Closure of GoFundMe Fundraiser Only Strengthens ‘Truckers for Freedom’ Effort

Closure of GoFundMe Fundraiser Only Strengthens ‘Truckers for Freedom’ Effort
Protesters on horseback participate in the Truckers for Freedom demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 5, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Cory Morgan

Opponents of the Truckers for Freedom convoy have been celebrating the decision by GoFundMe to shut down the fundraiser for the protest. They may want to temper their jubilation over this development. The dissolution of the growing fund for the convoy is actually a blessing in disguise.

Nobody had ever seen a grassroots fundraiser explode like this one did. Organizer Tamara Lich had set a modest goal of raising perhaps $10,000 to even $100,000 to help offset costs for people travelling in the convoy to Ottawa. Lich, along with many other Canadians, was stunned as the fund raised over $10 million in a couple of weeks from well over 100,000 individual donors.

The sheer volume of donors and dollars generated was a victory in itself. The fund demonstrated that support for the convoy ran far beyond just those who were travelling to Ottawa to protest. People across the country wanted to support this effort and if they couldn’t attend in person, they offered support financially. It gave a visible indication of how broad support really is for the convoy beyond the thousands of trucks and people converging upon Ottawa. The fund itself became an international story. As did the cancellation of it.

The problem that always happens when a large amount of money is gathered in one spot is that somebody will want to take it. The $10 million pot sitting for all to see was no exception.

Lawyer Paul Champ has launched a class-action suit against the convoy over the annoyance of the horns being honked by trucks in Ottawa. In what is surely not a coincidence, he is seeking $10 million. Doubtless, his suit would have matched the fundraising pool for the convoy no matter what it was. No sense demanding more than they have or less than could be snatched.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson openly mused about launching a legal action to seize the funds in order to offset local policing costs. This had never been done before with protests but then again, never has such a large pool of money been sitting there.

As long as that big fundraising plum was dangling there, opportunists would feel compelled to snatch it.

Now it’s gone and it is a good thing.

If the money had remained in the GoFundMe account, one or another of the legal actions would eventually manage to get a hold put on the funds until the matter was resolved. The money could be tied up for months or even years. That would have been a setback for the convoy.

With GoFundMe shutting it down, donors can get full refunds and dedicate the fundraising elsewhere—and that is exactly what they are doing.

In less than 24 hours, a new fundraiser at GiveSendGo raised over $1 million for the Truckers for Freedom convoy. The site has been crashing and overwhelmed by the sudden influx of donors, but the funds are getting through.

People are dedicated to supporting the convoy and for each fundraising initiative that gets shut down, more will surface. Authorities will be wasting their time playing whack-a-mole chasing down the new fundraising sources. People will bring cash directly to the protests if they have to.

Convoy protests are happening across the country. Many people getting refunds from GoFundMe will be dedicating that to local actions now. The central protests never really needed such a massive fund in the first place. Spreading support across the country will actually make them more effective, and much more difficult to block.

The Truckers for Freedom convoy already withdrew $1 million from the initial fundraiser and will be getting at least that much more from new ones. They are not at risk of being defunded.

Supporters of the convoy are galvanized all the more in the face of the craven actions of GoFundMe and the efforts to shut down their means of fundraising. They will be feeling more inclined to go out in person to demonstrations rather than just sending money. Again, a good development for the convoy.

The Truckers for Freedom convoy is making history. We have never seen so many Canadians choosing to stand up and push back against government overreach before. The protests are continuing to gain momentum, and something is going to have to give soon.

The closure of the GoFundMe account was not a setback for the Truckers for Freedom participants. It only strengthened them.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.