The “Freedom Convoy” of Canadian truckers that have been peacefully protesting in their country for weeks over the government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates have received significant support from Americans, according to the crowdfunding site currently facilitating donations to the group.
GiveSendGo says it is still running the numbers, but it confirmed to FOX Business on Tuesday that it estimates roughly half the donations it has collected to help the group came from small donations made from the U.S.
Protestors against COVID-19 vaccine mandates block the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on February 12, 2022.(Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)
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The confirmation comes after a hacker took over GiveSendGo’s site over the weekend and posted a purported list of 93,000 donors to the Freedom Convoy’s cause, along with a manifesto condemning the Christian crowdfunding site and the Canadian truckers. No credit card details were leaked.
GiveSendGo co-founder and CFO Jacob Wells told FOX Business that he could not confirm the validity of the entire distribution list being circulated at this point, but said prior to the hack it did appear that there was “a pretty even split between donations coming from Canada and donations coming from the U.S.,” and that “the average donation was quite small – less than $100.”
GiveSendGo became the fundraising platform for the truckers after competitor GoFundMe shut down a fundraising page for the Freedom Convoy on its own site a few weeks ago, when donations surpassed more than $10 million.
Protestors against COVID-19 vaccine mandates gather in solidarity with the Canadian trucker protest at Pat Sole Park, across from the Niagara Peace Bridge, in Buffalo, New York, on February 12, 2022.(Photo by DUSTIN FRANZ/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)
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Derek Brouwer, a Canadian trucker and part of the convoy, told FOX Business that while he can’t speak to the numbers, he has received an outpouring of support from Americans he does business with from Florida, New Mexico, and Georgia. He said a handful of them call him regularly, saying, “We’re really vouching for you, we’re praying for you guys,” and that it’s encouraging.
“We don’t know what our expense is going to be on this,” Brouwer said, talking about the impact on drivers who are part of the Freedom Convoy. “But I’ve already had someone basically say, ‘if they take your truck, I’ll buy you a new one.'”
Brouwer says he’s never lived in the U.S., so he doesn’t “know why, exactly,” Americans are being so supportive of the Freedom Convoy’s cause, but thinks it has to do with “the restriction thing,” adding that “it really bothers them down there.”
The last truck blocking the southbound lane moves after a breakthrough resolved the impasse where anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators blocked the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. (Jeff McIntosh /The Canadian Press via AP / AP Newsroom)
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“They don’t have nearly the restrictions we have, but that’s because I think they’re a little more independent than we are as [individuals],” he told FOX Business, saying he believes the protest has brought Americans and Canadians closer together.