Jesse Johnson, the owner of Without Papers Pizza in Calgary, Canada, recently saw charges against him dropped in a swift 10-minute court session.
The restaurant had garnered attention for its refusal to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, steadfastly staying open and rejecting participation in Canada’s vaccine passport program, which mandated double vaccination for indoor dining.
Following the dismissal of charges, Johnson spoke to the media, expressing the toll the legal battle took on him. “These bastards, they literally tried to break me — financially, mentally, and spiritually,” he shared, emphatically stating that it was the law itself, not him, that was in violation.
The dismissal of charges was met with cheers from a supportive crowd outside the courthouse. Johnson, undeterred by the legal ordeal, expressed his desire to return to serving the community, emphasizing his commitment to providing the same warmth and pizza to all, regardless of vaccination status.
In a bold move, Without Papers Pizza announced plans to pursue a civil suit against the City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services. The lawsuit, as detailed on the company’s website, is aimed at challenging the legality of the vaccine passport (City of Calgary Bylaw 65M2021) and contesting the alleged illegal closure of the business for refusing to discriminate against customers.
The legal proceedings took a mere 30 minutes, including time spent waiting for documentation. Chad Williamson, an attorney involved in the case, commended Johnson for standing up against what he referred to as “the tyranny of government overreach.” Williamson highlighted a broader concern: the devastating impact of government actions on businesses, citing a potential wave of civil actions, including a large-scale class action lawsuit.
In a reflective moment, Johnson acknowledged the support from his peers and his faith in Christ, crediting these factors for sustaining him during the challenging period of government restrictions. He called on the millions who rose up to defend rights and freedoms to unite in prayer and continue fighting for a brighter future.