As the defeated ex-president Donald Trump threw his weight behind the Ottawa protest for a second time, lashing out at GoFundMe for suspending payments to organizers of the $10-million “Freedom Convoy 2022,” remember this ...

His former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is currently under indictment for wire fraud and money laundering over his $32 million “Build The Wall” GoFundMe campaign.

Donald Trump is endorsing the Ottawa convoy, calling Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic who has destroyed Canada,” and backing an attempt to bring a similar truck protest to DC.

That campaign, one of the largest in GoFundMe history, was, as they say, cancelled.

So if you think there’s something extremely fishy about the GoFundMe “Freedom” campaign, you’re onto something.

This campaign is extremely suspect.

I’ve spent almost 30 years involved with, studying and writing about the Canadian non-profit and charitable sector. Not only is the interference by Trump and his flunkies unprecedented, the campaign’s donation pattern is wholly unreliable.

To any knowledgeable observer just looking at the data itself, the irregularities are a five-alarm fire.

"The irregularities of this campaign are a five-alarm fire," writes @garossino for @natobserver about the #GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the #Ottawa #trucker protest. #cdnpoli

The convoy campaign, organized by a previously obscure Canadian group, now ranks as the eighth-largest in GoFundMe’s 12-year history. It joins the pantheon of fundraisers supporting the family of George Floyd, victims of the Parkland (Marjory Stoneman Douglas) and Pulse shootings, Time’s Up (related to #MeToo) and major American COVID-19 relief projects.

At the time of its suspension, the convoy campaign had racked up approximately $10.1 million in just over two weeks.

Any Canadian fundraiser will tell you this number is impossible to achieve organically within Canada. This group is not a registered charity, non-profit or even a trucking organization. Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly is on record saying there is significant influence and money pouring in from the United States.

GoFundMe did not independently verify donor identities and accepted foreign funds for a campaign that had as one objective the dissolution of Parliament — just months after a free and fair election, in which 60 per cent of the electorate voted for parties supporting vaccine mandates.

As the CBC has reported on January 28, at least a third of the donor identities were anonymous or faked. Donations were made in the names of Justin Trudeau and Theresa Tam.

Indeed, one fake donation was made in the name of this publication’s columnist, Max Fawcett. There are certain to be many more. These are just the identities that can be verified as fake.

For more direct Canadian context, the 2018 fund for the Humboldt Broncos also ranks in the top 10. That effort raised $15 million from 142,000 donors in 80 countries, reflecting broad international support for the bereaved families.

And the false identities are not the only abnormality. Most of the top 10 campaigns fall under two categories: American COVID relief efforts or victim support for traumatic violent events of national scale, such as the Humboldt accident, George Floyd’s murder or the Parkland, Las Vegas and Pulse Nightclub shootings.

In cases where there has been a political facet to a successful campaign, it has been of vastly higher profile, with established organizational capacity and public participation on a mass scale.

The Time’s Up campaign was linked to the #MeToo movement and the 2017 Women’s March, which attracted three to five million marchers across the U.S. An estimated 15 million to 26 million Americans marched in support of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. The March For Our Lives, organized by student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Fla., attracted an estimated 1.2 million to two million marchers. The Pulse Nightclub shooting inspired massive recognition and is memorialized at Pride parades, which attract millions of participants annually across the United States and Canada.

Indeed, the advance billing of the protest was impressive, as when former NHL legend Theo Fleury told Fox News that 50,000 trucks and 1.4 million Canadians would participate in the rally.

By comparison, police estimates put the Ottawa convoy demonstration somewhat lower, at between 8,000 and 15,000, with just a few hundred commercial haulers.

By mid-week, fewer than 300 demonstrators remained on the ground.

On Friday a lawsuit against the “Freedom Convoy” was filed by Ottawa citizens seeking damages for emotional distress caused by the incessant noise of truck horns. Tellingly, a mere sixty trucks parked in the protest area are named in the suit.

Which may explain the necessity of constant noise and stunts to keep media from noticing how few Canadians are actually involved.

This is not George Floyd, the Parkland school shooting, or the Women’s March.

For all the Sturm und Drang, the convoy is an extraordinarily weak national turnout in a country where 500,000 showed up to a climate march in Montreal. Or even 60,000 to a marijuana celebration in Vancouver. Absent the trucks, which are really just big, noisy props, it was essentially a national anti-vax rally, which has now turned so dangerous that police are afraid to break it up.

