Republicans in the U.S. are supporting the Ottawa trucker protests
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton supported the Canadian protests and vowed to investigate GoFundMe issue
Some U.S. Republicans vowed to investigate GoFundMe’s decision to take down a page that was receiving donations for protesting truck drivers in Canada, even though GoFundMe has already said it will refund all donations.
What’s happening: The “Freedom Convoy,” a convoy of anti-vaccine mandate Canadian truckers and their supporters, ventured to Ottawa, blocking the U.S.-Canadian border, according to Deseret News.
- These truckers are opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truckers to cross the border between the U.S. and Canada.
- A state of emergency was declared in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.
Supporters in the U.S.
Many Republicans have come forward in support of the protesters. In a statement on Friday, President Donald Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic,” going on to say that the “insane covid mandates” are destroying Canada.
- Per The Washington Post, Trump even urged the protesters to come to the U.S. to protest public health measures.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took to Twitter to support the truck drivers after GoFundMe said it was freezing donations made to the convoy.
- “It is a fraud for GofundMe to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing,” he said. “I will work with Attorney General Ashely Moody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also spoke up about the issues related to GoFundMe in a tweet on Saturday.
- “Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers’ worthy cause using GoFundMe. This BLM-backing company went woke, froze the funds, & failed to deliver Texans’ money,” he said. “Today I assembled a team to investigate their potential fraud & deception. Texas donors will get Justice!”
The same day, GoFundMe issued a statement on Twitter, saying it will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser.
According to ABC News, the minister of public safety, Marco Mendicino, shot back, saying: “It is certainly not the concern of the Texas attorney general as to how we in Canada go about our daily lives in accordance with the rule of law.”
- “We need to be vigilant about potential foreign interference. ... Whatever statements may have been made by some foreign official are neither here nor there. We’re Canadian. We have our own set of laws. We will follow them,” Mendicino said.
In response to Paxton, a former senior adviser to Trudeau tweeted: “For some senior American politicians, patriotism means renting a mob to put a G7 capital under siege.”
Trudeau also took to Twitter to give his thoughts about the protests: “Canadians have the right to protest, to disagree with their government, and to make their voices heard. We’ll always protect that right,” he said.
- “But let’s be clear: They don’t have the right to blockade our economy, or our democracy, or our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop,” said Trudeau.
What is the current situation at the border?
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has urged the federal government to send additional 1,800 police officers and appoint a mediator to work with the protesters, according to Al-Jazeera.
Protest organizer Tamara Lich said on Monday that activists are willing to communicate with the government to find a solution but maintained their stance about wanting the COVID-19 restrictions to be eased.
“What we’re trying to do right now is reaching out to all of the federal parties so that we can arrange a sit-down,” Lich said during a meeting streamed on YouTube, per TRT World.
“So that we can start these talks and see how we can move forward, have their mandates and the restrictions lifted, restore Canadians rights and freedoms and go home.”
On the other side of the border, more than 100 Alaskan drivers gathered in Anchorage and showed their support for the Ottawa protesters on Sunday, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Anchorage mayor Dave Bronson, a Republican, and Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan reportedly attended the event.