Antivaccine-mandate protesters occupying downtown Ottawa can no longer rely on an online platform that raised more than $10 million in donations for them.
GoFundMe announced today that it has removed the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser from its website.
"Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform." GoFundMe stated.
It came after police said that they had received indications that demonstrators had brought weapons to the city.
GoFundMe's action comes a day before supporters of the convoy will be holding demonstrations outside media outlets in many cities, including the CTV affiliate in Vancouver. These protests are being billed as "The Media is the Virus".
A convoy of vehicles is expected to descent on Vancouver from the Fraser Valley and other areas.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart has issued a statement declaring that Vancouverites don't want them in his city.
"To prepare for this event, I have been briefed by the City Manager and the VPD Emergency Planning and Operational Section (EOPS). EOPS is closely monitoring the situation and taking necessary steps in preparation," Stewart said in a statement. "I have full confidence in VPD Chief Palmer and his team who will be directing the response to the Vancouver portion of this protest.
"The proposed route passes three important healthcare facilities. While every Canadian has a right to peaceful and respectful protest, nobody has the right to promote hate, jeopardize the safety of our communities, or interfere with access for patients, staff, or first responders."
Stewart added: "Hate has no place in our city. We all have to stand together against hate in all its forms, including when it targets frontline and healthcare workers."
One of the largest donors to the Freedom Convoy 2022 was the Range Langley describes itself as Canada's largest indoor shooting range. It contributed $18,000.
The Range Langley is open to the public who want to discharge firearms with "no license required", according to its Facebook page.
"If you do not have a firearms license and would like to shoot you must be accompanied by at least 1 other person 18+ years regardless if they have a firearms license or not," the Range Langley states. "If you are an unlicensed public shooter you will need a Canadian or US drivers license or other form of primary photo ID. If you are from outside Canada or the US you will require a passport as identification."
B.C. supporters of convoy happen to be gun enthusiasts
Ottawa police have said that they have received indications that people have brought guns to the protest in the national capital.
Here in B.C., many of the people who support the convoy are also gun enthusiasts, including two people leading protests to media outlets on Saturday (February 5).
Mitch Murphy of the Resistance in Kelowna is hosting "The Media is the Virus" protest outside Castanet Media on February 5. He supports the convoy and has posted images of himself with a firearm on Instagram.
The same can be said for former PPC Vancouver Quadra candidate Renate Siekeman, who stated on Facebook on April 7, 2021 that she was taking a gun safety course.
Another B.C. resident who supports the convoy, Lisa Power, has posted on social media about how she likes to go shooting.
One of the most vocal supporters of the convoy in B.C., online broadcaster and former People's Party of Canada candidate Laura Lynn Tyler Thompason, has tweeted about how the Liberal government will be "taking away our guns".
That's not all. Sherry Roy of Action4Canada in the B.C. community of Armstrong, who mentioned that she has a gun and a gun licence on Facebook on April 7, 2021. Svetlana Dalla Lana of Ezra Wellness in Grand Forks is yet another person in the movement who supports the convoy and has posed for a photo with a firearm. Others B.C. opponents of vaccine mandates who've posted on social media in favour of the convoy and about firearms include Dan Dicks of Press for Truth and Penny Eadie.