Tag Archives: Freedom Convoy

Canadian Authorities Find They Are Unable to Seize Bitcoin Donations Made to Freedom Convoy Protesters

Arsenio Toledo
March 25th, 2022

The Canadian government is attempting to seize all of the funds raised by the anti-Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and vaccine mandate Freedom Convoy protesters. Unfortunately for them, they are having a hard time retrieving donations made through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

The measures taken by Canada to suppress the Freedom Convoy protests are considered unprecedented for a supposedly democratic nation. This included the freezing of bank accounts of organizers and individual protesters and the seizing of donations made through crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe. (Related: Canadian government freezes single mom’s bank account after she donated $50 to the Freedom Convoy.)

This is why many organizers and supporters of the Freedom Convoy increasingly turned to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, believing that their detachment from fiat money and Big Tech platforms made them more difficult, if not impossible, to seize by authorities.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and other police services in the province of Ontario, the Freedom Convoy received 20.7 bitcoins ($915,050).

Around 14.6 bitcoins are already considered irretrievable, as they have already been distributed to 101 individual wallets through an intermediary.

According to cryptocurrency transaction trackers, 101 individual wallets received 0.144 bitcoins ($6,360) each, transferred through an intermediary. The roughly 5.964 bitcoins ($263,400) that remained were seized by Canadian authorities and confiscated.

Cryptocurrencies more resilient against government seizure attempts

Back in February, a Canadian judge ordered all digital wallets that held cryptocurrency donations meant for Freedom Convoy organizers to be frozen. Only one wallet provider, Nunchuk, refused the order.

According to Nunchuk, the company designed its systems to make it impossible to freeze users or prevent their assets from being moved or accessed.

“We do not hold any keys,” wrote the company. “Therefore, we cannot freeze our users’ assets. We cannot prevent them from being moved. We do not have knowledge of the existence, nature, value and location of our users’ assets. This is by design.”

Monique Jilesen, a lawyer involved in a class-action lawsuit against the Freedom Convoy organizers, said the government is still able to trace which wallets are receiving the donations. But she lamented the fact that as the bitcoins move from wallet to wallet, it gets harder to seize the funds.

“I presume, although I don’t know, in part, that was done in order to distribute the wallets,” she said. “They’ve taken one big wallet, moved it into hundreds of smaller wallets and then they hand the passwords to that smaller wallet to the ultimate recipient.”

The RCMP refused to comment on the case, but it said in a statement to CBC News that it still has the power to seize digital currency assets.

“As part of its capabilities and plans to tackle crypto crime and track crime-related transactions, the RCMP generally uses a variety of police procedures, as well as collaborating with applicable law enforcement partners,” read the RCMP’s statement.

But Mathew Burgoyne, a Canadian digital currency law expert, claimed that it will be much more complicated for the government to freeze and confiscate bitcoin wallets belonging to unknown holders.

“The limitation is that the crypto can simply be transferred to another wallet address that’s not frozen,” said Burgoyne. “And then another address that’s not frozen, and it can continue to be transferred in an effort to obscure the original source, or in an effort to remove the funds as much as possible from the wallet that was frozen.”

Watch this video as “Vaccine Choice Canada” hosts a panel of experts who attempt to answer the question: Is cryptocurrency the answer to the Canadian government’s penchant for freezing the bank accounts of COVID-19 lockdown and mandate protesters?

Canadian Banks Say Freedom Convoy Backers’ Frozen Accounts Will Be Flagged for Life

Jack Bingham
March 8th, 2022

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Freedom Convoy supporters whose bank accounts were frozen will be flagged for life.

The personal accounts of protesters that were locked after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act have been permanently marked, the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) revealed at the House of Commons finance committee meeting on Monday.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, bankers also explained that they froze accounts corresponding to 257 names that were not on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) blacklist provided to the banks, meaning they went beyond the scope of what the government asked of them.

“We primarily relied upon the names provided by the RCMP, but there were obligations under the order separate that required banks to make their own determinations,” Angelina Mason, general counsel for the Bankers Association, testified to the finance committee on Monday.

“Were there accounts of individuals frozen that did not appear on a list of names submitted by banks to the RCMP?” New Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) Daniel Blaikie asked.

“Yes,” Mason replied.

“Once an account is frozen and eventually unfrozen, are there any permanent markers or indications on a client’s file that would indicate they have had their accounts previously frozen?” Conservative MP Adam Chambers queried.

“There would be something in the file indicating a freeze had taken place,” Mason affirmed.

