EXCLUSIVE: Lead plaintiff against Canadian Freedom Convoy leaves court in tears after contradicting previous testimony

She caught flack for repeatedly calling the Freedom Convoy protest an “occupation.”  

Zexi Li contradicted previous testimony on several occasions Monday as she became the latest Ottawa resident witness for the prosecution to appear at the trial of Freedom Convoy organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber. 

She arrived at the Ottawa courthouse on Elgin St. with police protection.

Lich and Barber are charged with mischief, counseling others to commit mischief, intimidation, and obstructing police as leaders of the Freedom Convoy that polarized residents of Ottawa in 2022 and arguably began to roll back Covid mandates.

“There were quite a number of areas where she has been saying things all along and has never really been challenged,” Greenspon told reporters outside the Ottawa courthouse.

“I think we can all look at the kind of cross-examination that took place in front of the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), and it paled in comparison with what she was confronted with today.”

The POEC was the official name for the Emergencies Act Inquiry that assessed whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was justified in invoking martial law to quell the Freedom Convoy protests.

At the POEC, Li said she remembered police arriving at her apartment building to investigate whether residents were throwing eggs at protesters. But at the trial, Li maintained she had only read about the police visit on a Facebook page for her residence.

Greenspon challenged Li about whether she remembered cursing at protesters when she claimed she was targeted by a truck carrying jerry cans full of fuel for the truckers.

Li said she had cursed but Greenspon reminded her with a transcript from the POEC that she had only allowed, “I may have said that.”

Greenspon asked why she had been talking to her lawyer, Emilie Taman, over the lunch break.

Li testified that she was only discussing lunch plans and had only talked to Taman for "not more than five to 10 minutes.” Greenspon asked whether she had discussed her testimony with Taman – which would have been a violation of court orders.

Shortly thereafter, Li left the courtroom in tears. 

During her testimony, Li continually described the Freedom Convoy protest as an “occupation.”  

Defense counsel Diane Magas suggested Li find another descriptive, saying, “I object for the continuous use of the word ‘occupation. It’s very irritating to my ears.”

Magas said the word was provocative, especially since Li is seeking damages from the Freedom Convoyi and is “quite invested.”

Li focused her testimony on complaining about the amount of honking she said the truckers were responsible for, something she said went on “for most of the day, if not all day.”

“It was difficult to live as a human being,” she claimed.

Li has also inferred that a truck that she believed was driven by a Convoy protester, backed into her during an altercation.

But on Monday she acknowledged there was no contact “only because I moved out of the way.”
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