Canadian Truck Protesters Slapped With Honking Injunction in $9.8 Million Lawsuit
22:12 GMT 07.02.2022 (Updated: 04:09 GMT 08.02.2022)
© REUTERS / PATRICK DOYLE / Truckers and supporters continue to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in OttawaTruckers and supporters continue to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Ottawa
© REUTERS / PATRICK DOYLE / Truckers and supporters continue to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Ottawa
The anti-vaccine mandate truckers convoy has already been robbed of $8 million in donations from supporters after crowdfunding site GoFundMe suspended their account — prompting Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to launch a probe into the firm.
A Canadian court has slapped an injunction on truckers protesting vaccine mandates after a group of Ottawa residents sued the convoy for honking their horns.
The court order, granted on Monday, prevents the truckers from sounding their horns in the city for the next 10 days — but does not order them to disperse after more than a week in the capital.
Lawyer Paul Champ, who brought the class-action lawsuit on behalf of city resident and civil servant Zexi Li, claimed the drivers were blaring their klaxons "incessantly" in a deliberate tactic "organised and planned by the Defendants to cause serious discomfort and inconvenience".
Champ is claiming $4.8 million in compensation for "private nuisance" plus $5 million for "punitive damages".
"The non-stop blaring horns have caused unbearable torment in the sanctity of their own homes", Champ alleged, saying the noise was "constant and excruciatingly loud" for some 6,000 residents of the area near the parliament and government buildings.
The truckers responded to the honking ban — by honking outside the parliament building.
After a judge ruled that honking is now illegal in Ottawa, the truckers responded by honking.— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 7, 2022
Read more: https://t.co/868H21GZUN pic.twitter.com/D7l9fpbhku
The demonstrators' target is not Ottawa residents but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government who they are demanding lift the requirement for any trucker crossing the border into the US.
Memes were already flying before the hearing.
© Paul Joseph WatsonSatirical meme criticising a lawsuit against protesting Canadian truckers in Ottawa for honking their horns.
Satirical meme criticising a lawsuit against protesting Canadian truckers in Ottawa for honking their horns.
© Garland NixonMeme in support of Canadian truckers protesting against vaccine mandates and critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Meme in support of Canadian truckers protesting against vaccine mandates and critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Authorities in the capital have been taking increasingly harsh measures against the protesters, Police have forced soup kitchens feeding the protesters to close and confiscated donations of fuel from citizens to the truckers in the sub-zero Canadian winter.
On Friday, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly compared the protest to a hostile foreign "occupation", while Transport Minister Omar Alghabra called their demands "unreasonable".
"I understand people are frustrated and we want to hear all points of view and I ask that they all engage with their officials", Alghabra said. "But occupying downtown, Ottawa downtown, or other cities is not going to advance their cause and its going to cause all kinds of destructions that are unnecessary and unaccepted".
6 February 2022, 23:21 GMT
Online crowdfunding firm GoFundMe has come under fire for freezing some £8 million ($10 million) in donations from individuals to support the convoy, only belatedly offering automatic refunds after accusations that it would divert the money to charity causes favoured by liberals who oppose the vaccine mandate protest.
Critics of that decision have pointed out GoFundMe allowed donations to the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP), also known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), in Seattle, Washington in 202O.
CHOP saw Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters and anarchists take over the city's inner Capitol Hill district on 8 June that year and declare it a police-free zone in response to the death of George Floyd during his arrest in Minneapolis. Crime rapidly soared in the area but Mayoress Jenny Durkan refused to give police authority to clear the area until two teenagers were shot, one fatally, on 29 June. They were the fifth and sixth shooting victims inside the CHOP in 10 days.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted on Saturday that he had ordered an investigation into the firm for potential fraud.
"Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers' worthy cause using GoFundMe", Paxton wrote. "This BLM-backing company went woke, froze the funds, and failed to deliver Texans' money. Today I assembled a team to investigate their potential fraud & deception. Texas donors will get Justice!"