by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

The Canadian Trucker Freedom Convoy has now spread to other cities in Canada and around the world, besides Ottawa, and officials are preparing for more crowds this weekend.

The big news today is that GoFundMe has been pressured by Canadian officials to seize more than $9 million collected for the Truckers.

Chris Menahan of Information Liberation reports:

GoFundMe on Friday shut down the massive $9 million fundraiser for Canadian truckers after speaking with “law enforcement and city officials” who claimed it was an “occupation.”

GoFundMe said in a statement they’re going to redirect the funds to “credible and established charities” of the organizers’ choosing or will give refunds to those who ask for them over the next two weeks.

From GoFundMe, “UPDATE: GoFundMe Statement on the Freedom Convoy 2022 Fundraiser”:

– GoFundMe supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.

– 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.

To ensure GoFundMe remains a trusted platform, we work with local authorities to ensure we have a detailed, factual understanding of events taking place on the ground. Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform.

Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities chosen by the organizers and verified by GoFundMe.

All donors may submit a request for a full refund until February 19th, 2022 using this dedicated refund form.

Ottawa City Councillor Mathieu Fleury on Monday called for the funds to be seized to “cover City expenses from incidents from the protests.” (Full article.)

While there had been rumors that the Canadian military was going to be called into the capital city of Ottawa, the military issued a statement yesterday stating that they were NOT going to intervene against their fellow citizens:

Military tells Ottawa to find someone else to evict the truckers

Despite the Ottawa Police briefly raising the possibility of a military intervention to clear a stubborn holdout of Freedom Convoy truckers blockading their downtown, the Canadian Armed Forces have been quick to say they will be doing no such thing . A spokesperson for the Minister of Defence told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, “The Canadian Armed Forces are not involved in law enforcement in this situation, and there are no plans for such CAF involvement.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Thursday that a military response is “not in the cards right now.” “One has to be very, very cautious before deploying military forces in situations engaging Canadians,” he said. (Full article.)

The standoff between the Truckers and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also showed no signs of being resolved yet, as Inter Pacific, an Albertan tow truck company, released a statement explaining that they would NOT be assisting the police in hauling away the trucks at the border.

We will continue bringing updates through the weekend.

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