Where Things Stand: Majority Of Anti-Vax Trucker Protest Funds Were Donated By Americans

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Supporters and truckers front the Parliament Hill during a protest in downtown of Ottawa, Canada, on February 12, 2022. The protest of anti-vaccine truckers, which started on January 29 in Ottawa, continued today nea... Supporters and truckers front the Parliament Hill during a protest in downtown of Ottawa, Canada, on February 12, 2022. The protest of anti-vaccine truckers, which started on January 29 in Ottawa, continued today near the parliament Hill. (Photo by Mohamed Kadri/NurPhoto via Getty Images) MORE LESS

It’s hardly a surprise: More than half of the funds donated on at least one crowd-funding website raising money for protesters involved in the Canadian anti-vax trucker demonstrations came from U.S. donors.

The “Christian” crowd-sourced fundraising website GiveSendGo, which is similar to its more mainstream rival GoFundMe, was hacked on Sunday night, reportedly illegally, revealing new information about supporters of the anti-vax trucker cause.

This comes just after the popular GoFundMe website shut down the fundraising page on its platform for the Canadian protesters earlier this month, not long after the page raked in more than $8 million in donations. Company officials justified the move in a statement last week, arguing that the once-peaceful protests had evolved into an “occupation,” which is in violation of the company’s fundraising policies. GoFundMe officials vowed to donate the funds raised to credible charities associated with the website. But the move outraged some in far-right circles in the U.S.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to open an investigation into the matter. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey tweeted something similar. Alt-right conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec told his followers to donate to a similar fundraising page on the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site” GiveSendGo, instead.

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But GiveSendGo was hacked on Sunday, according to multiple reports. Users attempting to access the fundraising website were rerouted to GiveSendGone.wtf where a video of the Disney “Frozen” movie played on repeat with this message displayed on the screen: “GiveSendGo grifters and hatriots.” The wtf page also included a link to data on donors who had contributed to the GiveSendGo trucker protests.

The image overall is amusing. We found the one below on a reddit thread called “r/Qult_Headquarters.”

Screenshot of GiveSendGo’s hacked page featured on r/Qult_Headquarters.

A new investigative analysis published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday found after combing through data that 55.7 percent of 90,000-plus public donations to GiveSendGo’s anti-vax trucker protest page came from people living in the United States. Only 39 percent came from Canadian donors.

When it comes to actual dollars and cents, Canadians did donate more money overall to the movement: $4.3 million came from donors in Canada, while $3.6 million came from Americans.

But the percentage of U.S. donors is striking on its own. CBC also noted this dizzying detail (emphasis mine):

But while the U.S. donations included a number of large contributions — in some cases from names matching the names of donors to former U.S. president Donald Trump’s campaigns — Canadians actually gave more money in total to the convoy protest.

This all comes as the anti-vax trucker movement gains momentum in the U.S. Republicans are openly praising Canadian protesters riled up by Canada’s new proof-of-vaccine requirement for reentering the country. Some far-right politicians have even encouraged demonstrators to come to the U.S.

But the CBC’s donor data analysis at least partially gives credence to speculation percolating about who the organizers behind the cause actually are — and who is funding it.

TPM’s Josh Kovensky dug into this a bit last week with his bombshell piece on Leigh Dundas — an attorney with ties to the insurrection who participated in an anti-vax panel run by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) last month — which found that Dundas is a player in the efforts to organize a similar convoy in the U.S.

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