There were several Republican officials in the United States who had called for investigations into GoFundMe following its decision to halt accepting donations for the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa.As a result, protesters have parked their big rigs in front of streets in the Canadian capital and have put up tents and temporary shacks in order to paralyze the city, much to the consternation of municipal officials and the mounting frustration of many residents.At the beginning of the protests, truckers were protesting over the requirement to carry vaccines when crossing the border between the US and Canada; however, the protests have morphed into broader protests against Covid-19 health restrictions and the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In an announcement made Sunday, City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency, saying that the ongoing protests pose a serious threat to the safety and security of residents of the city.Several fundraising websites, including GoFundMe, pulled the donation page for the “Freedom Convoy” on Friday, claiming it violated the terms of service for the crowdsourced fundraising site, which prohibits “user content that reflects or promotes the support of violence.”The next day, it announced that it would refund all the donations made up to that point. At that point, there had been more than $8 million raised.In response to the GoFundMe cutoff, the organizers launched a donation drive on GiveSendGo, who describe themselves as a “leader in Christian fundraising.”Since the start of the week, GiveSendGo has been able to raise more than $4.7 million.
Donald Trump, former US president, has been among the prominent Republican leaders in the United States that have been speaking out in support of the “Freedom Convoy.”In a statement issued by his campaign, Trump claimed that Facebook and Big Tech were seeking to destroy the Freedom Convoy of Truckers. As part of the Freedom Convoy, we peacefully protest against the harsh policies of far-left lunatic Justin Trudeau, who has destroyed Canada with his insane Covid mandates.
Investigating the matter
Republican officials in a number of states, including West Virginia, Texas, Ohio, Louisiana and Florida, have said that they will study whether GoFundMe has violated any laws.As stated by Louisiana’s attorney general, Jeff Landry, “my office will be investigating #GoFundMe to find out if it is in violation of state law.”.A team has been assembled by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate “potential fraud and deception” by GoFundMe, Paxton said.
“Texas donors are going to get justice!” Paxton tweeted.
The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has been among the prominent opponents of GoFundMe’s move. Musk tweeted memes and links to articles calling them “professional thieves.”.There have been a number of political controversies surrounding crowd-sourced fundraising sites and payment platforms.A GoFundMe account that was seeking to raise funds for the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, the American teen who shot dead two men during protests against police brutality in Wisconsin in 2020, was shut down last year.
After Rittenhouse was acquitted of all criminal charges in November last year, GoFundMe once again allowed him to raise money for his family.Bank of America, PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and Western Union were among the companies that cut off donations to WikiLeaks after the whistleblowing site published State Department cables and confidential information about the US Armed Forces in 2010.