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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Freedom Convoy Trial

A two-week trial began yesterday against two organizers of last year's mass trucker protest that brought much of Canada's capital of Ottawa to a standstill. Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, two of the 140 arrested in the weekslong demonstration, are charged with mischief and obstructing police, among other charges.

The protests began last January after Canada required all essential workers—including truckers crossing the US border—to be vaccinated against COVID-19 amid a peak in daily reported case levels in the country. Hundreds of 18-wheeler semi-trucks blocked traffic on highways and bridges, reportedly irritating residents and spawning copycat protests elsewhere. To end the protest, officials temporarily expanded police powers via the first use of the 1988 Federal Emergencies Act. See protest photos here.

Prosecutors will attempt to show Lich and Barber encouraged protesters to defy authorities; each could face jail time if convicted. The outcome is expected to set a precedent for other protesters awaiting trial.

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