*Trigger Warning: Transphobia, Homophobia, Islamophobia, Xenophobia, Racism, Abortion, Anti-Semitism, Threats of Violence*
On January 18th, 2022, James Bauder and Pat King went on a Livestream and promoted “Operation BearHug/ Freedom Convoy.” Bauder says that this is not a “leaderless” protest, that there was a group of “five leaders.” (1).
While there is no specific list of these leaders, the following people have claimed to be a founder or integral in making this convoy happen.
Full Transparency: There is a list of provincial organizers for the convoy on the Canada Unity website. However, there is no official list of founders of the movement. The names that I am presenting are based on my research and have the potential for bias. Please complete your own research.
Please also note that I am unsure if James Bauder counts his wife Sandra Bauder as a founder, although she did sign the M.O.U.
Founders of the Freedom Convoy
I have compiled information on each of the founder’s of the Convoy. Please click on each photo to see why they are problematic.
I created a timeline because I think that it’s pertinent to know the order of events that went into making this Freedom Convoy happen.
This movement didn’t start on January 15th when the Canadian Government imposed mandates on cross-border transportation drivers. It didn’t start on December 15th when the Canadian Government announced these mandates. It started in February of 2019 when no one knew the word “COVID.” It had absolutely nothing to do with “mandates.” It had everything to do with trying to dissolve the Canadian Government.
February 2019 – James Bauder and Patrick King protested at “United We Roll.”
February 14th, 2019– James Bauder created the “Canada Unity” Facebook page. (48)
February 27th, 2021– James Bauder made a Facebook status that said, “I’m creating a Canadian Federal Grass Roots Political Party.” (49)
March 13th, 2021– James Bauder created the Canada Unity website. (50)
August 23rd, 2021– James posted on his personal Facebook page that he would start a “Federal Unity Party” that would break from the monarch and make Canada a free and independent nation. He hoped to collect 350 signatures (out of a required 1000) to form a party. His goal was for a Spring 2022 start. (51)
August 30th, 2021– James posted on his personal Facebook page that he would start a “Convoy for Freedom.” (52)
October 1st, 2021– James Bauder, his wife Sandra, and fellow Canada Unity member Martin Broadmann penned the “Memorandum of Understanding.” (53) A document that called for the removal of the current Government unless mandates regarding COVID protocols were removed (54). The M.O.U. states that if the current Government does not meet their requests, they must be replaced and that Canada Unity will have a say in who is selected (55). The M.O.U. is the grounds for their protest. (56) See my last post for more information.
November 19th, 2021– “The government announced in November 2021 that all Canadian truckers seeking to cross the border from the United States would need to be vaccinated to avoid a 14-day quarantine.” (57).
December 10th, 2021– James Bauder sent a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding by registered mail to members of the Government. (60)
January 14th, 2022– Tamara Lich set up the “Go Fund Me” account for the Freedom Convoy. (63)
January 15th, 2022– The Canadian Government enacted the mandate requiring all cross-border transportation drivers to be fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus. (64)
January 15th, 2022– Tamara Lich invited B.J Dietcher to “come on board.” (65)
January 18th, 2022 – James Bauder went on a live stream with Pat King to promote the Canada Unity website and to announce it as the official page for “Bearhug” or “Freedom Convoy.” (66)
But if they’re racist, why have they openly denounced hatred and violence?
On the Canada Unity Website, their code of Conduct is listed as follows:
“Violence ONLY begets violence. In the event of violence, the threat of violence, disengage and inform an officer. Be kind and respectful towards you fellow Canadians & International supporters.” (67)
They also make statements denouncing hate symbols and promoting unity, love and forgiveness.
“We are working with the police and other local authorities to help ensure public safety, we ask that all individuals be on their best behaviour while spreading the message of unity, love & forgiveness. It is time to take back & heal our country for these & future generations.” (68)
“The Canada Unity Freedom Convoy Condemns ALL Hate Symbols. Individuals who are expressing messages of HATE and division are NOT members of the BearHug movement. Those individuals DO NOT represent the Values and Code of Conduct by BearHug Participants” (69)
The Founders and Organizers will state that violence and blatant acts of hatred will not be tolerated. If they deemed them permissible, they’d not only garner less support; they would also be breaking the law. (70)
So, instead of openly supporting racism, hatred, and violence, they post a P.R. statement abdicating them from the responsibility of protestors. Think of Donald Trump on January 6th. He never outright called for violence, but his protesters read between the lines of his message.
By stating that this is a “peaceful protest,” the founders will not be held liable for the protesters’ actions.
The five “founders” of this movement have demonstrated through their words, associations, and actions that they are ALL anti-government, and some have shown no regard for the rights of BIPOC, Muslim, Jewish, or LGBTQ+ people.
