Feb 7, 2022

As Freedom Convoy Presses On, Canada Seizes Fuel and GoFundMe Freezes Funds

The mayor of Ottawa declared a state of emergency in response to the ongoing protest, and the Ottawa police publicly pressured GoFundMe to cancel the donations.
As Freedom Convoy Presses On, Canada Seizes Fuel and GoFundMe Freezes Funds

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State of emergency: The mayor of Ottawa declared a state of emergency in response to the ongoing protest. Mainstream outlets are calling it an “occupation.”

  • “Declaring a state of emergency reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government,” the mayor said.
  • Ottawa residents are suing the protestors for $9.8M because of “emotional, mental and other distress.”
  • Honking for trucks in the capitol is now illegal.

Seizing fuel and threatening arrest: To maintain the protests, supporters have been bringing fuel to the truckers in Ottawa. As a response, police officers seized 845 gallons of fuel held for the truckers.

  • Police are now telling truckers that they cannot refuel, and anyone bringing fuel to the truckers can be subject to arrest.
  • Canadian police have already made several arrests.

Having fun with it: Almost two weeks since the convoy arrived in Ottawa, protestors are still playing music, dancing, and celebrating as they make their voices heard. Fireworks, bounce houses, and barbecues have created a joyful, festival-like atmosphere for protestors fighting for their freedoms.

  • Cowboys joining: Hundreds of Canadian cowboys arrived on horseback to support the protest over the weekend.

GoFundMe, “Professional Thieves”

What happened: The Freedom Convoy raised a whopping $9 million on GoFundMe. The donations are used for fuel, lodgings, and food for the truckers.

  • GoFundMe froze the funds but then released $1 million only after convoy leaders provided a clear plan for using the funds.

Ottawa police get involved: The Ottawa police publicly pressured GoFundMe to cancel the donations. Behind the scenes, the police offered the service evidence that the protest had become an “occupation.”

  • In response, GoFundMe pulled the plug on the fundraiser and told donors that they had two weeks to request a refund.

Sending funds to other charities: If donors didn’t request a refund, the platform mentioned sending the funds to other charities and fundraisers of its choosing.

  • Many congressmen and lawmakers on the right side of the aisle quickly criticized the move and advocated for legal action against GoFundMe.
  • Florida Gov. Ron Desantis promised a further investigation.
  • Elon musk called the service “Professional Thieves.”

GoFundMe walks back: After the backlash, GoFundMe changed their plan and issued automatic refunds.

  • The protestors have turned to a Christian fundraising alternative called GiveSendGo. They’ve already raised nearly $4 million on the platform.
  • Some have mentioned GoFundMe’s hypocrisy and selective rule enforcement, as it allowed and promoted fundraising for the deadly autonomous zone that developed in Seattle in 2020.

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