In response to other questions, Mason confirmed that if a person whose name was flagged by the RCMP had a joint account with someone whose name did not appear on the RCMP’s blacklist, the banks froze the account anyway, cutting both parties off from accessing their funds.

Mason added that even in the event that some of these accounts were illegitimately or unnecessarily frozen, there was “immunity provided” in the Emergencies Act that shields the banks from any legal consequences.

The Freedom Convoy protest, which consisted of thousands of protesters and hundreds of trucks, clogged the downtown core of Canada’s capital of Ottawa for just over three weeks, from the end of January until mid-February.

The stated goal of the protest was to get Canadian governments to rescind the mandates they had imposed during the so-called COVID pandemic, with supporters of the protest saying the measures taken to fight the virus were largely unnecessary, harmful, and unconstitutional.

When the convoy of trucks and their supporters were first making their way to Ottawa, Trudeau maligned the diverse group of Canadians as a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” while also suggesting many of the demonstrators were Nazi sympathizers and racists.

Despite the size and length of the protest, police reports indicate that the movement was overwhelming peaceful and non-violent, but was nonetheless met with Trudeau invoking the never-before-used Emergencies Act, granting him the power to use federal police to forcibly end the protest while compelling financial institutions to freeze the bank accounts of anyone involved in financing the protest without a court order.

Trudeau’s harsh actions against the protesters were met with widespread criticism from international figures on both the political right and the political left.

Conservative FoxNews host Tucker Carlson accused Trudeau of turning Canada into a “dictatorship” after he granted himself the emergency powers, and prominent left-wing comedian Bill Maher likened Trudeau’s anti-protester rhetoric to the discriminatory and hateful language used by Adolf Hitler.

Since the Freedom Convoy protest, many provinces decided to move in the direction the protesters desired by phasing out or outright axing their vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, and mandatory indoor masking policies. However, Trudeau’s federal government has still held on to the vaccine mandate for all interprovincial air travelers, mandatory quarantining for unvaccinated Canadians entering Canada, and the requirement that all employees of the federal government be fully vaccinated.

Trudeau’s Approval Ratings CRASH Following Freedom Convoy Protests In Newly Released Poll

Adam Wilson
March 5th, 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did everything he could to shut down the Freedom Convoy protesters; from declaring a state of emergency, to seizing money they fundraised, to sending the police in to use physical force against them.

Trudeau is still dealing with the political fallout from how he handled the Freedom Convoy demonstration, with a vast majority of voters disapproving of his handling of the situation and his overall approval rating dipping significantly.  The Gateway Pundit Reports

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party approval rating has reached its lowest point in nearly a year, following Trudeau’s crackdown on “Freedom Convoy” protestors in February, according to a Tuesday poll from Nanos Research.

Nanos Research, a public opinion and polling company based out of Ottawa, Canada, released a poll showing that Trudeau’s liberal party was facing its lowest approval rating in nearly 12 months, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trudeau’s remarks towards those who challenged his COVID-19 health policies came under fire from members of his own party, who considered them disdainful, the outlet reported.

A separate Nanos poll found that 47% of Canadians’ impression of Trudeau was “worsened” by the Prime Minister’s “handling of the Truckers Convoy Protest.” Comparatively, 20% said it improved their impression of Trudeau while 31% said it had “no impact,” the poll found. An additional 2% were “unsure” of how their impressions were affected.

Last month, a group chat was leaked that showed police actively take joy in brutalizing Freedom Convoy demonstrators.  In what is alleged to be an RCMP group chat, police officers made jokes about protesters hearing their ‘jackboots on the ground’.

One officer seemed excited at the chance to beat up protesters, saying that he hopes protests are still going on next week so he can ‘get his turn’ in a text sent the weekend before police began using violence against the mostly peaceful demonstrators.

Elderly Woman Trampled by Ottawa Police Horse Identified- Is Mohawk Elder and Grandmother, She Is Currently in Hospital

In some of the most shocking scenes to come out of Ottawa over the weekend was video of Royal Canadian Mounted Police trampling an elderly woman with a walker on horseback.

Several RCMP officers can be seen ramming their horses into the crowd of protesters as they clear a path for other officers.

A group of officers on horseback refused to stop or even slow down when they brutally trampled a group of protesters who likely didn’t see them coming at all.

The officers just continue moving along as if nothing happened.

One woman with a walker was trampled by the horses.

The woman was later identified as protester “Candy”. She was sleeping in her car at night during the protests.

Candy posted a thank you on her Twitter page.

