On February 10, the Superior Court of Ontario ordered the US Christian fundraising website GiveSendGo to freeze the money from a fundraising campaign for the trucker occupation that has blockaded downtown Ottawa as well as key transportation routes and US border crossings across Canada. The protest started in opposition to vaccination requirements for truckers crossing the international border, but has expanded to include many far right and anti-government strains. The US-based fundraising website announced it would not comply with the Ontario court order to freeze the funds.
Then, hackers froze the GiveSendGo website itself, replacing it with a video from the Disney film Frozen overlaid with their manifesto, as well as 33.6 MB of data in a spreadsheet with the names and locations of people who donated to the trucker campaign.
The data suggests there have been more than 92,400 donations to the “Freedom Convoy 2022” campaign, which was started by protest leader Tamara Lich.
A Torstar investigation found at least a dozen Ontario police officers are named on a leaked list of donations to the “Freedom Convoy” that shut down downtown Ottawa for more than three weeks. The police donations were small, ranging from $20 to $200, and all were made on or after Feb. 5 — by which time the prime minister and Ottawa’s police chief had declared the protests “illegal” or “unlawful.”
Ben Pogue, “a Texas CEO Who Loaned Trump a Jet” and an apparent Freedom Convoy donor, was among names included in the leak.
Gizmodo reached out to several of the people listed as top donors, asking them to confirm their donations, including a person with the name Thomas Siebel, who donated $90,000, according to the leaked data. (Thomas Siebel is the name of an American software billionaire.)
One donor listed on the data set confirmed that he donated to the campaign. Brad Howland, who was listed as giving US$75,000 said in a written statement Monday that he supports the convoy. Howland is president of Easy-Kleen Pressure Systems in Sussex Corner, N.B. “We are thankful to be blessed enough to support their efforts to do what they have to do in a peaceful way until the government removes the mandates to restore all our freedom as pre-COVID,” he said.
According to the data, individuals in countries including the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark also donated.
Reporters at The Independent in Newfoundland and Labrador reached out to a former politician named in the leak Monday afternoon. The politician, Ches Crosbie, a former Progressive Conservative Party leader, confirmed the donation was real, saying it was “high time” the country put an end to all mandatory covid-19 protections.
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