The lawyer who represented the Freedom Convoy at last November’s Emergency Act Inquiry said Wednesday that the trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber is about ordinary Canadians being “shamed and vilified.”
In an exclusive interview with The Post Millennial, Edmonton attorney Eva Chipiuk said the long, arduous legal ordeal endured by both Tamara Lich and Chris Barber has already produced a protest “chill" in Canadian society.
“Canadians are being shamed and vilified for doing so. 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.”
When asked if a guilty verdict for Lich and Barber would produce a chill on protests in Canada, Chipiuk responded, “It already has. 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. This is not good or healthy in a free and democratic society.”
Wednesday was Day 2 of the trial of Freedom Convoy leaders Lich and Barber. Inspector Russell Lucas was the incident commander with the Ottawa Police Service’s special events team.
Lucas spoke of how much time and effort the police used in late January 2022 to ensure the public had access to the downtown core of Ottawa as the Freedom Convoy truckers wished to position their rigs on Wellington St., which passes right by Parliament Hill.
As the protest continued into February, political leaders from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau down to the then-Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson complained that the truckers should not be parked on Wellington.
But Lawrence Greenspon, lawyer for Tamara Lich, noted Wednesday that the truckers had every right to be there.
“The protesters were given permission by OPS and the city to station [there], Greenspon told Lucas. “Is that not correct?”
Lucas said it was.
But Chipiuk said the amount of time, energy and money that the Ottawa police have spent prosecuting Lich and Barber is truly astounding.
“It is disappointing to see the amount of resources that the Ottawa Police Services has invested in prosecuting Tamara Lich and Chris Barber. 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 said that in all of her “observations and interactions” both Lich and Barber “called for protesters to act peacefully and lawfully.”
She said she is waiting to see just “where the Crown 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.”
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