The low turnout is even more surprising in the midst of massive American promotion by those in the Trump orbit, Fox News, Donald Trump Jr., Tucker Carlson, Mike Flynn, Joe Rogan and many others. It’s been relentlessly promoted on social media by, among others, Rebel Media and Pizzagate alumnus Jack Posobiec. With his 1.6 million followers, Posobiec, the Roger Stone acolyte, is widely regarded as the voice of Trump’s id.

With all this in mind, this exercise has the hallmarks of an op, complete with the potential for wire fraud and money laundering, and possibly a dry run for an American uprising.

Given the convoy project’s stated objective of overturning the results of a free and fair election through the dissolution of Parliament, a thorough investigation of the GoFundMe campaign is now a matter of urgent national security importance.

The time for answers and accountability is right now.

Editor’s note: At the time of publication, GoFundMe issued a statement saying:

“Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who travelled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities verified by GoFundMe.”

A potential class-action lawsuit, filed Friday on behalf of downtown Ottawa residents, is also seeking $9.8 million in damages from convoy organizers over continuous vehicle horn noise from the protests.

Updates and corrections

| Corrections policy
February 4, 2022, 09:25 am

This story has been changed to take out references to the average donation sizes of the GoFundMe campaign which could not be verified when the fund was cancelled.

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OK, can I have my country back now?
These cross-threaded lug nuts have also appropriated the Canadian flag for their nefarious purposes.
I'm not big on flags, but you can hand them over as well.

Who could have imagined at the start of the pandemic that less than two years later public health policy would fall into the hands of a band of flag-pilfering, pitchfork-waving, mouth-breathing, horn-honking, obnoxious bumpkins?
Not me.

Mr. Pounder, I have seen a lot of your comments over the years and want to say thanks for them.

Always informative and/or entertaining!

Sandy puts the number of trucks at 60. CTV puts the number at 250, with another 300-400 expected this weekend. Is there a verifiable number out there?

Whatever the number, without big rigs they are just another bunch of loudmouths with cloud hubris and repulsive ideas. To portray the trucks as props is correct. There are vulnerabilities the truckers don't seem to understand.

Size isn't everything. It's mainly a show that requires subprops and back ups, like loud horns, displayed symbols of historical tyranny and bad street behaviour to be effective. These machines are slow and cannot maneuver in tight spaces. The majority are already blocked in by their fellow trucks. The police seem to be blocking in the rest. That needs to evolve into a full blockade of the blockade to stop the flow of fresh deliveries of jerry cans full of diesel fuel from supporters from being stockpiled, potentially as weapons.

The participant's license plates have already been recorded by some citizens, according to comments posted in the MSM. The organizers and the participants (likely not the same) are now subject to a citizen lawsuit with class action expansion capability. Where can we donate?

Your last question is an excellent one.....but who could we trust with the money? Can't believe police let it get this far.

Talk about your CPC ties to the malignancy to the south, this con leader surreptitiously aspired to be our PM whilst keeping his half-republican identity under the table. "Scheer didn't follow through on renouncing U.S. citizenship" Rachel Aiello CTVNews

It's a test run. This is all a plan for gathering logistics by the American anti-vaxxers, anti-abortionists, anti-democracy groups, supremacists and the ones who don't believe Biden actually won the presidency. If by all accounts, the numbers of truckers have been exaggerated, then you can also count on the media to promote and back this type of action/activity because they are largely all owned by a few corporate entities. Using and accepting Confederate flags in Canada is a sure sign Americans are amongst the stampede of people who have decided to uproot our Canadian democracy. Don't forget we too have many federal and provincial politicians who stand up and promote this type of insurrection. In my humble opinion they should be charged with sedition and the truckers with insurrection. When the RCMP lost it's morality and began working with the corporations rather than protecting Canada, they were only following what many Canadian politicians have been doing for over a decade - trying to usurp democracy and make Canada into an American clone.

Well, Canadian democracy is still standing strong despite these organized assaults and hostage taking by extremist factions. To his credit, Trudeau, despite being the main target of enormous abuse, hasn't caved one millimetre on federal vaccine / passport mandates at our borders, which protect Canadian's lives and help maintain a functioning healthcare system.

