Public inquiry hears about divisions within ‘Freedom Convoy’ leadership

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One of the primary spokespeople for the self-described “Freedom Convoy” says he didn’t agree with a proposed deal, struck between organizers and town of Ottawa, that will have seen truckers transfer their autos out of residential areas.

Benjamin Dichter was on the stand Thursday on the Public Order Emergency Commission, the general public inquiry tasked with investigating the federal authorities’s use of the Emergencies Act to finish the weeks-long occupation of downtown Ottawa by folks protesting pandemic measures final winter.

He stated he got here to the capital metropolis in January on the invitation of Tamara Lich, one of many organizers of the “Freedom Convoy,” to be a spokesperson for the protesters.

But he was not on the identical web page as Lich about putting a cope with town.

On Feb. 12, Lich exchanged letters with then-mayor Jim Watson, discussing an settlement that will see the truckers transfer their autos away from residential streets.

Dichter stated he didn’t assume the negotiations ought to be occurring as a result of they have been co-ordinated partially by Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s former chief of employees.

Tamara Lich attends the Public Order Emergency Commission in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov 3, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“These are the types of issues that have been inflicting a lot nervousness and division,” Dichter stated.

Dichter stated he joined the protests with a purpose of ending pandemic-related mandates and spreading a message of “peace, love, freedom and unity.”

But he stated he ended up in battle with different organizers over messaging.

Two different protest organizers, Lich and James Bauder, are additionally scheduled to look earlier than the fee Thursday, which is holding public hearings till Nov. 25.

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