The story behind Freedom Convoy from a veteran journalist

When Andrew Lawton was sent to cover the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa this winter, he witnessed firsthand the discrepancy between what he observed on the ground and what was reported in the traditional media.

journalism fellow true north and host Andrew Lawton Shaw Recently, a book about his observations “Freedom Convoy: The Story Behind Three Weeks That Shook the World” Follows the journey from the beginning of the convoy to the deployment of a massive police operation to clear downtown Ottawa of protesters.

“My book is about this protest that really rocked Canada and the world, and there was so much misinformation in the media that I think it was important to put this story on record,” Lawton said. told the Epoch Times.

“There was so much that political leaders, the media, and even the country at large didn’t understand about the protests, so this book really tries to tell the story of the protests and the people behind them. in a fair and accurate manner.”

The book features famous organizers and figures such as Tamara Rich, Benjamin Dichter, Chris Barber and Tom Marazzo, and includes countless hours of interviews with players at various levels of Convoy. It isFor the first time in this book.” Lawton Write to substack.

Freedom Convoy, which began on January 29 and ended on February 20, began as a demonstration by truck drivers against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border travel, but the It has grown exponentially with supporters from within. Call for an end to various COVID-19 obligations and restrictions.

and Press conference On January 26, before the convoy arrived in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed those involved as “a minority” who did not hold the opinion of the majority of Canadians.

As for journalists, Lorton said many took the hatred and misunderstanding of the motorcade and “that affects their reporting.” He sympathized with the protesters, but added that he wanted his book to be fair and honest by “sticking to the facts.”

“I have been very sympathetic to the fight against vaccine mandates and the fight against vaccine passports,” he said.

“I sympathized with the convoy, but I think I still went into this book hoping it was factual and accurate, and tried to verify everything. Many people have shared with me. I have somehow seen or tried to confirm with others.”

behind the scenes

Lawton says he did not interview government officials for his book.

“I was more interested in telling the untold story,” he said, noting that the convoy organizers didn’t get enough media coverage at the time.

“Part of that was due to the decisions they made. Many of them will not engage with mainstream media journalists and will not conduct interviews with mainstream media outlets,” he said. .

Me that’s why a journalist When a new media, true north, had a level of access, so Me was can To Leverage that When For real gain of trust of a many of Man Who It was enthusiastic To share about this event. “

Lawton said there is another little-known layer behind the convoy.

“There was this network, they called it the command center,” he said, adding that the center was set up a week before the convoy arrived in Ottawa and became more sophisticated after the trucks arrived and protests ensued. He explained that it evolved into something that was

“These very complex operational hubs, set up in hotels around Ottawa, have catering, computers set up, medical dispatch, people working around the clock in all these areas, [such as] security and fuel distribution to maintain the convoy,” he said.

“This was something you couldn’t see from the street, but it was a big reason why the convoy was able to stay there so long.”


According to Lawton, one of the main misconceptions many had about the convoy was that it was a top-down organization.

“They assumed this was this top-down organization. [where] There were people like Tamara Rich at the top who could get people to do things, but the reality is everyone was there for their own reasons.

Hahapter 11 “The organizers prided themselves on keeping their communications open with law enforcement,” says the book. Lawton details how Rich and convoy attorney Keith Wilson rushed truckers on board for an operation set for the night of February 10th. The operation will move trucks out of downtown residential areas and clear the intersection of Rideau and Sussex. The decision was made on February 8 after Marazzo and Wilson met with Ottawa Mayor Steve Canelacos and four Ottawa and Ontario police liaisons.

“Some remained adamant. Others thought it was a trap and that they and the convoy leader were being duped by the police. I had my hands agree,” says the book.

“I think a lot of truck drivers trusted [Lich and the other organizers]and when [the organizers] I talked to people and said, “Hey, we’re trying to work out this deal with the police and the city, so we need to move your truck over here.” People accepted. , they didn’t control them,” Lawton says.

“It is very important when people talk about organizers and leaders.

He also said money was “not important” to Freedom Convoy, but the issue of funds raised to support the protests became one of the main focuses of the mainstream media and the government.

“Money was never there to have money. It was there to buy diesel. It was there to buy food,” he said.

“So when the government came in and tried to freeze the bank accounts, they thought that would be the end of the protests, but it wasn’t because the motorcade wasn’t powered by money. It was supported by people.”

Lawton said he hopes readers can approach his book with an open mind.

“If you support the fleet, you’ll find out what the fleet has become,” he said. “Even if you don’t support the Fleet, I think reading this book will help you understand who this group is and why it happened, even if you don’t agree with their actions.”

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based reporter for the Epoch Times.