Not Going to Be a ‘Punching Bag’ for the Police: Freedom Convoy Spokesman Announces Peaceful Withdrawal From Ottawa

Isaac Teo and Limin Zhou
February 21st, 2022
Via the Epoch Times

OTTAWA—As police in Ottawa escalated operations for the second day in a row against the trucker protest opposed to the government’s COVD-19 mandates, a spokesperson for the movement, dubbed “Freedom Convoy,” called for a peaceful withdrawal, saying they are not going to be a “punching bag for law enforcement.”

Speaking at a press conference at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa on Feb. 19, retired Canadian military officer Tom Marazzo said many truckers feel that the best course of action for them and their families is to withdraw in order to avoid further harm.

“As a movement, we have chosen to peacefully withdraw from the streets of Ottawa. There is nothing to be gained by being brutalized by police,” Marazzo said.

Police began escalating their operation against the protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 18, announcing mid-morning Feb. 20 that they have thus far made 191 arrests and had 57 vehicles towed away. Mounted police and officers on foot advanced on demonstrators, with horses knocking down protesters in some instances.

Some police officers were heavily armed, including with assault rifles and what appeared to be rubber bullet launchers. Some wielded batons and pepper spray, while some smashed truck windows to remove truckers from their vehicles.

GettyImages-1238619499
A police officer smashes a truck window as police deploy to remove protesters in Ottawa, Canada, on Feb. 19, 2022. (Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s a dark day in our history,” Marazzo said. “Never in life would I believe anyone if they told me that our prime minister would refuse dialogue and choose violence against peaceful protesters.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued to refuse to meet with the organizers of the trucker convoy, which arrived in Ottawa on Jan. 28 and 29.

The convoy began as a protest by truck drivers opposed to the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for their cross-border travel. It turned into a much larger movement after many Canadians from across the country began joining in or voicing their support for ending the various COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

Prior to the convoy’s arrival in Ottawa, at a press conference on Jan. 26 Trudeau dismissed the protesters as a “small fringe minority … who are holding unacceptable views.”

On Feb. 14, Trudeau became the first prime minister in Canada to invoke the Emergencies Act, aiming to use it as a means to quash the protest in Ottawa and similar ones in other parts of the country.

“The Emergencies Act will be used to strengthen and support law enforcement agencies at all levels across the country. This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting people’s jobs, and restoring confidence in our institutions,” Trudeau said at a press conference on Feb. 14.

“The police will be given more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies can constitute illegal and dangerous activities such as blockades and occupations as seen in Ottawa, Ambassador Bridge, and elsewhere.”

Ottawa police called the protest in Ottawa “unlawful.”

Several of the Freedom Convoy organizers have been arrested, including Chris Barber and Tamara Lich on Feb. 17. Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer who was coordinating security for the protest, was arrested on Feb. 18 and later released without charge.

Marazzo, who isn’t aware whether there is a warrant for his arrest, said the protest in Ottawa has not engaged in any illegal activity.

“There was no damage. There was a little inconvenient noise, I’m sorry, but we’re here fighting for all the people that actually hate us too,” he said.

The retired officer criticized what he described as the “mainstream media” that has portrayed the protesters as being “anti-government,” noting that the convoy organizers have been trying to establish a dialogue with the federal government but have had no success.

“I want to be very clear that our intent has always been, and always will be, to talk to the official government of Canada,” he said. “I have stood at this podium, I have done other media events where I have outlined a plan, and I’ve said ‘I would like to talk to you.’”

“The response was, riot police—no discussion, no dialogue.”

NTD Photo
(L–R) Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms lawyer Keith Wilson and Freedom Convoy organizers Chris Barber and Tamara Lich hold a press conference in Ottawa on Feb. 3., 2022. (Gerry Smith/NTD)

During a press conference on Feb. 17, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino diverted his reply when a Francophone reporter asked whether the government has received intelligence that weapons were being brought to Ottawa or were already in Ottawa with the convoy, something the minister had been “insinuating for days,” according to the reporter

“I am not saying that there is an intelligence saying there are weapons in Ottawa,” Mendicino said. “There are public reports showing that there are indications that there [are] extremist ideological positions and there is a link between the blockades.”

He added that “there is a similarity in the rhetoric emerging in social media and elsewhere.”

At another press conference on Feb. 17, Bruce Pardy, law professor and executive director of Rights Probe, said Mendicino’s reply meant that the basis for the government’s actions was “rhetoric.”