Premiers Jason Kenney and Scott Moe capitulated on COVID mandates within days of a small right wing clique grabbing the stage. The inevitable results of the latter decisions will manifest themselves in the ICUs within a month, with the possibility the healthcare systems under their authority could collapse. Moe and Kenney make Doug Ford look good.

A deadly Prairie variant could evolve from these dunderheaded and cowardly political decisions. I wonder what medical officials would be tempted to name such a mutation?

I saw Scott Moe's announcement and he looked scared. The journalist went to other sources in Saskatchewan who were saying that lifting restrictions was premature because the hospitals were not out of the woods yet. I thought to myself that I've always respected Moe Howard but I can't respect Moe Coward. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

So, who would make a good Curly? Or a Larry? ;-)

Removing mandates and refusing vaccines cause a direct, reciprocal reaction in hospitals. They fill up with COVID patients and block treatments for hundreds of other ill people. More people die, especially the unvaccinated. The rate of infection / death goes down only when mandates are reapplied, with a lag time.

Yet there are thousands of illiterate folks persuaded only by conspiracies and lies (and not actual evidence) so deeply they are deluded enough to think driving a truck convoy past hospitals will actually send some kind of a logical message, as what happened in Vancouver yesterday.

Note that they were delayed and blocked several times by citizen counter protestors on bikes. Note also that some critics observed that the suburbs of Vancouver, namely Mission and Langley, emptied out during the Big City protests. It is no coincidence that these are conservative ridings. Their proximity is actually a good thing because they go home afterwards.

Come to think of it, the 2007 Stanley Cup Riot caused several hundred million dollars in damages. The smoke was photographed from the air from several kilometres away.

The big stupid mistake most rioters made was to take photos of themselves and fellow rioters on their phones and immediately post them to Facebook. Viola! The Vancouver police and prosecutors had enough direct evidence to charge most rioters, using alternate photos of the perpetrators in the act after some rioters realized their dimwittedness and deleted the photos from their accounts. Prosecuted rioter's names will be forever posted online as criminals and will be discovered when Google weeds them out in job applications, even to this day. Pity.

As it turned out, most of the rioters were kids from the Vancouver suburbs, including those who caused the most egregious damage. I have never supported the public expenditure in the fractional billions on sports stadiums and arenas instead of culture (hint: a new Vancouver Art Museum, about half the cost of the new stadium roof), social justice organizations and meaningful urban pedestrian infrastructure (transit, plazas, squares, public art ...).

I wish they could attached 20 million helium balloons to the international stadium and arena and float them to the burbs where the mobs live and let them pay for the deficits, policing and damages the same way Vancouver taxpayers had to.

In that light, Ottawa citizens are perfectly justified to pursue private litigation against occupation organizers and the occupiers themselves in return for the fact citizens have been taken hostage and subjected to 24 / 7 auditory torture, billowing toxic smoke from diesel engines, abuse on the streets and so on going on two weeks now.

The Ottawa police had a duty to perform, and they have utterly failed. Do they support their own citizens, or the hostage takers? The police not only have the guns, riot gear and reinforcements to take back the streets, they have the law and fleets of municipal trucks, heavy machinery and concrete barriers at their disposal to immobilize the expansion of the blockade from outside.

The citizens imprisoned in their downtown condos have only winter and gravity on their side, it seems. The Ottawa winter will be around for another two months. Don't be surprised if some desperate 'prisoners' start reining down water from fire hoses all night long in minus 25 temperatures, or even the occasional lawn chair, potted plant or brick to try to quell the cacophony, smoke and imprisonment, or to stop violent armed people from acting out on the streets below. That would be a dangerous precedent, but what the hell does the Ottawa police force expect after so long? Wait it out until they grow a spine and allow their own citizens continue to go without food, medicines, ambulance services and other vital necessities for several weeks more? Unacceptable!

Likewise, the law should be used to its fullest extent after the occupiers are forced out to seize all illegally parked trucks as aids to criminal activity, impound them like any other illegally parked vehicle until every last citizen lawsuit is resolved, then auction them off to help offset the costs of the obvious damage the convoy has imposed on the public and private citizens. These would be on top of the court cases charging the convoy organizers who did not exactly promote de-escalation in the face of crime, abuse (I know of two cases of racism and anti-masker taunts against Oriental friends of ours who live in downtown Ottawa), and boldly displayed symbols of racism. Instead, they doubled down on the overthrow of government, policy change by mob rule, and the scientifically illiterate and evidence-free demand that COVID mandates end.

