Coutts Border blockade organizers Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen have requested a jury of peers as they face charges of mischief over $5,000.
The trio appeared in a Lethbridge court on Friday, where the judge granted a Crown attorney’s request for more time to prepare.
Van Huigenbos told True North the day went well, but that “everything takes forever.” The organizers are back in court next month likely for more “administrative” work, he said.
“In my opinion, it’s just delay, delay. And whether there’s any strategy to it, I’m not sure,” he said.
“We know our system is broken, but the amount of time and energy and cost and everything that goes into nothing, in my mind, into proceedings that accomplish little is both frustrating and unacceptable.”
Van Huigenbos also said he’s not sure when organizers will receive an answer on their request to be tried by jury.
Sources on the ground told True North about 800 people travelled to Lethbride for a rally to support the organizers.
In January, demonstrators protesting federal and provincial COVID-19 restrictions like vaccine mandates blocked the Canada-US border for more than two weeks. The blockade ended in February after the RCMP found weapons.
As previously reported by True North, Van Herk was detained by the RCMP in late August. Officers attempted to get Van Herk to sign a conditional release saying he would end contact with Van Huigenbos, but the condition was dropped after hundreds of people showed up to the RCMP detachment to protest Van Herk’s detainment.
Van Huigenbos was charged in mid September.
The three organizers will appear in court again on Dec. 12.
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