Thus, if this whole thing was never about truckers… and never even about vaccine mandates… what IS it about?
It was about overthrowing the Government and replacing it with members of Canada Unity (71) and replacing the current Government with, in my opinion, those who share the same hateful views.
So how do you overthrow the Government?
-A Member of Parliament must put forward a motion stating that the house has lost confidence in the current Government. (72) (This is what they’re attempting with the M.O.U)
-Once the motion is put forward, members of the House of Commons will vote on the motion. (73)
-If the vote is in favour of the motion, the Governor-General can either invite the official opposition (Conservative party in our current case) to form a new Government OR start the process of holding a new Federal election (74).
The founders of this protest, who are vocally anti-government, have stated in the M.O.U. that if their demands are not met, they call for the dissolution of the current Government. If you pair that with the fact that they have no regard for the rights of BIPOC, Muslim, Jewish, or LGBTQ+ people… it means that they are fighting for the freedom of people who think and look like they do.
Straight, white, Canadian-born citizens.
*Please do not send me the names of the few people from the communities mentioned above that do support this cause. This is called “tokenism” and is a form of bias.*
Moreover, if it was about freedom for straight, white Canadians, what does it mean to support this protest?
I want to be clear about this… You have the right to protest. You have the freedom of choice. You have bodily autonomy. Has this pandemic ruined the economy and desecrated small businesses? Absolutely. Has the mental health of countless people worldwide suffered from lockdowns? Yes. Are you a racist for supporting these things? No.
The issue does not lie within these beliefs. The issue lies within this particular protest itself.
If you are a white Canadian and still choose to support this protest, you no longer support freedom. You are condoning hatred. You (consciously or unconsciously, knowingly or ignorantly) admit that you think that YOUR rights are more important than others.
It is our duty as white Canadians to acknowledge our privilege. It is our duty to be an ally to marginalized Canadians. It is our duty to DENOUNCE hatred.
If you choose to stand up for freedom, you need to do it by standing up for ALL Canadians. And you cannot do that by supporting this protest.
Stating that “it is just a few bad apples” is not a valid excuse. This whole movement is rotten to the core. There are not “extremists latching onto the protest.” Extremists founded this protest. You have been lied to and manipulated to believe that it is about supporting rights for truckers and freedom of choice, but that is not the case.
I have seen statements saying that this is causing a great divide amongst Canadians and that there should not be an “us vs. them” mentality.
I believe it should ABSOLUTELY be “us vs. them.” Racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Xenophobia, Msyogny, and Anti-Semitism have NO place in Canada (or anywhere for that matter).
Groups Associated with the Founders
|Yellow Vests Canada||“Yellow Vest Canada, inspired by the French movement of the same name but bearing little resemblance in terms of substance, now has over 110,000 members on Facebook, and has become notorious for hateful rhetoric about immigrants, and especially Muslims.” (75) |
“The national page’s description reads: “This group is to protest the CARBON TAX and the Treason of our country’s politicians who have the audacity to sell out OUR country’s sovereignty over to the Globalist U.N. and their Tyrannical policies.” (76)
|United We Roll||Founded in 2019 by Glen Carritt, this movement aimed to eliminate carbon tax and overhaul the environmental assessment process. (77)|
Originally called “The Yellow Vest Convoy,” the “United We Roll” convoy renamed itself to distance itself from the extreme anti-immigrant views that were associated with the”Yellow Vest Canada” movement. (78).
While they might have changed the name to distance themselves from the “Yellow Vest Movement,” according to a report done by the Ottawa Citizen, about half of the protesters were wearing yellow vests. Including the co-founder. (79)
According to C.B.C. News, “A manifesto making the rounds online lists “illegal immigration” as just one of many concerns: carbon tax, pipelines, dependence on foreign oil, electoral reform, transfer payments, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and sovereignty over immigration policies.” (80)
|Pat King James Bauder|
|Wexit||“Climate Change is a movement led by the Globalists and is powerful because it is a fear-based movement using psychology rather than science or common sense.” (81)|
“The effort to reconcile relations with First Nations people, lift them out of poverty and respect treaty rights – cannot be used as a veto to shut down all necessary economic development and infrastructure projects. Allowing militant First Nations and other environmental protest groups to illegally shut down the railroad and other infrastructure cannot be allowed to continue. This is a path towards anarchy and certain violence. ” (82)
“We believe the best long term solution for the people of Western Canada [Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia] is to separate themselves from Eastern Canada in order for us to be free and to economically prosper as an independent country.” (83)
“They can’t have their Great Reset until they bring the West to its knees, and this tax will go a long way towards that goal.” (84)
|Tamara LichPat King|
|Maverick Party (formerly Wexit)||After Wexit began being associated with far-right conspiracy theories and White Nationalism; it rebranded and called itself the “Maverick Party.” (85)|
“Wexit stands for Western Canada Exit, a movement calling for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and even B.C. to leave the rest of Canada to become separate nation-states. The goal is to form a “nationalist” party in Alberta like the Bloc Quebecois while steadily working towards full separation.” (86)
The following information was copied and pasted from the Maverick Parties website:
“Maverick strives to achieve greater fairness and self-determination for western Canadians through constitutional change, or the creation of an independent nation.”
