Lawyers for ‘Freedom Convoy’ demand GoFundMe release the millions raised for protesting truckers

The Freedom Convoy of Canadian truckers, who have been the target of considerable ire from Canada’s liberal leaders and the mainstream media, is getting some high-powered legal assistance, the nonprofit Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms announced.

Freedom Convoy demonstrators have spent days peacefully protesting in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa against vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions. They used the online fundraising platform GoFundMe to raise more than 10 million Canadian dollars, which they planned to use for necessities like food, lodging, and fuel.

However, GoFundMe said in a statement Friday that it would be shutting the online fundraiser down, days after the platform announced a pause on allowing supporters to donate to the protesters.

“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,” GoFundMe’s Friday statement read, though it did not specify what the “evidence” was.

“Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers.”

Amid the protesters’ tussle with GoFundMe, the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms said Thursday it would be representing the Freedom Convoy pro bono.

In a statement Friday, the Justice Centre said it is working to ensure GoFundMe releases the millions of dollars raised by the Freedom Convoy’s supporters.

“The truck convoy is a representation of Canadians’ frustrations with extreme government overreach, and unprecedented restrictions on their fundamental rights and freedoms,” Justice Centre lead counsel Keith Wilson said.

“Contrary to positions taken by government leaders, the Convoy represents ordinary, hard working Canadians – truckers, families, small business owners, Canadians who have lost jobs, income, missed holding the hand of a dying family member, been refused service in a store, or had their children miss months of school during lockdowns,” Wilson added.

“The Convoy represents Canadians who are fed up with two weeks ‘to flatten the curve’ turning into two years of restrictions, mandates and decimation of democracy.”

The Justice Centre, meanwhile, said in its news release that it had “sent GoFundMe all the details required and have been working hard to ensure the suspension put on the campaign is immediately lifted.”

One of the convoy’s organizers, Tamara Rich, said in a statement that the protesters are acting out of love.

“We are here out of love for our families, our communities and our nation. These past two years, the COVID mandates have divided us,” she said. “This protest began because of the federal government’s restrictions on truckers’ freedoms. Our movement has grown in Canada and across the world because common people are tired of the mandates and restrictions in their own lives that now seem to be doing more harm than good.”

“We are therefore calling on all levels of government in Canada to end all COVID mandates and restrictions. We will continue our protest until we see a clear plan for their elimination.”