The good news is that the power grab by GoFundMe against donors to the Freedom Convoy participants has been reversed. GoFundMe received strong blowback over its decision to shut down a donation page in support of the Canadian truckers protesting that country’s COVID-19 mandates. Now the company says it will give refunds to all who contributed instead of requiring them to request a refund by a February 19 deadline. Initially, GoFundMe said it would give the money – which totaled almost $10M – to charities of its choice. In other words, GoFundMe seized donations and planned to redistribute them as it saw fit.
So, that drama is winding down. There is still plenty of drama to go around. Canadian truckers have started their own movement against government overreach against its citizens. They have garnered support from supporters around the world. They also have their share of detractors. One man drove his Jeep into a crowd of protesters on Friday night, resulting in injuries for four protesters. The man fled the scene and was caught by police and arrested. He briefly struggled with police, resisting arrest. The man from Headingly, Manitoba now faces charges of “four counts of assault with weapon, two counts of dangerous operation of a conveyance causing bodily harm, one count of dangerous operation of a conveyance, two counts of failure to stop after accident, and two counts of failure to stop at the scene of an accident. ”
Police in Winnipeg said the driver, who was not immediately named, use his Jeep Patriot to plow through the crowd for coronavirus mandate protesters at the Legislative grounds before fleeing the scene at high speeds.
‘A 42yr old male is facing charges after driving through a group of protesters that were part of the Freedom Convoy at the Legislative grounds,’ the Winnipeg Police tweeted Saturday.
‘Four adult males were struck.’
One person was taken to a nearby hospital. That person has been released. Three others didn’t require medical attention and sustained only minor injuries.
When GoFundMe shut down the page for the Canadian truckers on Friday night, it claimed to do so because of some reports of violence committed by the truckers. Ironically, this attack on the protesters was also done on Friday.
Some groups are gathering to protest the protesters, including health care workers.
Nearby, a couple hundred health-care workers and supporters marched from the University of Toronto to hospital row just south of the legislature. They held placards reading, “free-dumb” and “N95 masks for all.”
Toronto police set up road blocks throughout downtown, preventing any protesters in trucks or cars from getting near the provincial legislature which is near where five major hospitals are located.
Demonstrators also gathered in Quebec City, Fredericton and Winnipeg, with rallies also planned for Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and the U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta.
Police forces in those cities say they have learned lessons from Ottawa’s predicament and have developed strategies designed to protect key infrastructure, such as vital traffic corridors and hospitals, and also prevent possible violence.
A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Canadians who claim to have suffered damages due to the trucker convoy.
Back in Ottawa, lawyer Paul Champ filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of residents seeking millions of dollars in damages and an injunction against truckers from blowing their horns at all hours. The judge said he wants to give all sides in the lawsuit time to submit all documents to him, adding that he plans to make a decision on the horns on Monday afternoon.
There is plenty of hypocrisy coming from GoFundMe, which is a private company and can set its own rules. While it shut down the trucker’s donation page due to concerns of the convoy “occupying” Ottawa, it sang a different tune during the Seattle protests in 2020. They allowed funds to be raised for a person in CHOP, the area taken over by anti-cop protesters in downtown Seattle.
However, despite its concern about “occupation,” in 2020 the platform not only allowed, but also gave its backing on social media to a fundraiser for a farmer working in the left-wing Seattle protest which occupied a six-block downtown area.
“In a community with no police, this farmer is feeding people & bringing them closer together,” the tweet said with a link to the fundraiser. “Learn how you can support Marcus’ mission within the CHOP”
The platform retweeted a Bloomberg interview with the farmer, in which he said it was interesting to him to see “an area that has been highly gentrified taken over and occupied and for these people to experience what it’s like to be occupied and to deal with issues of being displaced.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2022