Local Describes ‘Incessant’ Disruption
Sarah Gawman, a local Ottawa resident, took the stand in a courtroom today describing the constant horn honking from the “Freedom Convoy” protest as “incessant and intolerable.” Gawman’s testimony marks the beginning of witness accounts from Ottawa locals in the criminal trial against protest organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber.
Gawman recounted her experience from her downtown Ottawa high-rise condo, “Trucks and other vehicles lined up in my neighbourhood as far as the eye could see.” She painted a vivid picture of the magnitude of the protest and the impact on local residents.
Witness Line-Up to Connect Disruptions to Organizers
The Crown prosecution has a plan to call on a series of witnesses. Alongside Gawman, four other local residents will be testifying, in addition to an employee from the National Arts Centre and another from OC Transpo, Ottawa’s public-transit operator.
The main objective of these testimonies, as per the Crown, is to detail the turmoil and disruptions caused by the protest, drawing connections to Lich and Barber. They intend to demonstrate that the two organizers played significant roles in the chaos that ensued during the convoy’s presence.
Judge Emphasizes Direct Observations
Justice Heather Perkins-McVey, presiding over the trial, emphasized that she will be ensuring witnesses strictly speak about what they directly observed. She highlighted that testimonies should refrain from delving into personal emotional effects of the protest. “I will make sure the witnesses stick to the things they observed first-hand,” Perkins-McVey said, adding that she wouldn’t allow them to discuss the ways the protest personally affected them.