Update (1904ET): The situation in Ottawa has gotten worse for the Freedom Convoy - with the arrest of key organizers Chris Barber and Tamara Lich.
Barber is currently in police custody and is expected to face criminal charges as the now-global protest against vaccine mandates and other restrictions enters its third week, according to the CBC.
Barber is also one of three protest organizers named in the class action lawsuit filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by lawyer Paul Champ on behalf of his client, 21-year-old public servant Zexi Li.
The suit names Barber along with fellow convoy organizers Tamara Lich and Benjamin Dichter.
Earlier this month, Barber responded to criticism the protest was negatively affecting Ottawa residents by saying organizers had "empathy" for local residents.
"We understand your frustration and genuinely wish there was another way for us to get our message across, but the responsibility for your inconvenience lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians who have [preferred] to vilify and call us names rather than engage in respectful, serious dialogue," he said at the time. -CBC
Facist pig https://t.co/NMDpOQ9HrX— Joseph J Flynn (@JosephJFlynn1) February 18, 2022
Meanwhile, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has announced its intention to sue the federal government for invoking the Emergencies Act in response to the ongoing protests and blockades, the CBC reports.
"Emergency powers cannot and must not be normalized," said CCLA executive director Noa Mendelsohn, who added that the use of the act "seriously infringes on the Charter rights of Canadians."
The Emergencies Act was invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday in response to ongoing demonstrations against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.
The convoy protest in Ottawa has gridlocked the downtown core for more than 20 days, while other demonstrations have blocked international border crossings in Windsor, Ont. and Coutts, Alta. -CBC
Mendelsohn said that reports of "violent, racist and homophobic acts" don't rise to the level of introducing measures which the CCLA considers a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Protest is how people in a democracy share their political messages of all kinds, whether they be environmental activists, students taking to the streets, Indigenous land defenders, workers on strike, people who know that Black lives matter, and others who oppose government measures of all kinds," Mendelsohn said.
"Not every person may agree with the content of every movement."
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Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday that financial institutions have been actively freezing the accounts of people linked to the medical freedom protests in Ottawa, which has left an unknown number of protesters and donors in financial limbo, according to state-owned CBC.
Freeland said that the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies have been gathering intelligence on convoy protesters and their supporters, and have been sharing that information with financial institutions in order to restrict access to both cash and crypto.
"The names of both individuals and entities as well as crypto wallets have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions and accounts have been frozen and more accounts will be frozen," she said, referring to crypto exchange accounts.
Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland: "The names of both individuals and entities as well as crypto wallets have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions and accounts have been frozen and more accounts will be frozen." pic.twitter.com/iA69DbRJl1— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) February 17, 2022
As the CBC notes,
The law also allows banks to target for account closure donors to the GoFundMe and the GiveSendGo fundraising campaigns that fuelled this protest. Freeland said she wouldn't get into the "specifics of whose accounts are being frozen."
Citing terrorist financing laws, the government has forced crowdfunding websites and payment providers to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), the government's financial intelligence unit.
In a final warning to the assembled protesters, Freeland said those who have their big rigs on Ottawa's streets will see their insurance cancelled and their corporate accounts suspended — a move that could make it difficult for these drivers to ever work again.
"The consequences are real and they will bite," she said.
Update (1610ET): You know it's bad when...
HOLY FUCKING SHIT—NOW EVEN AHMADINEJAD IS DUNKING ON TRUDEAU FOR GOING OVERBOARD ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS ABUSES.— INVESTMENT HULK (@INVESTMENTSHULK) February 17, 2022
THESE MUSHROOMS ARE STRONG AF. https://t.co/2i9WB6fXPM
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Meanwhile mainstream outlet reporters are taking a hacked list of donors the GiveSendGo Freedom Convoy fundraiser and have been harassing people who donated as little as $50.
The “journalist” bragged about it on Twitter today pic.twitter.com/f08FyEKknt— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) February 17, 2022
The dude at the Salt Lake City paper harassing trucker convoy donors. pic.twitter.com/gG6QDyClWl— James Lindsay, encyclopedia of Theory (@ConceptualJames) February 17, 2022
Brown shirt journalists doing what brown shirts always do on behalf of their overlords. Good useful idiots that they are. First to be taken out by their own in the end. https://t.co/xpT8wr3z55— Dr. Bernie Shrugs/ Stupid SOB wannabe. (@bernieshrugs) February 17, 2022
Oh, and if you're arrested in Canada with your dog they'll consider it 'relinquished' after 8 days.
*bong rip - ‘what if we kill their dogs?’ https://t.co/MXEv6rcmwU— Ryan Long (@ryanlongcomedy) February 17, 2022