“This is a government that has invoked an emergency statute on its own admission on the basis of something that somebody has said,” Pardy said. “They have no actual violence occurring. They have no intelligence about threats of violence occurring.”

Marazzo said the attempt by the federal government to “intimidate” the Freedom Convoy is futile as it is a grassroots movement, which if removed, “others will fill their roles.”

“You could say that we inspired people to actually take action, but we certainly were not giving any direction,” he said. “These movements are just organic. They pop up where people want to get up and do something because they’re fed up after two years of being treated like this.”

Marazzo said legal counsel and support for those injured and those being arrested by police is currently being organized. He added that “the truckers will be initiating a charter challenge seeking to have the court strike down the unconstitutional vaccine mandates that discriminate against us all.”

“I never thought I’d see the day when law enforcement officers would be arresting citizens for the crime of exercising their charter rights and freedoms to free assembly and free speech,” he said.

Marazzo also confirmed that his bank account has been frozen and credit cards cancelled. His spouse’s credit score also dropped 109 points on Feb. 18 even though she was not with him in Ottawa, he said.

At a press conference on Feb. 14, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that under the Emergencies Act, the government has authorized banks to cut off services to both individuals and business clients who they suspect are aiding the blockades.

In a media briefing on Feb. 19, Interim Chief Steve Bell of the Ottawa Police Service said the Ottawa police will pursue the protesters even after the protest is over.

“If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges. Absolutely. This investigation will go on for months to come,” he said.

Marazzo said the grassroots movement will regroup and plan their next move. “This is one battle in a larger war for our freedoms,” he said.

He added that all members of Parliament at the federal level have “failed us.”

“We elected these people to represent our best interest, but not to lord over us like kings and queens,” he said.

“Can you hear democracy? Democracy is dead now. It rings louder than the truckers’ horns.”

Limin Zhou and Noé Chartier contributed to this report.

Following Canadian Truckers’ ‘Freedom Convoy,’ U.S. ‘People’s Convoy’ Ready to Roll on Wednesday

Natalia Mittelstadt
February 18, 2022

The “People’s Convoy,” a U.S. trucker protest against COVID-19 mandates, is set to begin on Wednesday in California.

Inspired by the Canadian truckers’ “Freedom Convoy,” the People’s Convoy is expecting about 1,000 trucks to start the journey east, with more joining along the way.

“We’re going to be starting the convoy out of Barstow, California,” Maureen Steele, the national organizer of the movement, told Newsmax, explaining that the exact location will be announced closer to the start of the event because of the “paramount” concern for operational security.

“The Canadian convoy was pretty organic when it happened,” Steele said. “Ours, they had a month’s notice, so our concern is disruptive groups coming in. We’re trying to just prepare for counter-protests and to take safety precautions for that.”

Truckers can register with their license plates on the organizers’ website “so we know exactly who is in the convoy and to make sure that it’s going to be a safe ride,” she explained.

According to the website, the organization is calling for the “declaration of a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic be lifted immediately and our cherished Constitution reign supreme.”

The website has its own donation link instead of using GoFundMe or other crowdfunding services. Steele clarified that donations for the convoy will be held with a private bank to prevent them from being frozen by governmental opposition.

“So our funds should not be able to be frozen or hijacked, and all the money is being held by this third-party firm, so we can assure that it absolutely gets to the truckers and it’s clean,” she said. “That’s why it took so long. We have such an infrastructure built for this operation. It took us a while before we could come out.”

The towns where the convoy plans to stop will be announced about 24 hours prior to their arrival for precautionary purposes, Steele said, but she did confirm that they will stop in Arizona and Texas.

A few trucks will be ahead of the convoy “just to check in with law enforcement in towns ahead of the convoy, that if we’re going to be marshaling there that evening, to make sure they’re prepared for a massive convoy to roll into town,” Steele said.

She also noted that people from all walks of life are joining the convoy, from mothers to LGBTQ groups.

“This is everybody,” Steele said. “This is the entire country, every walk of life, every nationality, every facet of community that you can imagine is on board for freedom. We deserve nothing less.”

Ottawa Police Chief Resigns

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
February 15th, 2022

The CBC reported that Sloly resigned due to accusations of bullying and volatile behaviour. The police chief made a public announcement later Tuesday.

“It has been a difficult journey, but I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished,” said Sloly in a statement.

“Since the onset of this demonstration, I have done everything possible to keep this city safe and put an end to this unprecedented and unforeseeable crisis,” he said.

