'Freedom,' 'God,' 'Love': Anthony Olienick describes Coutts protest to RCMP officer in video shown to jurors

'Trucker Convoy was about freedom and love': Jurors watch 2022 RCMP interview video with Coutts defendant.

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On Monday, the jury in the trial of Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick in Lethbridge, AB, heard the second defendant describe his rationale for participating in the 2022 Coutts protest and blockade as standing for “freedom,” “God,” and “love”.

“I'm sacrificing everything to stand for freedom, stand for God, stand for love,” Olienick said in an interview with an RCMP officer record on February 24, 2022, the date of the two defendants’ arrest.

Olienick and Carbert are charged with conspiracy to murder, with the Crown alleging that the two men conspired to murder police officers during their time at the Coutts demonstration, which was peaceful and civilly disobedient protest against governmental decrees, edicts and mandates issued as “public health” measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

The two men are also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon with a purpose dangerous to the public peace, and mischief causing damage over $5,000. Olienick is additionally charged with unlawful possession of an explosive device for a purpose dangerous to the public peace. The two defendants have pled not guilty to all the charges against them.

"If we don't stand up to this, our kids have no chance with this,” Olienick said in the 2022 video, which began being played for the jury as an evidentiary exhibit submitted by the Crown during Monday's proceedings. He added, They're not going to fight this. They'll all be held in totalitarianism in the most epic level imaginable. We don't have another shot at trying to build this momentum. It's do or die. ... It's scary times."

The RCMP officer, Cpl. Andy Olford, repeatedly expressed surprise at what he described as a disconnect between his expectations of Olienick given the charge of conspiracy to murder and the man he was interviewing.

“This is not at all what I was suspecting," the RCMP officer said to Olienick during the 2022 interview. "You're not a bad guy. You're a good guy,” he stated.

He added: "If I lived in a neighborhood full of Tonys, it'd be a good place. ... If we asked for character references [for you], there would be a hundred people calling."

"Where are these guys getting this from?", Olford asked Olienick, referring to the RCMP investigators who directed an arrest of his interview subject for conspiracy to murder. “It still doesn't make sense to me. … There has to be something more.”

Olford told Olienick he would tell the investigators, “Tony is a straight-up [and a] solid guy.”

Olienick told the RCMP interviewer that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other “elites” should ”probably have a rope hanging around their necks”.

“Would I like to see him hang?” Olienick rhetorically asked of the prime minister. He answered his own question, “Sure, treason.”

Olienick also stated: “I want to live with my animals, and a little garden, and homestead, and go to church  and pray to God.”

Justice David Labrenz, the judge overseeing the trial, issued instructions to the jury prior to their viewing of the interview video.

“The accused is not on trial for their belief systems or views about the world, he stated. He continued: “They’re only on trial with respect to the charges on the indictment.”

The judge went on: "To be blunt, the officer can suggest whatever he wants," the judge told the jury. He advised them that a police officer’s suggestions to an arrested man in an interview do not constitute evidence of criminality unto themselves. He said: “It's not evidence. It’s not anything.”

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