GoFundMe announced Friday that it will withhold the remaining $9 million in funds raised for Canadian truckers protesting against vaccine mandates. Donations to the “Freedom Convoy 2022” crowdfunding page had reached $10 million when the company froze the funds. One million was allowed to be distributed.
The Freedom Convoy has been rallying peacefully in downtown Ottawa since last weekend, and more protests against vaccine mandates are now expected in Toronto.
In a statement, GoFundMe said it would refund donors who fill out a request form.
Another online fundraising platform, GiveSendGo, announced it would accept donations for the convoy shortly after GoFundMe backed out, according to the BBC.
Of the tens of thousands who joined the truckers’ protest, only three people have been arrested: one for carrying a weapon, one charged with mischief under $5,000, and another with uttering threats on social media.
GoFundMe cited police reports of “violence” to justify its decision.
“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity,” GoFundMe wrote in a post in Medium.
To ensure GoFundMe remains a trusted platform, we work with local authorities to ensure we have a detailed, factual understanding of events taking place on the ground. Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform.
Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe.
“What a windfall for Black Lives Matter, Greenpeace and Planned Parenthood!” tweeted Rebel News founder Ezra Levant.
At the request of Trudeau, @GoFundMe has just stolen $9,000,000 from the truckers. Rather than automatically refunding it to the donors, they say they’re going to give it to groups of their own choosing. What a windfall for Black Lives Matter, Greenpeace and Planned Parenthood! pic.twitter.com/prEwLnypfe
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) February 4, 2022
In a long twitter thread, Levant accused “radical leftists in San Francisco” with meddling in Canadian affairs, and said that “it’s a mistake for conservatives to fundraise with GoFundMe.”
This seizure is foreign interference in Canadian political affairs — radical leftists in San Francisco are meddling in Canadian politics. And to think that the CBC claimed Putin was the one messing around here.
Trudeau’s government just demanded that the bank account of an opposition group be seized. That’s what they do in Venezuela and Russia. They expropriate their opponents property, seize their assets — and then prosecute them on trumped up charges.
And what a laugh that Trudeau’s CBC state broadcaster had just said that Putin was secretly interfering in the convoy. No, true foreign intervention was by Silicon Valley, only too happy to interfere in Canadian affairs to protect Trudeau.
If you’re having trouble with this, imagine if Stephen Harper had pressured a bank to seize $9M from Greenpeace. No trial, no appeal, no transparency. Just smashing his political enemies. And look; silence, or cheering, from the Media Party.
GoFundMe says they received word from the Canadian government. Can we see it? Or is it a secret smear of the truckers? Or a threat — or a promise — to GoFundMe? Why the secrecy? Are they all in on this together?
GoFundMe says the government claims the truckers are violent, or that it’s an occupation. No-one is inside any building; they’re all on public property. There has been no violence; in fact police say crime is down in the city.
But even if someone was charged with a crime, how does that justify seizing millions of dollars donated by tens of thousands of people, for the benefit of tens of thousands of people? How is this collective punishment justified, either by Trudeau or GoFundMe?
This will not deter the truckers. They’ve lasted this long without any GoFundMe money. These aren’t a left-wing rent-a-mob, like Greenpeace, who only protest as a “job”. These are real people, who are there for their freedom. They can’t be bought by anyone.
This is how the pandemic/lockdown vaccine passports will work, though. Merge people’s health choices (a proxy for their politics) with their digital footprint; link that to their finances, their ability to shop, rent, live. It’s China-style social credit.
Earlier today, @OttawaPolice said they were working with Canada’s spy agencies to conduct warrantless searches of truckers, including their personal financial information. And they were cheered on by the bulk of the Media Party:
I don’t like foreign interference in Canada, from GoFundMe or anyone else. But our country’s checks and balances no longer work. Trudeau is acting like a tyrant, destroying his political opposition. I think we need some help, even just from foreign media who aren’t bought off.
Trudeau’s police are doing a victory lap with GoFundMe. They haven’t arrested or charged anyone related to the truckers. No court, no evidence, no hearing. Much easier to secretly smear truckers to Silicon Valley leftists. No need for due process, evidence, or opposing counsel.
Friday evening, GiveSendGo announced that its site was running slow due to a huge surge in traffic.
We know the site is slow, or getting a server error. We are working on it! All hands on deck. There's thousands on making successful donations so please try again if you get an error! (also fending off any attacks which just come with the territory) Pray for wisdom & resilience!
— GiveSendGo (@GiveSendGo) February 5, 2022
Love that we get 40+ comments and twitter shows half of the hate ones then marks the other as "maybe offensive" and when we go to view- its all our supporters. When you try to manipulate people it just looks bad on you. We can see what you're doing- Everyone can.
— GiveSendGo (@GiveSendGo) February 5, 2022
Just remember the name.. GIVE SEND GO when all this settles down. Don't continue to settle. Choose this day that you will never give or create a campaign on a site that stands against your freedoms. GiveSendGo not the alternative. The replacement!
— GiveSendGo (@GiveSendGo) February 5, 2022
Fox News host Tucker Carlson weighed in on GoFundMe’s outrageous actions on his show Friday night:
Tucker on GoFundMe: pic.twitter.com/dos5Kg7DM4
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) February 5, 2022
Elon Musk, who donated $42,069 through liar.com, which he reportedly owns, posted a meme on Twitter portraying GoFundMe as “Professional Thieves.”
It’s not my money pic.twitter.com/IKRxhGo8wS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2022
Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich said during a press conference Thursday afternoon that the group’s lawyers and accountants had been working to provide GoFundMe with all the information it has requested, and believed the suspension would be lifted soon.
“Over the past few days, our accountants and lawyers have been working hard to deal with the legal details,” Lich said. “This morning, our lawyer sent GoFundMe all the details that they had asked for. I am confident that GoFundMe now has all the information needed to immediately lift the suspension they put on our campaign.”
The demonstrators are in Ottawa “for the love of our families, our communities and our nation,” said Lich.
Lich said she was offended by the Trudeau government and the media’s fraudulent portrayal of protesters as “racists, misogynists and even terrorists.”
She said the members of the peace movement are “average peace-loving and law-abiding citizens from all walks of life who are fed up with being disrespected and bullied by our government.”
Lich also said they will continue to occupy downtown Ottawa until the COVID vaccine mandates are lifted, as they’ve been lifted in Sweden, Denmark, UK, Norway, Finland, Ireland, and Switzerland.
Ottawa dancing away tonight.pic.twitter.com/584YEAUWh3
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) February 5, 2022
Following a massive backlash against the company, GoFundMe overnight decided to refund all donors “automatically” they way it normally does.
The update we issued earlier enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process and automatically refunding donations.
— GoFundMe (@gofundme) February 5, 2022
Meanwhile, GiveSendGo says it is under a DDOS attack:
BREAKING: GiveSendGo says they are under DDOS attack to prevent fundraising for the Freedom Convoy
— Truckistan Amb. Poso 🏁 (@JackPosobiec) February 5, 2022
Governor Ron DeSantis weighs in:
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022