Since its inception, the Freedom Convoy has attracted a lot of attention. Their stance against the restrictions being placed across Canada by the Premiers of multiple Provinces as well as Prime Minister Trudeau was very clear; remove all restrictions and allow the people of Canada to be free. As many of these mandates would only be a minor inconvenience to many Canadians, for the truckers they were a total career stop. Especially the vaccine passports for crossing the border.
Naturally, of course, these restrictions had severely diminished the bank accounts and funding for many of these protestors. As a result, the best resolution was to do a fundraiser. The organization GoFundMe provides a great platform for the protestors to reach numerous potential donors without spending a dime. The power of social media could really give the little guy a leg up on being able to fight the system and get their livelihood back. Given their track record with securing donations for things like Black Lives Matter in the US, this seemed like a no-brainer.
Oddly enough the platform caved immediately to the tiniest bit of pressure from the Canadian government and froze the campaign with a plan to donate the money at their own discretion. Within hours it changed to charities that they and the Freedom Convoy organizers could agree upon. To avoid even more bad press, they opted to encourage people to request refunds, and they vowed to give them with no issue.
Now Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wants a full investigation into the campaign and GoFundMe as a whole. “This is something that very likely had Montana donors participating, given Alberta literally shares a border with us. We have a lot of citizens in Montana who are either dual-citizens or do business on both sides of the border. For GoFundMe to just step in and say ‘Oh, well we don’t like this, we’re going to seize this money and put it towards something else,’ that certainly raises suspicions.”
His quest for the truth is targeted specifically into other instances where they may have appropriated funds from donors as they attempted to do here. Especially since the group to receive the donations had been verified by the site. Other red states like Florida, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas are also launching investigations.
In the wake of this news, a Christian-based organization called GiveSendGo offered up its crowdfunding services. This encouraged hackers to attack the relatively smaller platform and compromise the information of 90,000 donors. In turn, the Canadian government froze their accounts and has made threats against the transfer or use of any of this money, or money from anyone to supply these protests. Currently, GiveSendGo is battling back against the Canadian government’s legality to tell American banks what to do when this is not truly a terrorism case.
For AG Knudsen one of the other smoking gun cases comes from the GoFundMe and their consent for crowdfunding to support the 2020 full-scale riots in Portland and Seattle. “It certainly smells fishy. It certainly looks like they’re picking winners and losers. From a trade practices standpoint, I think that’s unfair. It would be a violation of those statutes. We sent this letter asking for clarification and some more data. Hopefully, they can give us some.”
The practice of asking for more data is standard, and something that should yield tangible results that can hopefully shed some light on their crowdfunding practices. The reliance on them being honest and straightforward is one facet of this that is incredibly troubling. With their quick attempts to shuffle money around to appease the woke masses, it is not beyond comprehension that they have been doing this for some time, but on a smaller scale. As such this could become a very big case with horrific consequences for many in a very short period of time.