WARNING: This story contains details some may find offensive or upsetting
A group of self-proclaimed “freedom fighters,” filled the gallery of a Kelowna courtroom today to support one of the most prominent members of their cohort, as he represented himself against one charge of causing a disturbance.
Bruce Orydzuk was charged in July 2021, after a heated incident involving a security guard outside an Interior Health COVID-19 vaccination facility in Kelowna.
Causing a disturbance is a broadly encompassing crime which includes instances where people in or near a public space are fighting, screaming, shouting, swearing, using insulting or obscene language or loitering.
The incident was captured on camera by a reporter from Infotel and circulated online, sparking international media attention.
Orydzuk claims that the security guard interrupted his conversation with the reporter, who was standing on the property of the Kelowna Trinity Church, which was the host facility for the vaccination clinic.
The viral video, and another that was taken by Orydzuk of the same incident, was played in Kelowna court.
In the video, Orydzuk is seen holding a sign that reads: “You are about to take part in a medical experiment with uninformed consequences, do you have informed consent on injury and death numbers?”
In the video, Orydzuk is seen speaking with a south Asian security guard who is wearing a turban. Orydzuk can be heard saying “you are disgusting, go back to your country, you are not Canadian, we don’t want you here,” in a loud voice.
The security guard, who will take the stand at a later date in the trial, could be heard saying,”she is under my protection right now,” gesturing to the InfoTel reporter, and “just stay away,” to Orydzuk.
A nurse who was working at the vaccination clinic on the day of the incident and claims to have witnessed the altercation, took the stand in Kelowna court today.
While conducting cross-examination, Orydzuk alleged that the nurse had not witnessed the altercation and instead, has based her testimony off of the online video. She denied the allegation and said, on numerous occasions, that she could hear the conversation.
The nurse also said that she took detailed notes of Orydzuk’s behaviour throughout the day of the incident and said that he had disturbed other employees and patrons of the vaccination clinic. She told the judge that she handed over all of her notes when giving a statement to the police, two days after the incident.
The trial will continue on July 6, and will likely continue for another few days after hitting delays including the court evacuation for a bomb threat on July 5.
Orydzuk is also charged with uttering threats against a member of the media.