Crown witness at Tamara Lich trial says he 'cried multiple times' due to Freedom Convoy distress

Paul Jorgenson, an Ottawa resident and government employee, said "incessant honking" caused him and his partner sleeplessness.

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The eighteenth day of the trial of Chris Barber and Tamara Lich trial continued with testimony from Paul Jorgenson on Tuesday, a Crown witness who said on Monday that he and his partner "cried multiple times" due to distress caused by Freedom Convoy demonstrators.

Barber and Lich are both being charged with mischief, intimidation, obstruction of police, and counselling other to commit mischief, intimidation, and obstruction of police. Jorgenson, an Ottawa resident and government employee, said "incessant honking" caused him and his partner sleeplessness.

On Monday, Jorgenson said he found behavior from Freedom Convoy protesters to be "threatening". He claimed he had been nearly "encircled" by protesters while walking to his apartment with his partner while the two were wearing masks, as per a policy from their condominium board.

Jorgenson said he had a "low tolerance" for intimidation when contextualizing his sensitivity to the threatening behavior of the protesters because he had a "history of being bullied." 

"I saw myself as a victim of these demonstrations," he added.

He said the roadway to his building was fully closed off by vehicles — many of which were pickup trucks, he added — in a "chockablock" manner.

Jorgenson participated in a civilly disobedient counterdemonstration, in which he and others opposed to the Freedom Convoy blocked traffic headed to downtown Ottawa in order to reduce the flow of motorists participating in the trucker-led protest. The counterprotest sought to "limit the number of people who were harming us in our home," he determined.

"I'm a bureaucrat," Jorgenson testified. He described himself as "not a particularly adventurous person" in framing his participation in a counterdemonstration as an unlikely act, given his self-described personal characteristics.

The counterdemonstration was "something meaningful" during the "god-awful" period of the Freedom Convoy, Jorgenson remarked. He said he exchanged stories with other counterdemonstrators who said they had also been "accosted" and "harassed" by Freedom Convoy protesters.

"Knowing that we were not alone" and "connecting with fellow Centretown residents" at the counterdemonstration blocking motorists headed to the Freedom Convoy offered him a respite from the distress he said the Freedom Convoy caused him and his partner.

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