On Wednesday, GoFundMe sparked a major backlash after it paused the viral fundraising page for Canada truckers’ 2022 Freedom Convoy after it hit $10 million.
GoFundMe has issued a statement that the Freedom Convoy 2022 campaign on its website “is currently paused and under review to ensure it complies with our terms of service and applicable laws and regulations. Our team is working 24/7 and doing all we can to protect both organizers and donors. Thank you for your patience.”
The group reportedly had received donations from more than 66,000 donors as of Wednesday, January 26, after thousands of Canadian truckers participated in the convoy due to a January 15 deadline designed to force unvaccinated drivers from observing a two-week quarantine and Covid-19 test before crossing into Canada from the US.
The US has also implemented new restrictions starting January 22 that require non-citizens crossing into Canada to show proof of vaccination.
And before it was paused, the fundraiser had accumulated $10,102,900 in support of the trucker convoy.
On the same day, City Councillor Diane Deans, who is also chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, called on Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to petition GoFundMe to freeze protesters’ access to the donations.
“They’re funding these mercenaries and that funding stream needs to get cut off,” she said
Here’s what Deans said prior to the freezing of the fundraiser:
“I want to ask the mayor if he will pick up the phone and call GoFundMe in the States directly and demand that they cease and desist sending money to these unlawful protestors. And, perhaps while he’s at it he could pick up the phone and ask the Prime Minister to do the same. We’ve had some conversations about perhaps suing GoFundMe, but legal action takes time, and this is urgent. We need to cut off the pipeline of funding to these people… mercenaries, if you will, that are unlawfully protesting and occupying our communities.”