(LifeSiteNews) – Pro-medical freedom Alberta lawyer Eva Chipiuk has contended that the trial against Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber is really motivated by a desire to have Canadians who opposed COVID mandates be “vilified” in the public sphere.
Chipiuk, who was one of the lawyers who represented the Freedom Convoy in last year’s Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), noted in an interview with the Post Millennial last week that as a result of the trial against Lich and Barber, Canadians are being “shamed and vilified” for having opinions contrary to those of the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, particularly when it comes to being opposed to the various COVID-related mandates invoked by the Trudeau government.
“Democracy is not grounded in unilateral sacrifices, but requires reciprocal participation. It is the government and the police authorities that should be answering questions about why they chose to stand against citizens rather than with citizens,” said Chipiuk.
Chipiuk noted that should Lich and Barber be found guilty, and serve any jail time, it would place a “chill” on future protests in Canada, adding that this has “already” happened to some degree.
“I hear all the time that people are afraid to stand up because they don’t want to be made an example of like Tamara and Chris,” she said. “This is not good or healthy in a free and democratic society.”
Chipiuk also said that the amount of time and money being spent by authorities on the trial against Lich and Barber is completely unwarranted.
“It is disappointing to see the amount of resources that the Ottawa Police Services has invested in prosecuting Tamara Lich and Chris Barber,” she told the Post Millennial. “They are two ordinary Canadians that wanted to be heard by their elected officials and came to the capital of Canada to voice their concerns.”
Chipiuk further noted that both Lich and Barber routinely urged “protesters to act peacefully and lawfully,” and she is curious as to where the Crown prosecution “draws the line as to what was legal and what was not legal, because to date that is not clear.”
“Furthermore, Canadians should be encouraged to stand up for basic democratic rights and principles like lawful assembly and free speech,” she added.
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, Trudeau’s federal government enacted the Emergencies Act in mid-February, leading to Lich’s arrest two days later on February 17.
After the protest was cleared out, which was done through the freezing of bank accounts of those involved without court order as well as the physical removal and arrest of demonstrators, Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23.
After their respective arrests, both Lich and Barber were charged with multiple offenses including mischief, counseling mischief, counseling intimidation and obstructing police. As reported by LifeSiteNews at the time, despite the non-violent nature of the protest and the charges, Lich was jailed for weeks before granted bail.