'I regret going' says convoy supporter who gave away his $13,000 life savings

'I regret going' says convoy supporter who gave away his $13,000 life savings
Image via Screengrab.

The so-called “Freedom Convoy” or “People’s Convoy” is the American version of the astroturfed Canadian version that took place a few weeks ago. The Canadian version is the one that Tucker Carlson wanted to invade our country via caravan. The initial trucker convoy was based on protesting Canadian government mandates that required truckers to have proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to cross back and forth over the border. The American convoy has a sort of amorphous anti-federal government smell, but very little in the way of meaningful policy demands. It is one of the reasons organizers are having to remind media outlets that riding around, wasting money, oil, air quality, road quality, and time demanding … something … isn’t “a waste.”

But the Canadian and American trucker convoys shares a similar misplaced dissatisfaction with government. There are many people who want to join up with a group of people who claim to fighting against tyranny and government overreach into their lives. One such person is Martin Joseph Anglehart of Fort Mackay in Alberta, Canada. Anglehart is living out of his SUV these days after he says he gave his life savings to supporting the Canadian trucker protests.

Speaking to Canada’s CBC, Anglehart said that while he didn’t have particularly strong feelings about mandates, he had been moved to donate to online fundraisers for the truckers after a friend of his died in Montreal. According to Anglehart, restrictions that prohibited him from visiting his friend as he suffered in the ICU with COVID-19 prompted his position supporting the truckers.

After spending around $13,000 on gas and food for the truckers, Martin tells the CBC, "I regret going.” He spoke to the the news outlet from his SUV, claiming he was kicked out of his current living situation after his landlord realized his “point of view” in regard to the small and mostly foreign-funded Canadian trucker protests.

Anglehart also tells the news outlet that he does not have access to his account now that the Canadian government has frozen it, but this is hard to square with his assertion that he has no money in that account anyway. Nevertheless, Anglehart has been able to provide bank statements to the CBC supporting his claim. He also provided screengrabs to the news outlet purporting to show text exchanges he had with convoy organizers. They screenshots showed he was unable to get much of his money back from the organizers, even though he was clearly promised repayment from their fundraising coffers.

University of Ottawa law professor Joao Velloso, who has researched the Canadian trucker situation up close, told CBC, "Not all of the people that were there received the money that some organizers received. We have no idea if there was dark money to that in the sense that other sources of funding that we don't know."

The Toronto Star reported that at least $1 million of the money that was crowd-funded in the first couple of weeks of the protest was “accessed” and withdrawn before GoFundMe cut ties with the truckers and promised to refund what was left of the donations. The total crowdfunding estimates for the Canadian trucker convoy are north of $8 million, with just over half the initial $8 million coming from Canadians like Anglehart. But Anglehart doesn’t have the protection of GoFundMe in this case, as his money was going directly to the truckers and organizers.

As it is, Canadians and others who donated by way of GoFundMe are still out at least the $1 million that had been released before the fundraising site cut ties with the anti-vaxx protests. The location of that $1 million seems to have “evaded” authorities thus far. According to Anglehart, he was arrested in Ottawa on Feb. 11 while transporting fuel to the truckers. The trailer he was using was impounded. He says that while he could not afford to get that trailer back, he was released on the condition that he leave Ottawa.

After years of being poisoned by the selfish rhetoric of big business and parroted into a faux-patriotic battle cry by conservative politicians, millions of working-class citizens of two countries find themselves protesting against their own and their fellow country folk’s best interests. All to end up with a smaller cut of the pie.

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