What the hell is happening to our country if a tiny minority can be let off the hook so easily?

News flash: The police are not able to get help from towing companies that have big rig tow trucks for fear of reprisals.

Solution: Ottawa and several other Ontario-based police forces pool their resources and purchase three or four big rig towing units directly from the factory (i.e. not dealerships), preferably from two or three different manufacturers. Send them to where they are needed in advance, if possible, of any truck protest. The big towing units would be painted in official RCMP and OPP colours and armoured as necessary, including with on-board fire suppression capability using foam (defeats petrol bombs).

This will let smaller towing companies and individual dealerships off the hook for responsibility or 'blame' for any truck barricade clearance operation. Ditto Ford, GMC, Sterling, Kenmore, Mack and other brands.

All provincial governments should consider this option, as well as appropriating the use of existing municipal fleets of trucks and heavy equipment that can easily be rolled into pace to reinforce roadblocks and forcefully take control over and severely limiting the routing choices protest groups using vehicles would take, thus protecting hospitals, buildings housing the seats of governments and other 'targets'.

It's clear now that the truck mob won this battle because the organizers planned and observed their opponent's weaknesses in advance and had contingencies for various pre-identified scenarios. Don't let them win the war. It's time to turn the tables and refuse to give any public space to an occupation force using motor vehicles, and have more effective tools than they do to succeed.

I saw a poll yesterday asking about Conservative politicians and if I thought the Government should use "the National Guard" against the truckers. No Canadian would have asked that.

True. A Canadian would have asked The War Measures Act instead.

I don't think there's much planning, here. You just have to pose as a champion of the oppressed right-wing nuts, and the money shall pour from the heavens.

I'm sure a bunch is American money, but not *smart* American money. This is not the Kochs, it's the kooks.

The Ottawa Mayor has declared a state of emergency of the occupation my the so called Convoy.
What will Doug Ford do? Ask for Federal assistance? or just sit like a lame duck.\?

I just keep pointing out that Canada's Covid death rate is 3 X lower than the U.S. rate. Public health mandates, anyone?

I did the math and if the US had done as well as Canada - and no one's saying we've done a great job - they would have somewhere around 270,000 deaths. They have just passed 900,000 dead! It turns out The Donald was being modest when he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any supporters. He and the Republicans have a lot of blood on their hands and, so far, they don't seem to be paying a price for their cruel negligence.

It’s all about population density, your numbers are not valid as the 2 countries demographics are so different and not taken into account. Canada about 4.24 people per square kilometre, United States is 36 per square kilometre. Therefore from a population density perspective the US is doing around 6 times BETTER than Canada on the death rate. As far as the international COVID death numbers go they are largely skewed. We see the death numbers of COVID but what about common influenza, since COVID there are no influenza deaths in the stats, it’s all COVID now. The COVID may have nothing or very little to do with the patients death but if it’s positive at death then it’s a COVID death. So COVID deaths go up influenza deaths are not part of the statistical formula. The governments of the world, the UN and WHO are not reporting properly they are using statistics that are incorrect to falsely inflate the numbers. You can make the numbers say damn near anything you want by the stats. The models for the stats, that is the formulas, is not available here in Canada not sure on the US. The Canadian government thinks we the people don’t have a right to that data. Hmm why is that, the gov thinks we the people are too stupid to understand? Your guess is as good as mine, they have the control and won’t let that go anytime soon just look how Justin Trudeau dug his heels in over the truckers convoy. Just look at those die hard truckers out there that are putting all they got on the line. I respect that, what’s Justin Trudeau done? Implemented useless even harmful mandates .. it’s wrong.

Public mandates are the beginning of authoritarianism. This is akin to a totalitarian regime, what’s coming next you won’t want to know.

We should listen to our truckers, pay them attention!

Instead you are reporting on every squeek that Donald Trump makes. His name-recognition is phenomenal because of the main media.

Ursula Litzcke

Perhaps you should take your own advice and pay attention. 90% of all truckers are vaccinated, carry vaccine passports and are the quiet, peaceful majority who are absolutely FREE to travel anywhere on the continent. Many have spoken up against the Convoy of Yobs, with "self-indulgent" being among the milder opinions. Most are not speaking out for fear of violent reprisals from the lunatic fringe, but if thoughts could kill ...

