OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — On Day 31 of the trial against Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, government lawyers attempted to paint the two as heading a kind of “occupation” in Ottawa that was an assertion the leaders’ lawyers swiftly rejected.
According to a Day 31 update from The Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, the Crown spent a “significant part” of its presentation last Thursday focused on “characterizing Lich and Barber as leaders of an “occupation.”
In court, the Crown was able to give this response to the defense, which for the past week has been submitting its case in court defending Lich and Barber, who were the main heads of the 2022 Freedom Convoy that headed to Ottawa to demand an end to all COVID mandates.
The TDF noted how the Crown directed the court’s attention to “videos depicting the blocking of roads in downtown Ottawa, including one featuring Barber expressing approval.”
The Crown also showed the court press conferences with Lich and Barber held in early 2022, along with “Facebook posts, and videos portraying them as key figures in the movement,” as noted by the TDF.
“The Crown argued that their actions and statements, including a text exchange discussing ‘misleading’ tactics, demonstrated a shared purpose in opposing mandates through unlawful means,” the TDF observed.
The Crown also highlighted to the court how Barber had called for more protestors to join the movement, including showing a TikTok video of him telling people to come to Ottawa. The Crown claimed that this video, and other evidence show Barber was trying to flood the city with protesters in some kind of “occupation.”
Lawrence Greenspon, defense counsel for Lich, objected to the Crown’s “changing positions on the furtherance submissions,” as noted by the TDF, and asked for an “opportunity to respond,” which was granted by Judge Heather Perkins-McVey.
Crown has given weak case in trying to prove that Lich and Barber influenced the protesters’ actions through their words as part of a co-conspiracy
The Crown has been trying to prove that Lich and Barber had somehow influenced the protesters’ actions through their words as part of a co-conspiracy. This claim has been rejected by the defense as weak.
On Day 30 of the trial, the defense detailed to the court how text message exchanges from one of the leaders showed he was trying to ensure protestors were as respectful as possible and wanted to work with police.
Last week, on Day 29, Lich’s legal counsel argued that her use of the rallying cry “hold the line” during the 2022 protests did not imply she was calling for people to engage in illegal activity.
In court last week, however, Perkins-McVey reminded the Crown that not everyone involved in the Freedom Convoy was working together. The Crown agreed this was the case.
The Crown has also been trying to justify its so-called “Carter application” before the court.
On Day 28 of the trial last week, the defense argued that a Crown request to make it so that criminal charges against one leader should apply to the other leader as well, and vice versa, should not be allowed to take place, as there is no evidence the pair worked in a conspiratorial manner.
The defense teams for Lich and Barber told the court they intended to bring forth two applications, the first being a call to dismiss the Crown’s “Carter application.”
The Crown’s so-called “Carter Application” asks that the judge consider “Barber’s statements and actions to establish the guilt of Lich, and vice versa,” TDF stated.
TDF noted that this type of application is very “complicated” and requires that the Crown prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that there was a “conspiracy or plan in place and that Lich was a party to it based on direct evidence.”
Last Thursday in court, the Crown claimed, when speaking about its Carter application, the emphasis was not “to prove every element of a conspiracy for the purpose of responding to the application brought by defence,” as noted by the TDF.
The Crown has claimed that non-violent protests could still be “disruptive and result in criminal charges,” as noted by TDF, adding that the court should consider limitations to Charter rights when looking at charges made against the leaders.
Lich and Barber are facing multiple charges from the 2022 protests, including mischief, counseling mischief, counseling intimidation and obstructing police for taking part in and organizing the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy. As reported by LifeSiteNews at the time, despite the non-violent nature of the protest and the charges, Lich was jailed for weeks before she was granted bail.
In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates in all forms. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government enacted the Emergencies Act on February 14.
During the clear-out of protesters after the EA was put in place, one protester, an elderly lady, was trampled by a police horse, and one conservative female reporter was beaten by police and shot with a tear gas canister.
Lich and Barber’s trial has thus far taken more time than originally planned. LifeSiteNews has been covering the trial extensively.