“Freedom Convoy” organizers say removal of GoFundMe donations as a result of government interference


The organizers of the Otawa-Truck Transport Fleet protest have stated that the seizure of $ 10 million (US $ 8 million) in donations to truck drivers by GoFundMe is due to government intervention.

“Cancelling this campaign was clearly a direct intervention from the government,” Benjamin Dichter said at a press conference in Ottawa on February 6.

Epoch Times Photo
(LR) JCCF Attorney Keith Wilson represents the organizer of the truck convoy. Former RCMP officer Daniel Bruford assists the organizer in security. Convoy organizers Tamara Rich and Benjamin Dichter will hold a press conference in Ottawa on February 6, 2022. (LiminZhou / The Epoch Times)

On February 4, GoFundMe announced that it would remove the donation and fund a confirmed charity. Initially, the funding platform stated that donors could request a refund, but on February 5, it said it would automatically refund the funds to the donor.

On February 3, the House of Commons Committee unanimously called on GoFundMe to “promote extremism” in front of the MP, with the source of the funds donated to the protest movement.

After GoFundMe withdrew money, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson thanked the company, “I heard a plea from the city and Ottawa police not to fund the organizers of the convoy.”

“… I hope that limiting access to funds and resources will limit our ability to stay in Ottawa,” Watson said on Twitter. Position February 4th.

Dichter said the mayor’s statement on Twitter indicated that the cancellation was due to government intervention.

The Epoch Times asked Watson for comment, but did not respond.

“Many people are very worried about censorship, but I think we are in control of censorship,” Dicker said.

The organizers of the opposition movement have since been GiveSendGoRaised US $ 3.5 million by the night of February 6, just two days after its founding.

GoFundMe previously allowed a $ 1 million withdrawal for fuel, food and other costs for truck drivers.

The protest began as a demonstration by truck drivers against the COVID-19 vaccine obligations for cross-border travel, but then to oppose various COVID-19 obligations and restrictions, Canada. It was a much bigger protest with the participation of people from all over the country. Protesters drove from different parts of Canada to Ottawa on January 29, and many stayed in the city, saying they would stay until the government lifted their vaccination obligations.

Some U.S. Republicans have expressed concern about GoFundMe removing funds for truck driver protests.

On February 5, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted that it was a “scam” for the platform to “command” the funds and donate to the causes of their choice. Charity. DeSantis said he would “investigate these deceptive practices” in collaboration with the state Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Lieutenant Governor of Florida Janet M. Nunez also expressed support for Freedom Convoy and accused him of canceling his funding account.

“The same @gofundme that supported Antifa, BLM and CHAZ / CHOP has stopped fundraising for Canadian truck drivers protesting the mandatory vaccine,” Nunez said on Twitter. “Florida stands by the Freedom Convoy.”

GoFundMe is not responding to comment requests.

Omid Ghoreishi contributed to this report.

Limin Zhou

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Limin Zhou is an Ottawa-based reporter.