Hundreds of people came out in support of Swift Current’s Chris Barber this weekend.

The Stockade Building in Kinetic Park was filled to bursting as over 650 people came and went throughout the evening. All of them paid $50 for their ticket, which bought them a meal, live entertainment in a musical performance by 'Blind Monkey' featuring Tamara Lich, and a chance to support the man they were gathered for.

Barber, one of the organizers of the 2022 "Freedom Convoy", faces legal charges related to the events that took place in Ottawa. He, and other leaders from the group, have been involved in court proceedings for 40 days now.

Chris Barber, standing with his prized Kenworth.Chris Barber, standing with his prized Kenworth.

"Basically holding us personally responsible for everyone that was in Ottawa in the protest of February of 2022," summarized Barber regarding his charges.

His list of charges includes offences of mischief, counselling others to disobey a court order, counselling intimidation, counselling obstruction of police, and resisting or obstructing a peace officer.

All of these issues stem from his decision to help organize an effort to protest the pandemic-era restriction implemented by the federal government. The exact straw that broke the scales according to him was the closing of the border for the unimmunized.

"I’m just an average Canadian. When the mandates to cross the international border, the federal mandates, I just decided to say ‘no’ and a bunch of people stood with me," described Barber. "I’m forever grateful for the friendships we’ve made now."

Many of these people continue to stand with Barber. On ticket sales alone, Saturday night saw the community generate over $32,000 before any expenses. All of that money is designated to go towards legal fees.

Barber has been a truck driver for close to 30 years, and a local business owner for two decades. A few of his supporters brought him gifts to show their love and support.

A hand drawn picture of Barber's Kenworth,  and his dog, drawn by the individual standing with Barber. A hand drawn picture of Barber's Kenworth, and his dog, drawn by the individual standing with Barber. 

Barber could be seen socializing, shaking hands and taking photos. He was happy to talk with everyone who came up to him and was in good spirits throughout the evening.

"Very happy of the support that is here. Honestly without the support right now, we’d be in a pile of trouble right now," he said.

After the last two years, Barber stands firm in his convictions. While it has brought him no end of trouble, it has also brought him more friends and support than at any other point.

"I know it was the right decision to make, and I’d make it again," said Barber.