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The public face of the protests in Canada is a former leader of a separatist party

She’s a former gym instructor who sang and played guitar in a band called “Blind Mondays” in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She is a senior member of a small party supported Canada’s western provinces to secede from the country.

And now Tamara Lich, 47, has emerged as a public face and most visible leader of the convoy of trucks against the restrictions of the pandemic that rocked the nation’s capital, rocked the country, and prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take the drastic step of announcing state of emergency of national public order.

Ms. Lich speaks publicly in measured tones, and has become adept at deploying social media – and her Twitter feed – to amplify protesters’ grievances.

At a press conference at the Sheraton Ottawa hotel on Monday, which was opened for the first time to media other than conservative news outlets, there was an inviting atmosphere in a room that rang out. with the constant coughing of dozens of supporters without masks. .

Wearing or not wearing a mask has become a powerful political statement during the protests, and some Ottawa residents have complained of being taunted by protesters.

“Some of you may object to our grievances,” Lich said in front of a television camera. Like other members of the movement, she does not wear a mask. “However, a democratic society will always have significant disagreements and dissidents,” she added.

Jay Hill, interim leader of the Maverick Party, a small center-right group based in Calgary, Alberta, created to promote division of Canada. three westerns Provinces of Prairie from the rest of the country. Lich, who previously worked in the energy sector, has a deep relationship with the group.

Even before the convoy assembled, its message was a preoccupation with Ms. Lich, according to Mr. Hill, who said she called him several times even before arriving in Ottawa to strategize.

he said. “Tamara understands that well.”

Ms. Lich played a leading role in organizing the GoFundMe campaign for the protests which raised $7.8 million before the crowdfunding site closed after receiving a “police report of violence and other illegal activities,” GoFundMe said.

BJ Dichter, an official spokesman for the convoy, said he joined the effort after Ms. Lich sought help managing the large amount of donations pouring into the GoFundMe page. Mr. Dichter has a history of shooting anti-Muslim views and once said that “political Islam” is “corrupting our society like syphilis”. He has denied the claims of racism.

According to the top members of the group, in the tightly managed ground operations of the occupiers, there were military hallmarks, outlined and carried out by some higher level, who had roots in the armed forces and law enforcement, according to top members of the group.

Their organization consisted of overseeing each street occupied by a person known as a road captain, with areas divided and overseen by block captains operating below them.

Before becoming the prominent face of the protests, Ms. Lich was a personal trainer at Medicine Hat, a town that was once dubbed “Hell’s Basement” by Rudyard Kipling because of its location at the top. Huge natural gas field.

Zach Smithson, an employee at Body Building Depot Fitness Emporium, where Ms. Lich used to work, said she had become the talk of the town.

“I think we are all very proud of her,” he said.

Lich did not answer calls and texts requesting an interview.

“I am Jewish,” he said to journalist Rupa Subramanya. “I have family in mass graves in Europe. And obviously I’m a white supremacist.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/16/world/canada/tamara-lich-canada-protests-organizer.html The public face of the protests in Canada is a former leader of a separatist party

Fry Electronics Team

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