Conservative MPs are split on the convoy. Poilievre betrayed his own Ottawa constituents by siding and doing photo ops with the occupiers who oppress them 24/7. If Ottawa citizens re-elect him it will be out of mass delusion. Bergen condones mob rule. All other parties are united against this illiterate redneck movement, including Trudeau's which hasn't budged one nanometre on lifesaving public healthcare mandates.

Lastly, this is not actually about mandates; it's about forcing a change of government and/or policy by hooligans and asshole puppets doing the dirty work under mind control by the well-funded ideological alt right. Screw democracy.

Perhaps Mr. Poillievre, having now shamelessly chosen insurgents over his Nepean/Ottawa constituents, effectively throwing them under his campaign bus, will be forced to seek out a 'safe seat' in his hometown of Calgary?

Shhhh! He'd win. But he'd have to force another Conservative out of a safe seat -- or offer a generous bribe.

Meanwhile, his party is splitting up and he's oiling the process by creating the conditions for a decade of progressive federal rule. Can progressives set up a GoFundMe account for "Poilievre In Calgary" that accepts anonymous donations with an ulterior motive? That would be as sneaky as Vlad shovelling funds to the Ottawa Occupation Mob via secret Dark Money accounts controlled by the US alt right.

On your reference to illiterate redneck movement… lifesaving public healthcare mandates. Seems most out there I’ve spoken to on COVID would rather dig their head in the sand and hope it all just goes away. I applaud those that stand up for what they believe wether I’m of that same option or not. Trouble is most Canadians are scientifically illiterate and don’t want the science, it makes their collective brains hurt. Opinion that all the government tells Canadians to do is right and just without alterier motives, is dangerous. In Justin Trudeau’s Canada, Canadians get the truth sliced and diced so far from the actual truth it’s virtually impossible for me to swallow. Truth for the most part in the Liberal party is right out the window. I’ll reference one well intended but dangerous mandate, masks.

N95 masks will not keep out COVID, they make it worse. Masks are borderline ridiculous unless you use it once then throw it away. COVID is aerosol in size, it will float in a blacked out room at STP (Standard Temperature Pressure) for 2 - 3 hrs. If you’re wearing a mask walking behind someone who is smoking wether it be cigarettes, cannabis or cigar outdoors or in and you can smell it then COVID virus is able to get through as well. Check it out, new and used masks, you may be surprised. If the mask fit isn’t rated for working in a contaminated aerosol environment like a spray booth in an auto body shop for 8 hours you’re getting everything but larger dust particles. “Back to normal”? Our land fills won’t be back to normal for a couple decades or more for the decomposition of the cellulose in those beloved N95’s. Better than nothing .. not really. The kinesiology of breathing requires inhalation and exhaling under nominal pressures and vacuum assist. With a mask this is significantly compromised as greater positive and negative pressures are required. Mask breathing pushes the blocked in virus’ in your mask from the mask deeper into your lungs because you have to breath harder. Back to normal that may happen when politicians look at long term benefits as opposed to negative short term ones and leave science to the scientists rather than public health. What gets me most out of this pandemic is all the untruth that the public is being told. Like it took 6 months for the WHO to recognize COVID is aerosol. That is fundamentally extremely poor science. Why? cause there is very little concrete scientific information that politicians and public health are recognizing throughout this pandemic. I’d think after 2 years they’d start to get it, they have the data, I have the science data you have the scientific data but are you going to read and get into … unlikely cause most want to be stuck in ignorance rather that science. Arrogant opinion shot out of a mindless judgemental attitude is what I see from many comments here. Trouble is nth of 1% of earthlings could care less and would rather have their head buried in the sand than reading legitimate science. They appear to prefer baseless, mindless dribble rather than using their mind to dig in to answers before they start giving opinion. Science rocks, it’s legitamat and logical and stands to be corrected or modified by logic and reason. The science of COVID is simple the politics around it are anything but logical and much closer to insanity. Einstein says it well, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is insane. Welcome to the insanity of earth 2020 we thought we were a moderately civilized people here on earth. I don’t have much hope for humanity and this is my proof of such .. COVID case in point is just the beginning. Much worse is coming while the majority of human kind is looking to realestate to dig a hole for your head to go in the rest of science will continue to cry out for change or else there won’t be an earth to dig into for long.

I see nothing in this article to support the click bait headline. Showing support is not interference, nor startling.
Please damn him to hell for the right reasons or you will lose credibility. National Observer you can do better.