Freedom Convoy organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber wait for the Public Order Emergency Commission to begin, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

‘Freedom Convoy’ came together organically, organizer testifies

“Freedom Convoy” organizer Chris Barber says the initial purpose of the protest was to get the federal government to listen to truck drivers’ concerns about cross-border COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Barber, 47, is the first of several organizers who will take the witness stand at the public inquiry investigating the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act.

Barber runs his own trucking company in Swift Current, Sask., and was greeted with a smattering of applause from spectators in the room.

He says he was contacted by a fellow truck driver, Brigitte Belton, about organizing some kind of protest against the mandates for truck drivers who cross the border between the United States and Canada.

After that, he says the plans came together organically and quickly through social media.

Within two weeks, thousands of trucks and protesters arrived in downtown Ottawa, where they ultimately blockaded city streets for nearly a month.

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