Politics

Canadian Freedom Truckers In Ottawa Are Hit With $9.8M Lawsuit

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GoFundMe cancelled a fundraiser for truckers protesting Canada’s vaccine mandates despite promoting money-raising efforts for the deadly Capital Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP).

The Freedom Convoy campaign, which raised nearly $8 million USD for truckers,  was nixed Friday by GoFundMe for violating its terms of service ‘which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment.’

Conversely, it actively endorsed a campaign in 2020 for a CHOP participant despite active riots in Seattle. GoFundMe retweeted a Bloomberg article featuring farmer Marcus Henderson, who started a garden to feed the protestors.

‘In a community with no police, this farmer is feeding people & bringing them closer together,’ the tweet said with a link to the fundraiser. ‘Learn how you can support Marcus’ mission within the CHOP’.

GoFundMe also allowed numerous BLM-related fundraisers, some of which still remain active, that strived to raise funds for protective gear and medical supplies for protesters in the Pacific Northwest.

As well as missing out on donations to support their efforts, Canadian truckers were also hit with an $8.9 million lawsuit by an Ottawa resident who claims their protests are affecting the quality of life in the nation’s capital.

During the Seattle protest, GoFundMe allowed a number of BLM-related fundraisers, some of which still remain active, that strived to raise funds for protective gear and medical supplies for protesters in the Pacific Northwest.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk called the fundraising platform out last week for its perceived hypocrisy.

‘Double-standard?’ Musk questioned on Twitter Friday night, sharing a screenshot of a tweet the crowdfunding platform published in 2020, amid active riots in Seattle.

During the 2020 gathering, Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot dead on June 20 while visiting the protests. Just days later on June 29, two teenage boys were shot – one fatally – near the protest zone.

Meanwhile, an Ottawa resident unable to sleep from the constant honking of horns by Freedom Convoy truckers who have shut down the Canadian capital for more than a week is suing the protest’s organizers – as GoFundMe said it will refund the $8 million donated to group.

Zexi Li filed a $9.8million lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court on Friday, seeking damages for ’emotional and mental distress’, citing ongoing headaches, sleeping difficulties, difficulty concentrating and interference with quiet enjoyment of her home.

‘The Class Members are living in daily torment caused by the incessant blasting of truck horns,’ reads the statement of claim.

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The lawsuit, filed by lawyer Paul Champ, categorizes two types of damages: the first, worth $4.8 million, for ‘private nuisance’, while the second is for ‘punitive damages,’ worth $5 million.

The suit accuses convoy organizers Chris Barber, Benjamin Dichter, Tamara Lich, Patrick King and other unknown semi-trucker drivers, thought to be up to 60, who have honked their horns in protest on a daily basis.

The truckers convoy has parked itself in the city for more than a week, but officially started across other parts of Canada on January 22, protesting COVID-19 restrictions — in particular vaccine mandates for truckers crossing the Canada-U. S. border.

Since then, protesters have blocked access to the city’s core near Parliament Hill, and have blared truck, car and train horns.

The lawsuit claims the constant honking, up to 12 to 16 hours per day, has affected Li.

‘When the Plaintiff ventures outside, she is almost immediately subjected to heckling by members of the Freedom Convoy, yelling at her to remove the mask she wears to protect herself and others from contracting COVID-19,’ the lawsuit reads.

‘When she ignores the heckles, members of the Convoy respond by honking their horns which invariably causes the Plaintiff to flinch. When the Plaintiff flinches, the hecklers cheer loudly.’

It also mentions Ottawa police’s lack of action, who has previously told Li that it can’t do much about the constant noise, which has contributed to her anxiety, indicating that she has contacted the department at least 14 times.

The lawsuit, classified as class action, remains open to any residents in Ottawa who live within an area of the city overwhelmed by the protest.

The lawsuit’s filing comes after Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly on Friday labelled the protest now as an ‘occupation.’ Ca… (Read more)

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