Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and multiple other Republican attorney generals across the country have begun investigations into GoFundMe after the fundraising site refused to give out funds raised for the “Freedom Convoy” currently in Ottawa.
In a statement last week, GoFundMe, after nearly C$10 million was raised for the Freedom Convoy, said that “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 verified by GoFundMe.”
After backlash from Freedom Convoy’s donors about the money being rerouted to charities, the fundraising company then backtracked by issuing another statement saying that “To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser. This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days. 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 said that it deleted the fundraiser after the Ottawa Police Department reached out to the organization stating that the Freedom Convoy was an “unlawful demonstration” and that the “previously peaceful demonstrations have become an occupation.”
However, as of Saturday, there have only been three arrests made by the Ottawa Police Department according to the BBC as many truckers have been blocking roadways and honking continually.
In response to the cancellation of the fundraiser, Republican attorney generals from West Virginia, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Louisiana have all stated that they are opening investigations into GoFundMe with the attorney generals claiming that GoFundMe defrauded donors from their states.
On Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated that “It is fraud for GoFundMe to commandeer $9M in donations to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.” DeSantis continued by stating that he will work with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to investigate GoFundMe’s “deceptive practices.”
Additionally, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has sent a letter for the Federal Trade Commission asking for an investigation into GoFundMe stating that “Because when people gave money, they gave money under the promise it would go to the Freedom Convoy, not to whatever left-wing political ideology GoFundMe and other Silicon Valley companies support. They are deceiving consumers and it is wrong.”
Senator Cruz continued by stating that “the Canadian truckers are heroes; they are patriots, and they are marching for your freedom and for my freedom … that is courage on display.”
It is clear that Canadians have had enough of the tyrannical policies of the Trudeau government and even though GoFundMe and other Big Tech organizations are attempting to stifle the Freedom Convoy, Republicans across the country are fighting back.