GiveSendGo, the Christian-based crowdfunding platform, responded defiantly to a Canadian court order demanding that the platform freeze the transfer of donations to Freedom Convoy protesters.
The organization said that funds would continue to be disbursed to the protesters in defiance of the order.
“Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo,” the platform said in a statement late Thursday. “All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.”
What is the background?
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey requested Thursday that the Canadian legal system take action to stop GiveSendGo from transferring crowdsourced donations to protesters demonstrating against draconian COVID restrictions in Canada.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice then granted the request.
“Today, the Attorney General brought an application in the Superior Court of Justice for an order pursuant to section 490.8 of the Criminal Code prohibiting any person from disposing of, or otherwise dealing with, in any manner whatsoever, any and all monetary donations made through the Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker campaign pages on the GiveSendGo online fundraising platform,” Ford’s office explained in a statement.
“This afternoon, the order was issued. It binds any and all parties with possession or control over these donations,” the statement added.
Supporters of the Freedom Convoy began a crowdfunding campaign on GiveSendGo last week after GoFundMe shut down the original donation campaign, citing talking points of the Canadian government that the protest had become an illegal “occupation.”
As of Friday morning, donors have raised nearly $8.7 million on GiveSendGo. The donations are being used to pay food, lodging, gas, and other basic necessities of truckers and other demonstrators.
While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to meet with protesters and has continually demonized them on social media and in the press, other leaders across Canada have listened to the protesters and rescinded COVID restrictions.
President Joe Biden has urged Trudeau to use the powers of the Canadian federal government to end the peaceful protests. Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has reportedly offered to use state resources to help end the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, a key border crossing between Canada and the U.S.