A GoFundMe created to aid the four people accused of 21 combined charges of break-and-enter and criminal mischief at an Abbotsford farm has crossed the $60,000 threshold.
Pretrial began on Monday (March 28) in New Westminster for Geoff Regier, Roy Sasano, Nick Schafer and Amy Soranno - who have branded themselves as the Excelsior 4.
As previously reported, the quartet and others from the Meat the Victims animal rights group entered and then occupied Abbotsford’s Excelsior Hog Farm in April 2019. About 60 individuals went into the farm, while more than 100 others held a protest on Harris Road.
The GoFundMe was initially launched on Sept. 30, 2019, but donations have been picking up due to the pretrial. The goal is set at $300,000.
According to the fundraiser, the length and complexity of the trial was unexpected by the accused.
“Although the lawyers for the Excelsior 4 are representing them at considerably reduced rates, with very low expenses, the activists still had to increase their fundraising goal, substantially,” the fundraiser states.
The GoFundMe goes on to add that costs associated with the trial include: legal representation for a six week trial at legal aid rates or pro bono, expert witnesses, expenses at austere rates, disbursements and taxes.
They have also created a t-shirt and all proceeds from the sales of that item will go to the group’s legal defence.
The pretrial is ongoing until April 8 in New Westminster, with the trial set to occur in Abbotsford starting on June 27.
The GoFundMe can be viewed at gofundme.com/f/the-excelsior-4-legal-defense-fund.