Meet the Coutts Three: peaceful protesters could face up to a decade in jail for supporting convoy border blockade

Alex Van Herk, Marco Van Huigenbos, and George Janzen are now being prosecuted for being part of the Coutts border blockade.

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Alex Van Herk, Marco Van Huigenbos, and George Janzen now being prosecuted for being part of Coutts border blockade.

RCMP charged Van Herk, Van Huigenbos, and Janzen with mischief over $5,000, allegedly for being “key participants of the Coutts border blockade”. They could each now spend a decade in prison for something they have a right to in Canada — supporting a peaceful protest.

Rebel News has also partnered with the registered civil liberties charity The Democracy Fund, to support the legal defence of these three men, crowdfunded through your generous donations so their families aren’t burdened with the costs of hiring the lawyers needed to fight these charges.

To donate and receive a charitable tax receipt, or to stay updated on their legal proceedings, go to

Criminal mischief charges were previously laid against several of the Freedom Convoy organizers in Ottawa, such as Tamara Lich and Chris Barber for their role in organizing protests in Ottawa, with Lich having spent 50 days in pretrial custody — or jail — but Coutts is a different story.

After two years of weekend protests, the Freedom Convoy began, sparking a spontaneous wave of national grassroots demonstrations lasting for days to weeks on end. The blockade began approximately the same time as the Freedom Convoy arrived in Ottawa, both united in peacefully protesting — and seeking an end to — the government’s COVID pandemic response.

So what began as a slow roll trucker convoy near the small border town of Coutts — population roughly 300 — evolved into an unprecedented 18-day protest at Alberta’s largest international border crossing with the United States.

Tens of thousands attended during those 18 days, most at the police barrier in Milk River 18 miles away from Coutts. This was due to an RCMP quarantine zone set up around the already isolated border town, to prevent more vehicles from joining the few dozen holding the line directly at the blockade. Those trapped could not return with their vehicles for any reason if they chose to leave.

Alex, Marco, and George were amongst the few dozen individuals who arrived and remained at the Coutts Blockade before this RCMP barrier was established. Supporters in Coutts persevered through it all, literally camping it out in their vehicles for weeks as a showing of solidarity with the national Freedom Convoy movement.

The blockade was an immovable force which sparked numerous other border blockade-style protests across Canada during the Freedom Convoy movement. This embarrassed politicians like the former Premier Jason Kenney, and the RCMP, who both attempted and failed multiple times to quash the blockade as international attention grew.

Demonstrators came together collectively to voice their concerns, forcing RCMP to negotiate with the blockade as a group rather than with individual “leaders”. During the blockade RCMP alleged 20 individuals were “key” — likely just a list of everyone trapped in RCMP’s isolation zone — and suggested the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, mischief, and conspiracy charges were on the way for these individuals.

Somehow seven months later government prosecutors decided to criminally pursue three of these individuals. Alex Marco and George were branded as the “key participants” and could now face 10 years in prison each. They say these charges are political and unwarranted, meant to set an example for those who aim to peacefully protest their own government.

Now Van Herk, Van Huigenbos, and Janzen are being forced by government prosecutors to fight for their freedoms and innocence in a trial by jury. Expected to begin in April this year, Rebel News will be covering their trial in person from the Lethbridge courthouse. To keep up to date on their story or donate to help cover their legal fees, go to

So how did Alex, Marco, and George, three small farmer-town southern Albertans with families and lives of their own, find themselves at the heart of a historic national movement that altered the course of Canadian politics, and the global pandemic response? This is what we answer in today’s extended sit-down interview with the three accused.

Thanks to your donations we’ve been able to report on Alex Marco and George, so you can see for yourselves who these men are, and what actually happened during the Coutts blockade.

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