GoFundMe has announced that it will be refunding money donated to the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” truck driver protest. Citing claims of violence at the protests, the online fundraising platform said that the fundraiser for the truckers was now violating their terms of service. The company has been subjected to a significant backlash after the announcement. Some Republican politicians in the United States have even threatened to launch an investigation.
Truckers move to alternative fundraising platform
This isn’t the first fundraiser for a conservative cause that has been exiled from the platform by GoFundMe, but it is one of the most prominent.
The Freedom Convoy had raised more than $9 million through the platform before GoFundMe decided to cut the organizers off from receiving any more of the donation money.
The company initially said that the funds would instead be donated to a charity approved by the protest organizers; that plan was not well received.
After widespread criticism on social media (including comments from Elon Musk) and the threat of a fraud investigation from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, that plan was abandoned.
Instead, the company now says that all funds will be directly refunded to donors, though it might be too late to escape the ire of DeSantis and other Republican leaders.
Christian fundraising platform GiveSendGo immediately offered itself as a replacement host, allowing the Freedom Convoy organizers to raise another CAD $4.4 million in only two days.
GoFundMe supported communist occupation
Authorities in Ottawa have repeatedly claimed that the protests are dangerous, but there has been little documented violence and almost none stemming from the Freedom Convoy itself.
The GoFundMe fundraiser and its successor were created to support the truck drivers so that they can maintain their presence in the capital throughout the week.
The company claimed that their presence has become an “occupation” of the city. Interestingly, however, GoFundMe openly endorsed an illegal occupation in 2020.
The company’s social media account prominently solicited donations for the communist occupation of Seattle’s Capitol Hill area during the 2020 riots.
This occupation really did end in violence; before the communist insurrectionists were finally driven out of the zone, two teenagers were shot and killed.
For the truckers, however, GoFundMe was fully prepared to shut down fundraising due to the mere suggestion of violence from the local government.