Sunday 6 February 2022

GoFundMe crowdfunding platform shuts down 'Freedom Convoy 2022' fundraiser

 GoFundMe announced on Friday that it has yanked the "Freedom Convoy 2022" fundraiser from its crowdfunding platform.

Trucks and other vehicles have been engaged in the blockading of streets in Ottawa, Canada, according to Reuters.

During a press conference earlier this week, Tamara Lich, who had been named as an "Organizer" on the fundraiser, called for the elimination of all COVID-19 mandates in Canada. Another individual had been listed as a "Team member" on the fundraiser.

"We are therefore calling on all levels of government in Canada to end all COVID mandates and restrictions. We will continue our protest until we see a clear plan for their elimination," Lich declared.

Organizers of convoy protest: 'We have no intentions of staying one day longer than necessary'

The fundraiser in support of the protest effort had raised millions of dollars.

"We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity," GoFundMe said in a post about the fundraiser. "Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform."

"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 chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe," the post said.

GoFundMe said that while the fundraiser has been taken off of its platform, donors can ask for refunds.

The Ottawa Police cheered GoFundMe's decision and urged similar action by other crowdfunding platforms.

"We want to thank @gofundme for listening to our concerns as a City and a police service. The decision to withhold funding for these unlawful demonstrations is an important step and we call on all crowdfunding sites to follow," the police tweeted.

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