More protests are expected in Toronto and Ottowa.
- GoFundMe has blocked $10 million donations destined for the so-called “Freedom Convoy” in Canada.
- The Freedom Convoy is protesting COVID-19 vaccine rules and has occupied the center of Ottawa.
- Donald Trump and Elon Musk had earlier praised the Freedom Convoy.
GoFundMe has blocked $10 million in donations destined for a Canadian trucker vaccine protest that was praised by Donald Trump and Elon Musk.
The funds, which were donated to the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” will now be automatically returned to donors, GoFundMe said Saturday.
Last weekend, thousands of truckers and protesters gathered in Ottawa to protest Canada’s cross-border COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The protesters have since occupied the center of Canada’s capital and Ottawa police have launched “several criminal investigations” into incidents connected to the protest.
Trump said last weekend: “We want those great Canadian truckers to know that we are with them all the way.” He also criticized US President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for truckers and added that the Canadian protesters were “doing more to defend American freedom than our own leaders by far.”
On Friday, GoFundMe said that it “supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.” It added: “We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”
This meant the fundraiser was in violation of its terms of service, the company said, adding that “no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers.”
GoFundMe did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Insider’s Bethany Dawson reported Trump calling Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau a “far-left lunatic” and added the group could be coming to the US to protest Joe Biden’s COVID-19 rules.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford told the Associated Press: “It’s not a protest anymore. It’s become an occupation. It’s time for this to come to an end.”
Canada senator Dennis Patterson said: “Let me be clear: If you wrap yourself in or go about waving a Nazi or Confederate flag, you are declaring yourself a person who embraces hate, bigotry, and racism.”