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Freedom Convoy 2.0 in Ottawa is planned for February 2023


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A Freedom Convoy organizer says he is planning a meeting in Ottawa in February.

James Bauder, the founder of Canada Unity, a group that has called for an end to all vaccination mandates, posted on Facebook calling for a ‘Freedom Convoy 2.0’ from February 17-21 in Ottawa.

“Mark these dates,” Bauder said in the post. “Freedom Convoy Reunion’s theme will be ‘Olive Branch Edition.'”

Bauder was arrested on February 20 in Ottawa when police cleared out the occupation, which paralyzed the city center for three weeks. He faces tampering charges with obstructing property, disobeying a lawful court order and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

He was released on the condition that he not return to downtown Ottawa.

Bauder’s Facebook post about the Freedom Convoy 2.0 plans calls for a two-week “Canada Unity-Fest” in February 2023.

“The simple fact is that we cannot have Unity without Reconciliation, which has to come from ‘We the People’ and not from our Government,” he wrote. “Let’s be adults and start addressing the root of division, discrimination and segregation in Canada by shifting our focus from division to the word ‘UNITY’.”

An Ottawa police spokesman said the service is aware of Bauder’s Facebook post.

“The Ottawa Police Service is aware of information posted on social media channels,” the spokesperson said in an email. “Ottawa Police continually monitor upcoming events, protests and demonstrations that may affect the city. Once identified, we plan accordingly collaboratively with our city partners and other agencies.”

Bauder was among the convoy organizers who testified earlier this month at the commission investigating the government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to the occupation of Ottawa and blockades on the US border.

In October 2021, before the convoy protests took over downtown Ottawa, he organized a much smaller protest called ‘Convoy for Freedom’.

The fewer than 100 protesters flouted public health regulations in shops and restaurants and planned to block the streets in front of the residences of the prime minister and governor-general.

Bauder told the commission that he delivered a “memorandum of understanding” to the Senate and the Governor General on that trip.

His hope was that they would agree to work with his group to overthrow the COVID-19 measures and ask the prime minister to resign for “committing treason and crimes against humanity.” He later withdrew the memo on February 8, he testified.

Bauder told an Ottawa court last month that he planned to request a change of venue for his criminal trial. A one-day hearing to hear that request has been scheduled for February 3, 2023.

With archives from The Canadian Press

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