Rebel News LIVE! Toronto 2024: Mark Joseph

The Democracy Fund lawyer Mark Joseph reflects on cases the civil liberties charity handled during the pandemic and weighs in on the importance of a free and independent press.

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As a lawyer with The Democracy Fund, a Canadian civil liberties charity, Mark Joseph is all too familiar with the infringements on civil liberties that occurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

One prominent incident Joseph recalled was during the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa during the winter of 2022. There, the frigid temperatures saw protesters transporting fuel around the city in jerry cans in an effort to keep heaters running.

Unfortunately, some individuals were charged for carrying these cans around the city.

“Well, it turns out that the Crown didn't know the cops had no record of the contents of the jerry cans,” the lawyer said. “I'm not saying there was fuel in the cans, and I'm not saying that fuel went into the police motor pool and then to the police vehicles, I'm just saying that the Crown couldn't say where the fuel ended up.”

The good news? “We got the charges dropped,” Joseph told the Rebel News LIVE! audience.

Another case Joseph handled involved an individual charged at the Ambassador Bridge blockade in Windsor, Ontario. Except, as the lawyer explained, the person was arrested in a Canadian Tire parking lot — not at the blockade at the Canada-U.S. border crossing.

“It took two years of court appearances and a judicial pre-trial before the Crown withdrew the charges,” he said. “This official stupidity was only rivalled by official cruelty.”

Joseph also discussed how in addition to thousands of less prominent cases, The Democracy Fund is also representing Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich, persecuted pastors like Artur Pawlowski and Derek Reimer.

“During the pandemic, governments were making and changing laws weekly through a legal instrument called orders in council,” Joseph explained. This created a problem, where citizens couldn't keep up with the rapid changes.

“We had clients that were charged with breaking a law that was not published until days after the offence, which is bizarre,” Joseph explained, noting changes around ArriveCan as an example.

These problems, he said, were exacerbated by those looking to maintain the status quo in the government — helped along by the incurious members of the legacy media.

“We need independent journalists to identify social and political problems that need solving, just like we need organizations like (The Democracy Fund) to rectify these problems. We all have a part to play in this fight.”

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