Directly Into Trucker Hands
Opening wallets, fishing out bills.
In the question and answer session following journalist Andrew Lawton’s recent speech, he was asked about government attempts to intercept donations to the Freedom Convoy. His reply included the following:
The government thought that the money was fueling the convoy. And that was a miscalculation…cutting off the [GoFundMe] money just made more people show up with cash. Cutting off the fuel made more people show up with fuel…people just weren’t going to be dissuaded by it, they weren’t going to be discouraged.
I witnessed this firsthand during my time in Ottawa. Men standing near a truck, talking to a driver, would open their wallets right there and fish out bills. Many, many other people passed sealed envelopes to the truckers. One convoy participant, who spent three weeks parked on Wellington Street, told me the financial support he received from members of the public was unbelievable.
It paid for his fuel, he says - and was in turn passed along to the folks doing the cooking in the tents that had been erected on his block. (The truckers organized themselves by block, each with a block captain.)
In his words:
The amount of cash that came through my driver’s side door window was, at times it was a thousand dollars a day. And the reason why they were bringing the cash is because the whole GoFundMe and the other one [GiveSendGo] got shut down.
…after they froze the GoFundMe and then they froze the second crowd-funding [an elderly woman who’d been bringing him pastries] came I think the next day…and she says: ‘I remember a Communist country, so I’m going to give you this, as well. Make sure you don’t throw these napkins out.’
She had three napkins, each one of them had 50-dollar-bills in them. And it was very discreet, just through the window, looking around. That’s what she was feeling, that she had to do that.
By then he’s been in Ottawa far longer than anyone had imagined the protest would drag on. His wife is wondering when he’s coming home. His boss is eager to see him. But the “passing of the napkins,” he says, provided clarity.
It was at that exact moment, he says, that he knew he had to stay. He needed to continue to “fight for every Canadians' Freedom.”