A notice on the donations page of Freedom Convoy on GoFundMe indicated donations were no longer being accepted. It further noted the fundraiser was being reviewed to ensure all relevant laws and regulations were being adhered to.
For the last week, truckers in Canada have been protesting the current COVID-19 restrictions, particularly the mandate stipulating quarantine for all unvaccinated truckers entering the country.
By February 2nd, when the fundraiser was paused, the ‘Freedom Convoy 2022’ had received donations worth at least C$10m, out of which around C$1m had been released to the protest organizers.
While some government officials have indicated they would like to see legal action taken against GoFundMe with a view to barring further release of funds to the protestors, the platform has released a statement affirming its position against violence, and asserting that at the time of creating the fundraiser the organizers had not violated any of the platform’s Terms of Service.
The platform went further to indicate its team was working diligently towards ensuring neither the donors, whose number has already reached 120,000, nor the organizers, were adversely affected.
Meanwhile, the platform has expressed contentment in the way the funds so far released are being utilized, indicating the money has been reaching the people intended.
Joy at the Border?
On Wednesday, it was a great relief when consensus was reached between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the truckers who had blocked passage between the US and Canada.
The border crossing close to Coutts in Alberta is now open, and as Mayor Jim Wallet indicated, area residents can now continue to access basic supplies like gas and foodstuff. The blockage by truckers had for several days interfered with these basic services.
In the meantime, Ottawa’s Chief Sloly is not certain what the weekend holds in terms of the ongoing protests. However, he has indicated that although many protestors have dwindled, the remaining few are unlawful, determined, and unpredictable.
The Societal Issues Compound
The general notion is that these truckers are protesting over vaccine mandates. Sure, there is merit to protesting over vaccine mandates.
These mandates make no sense as we are in the third year of the pandemic. The current variants seem to more mild but contagious. It seems like there is no need for COVID-19 camps like in Australia or more stringent measures like they are pursuing in China or elsewhere.
The data shows that a majority of the people survive and thrive after getting COVID-19. Some people may have it and have no idea that it is COVID-19 and may go on about their lives never knowing they had it. The point being that the level of impact varies and can have more impact on those that have other underlying issues.
But another point that many are overlooking may be is that there is general frustration with policy makers. The current policies and previous polices, such as COVID-19 lockdowns and connected policies, have had a negative impact on the people who are less able to handle it.
These symptoms continue to be present over the world. For instance, we have had the Yellow Jacket Movement in France that abruptly came to a halt due to COVID-19. Then there is the the civil wars taking place in places ranging from Kazakhstan.
There is now more of a pushback against policies that seem to adversely affect a larger portion of the population and create more issues.
At the same time, another trend appears, that of technology corporations like GoFundMe and Paypal and others, censoring speech and the movement of money aligned with more authoritarian leaning governments.