Thursday, June 20, 2024
'The reaction from strangers has been — I'm disappointed because you were this, that and the other in our community and I don't put that together with you representing Tamara Lich,' says Lawrence Greenspon. (Alistair Steele/CBC) This photo of Edward Greenspon accompanied an April 2022 CBC news story.
Guest CommentaryTrucking

Tamara Lich’s lawyer knows how horrifying the world becomes when good men do nothing

There is a story behind that Greenspon Photo

by Donna Laframboise

In April 2022 – less than two months after the Freedom Convoy has been violently suppressed – we learned that Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich had retained the services of Lawrence Greenspon. In the words of the Ottawa Citizen, he’s a “high-powered – and high-priced – Ottawa criminal defence lawyer.”

A day later, the CBC ran a story headlined: Lawrence Greenspon won’t say if he is being paid to represent Lich. Its first sentence tells us he might be handling the case pro bono – for free.

It seems Mr Greenspon had already experienced some backlash. In his words,

“Some of the people that have contacted me are well aware of the fact that in the past I’ve represented alleged terrorists and murderers and people charged with sexual assault. That, I guess, in their minds is OK. But representing Tamara Lich who has no criminal record, is not charged with any violent offence, there’s no weapons involved, there’s no sexual assault – they seem to have a problem with that.”

A photograph of him appears in this CBC article, credited to journalist Alistair Steele. It’s startling because Mr Greenspon is standing in front of an illustration of Auschwitz. Barbed wire fencing. Industrial scale murder. Not your typical backdrop.

2017 magazine article sheds some light. It tells us Mr Greenspon – probably “Ottawa’s most famous practicing lawyer” – has a “soft spot for the underdog” and a long history of raising funds for charity. It also tells us about a speech he delivered at a dinner given in his honour:

Donna Laframboise writes a daily blog at ThankYouTruckers.substack.com. It is a first draft of her upcoming book that focuses on interviews with Freedom Convoy truckers. She is a former National Post and Toronto Star columnist, and a former Vice President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

The room heard how Greenspon was very close to his Polish-born stepfather, Paul Orlan, who was taken to the concentration camps at age 14. He was liberated by the Americans at Auschwitz, at age 18. Orlan’s parents and his sister, Maja, after whom Greenspon’s daughter was named, did not survive the Holocaust. Greenspon grew up hearing the stories and discussions about how the rights and freedoms of Jews had been trampled on by the state during the Nazi oppression.

“Because of the truths my father told me, it should come as no surprise that I do what I do.”

For those who have eyes to see, this CBC photograph is powerful and poignant. It tells us Tamara is in good hands. The person fighting for her in court really does know how horrifying the world becomes when government gets tyrannical and good men do nothing.