Convoy carries on: Canadians continue protest against government mandates
On January 29, tens of thousands of Canadian truckers descended upon their nation’s capital of Ottawa, Ontario. They have vowed to stay until the federal government ends all mandates and restores the people’s freedom. The entire world is watching Canada and truck convoys are taking place around the globe, from New Zealand to France and many nations in between. In Canada the group Mariners for Freedom are moving into place to blockade major ports as well. United States truckers are planning a convoy to Washington, DC, to begin March 1.
The Freedom Convoy had raised over $10 million Canadian through GoFundMe. Responding to pressure from the Canadian government, the fundraising platform froze the funds and reported that it would donate the money to charities of their choice. After intense backlash from donors and a number of US state attorney generals opening investigations into GoFundMe, they refunded the donations to the donors. The Freedom Convoy immediately upon the funds being frozen started another fund raiser through GiveSendGo and by Thursday they had already raised over $8 million.
Benjamin Dichter (Freedom Convoy Vice-President and spokesman) stated that they also have a platform set up and are receiving Bitcoin donations that will be used as a legal war chest for both defense and offensive cases and that in five days they had raised over $800,000 in Bitcoin.
According to the press conference held on Wednesday, Feb. 9, by the organizers of the convoy, the citizens of Ottawa have stepped up and around a thousand have opened their homes to truckers to stay in, as part of their “Adopt a Trucker program. The organizers also said that they have yet to have a meeting with the government to discuss ending of all mandates. They also verbalized their disappointment with the Canadian news networks and their lack of reporting the truth about the convoy. Dichter also commented how crime is down significantly in Ottawa since the truckers arrived. Also that the spirts of the truckers are high and that the mandates being rolled back in Alberta and Saskatchewan are boosting morale as they are seeing the results of change.
The convoy members post videos and photos of the events in Ottawa on numerous social media sites even though many have been banned, censored and removed by sites such as Facebook. Truckers are checked on every day to make sure all their needs are met. There is free food available to all and many of the truckers are given hand written letters of support and donations. They also have lawyers available for anyone who is in need. Ottawa and the other freedom protests are joined on the weekends by thousands of Canadians who bring donations and desire to see history in the making.
Mike Hovorka is a retired Saskatchewan resident who came to Ottawa with a friend in a Peterbilt pulling a 45 foot tri-axle grain trailer. He said that there are 400 trucks parked around the Parliament buildings and that more trucks are in staging areas around the city. “Farmers have bladed off fields and trucks are parked there. There are heaters and I’m always meeting new people. Our truck ain’t leaving until the job is done.”
He said he knows that over 30 Ottawa police officers have resigned and are siding with the truckers. “(The police) are using scare tactics, they stole fuel and even had snipers on the roofs. They were ordered to give it back but I saw a video where they arrested a guy carrying a Jerry can. The police are trying to provoke us but it’s not working and it’s almost laughable,” he said.
The Ottawa Police news release lists that they are now arresting individuals for transportation of fuel among other things and that they have been installing permanent cement roadblocks to impede the trucks coming to the downtown area.
The truckers are currently not allowed to blow their air horns, and the police have been confiscating fuel brought to the truckers. Dozens of people walked the streets of Ottawa on Tuesday carrying fuel cans in defiance to the police called “Operation Jerry Can.”
The Ottawa police have teamed up with The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and youth at the current demonstration in the downtown core, according to a February 9, Ottawa Police press release. Many of the truckers travel with their families and the Freedom Convoy has also set up bouncy castles and kids games said Benjamin Dichter at the Freedom Convoy press conference on February 9th.
The Coutts, Alberta border crossing is still held by hundreds of protesters and over the weekend more than three hundred horse back riders gathered carrying flags and showing their support for the truckers and farmers who are camped at the border. The border is currently completely blocked off with large tractors parked end to end across the road from fence to fence. And contrary to some reports no live cattle are stuck at the border. Jory Evans said in a Facebook Livestream on Feb. 10, that the freedom camp is dry and to please bring no alcohol. He added that when they have opened one lane of traffic needed feed and livestock were still unable to cross due to a shortage of vaccinated drivers. Also he said last weekend thousands of people came to support them. They are committed to remaining peaceful and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been photographing and cataloging the vehicles and equipment parked at the border. Freedom protests at the border crossings are spreading with currently the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan is completely blocked. About a fourth of Canada‘s trade with the United States moves through this port of entry. Sarnia, Ontario has a four hour wait time, Emerson, Manitoba crossing is also blocked. Over 50 percent of Canada’s food supply comes from the United States so many are expecting supply chain disruptions to impact grocery stores. Auto manufacturers are also announcing closers due to lack of parts crossing the border.
