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‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada raises millions on new crowdfunding platform

By Sarah Turnbull

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    OTTAWA (CTV Network) — The “Freedom Convoy” is gaining traction on a new crowdfunding platform after GoFundMe shut its doors on the movement.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the group had raised more than US$6.3 million from 69,661 donors on GiveSendGo, which describes itself as the “#1 free Christian crowdfunding site.”

The new campaign states that funds raised will help cover the cost of fuel for the truckers protesting across Canada and will also help with food and shelter costs, “to help ease the pressures of this arduous task.”

“In order for your generous donations to flow smoothly, the good people at GiveSendGo will be sending donations directly to our bulk fuel supplier and are working out the details now which means your hard earned money is going straight to who it was meant for and need not flow through anyone else,” the page description reads.

“Any left over donations will be donated to a credible veterans organization which will be chosen by the donors.”

However, in a statement issued Monday, GiveSendGo said they’ve been in contact with campaign organizers and have received “full assurance” that all funds raised will go to providing humanitarian aid and legal support for the truckers.

Last Friday, GoFundMe removed the group’s fundraising page, where they had raised more than $10 million, after stating the objectives of the convoy violated the platform’s terms.

“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,” a statement from GoFundMe reads.

An initial $1 million had already been released to the organizers of the protests. The rest of the money will be refunded directly to donors.

For close to two weeks the convoy’s Ottawa-based rally has blockaded the downtown core of the nation’s capital, shuttering businesses, clogging traffic, and generating lawsuit-provoking noise pollution. It’s all in an attempt to convince elected officials to remove all vaccine mandates and other public health restrictions.

The protests have garnered global attention, namely in the U.S.

Many U.S. media personalities, political strategists, and elected officials have applauded the movement for its pursuit to restore “freedom.”

While information about donors, their location, and their intention remains limited, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly indicated in a press conference last week that there may be U.S. ties.

“We are now aware of a significant element from the U.S. that have been involved in the funding, the organizing,” he said.

GiveSendGo does provide a list of donations but many supporters are identified as “anonymous” and they provide no information about their location. Amounts range anywhere from $10 to $25,000.

In the comments section, donors urge the convoy not to quit, to keep fighting for the working class, and to continue to stand up against “tyranny.” Some directly call out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In a video posted to the top of the fundraising page, convoy organizer Tamara Lich – a Prairies-based political activist – said the group plans to be in Ottawa for the “long haul.”

“As long as it takes to ensure that your rights and freedoms are restored,” she said.

The group hopes to raise US$16 million.

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Sonja Puzic

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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