Blue Line

Trial begins for woman accused of assaulting police in 2021 Halifax housing protest

May 2, 2023  By The Canadian Press

May 2, 2023, Halifax, N.S. – The trial of a 26-year-old woman who allegedly assaulted police as municipal workers removed temporary housing for the homeless is underway in Halifax provincial court.

The case against Natasha Danais is the first of potentially four trials related to the Aug. 18, 2021, demonstration in front of the former Halifax public library.

Danais is facing one charge of obstructing police and three charges of assaulting officers in the trial before Judge Kelly Serbu.

Defence lawyer Asaf Rashid says of the 19 people he represented in connection with the protest, only Danais and three others are still facing trials, with the other cases dropped and one case sent to restorative justice.

Prosecutor Michael Coady presented video today showing police forming a semicircle to push protesters out of the way as municipal workers removed a homeless shelter.

Const. Conor Gillam of the Halifax police testified he arrested Danais after she pulled off his face mask and stepped on it, adding that she was pushing back as police pushed forward.

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