“The Maverick Party believes the current refugee policy is unsustainable, costly, and it is being consistently abused by refugees illegally entering at our borders. The statutory responsibility of Canada’s Government is to first help those in need among our own population and then prioritize genuine refugees in need. Strong legislation and enforcement are required.”
“The Maverick Party will advocate for more control over immigration to western provinces.”
“The Maverick Party supports and welcomes genuine refugees.””The Maverick Party supports a thorough review of financial commitments made to all international organizations and the United Nations with a goal of limiting our support for the United Nations regarding its’ globalization initiatives related to climate change, refugees, immigration and WHO.”
“The Maverick Party advocates that western provinces pursue greater provincial autonomy in the areas of taxation, E.I. insurance, pensions, immigration, policing, education, environment, childcare, and healthcare by renegotiating federal-provincial agreements and restoring the rights ceded to Ottawa or which Ottawa has encroached upon.” (87)
|Wildrose Independence Party||“Alberta has the potential to become a great nation when not held back by bad policies and politics. It’s time we move forward to an exciting and prosperous independent Alberta.” (88)||Tamara Lich|
|The Clarion Project||“The Clarion Project is an organization that advances anti-Muslim content through its web-based and video production platforms. Its films have been used in trainings with law enforcement, the U.S. military and the Federal Government, and one was reportedly wielded to influence the outcome of the 2008 presidential elections. The Clarion Project has close ties with American anti-Muslim figures such as Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes and organizations that advocate issues concerning Israel.” (89)||Tamara Lich|
|Great Reset||The “Great Reset” was an initiative brought forth by The Prince of Wales and the founder of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, in June 2020. The ideology is that the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic represents “a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.” (90). They proposed to do this by resetting the global economy. |
Conspiracy theorists latched onto this and created the narrative that powerful capitalists and governments worldwide deliberately created the Coronavirus as both a form of population control (91) and a way to bring economic collapse to form a socialist world government. (92) They believe that lockdown restrictions were a pivotal element of this plan.
|James BauderPat KingMartin Brodmann|
|Project Veritas||According to the Mission Statement on Project Veritas website, they claim to “Investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society.” (93) |
According to the New York Times, the founder of Project Veritas, James O-Keefe, is highly connected to the Trump family. The expose revealed that Trump paid Project Veritas $20,000 ahead of his 2016 campaign and that Project Veritas was instrumental in advancing Trump’s campaign. (94)
|James BauderPat King|
|The Line||“The Line Canada is a movement dedicated to ending oppression and tyranny. We advocate for the basic human rights of all people. We will support all those who stand for their rights and resist all forms of tyranny and oppression.” (95)|
The motive statement of “The Line” is “We are the change. Together we can change, and improve our world. We will resist, persist, and prevail.” (96)
Their slogan is “Hold the Line.” James, Pat, and Martin either say or display “Hold the Line” line on their respective social media accounts.
The line is anti-vaccine, anti-lockdowns, anti-mandates, anti-restrictions. (97)
|James BauderPat KingMartin Bordmann|
|QAnon||“QAnon purports that America is run by a cabal of pedophiles and Satan-worshippers who run a global child sex-trafficking operation and that former President Trump is the only person who can stop them.” (98)|
“QAnon exists as a kind of parallel history, in which a “deep state” took over decades ago. An all-encompassing theory of the world, it appears to tie together and explain everything from “Pizzagate” to ISIS to the prevalence of mass shootings and the J.F.K. assassination.”(99)
“It claims the military, supposedly eager to see the deep state overthrown, recruited Donald Trump to run for the president. But the deep state, which controls the media, quickly tried to smear him through “fake news” and unfounded allegations of collusion with Russia. It goes on to insist that despite the deep state’s best efforts, however, Mr. Trump is winning, and that Q is releasing sanctioned leaks to the public in order to galvanize them ahead of “The Storm,” which is the moment when the deep state’s leaders are arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay. QAnon believers have called this process “The Great Awakening.” (100)
“Their rallying cry is “where we go one, we go all,” a line from the 1996 Jeff Bridges sailing adventure “White Squall” that they misattribute to President Kennedy.” (101)