Last week, Sloly said that there was “absolutely [no]” plans to resign as police chief, telling Newstalk 580 CFRA that he “came here to do a job.”

“I came here to do a job and I’m going to get that job done all the way through,” he said, according to CTV News. “Absolutely committed, have a great team here, great officers, we’ve got great partners in the city. We’re going to get this done.”

Sloly was chief of police with the Ottawa Police Service since October 28, 2019

The police chief was criticized last week by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms’ John Carpay, who highlighted the police force’s efforts to work with GoFundMe to remove funds from the Freedom Convoy truckers.

“Chief Sloly publicly accuses the truckers of engaging in ‘unlawful’ and ‘harmful’ activities, and of promoting ‘hatred’ and ‘violence,'” but provides no examples, facts, or arrests to support his accusations,” wrote Carpay.

“The Chief calls for ‘order’ to be ‘restored’ even though ‘order’ has not been lost. His fact-free rhetoric includes mention of an ‘increasingly volatile’ and ‘increasingly dangerous situation’. As though speaking for an oppressive regime, Chief Sloly has repeatedly called for an ‘end’ to the exercise of the fundamental Charter freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly by Canadians in their own capital city,” he wrote.

Truckers to Trudeau: ‘We Will Hold the Line’ Despite Emergencies Act


Roberto Wakerell-Cruz

February 14th, 2022

Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich had a message for Justin Trudeau, after reports that the prime minister would be invoking the Emergencies Act: “We will hold the line.”

Lich said that the protestors would remain “peaceful and planted at Parliament till the mandates are removed.” Lich was speaking during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, addressing Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement that he would use the Emergencies Act to clear the protestors from the city.

The Freedom Convoy organizers have previously said that they would remain in Ottawa until the vaccine mandates were lifted. Fellow protestors who blockaded the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ont. and Detroit, Mich., were cleared over the weekend.

Four premiers have stated their discontent with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reported decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. Premier Scott Moe (Sask.), Jason Kenney (Alb.), Francois Legault (Queb.) and Heather Stefanson (Man.) voiced their displeasure with Trudeau’s move.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made an announcement on Monday to lift Covid-inspired restrictions earlier than previously planned.

Trudeau intends to speak to the nation on Monday afternoon.

TRUCKER CRACKDOWN BEGINS: Wild Scenes in Canada As Military, SWAT, and Police are all Sent in to Make Arrests and Tow Away Vehicles At Ambassador Bridge (VIDEOS)

Julian Conradson
February 13th, 2022 

DISCLAIMER: This article contains the author’s opinion.

On Sunday, the Canadian military was sent in to assist law enforcement officials as they forcefully cleared out the Trucker Convoy protest from the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.

Armed with a court order granted the day before, officers arrested dozens of protesters and towed away any vehicles that remained in the area.

Several peaceful protesters are now facing serious punishment, including possible fines of up to $100,000, imprisonment for up to a year, and even the “permanent” loss of their driver’s licenses.

Police handed out fliers on Saturday night, detailing the punishments for continuing to blockade the Ambassador bridge.

Notice the last bulletpoint: “these measures will be permanent.” To add insult to injury, Trudeau and his stasi Goons are openly mocking the protesters for challenging his tyranny and demanding a ‘permanent’ end to mandates.

Seriously, screw this guy. F*ck Trudeau.

Despite the warnings, the brave Canadians remained, ready to take whatever punishment was coming to them.

Videos from earlier in the day on Sunday show police forming a perimeter around the main protest after they had announced they would begin making arrests at 11AM.

Watch:

From Windsor police:

“Enforcement continuing, individuals who are located within the demonstration area are subject to arrest. People are advised to immediately vacate the area.”

Following the establishment of the initial police line, Riot squads and SWAT teams were dispatched to provide additional assistance. This appears to be when law enforcement began making the initial arrests.

As the crackdown ensued, members of the Canadian Military also arrived on scene to facilitate the arrests.

In one video, military members can be seen flanking the police as they progress towards the crowd of protesters.

“SHAME! SHAME!” The convoy participants can be heard shouting.

Watch:

In another video that compiles several arrests, a handful of military members are seen marching into the protest area.

Police can also be seen manhandling an old man as they arrest him and pull others out of their trucks.

Watch:

This was a sweeping effort that was coordinated by all levels of law enforcement.

According to the Post Millennial:

“In a collaborative effort between police at the local and national levels, authorities moved in and “peacefully” arrested multiple protestors while seven vehicles were towed just after dawn, Windsor police said.”

This is tyranny, plain and simple.