A former US ambassador to Canada has said groups in the United States must stop interfering in what many call an “occupation” in Ottawa as thousands protest protests over vaccine mandates and restrictions on COVID-19.
Protesters continued to hold loud rallies Sunday in cities across the country in solidarity with the week-long demonstration in the capital.
“Under no circumstances should any group in the United States fund destructive activities in Canada. Period. It’s over, “Bruce Heyman, a former US ambassador to Barack Obama, tweeted late Saturday.
After the crowdfunding site GoFundMe said it would restore or redirect to charities the vast majority of millions raised by protesters protesting COVID-19 measures in the Canadian capital, prominent Republicans such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis complained.
“It is a scam for @gofundme to embezzle $ 9 million in donations sent in support of truck drivers and give them to causes of their choice,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
This is a scam for @gofundme to raise $ 9 million in donations sent to support truck drivers and give them to causes of their choice.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these fraudulent practices – these donors must be reimbursed.
– Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
He added that he would investigate these fraudulent practices and that donors should be reimbursed.
But GoFundMe has already changed its mind and said it will reimburse everyone. The company said it had cut off funding to organizers because it found that efforts had violated the site’s terms of service due to illegal activity.
The so-called convoy of freedom began as a movement against the vaccine requirement for cross-border trucks, but has become a rallying point against public health measures.
Protesters closed downtown Ottawa for more than a week, with some waving Confederate or Nazi flags and some saying they wanted to dissolve the Canadian government.
Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford called the protests an occupation.
US Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, who has adopted conspiracy theories, also condemned GoFundMe for the move.
In Canada’s largest city, Toronto, police blocked the city center, preventing protesters in trucks or cars from approaching the province’s legislature, which is close to five major hospitals. Police later arrived to clear a key intersection in the city.
Thousands descended again in Ottawa this weekend. Participants baked hot dogs and distributed baked goods under tarpaulins as two men on horseback marched through the city, one carrying a flag in support of former US President Donald Trump.
The former US president has spoken out in support of truck drivers against the “harsh policies of the far left moon” [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau, who destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.
Ottawa residents are furious at the constant shaking, disruption and harassment, fearing no end in sight.
In Toronto, several hundred health workers and supporters moved from the University of Toronto to the legislature against truck protests. They held placards reading “free dumb” and “N95 masks for everyone.”
Trudeau, who said the protesters were only an “extreme minority”, earlier this week ruled out the use of troops against truck drivers in the capital.
Protesters against COVID’s actions also gathered in Quebec City, Fredericton and Winnipeg, with rallies planned for Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and the US border crossing in Coates, Alberta.
Police in those cities say they have learned lessons from Ottawa’s plight and developed strategies designed to protect key infrastructures, such as vital traffic corridors and hospitals, and to prevent possible violence.
Some protesters set off fireworks at the National War Memorial late Friday, sparking outrage among many Canadians.