Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich has tearfully said she expects to be hauled off to jail today – as truckers occupying downtown Ottawa await the looming police crackdown.
Lich, a former fitness instructor from Saskatchewan, cried openly as she addressed the movement’s supporters in emotional video shared Wednesday evening.
‘There’s a pretty good chance – well I think it’s inevitable at this point – but, er, I’ll probably be going somewhere tomorrow (Thursday) where I’ll be getting three square meals a day. And that’s OK,’ she said.
‘I’m OK with that. And I want you to know that I am not afraid.’ Putting her head in her hands, she added: ‘I’ll probably get some sleep finally.’
Lich, who has been in Ottawa during the ongoing Covid vaccine demonstrations, is the president of the Freedom Convoy 2022 movement and has been a mysterious figure who typically refuses media interviews.
Her video appeared almost as a farewell message, while imploring other activists and the truckers to continue their battle.
Freedom Convoy 2022 president Tamara Lich shared an emotional video Thursday night admitting that she expects to be hauled off to jail on Thursday
Lich – seen speaking to police liaison officers last week – is a prominent fundraiser and organizer of the ongoing Ottawa protests and has demanded an end to all state-of-emergency declarations, vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions
She called on supporters to swamp Ottawa again this weekend, after the previous weekend turned into a massive rally and party attracting more than 4,000 people.
Lich, either crying openly or fighting back tears, even had kind words for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during her 13-minute video, posted on YouTube.
It was recorded after police handed out leaflets to truckers blockading Ottawa’s downtown saying they must leave the area immediately or face arrest.
This followed Trudeau invoking the Emergencies Act, which hand him draconian new powers.
Lich began: ‘It’s been quite a day. Not really sure where to start.
‘I really wanted to get up on stage before everything happened here and send a message out but I think I can do it here and it’ll probably even reach more people.
‘This has been a crazy ride. Really crazy ride.
‘And I think in one of my first videos I said how proud I was of all of all.’ Breaking down she continued: ‘So proud of you.
‘You have come together in a way that I have never seen before.
‘I just wanted to come on again and say first of all thank you. Second of all to say, please that love in your heart. Don’t give in.’
In a tearful message, Lich urged truckers and Freedom Convoy supporters to continue their battle but reminded them to ‘be kind’ and ‘show respect’ for police
On Wednesday Ottawa cops began dishing out leaflets to truckers occupying the city’s downtown core demanding they leave immediately
And on Trudeau, she said: ‘I know there is a lot of anger at our government, but I want you to know that Justin Trudeau has three beautiful children.
‘So remember that.’ Looking down with tears in her eyes again, she added: ‘We don’t like what he does but I’m going to ask you to pray for him too.
Lich had kind words for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and reminded supporters that he has ‘three beautiful children’
‘And I’m going to ask you, when you fly a f*** Trudeau sign. That [you remember] he has three kids, just like me.’
Confronting her emotions, she said: ‘And so the tears that I cry aren’t tears of sadness. They are tears that what has happened and what is transpiring against my fellow Canadians breaks my heart.
‘It is breaking my heart.
‘You guys I just want you to stay strong. And I want you to continue to be unified and spread the love. I have to ask you, I have seen people.. I can’t tell you what to do. When you see the reporters in the streets, be kind and show them love…
‘Show respect to them. Show respect to our police officers. A lot of these men and women… are probably just trying to feed their families.’
Lich was philosophical at the end, saying: ‘So tomorrow is a new day. And I’m ready. I am not afraid. And we’re going to hold the line.’
Truck horns were blaring early in Ottawa Thursday as drivers braced themselves for police moving in to clear their rigs and possibly arrest them.
Canada’s CTV news station have broadcast a video of what appears to be a police staging area in a parking lot near Ottawa airport.
The flyer read: ‘You must leave the area now. Anyone blocking the streets, or assisting others in blocking the streets, are committing a criminal offence and you may be arrested’
Some of the truckers handed the notices ripped them up while others handed them back to officers. One told a cop: ‘Take your garbage back’
Punishment for protesters may include a ban from entering the U.S., forfeiting of a commercial driver’s license, seizure of property and arrest
Ontario Provincial Police officers walk in front of the ongoing trucker blockade protest in Ottawa, Thursday
Ottawa’s interim police chief Steve Bell cranked up the pressure on the truckers by vowing: ‘We going to take back the entirety of the downtown core and every occupied space.
‘We are going to remove this unlawful protest. We will return our city to a state of normalcy.’
He added to a meeting of Ottawa city council on Wednesday night: ‘Some of the techniques we are lawfully able and prepared to use are not what we are used to seeing in Ottawa. But we are prepared to use them where necessary to bring about the safest outcome and restore order.’
On Thursday morning, there were visibly more cops on the streets than previous days in a sign that action could be imminent.
The previous day officers were seen dishing out leaflets to truckers occupying the city’s downtown core demanding they leave immediately.
The operation began around 10am local time around the crucial Parliament Buildings area of the blockade.
The flyer read: ‘You must leave the area now. Anyone blocking the streets, or assisting others in blocking the streets, are committing a criminal offence and you may be arrested.
‘You must immediately cease further unlawful activity or you will face charges… The people of Ottawa are being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property and you are causing businesses to close. That is mischief under the Criminal Code.’
Some of the truckers handed ripped the notices ripped up while others handed them back to officers. One told a cop: ‘Take your garbage back.’
This comes as DailyMail.com was given an exclusive tour of one of the Freedom Convoy camps, officially known as Base Camp 3, Coventry 302.
Truck horns were blaring early in Ottawa Thursday as drivers braced themselves for police moving in to clear their rigs and possibly arrest them
Lich, seen during a news conference on February 3, previously stated that the convoy’s departure ‘will be based on the prime minister doing what is right’
The base camp a tented nerve center in the operation to maintain the crippling truck-blockade occupation of downtown Ottawa.
Spreading over a baseball stadium’s four-acre parking lot three miles from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, it is largely shielded from a busy road by big rigs and pick-up trucks.
Mounds of snow also give the staging area some cover from prying eyes.
And it’s fair to say what goes on at the burgeoning tent city has been the subject of speculation since its first makeshift structures appeared on January 29.
However DailyMail.com can now reveal details of the massive operation being carried out there after being given an exclusive tour of the camp by officials.
As well as an office for crucial planning, the camp also provides massive logistical support to the truckers and volunteers 24/7.