The eighth day of the trial of Chris Barber and Tamara Lich on Thursday in Ottawa, ON, saw a continuance of video presentations of the two defendants calling on their supporters and Freedom Convoy demonstrators to maintain “peaceful” demonstration during their 2022 protest.
Barber and Lich are both accused of mischief, obstructing police, intimidation, and counselling others to mischief and intimidation.
Barber’s defense counsel played selfie videos produced by Barber and published on TikTok during the Freedom Convoy in which he cautioned demonstrators against giving in to provocations from detractors.
The government needs a “January 6-style insurrection” in order to justify use of force to put down the protest, Barber stated, urging demonstrators to remain peaceful with police officers and others.
“We want to keep everybody safe,” he added.
“This is a lawful, peaceful protest … They want it to become violent to give them a reason to go in. Do not be violent.”
Barber also praised Ottawa Police Service officers’ stated pursuit of “public safety” and said on-the-ground cops are under pressure from “higher-ups” to engage in behaviors they oppose.
He invited his supporters to praise police officers in the streets of Ottawa during the protest. “Tell them they’re doing an awesome job,” he advised.
Barber’s defense counsel played a video of Brian Peckford, former premier of Newfoundland who helped compose the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, delivering a speech at the Freedom Convoy about the government’s violations of constitutional rights in the context of “public health”.
He highlighted violations of rights marketed as a “public emergency” related to freedoms of speech and expression, movement, religion, property rights, and bodily autonomy.
“You can’t inject into me unless I agree,” Peckford maintained.
In another selfie video, Peckford says, “Hold the line” while standing aside Barber. Barber’s defense attorney told Rebel News that Peckford’s expression of this mantra associated with the Freedom Convoy may help present the slogan’s call to peaceful disobedience in a context favorable to their position.
The latter half the day had Lich’s defense team play selfie videos she had produced and published to TikTok, echoing Barber’s frequent calls for “peaceful” demonstrations.
“This is a family event,” Lich said in a video.
“We will be peaceful, and we will not instigate anything.”
She noted that her supporters are of “different races, different religions, different ethnicities, different geographies… but we are one.”
Thursday’s proceedings ended with a dispute between the Crown and defense over the future timeline of the trial, with the Crown wishing to invite 22 more witnesses.
Lich’s defense counsel Lawrence Greenspon emphasized that the trial, thus far in eight days, had finished with two of the prosecution’s witnesses and partially completed with a third.
The projected time needed to complete the prosecution’s arguments would require approximately 90 more days at this rate.