Members of Canada’s Freedom Convoy that have gridlocked the country’s capital city of Ottawa say that they have enough funds to keep their protest running for four years.
The convoy, which started as a way for truckers to protest vaccine mandates for cross-border travel but has since grown to encompass all mandates, is now on its fourth day.
The convoy’s GoFundMe has collected more than $9 million in donations, though just one million of that has been released by the website.
Freedom Convoy 2022 Ottawa
— WorldWideNews24 (XII) (@News24Wide) January 29, 2022
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson said during a press conference on Monday, however, that the protestors “have had the opportunity the voice their frustration against government policy, but as the old saying goes, they’ve worn out their welcome.
“It’s time for them to go back to their communities, work with their members of Parliament… to address their grievances. It’s time for them to leave the downtown core, it’s been very disruptive, very difficult for small businesses, residents, and the safety of the overall community.”
“People who disagree with provincial and federal policies have the right to demonstrate, but they don’t have the right to take their frustration out on people who live in our community … We’re doing everything possible to bring this to an end, peacefully.
Ottawa Police said on Sunday that officers were “actively and patiently managing a well-funded, major demonstration in the downtown core” and that there had been “multiple cases of disruptive, inappropriate and threatening behavior from demonstrators” and “are aware that many demonstrators have announced their intention to stay in place,” the statement added. “This will continue to cause major traffic, noise, and safety issues in the downtown core. We urge all residents to avoid travel to the core.”
Canada isn’t going to take more lockdowns and COVID restrictions.
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) January 30, 2022
At least one Councillor for the city has proposed stripping the convoy of its funds and directing those funds to the costs of policing instead.
“This morning I have asked the city manager and city solicitor to immediately launch court proceedings targeting the millions of dollars in funds frozen by GoFundMe so Ottawa taxpayers are not left holding the bag for these protests,” said Fleury, though the Councillor protected his tweets right after posting.
“I want to voice my support for the notion of the City initiating actions against the GoFundMe funds to cover City expenses from incidents from the protests,” Fleury tweeted
Fleury said that these would include “Police costs, businesses and residents for clean up, promotion for our City, and messaging to support downtown residents, and funds for local groups who were victimized over the weekend.”
“Please advise on actions we can and will take,” he continued.