Freedom Convoy Raises Nearly $6M on GiveSendGo as Justin Trudeau Demands Truckers Stop

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday demanded that the truckers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates across Canada end their demonstrations—but as the protests entered their 11th day, the movement neared $6 million in fundraising.

Thousands of truckers are protesting a vaccine mandate for the industry brought in by Trudeau, whereby lorry drivers will have to be vaccinated to cross the Canadian-U.S. border.

Under the measures, which were implemented on January 15, unvaccinated cross-border truckers have to quarantine when returning home. Those who are vaccinated won't need to isolate.

Since January 28, the so-called "Freedom Convoy" has been blocking the roads and tooting horns in central Ottawa, sending the city into gridlock and disturbing residents.

The protests have been getting larger since they began, with more trucks blocking roads over the weekend and new splinter demonstrations starting. As more people have joined, it has become a protest against other COVID-19 measures, including mask mandates, lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings. The convoy began after Canadian truckers drove across from mainly Western Canada toward the capital.

"Individuals are trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens' daily lives. It has to stop," Trudeau said in parliament on Monday, in his first public appearance since testing positive for COVID-19 on January 31.

"People of Ottawa don't deserve to be harassed in their own neighbourhoods. They don't deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner or Confederate flag," the prime minister added.

As of early Tuesday, the campaign had raised $5.85 million on its crowdfunding website. The campaign is looking to eventually raise $16 million.

According to the campaign page, the funding will go towards petrol, food and lodgings for the protesters.

Newsweek has contacted the Freedom Convoy organisers for comment.

As well as in the capital, there have been similar trucker protests in the cities of Quebec and Vancouver.

Ottawa Police have been trying to cut off fuel supply to the convoy, leading to prices to increase at pumps and leaving many residents being unable to fill up their vehicles. On Sunday, Jim Watson, the mayor of Ottawa, warned that "someone is going to get killed" by the protest.

The international support for the truckers has been growing.

A small number of the movement's supporters have been accused of being involved in violent, racist and conspiracy theory-baiting actions around the world, from the Netherlands to New Zealand.

Another group of truckers is planning a protest at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

There have been similar movements in the UK too, with Keir Starmer, leader of the UK's opposition Labour party, accosted by crowd of conspiracy theorists in London on Monday evening, before having to jump into a police car to avoid violence.

Some of the people in the video of the event where holding flags that indicated their support for the Canadian truckers.

Trucker protests in Ottawa
A group of police officers walk past a Canadian flag near Parliament Hill as demonstrators continue to protest the vaccine mandates implemented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on February 7, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. Trudeau on Monday told truckers protesting vaccine mandates to end their demonstration, which has blocked key roads and caused chaos in the capital Ottawa since January 28. Dave Chan