Criminal trial of Freedom Convoy organizer Pat King begins today

13 May 2024

Protesters blocked intersections around Parliament Hill and the surrounding area, and set up encampments complete with food tents and open fires.

Local politicians described the state of downtown Ottawa during the demonstration as a lawless occupation of the capital, as several businesses closed and residents described feeling uneasy leaving their homes. 

King was outspoken throughout the demonstration, and documented his experience with frequent livestreams on social media. Many of those videos are expected to be entered as evidence during his criminal trial.

He is charged with mischief, counselling others to commit mischief, disobeying a court order and obstructing police for his role in the demonstration, which ultimately ended in a massive police operation. 

The federal government also invoked the Emergencies Act in an effort to force protesters off the streets. 

Police arrested King on Feb. 18, the same day they began their operation to remove protesters from the area around the parliamentary precinct. 

He was held in jail for five months after his arrest, before he was eventually granted bail and returned to Alberta.

The Ontario Superior Court has set aside three weeks to hear evidence and arguments in the case. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2024.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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