As the trial of the two prominent organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” resumes today, all eyes are on the judge, who is expected to rule on whether testimony from local Ottawa residents will be allowed.
The Controversial Protest
Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, the two central figures in the trial, are facing charges for their pivotal roles in the organization of a protest that saw thousands of big-rig trucks descend on Ottawa. The protest, which lasted for three weeks, drew national attention and caused significant disruptions.
Local Testimony in Question
Lawrence Greenspon, representing Lich, has made a request to the judge, asking that locals be prevented from testifying. Greenspon argues that their contributions would be “irrelevant” in light of the admissions already signed by both Lich and Barber. The two have acknowledged the actions of certain protest participants interfered with public transit, as well as impeded the lawful use and enjoyment of properties and businesses in Ottawa.
However, the Crown sees things differently. They believe that local residents can provide a firsthand account of how the protest led to disruptions, intimidation, and obstructions on the streets of Ottawa. The Crown’s stance is clear: they should be allowed to present their case as they deem appropriate, including calling upon the testimonies of local witnesses.
The trial, which began in September, has already witnessed 13 days of proceedings. After a two-and-a-half-week hiatus, it’s set to continue, though there’s no clear indication of its expected duration.
With the decision on the locals’ testimony expected today, the outcome will no doubt have a bearing on how the rest of the trial unfolds.