Protesters blocking roads along the Canadian border may have encountered another obstacle in accessing supporter funds.
The Supreme Court of Canada has issued an injunction banning access to funds raised through the GiveSendGo website, Canadian outlet Global News reports. The protesters had raised millions through the website's Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker campaigns, but Ontario government officials are asking the court to stop organizers from accessing and distributing those funds. said the outlet.
Protesters were initially able to use GoFundMe to receive financial assistance, raising approximately $7.8 million before GoFundMe stopped fundraising for violating their Terms of Service and decided to refund all donors.
In a statement justifying its decision, the company said that although it initially supported what it believed to be a peaceful protest, it later received evidence from authorities that Freedom Convoy had now become a "preoccupation" with "illegal activities."
After switching from GoFundMe, protesters switched to GiveSendGo, a Christian fundraising website. This site was reviewed following reports of a brief data breach.
Last month, truckers began gathering on the streets of Ottawa, primarily along the US-Canada border, to oppose COVID vaccination rules. The demonstration, which has spread to other provinces, has caused ongoing traffic disruptions and heightened tensions in the supply chain, leading to shutdowns and reduced productivity in the auto industry.
Officials in Canada and abroad have called for an end to what authorities have dubbed an "occupation." Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed via Twitter late Wednesday that he and Premier Justin Trudeau will continue to assist police in their efforts to deal with the situation, while President Joe Biden has urged the Canadian government to use federal force to contain the demonstration . Associated Press reports.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies in France and Belgium have already taken steps to prevent similar situations from developing in their countries by banning roadblocks, according to the AP. In the US, however, the Department of Homeland Security said it had received reports that similar demonstrations could interfere with Super Bowl Sunday as well as next month's State of the Union address.