July 21st, 2024

Criminal trial of ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizers rewinds to discuss start of protest

By The Canadian Press on October 18, 2023.

Lawrence Greenspon, left, lawyer for Tamara Lich, not shown, arrives at the courthouse in Ottawa, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. A police liaison officer who communicated directly with "Freedom Convoy" protesters during the winter 2022 demonstrations is expected to testify today in the criminal trial of two of its organizers.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA – A police liaison officer who communicated with “Freedom Convoy” organizers says she was working with organizers of several convoys before the protest rolled into the capital last year.

Const. Isabelle Cyr had begun her testimony on the second day of the trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber in September, but the cross-examination was halted after the defence requested a copy of police chat messages and emails.

She is on the stand again today, and says she was the police point-person for another organizer associated with Lich and Barber’s group.

She says the organizer told her that truckers with their group were expected to register in order to receive funds, and that they had to sign a code of conduct, though she never saw a copy of it.

About a week before the convoy arrived in Ottawa, Cyr says she was told at a police intelligence meeting that there was some concern that various additional groups had joined the cause, and that the crowds could be difficult to control as a result.

The Crown intends to prove that Lich and Barber exerted influence and control over the protesters during the three-week demonstration that gridlocked downtown Ottawa in early 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2023.

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