GoFundMe, facing a fraud investigation by Florida, reversed a decision not to redistribute funds given by thousands to the Canadian Freedom Convoy to protest COVID-19 regulations. GoFundMe, a crowdfunding platform, stopped the convoy’s official crowdfunding campaign on Friday. It claimed that law enforcement had convinced them that the convoy was violent and illegal.
GoFundMe encouraged donors to submit a refund request and stated that any funds not returned to donors would go to the Freedom Convoy.
GoFundMe stopped refunding the requests within hours and instead announced that it would refund donors automatically.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that he would investigate the company and accuse them of fraud.
GoFundMe supports peaceful demonstrations, and we believe this was the intent of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraising when it was created. GoFundMe reported that law enforcement now has evidence that the peaceful protest has turned into an occupation. There have been police reports of violence and other illegal activity. There have been very few reports of violence at the protest.
GoFundMe also attracted the attention of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who posted on social media that it would be starting a fraud investigation.
GoFundMe – Patriotic Texans donated funds to Canadian truckers. Paxton stated that the BLM-backed company went woke and froze the funds. They failed to deliver Texans’ money. “Today, I assembled a team of investigators to investigate their possible fraud and deception. Texas donors will be rewarded with justice
As of Monday evening, the GoFundMe page for the Freedom Convoy of Canadian truckers was close to $10 million. This is more than any federal political party raised in the last quarter of 2021.
“Our current government is implementing mandates and rules that are destroying our foundations, businesses, and livelihoods,” reads the convoy’s GoFundMe page. “We are a peaceful nation that has protected nations around the world from oppressive governments. Now it seems it’s happening here.”
Additionally, the company cited the change in the number of trucks from a convoy to a stationary protest in Ottawa as the reason behind the campaign’s end.
“Organizers gave a clear distribution plan earlier in the week. They confirmed that funds would only be used for participants who traveled to Ottawa for peaceful protests. We have decided that no additional funds will be distributed directly to Freedom Convoy organizers. Instead, we will work closely with organizers to transfer all funds to credible and established charities selected by Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers.
GoFundMe was immediately hit by backlash after the announcement. They received tens of thousands of comments about the cancellation on their social media posts.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was one of the critics of the company’s hasty cancellation. He questioned whether there is a double standard, given past fundraising for legal funds to defend Antifa members.