfunding site shut it down after receiving “police reports reporting violence and other illegal activities,” GoFundMe said.