Some tow truck companies are refusing to tow protesters and according to Cody Rood a Saskatchewan cattle rancher, some tow trucks brought into Coutts, Alberta joined the protesters instead of towing them.
“Today we will be in a convoy traveling through the Eastern Townships near Ottawa. The purpose of this convoy is for us to show our gratitude for all the support and volunteer help we’ve been receiving from these rural communities. This is primarily a French Canadian district and I couldn’t be more proud and humbled at the same time because of the friendship, unity and love being shared by these fellow Canadians,” said Hovorka on Tuesday.
Hovorka shared a story that a friend told him. “The Tim Hortons manager at 30 Queen St. in Ottawa told me that his business is the best it’s been in two years since the truckers have arrived.
He said they are wonderful they come in and mop the floors and clean the washrooms.
He said if you had told me two weeks ago that the media lied to you, he said I wouldn’t have believed you, he said I’ve seen it with my own eyes. What I’m seeing done by the truckers is even better by far than I could ever imagined and the media is not portraying that at all.”
The Ontario government said on Feb. 10, it has successfully petitioned a court to freeze access to millions of dollars donated through online fundraising platform GiveSendGo. The province obtained an order from the Superior Court of Justice that prohibits anyone from distributing donations made through the website’s “Freedom Convoy 2022” and “Adopt-a-Trucker” campaign pages, according to a spokeswoman for Premier Doug Ford.
(The official statement from GiveSendGo in response to the judge’s order.)
“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. Thanks for your concern but this recipient is receiving funds. Donate to Freedom Convoy 2022 Campaign here!”
“The biggest thing that I can see is that they are trying desperately to try to provoke us into retaliating. I think it’s the last card they have to play. I have to be honest most of the policeman we’ve seen and spoke to especially on Sunday were very pleasant and actually sociable.
“The biggest piss off, is the inability of the legacy Canadian news media to report the truth…
“Earlier they said that we were waving flags with swastikas. Absolutely false.
“Trudeau came on the news and accused the truckers of defacing the Terry Fox statue by hanging a Canadian flag on it upside down, well the universal symbol for a country in distress is its national flag being flown upside down and Lord knows this country is in distress, so in no way was it defacing the Terry Fox statue. Trudeau also claimed on national television that the truckers had urinated on the unknown soldier memorial, Again absolutely false.
“It’s not in the truckers culture to do that,” Mike Hovorka said.
According to mainstream media, some Ottowa locals are fed up with the protest.
BBC reported, “Police made a handful of arrests over the weekend, mostly for mischief charges. They said there are currently 60 criminal investigations underway related to the demonstration over mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage.”
BBC quoted Nazim Khan is an Uber driver, in Ottowa: “This is not the way to protest,” he said. “You have the freedom to assemble. You do not have the freedom to bring the big trucks and annihilate the whole downtown area. This is the capital of Canada, for God’s sake.”
More from BBC: “A little further up the street was David, who would not give his last name, holding his own sign opposing the protests. That got some supportive honks and thumbs up from passers-by.
“’They’ve done their protest and should have been sent home a long time ago,’ he said.
“He said he’s been yelled at by protesters, or bumped into and pushed, and they’ve tried to take his sign, ”reported BBC.
But Hovorka insists the protest is clean and peaceful. “The truth of the matter is, the streets have never been so clean, whenever people are down around Parliament Hill they are picking up any garbage that is discarded and placing it in garbage bags that have been strategically placed on fences and pylons etc. Also the truckers have gone down to the Parliament Hill area and shoveled snow from the streets and walkways at businesses and at private homes in the surrounding area. Another false story that was being perpetrated by the legacy media was that one trucker had gone to the Good Shepherd shelter and took food that was meant for the homeless. Well that couldn’t be any further from the truth, so what the truckers did was take a whole pick up load full of excess donated food down to the homeless shelter and gave it to them. Also the truckers set up a guard around there Terry Fox statue as well as the unknown soldier monument. But now there is a fence around the unknown soldier monument so it doesn’t need to be guarded anymore. This was done to prevent any more of Trudeau‘s paid puppets from setting up a photo op for the legacy media to try and smear us. It is so insane and crazy to try to comprehend how desperate the legacy media is trying to make up any story they possibly can to coerce the public into believing that we are racists, extremists, white supremacists, etc.
“Trudeau himself also made those claims, my Lord he should be ashamed of himself. I honestly believe he is delusional and in a deep psychosis and is unable to perceive reality.
“A motion will be made in the house of commons tomorrow to have all mandates removed and it will be voted on on Monday. A second liberal MP has also dissented from his caucus.
I think it’s only a matter of time now and his own caucus members will mutiny,” Mike Hovorka said.
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