On February 14, a warrant was acted on in the town of Coutts, Alberta. Guns and other materials were seized and 13 people were arrested around the same time by the RCMP, who claimed the group to be a criminal organization.
This occurred during the timeframe of the Coutts blockade, a peaceful demonstration that had the border crossing between Canada and the U.S. closed on and off through the days of January 29 to February 15, 2022.
Once the blockade demonstrators found out there were potentially violent individuals within the region of Coutts, they called an end to the blockade, and expressly advocated that violence was not on the docket for blockade demonstrators, and that peaceful resolution was paramount to their successes.
On Tuesday, March 15, the Lethbridge courthouse saw an appearance of those arrested in the Coutts area who face conspiracy charges. This court appearance brought a crowd of supporters, who stood in solidarity with accused individuals. Some protesters mention Joanne, the Coutts resident who hosted other accused individuals on her property.
Prior to her arrest, we spoke with Joanne while attending Coutts blockade demonstrations, at which time she attests that she played a supportive role in hosting people within her property, and provided laundry and meals to those she saw as being in need of support.
After the arrest, we spoke with two residents of Coutts who said Joanne was likely not aware of the situation, but rather, was trying to support individuals she saw as being in need of help.
Many individuals facing charges, other than conspiracy to murder, have sought the legal representation of Williamson Law, who in partnership with the Canadian civil liberties charity The Democracy Fund, have crowdfunded legal defence for individuals through TruckerLawyer.ca.
We reached out to Lawyer Chad Williamson for further comment, as Chad mentions, there may be more tickets and charges that lay ahead in relation to the Coutts blockade, and TruckerLawyer.ca continues accept donations for the legal defence of peaceful blockade supporters targeted by authorities over these matters.
Chad expresses that though the last few years have been demoralizing for Canadians across the country, “The wheels of justice grind, but they grind slowly.”