Ontario govt freezes Freedom Convoy trucker protest donations but GiveSendGo won't comply

Government wins court order making it illegal to access funds, on GiveSendGo, but platform says it has 'zero jurisdiction' over funds


                            Ontario govt freezes Freedom Convoy trucker protest donations but GiveSendGo won't comply
Truckers line up their trucks on Metcalfe Street as they honk their horns on February 5, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
ADVERTISEMENT

Two weeks in, the Ontario Government seems to have found a way to end the Freedom Convoy trucker protest in the city but appears to have hit a roadblock. GiveSendGo, the Christian fundraising platform has refused to comply with a court order that makes it illegal for protestors to access the funds via the Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker campaign pages. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The massive protest has for weeks now brought Ontario to a halt and shows no signs of slowing down despite challenges. On January 26, GoFundMe blocked over $5 million in donations. Then in early February, Facebook suspended multiple groups associated with the protest, for its spread of QAnon conspiracy theories and medical misinformation. Police have also started making arrests after a court banned honking, after resident complaints. 

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED ARTICLES

Did ‘The Simpsons’ predict ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests against Covid vaccine mandate?

What is Freedom Convoy? Here's why Canadian truckers are protesting in Ottawa

ADVERTISEMENT

However, it's done little to dent the enthusiasm. Facebook's actions led protesters to throng to Gab, Telegram, and 4Chan. And after GoFundMe said it would refund the $8 million raised, protesters shifted to GiveSendGo. Unlike GoFundMe, it appears as if GiveSendGo will support the group, despite a court order banning it from doing so. 

Truckers line up their trucks on Albert Street as they honk their horns on February 5, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Govt bans use of donations

On February 10, the Ontario government won a court order "prohibiting any person from disposing of, or otherwise dealing with, in any manner whatsoever, any and all monetary donations made through the Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker campaign pages on the GiveSendGo online fundraising platform." The ruling was granted by the Superior Court of Justice and will come into effect immediately. 

ADVERTISEMENT

It does not ban donations from being made, but rather bans organizers from accessing those funds. The Freedom Convoy 2022 campaign has so far raised $8.4 million, and the Adopt-a-Trucker campaign over $685,000. If organizers do access the funds, they will be seized by the government, but that threat hasn't deterred GiveSendGo. "Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo. All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign," the platform tweeted shortly after the order was issued.

ADVERTISEMENT



 

 

Benjamin Dichter, one of the organizers of the protest also had another idea. "This is good for #bitcoin," he tweeted in response to the announcement. From the two responses, it seems like the protesters are in no mood to give up, and they found a lot of support online.

ADVERTISEMENT



 

 

'What a mistake'

"GiveSendGo says Freedom Convoy donations WILL be given to organizers, despite the ruling of the Ontario Court demanding otherwise. Absolutely amazing energy. If only all platforms could have this kind of conviction!" one person tweeted. Another said, "BREAKING: Ontario government has frozen all funds from GiveSendGo. What a mistake!" A third person commented, "Holy Cow: How more desperate and afraid can the Canadian government show they are in this situation!!!"

ADVERTISEMENT



 


ADVERTISEMENT


 



 

 

"First the Canadian government tried to steal the #freedomconvoy donations from @gofundme. Then police looted gas/camping supplies and arrested people for sharing them. Now the Ontario government is interfering with donations from #GiveSendGo. This is extreme government overreach," one user tweeted. A user responded to GiveSendGo's tweet with "Finally, a company with a backbone."

ADVERTISEMENT



 


ADVERTISEMENT


 

 

Plenty of other users also slammed GiveSendGo and supporters of the protest, but clearly to little avail. Organizer Chris Barber slammed the move by saying, "Bring it on. This is making it worse. It is going to blow up in their faces because we are not going anywhere." 

ADVERTISEMENT