August 8, 2022

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Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has decided to use state resources to investigate GoFundMe for...

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has decided to use state resources to investigate GoFundMe for dumping a group of controversial anti-vaccine truckers protesting in Canada who have been accused by Ottawa police of “unlawful” activity.

The “Freedom Convoy” of truckers has been protesting for a week in downtown Ottawa over the requirement that the drivers must be vaccinated before they can drive across the border into the U.S.

The truckers’ convoy was hit Friday with a $9.8 million class-action complaint for relentlessly blasting their air horns while jamming downtown Ottawa streets. They have also been accused of harassing area residents and shoppers, even assaulting some, and ripping masks off residents’ faces.

DeSantis on Saturday announced on Twitter he was launching an investigation and accused GoFundMe of “fraud” for “commandeering” the $9 million raised for the truckers. He insisted the money should be refunded. Though GoFundMe initially said it would refund the money or redirect it to charities, it announced hours before DeSantis’ tweet that it would be refunding all donations to the group.

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.
— GoFundMe (@gofundme) February 5, 2022

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also complained on Twitter, and Elon Musk gushed: “Canadian truckers rule.”

In addition, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, both Republicans, indicated Saturday that they’re investigating the issue. Donald Trump Jr. called via a tweet on Friday for all Republican attorneys general to investigate the matter.

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Outraged Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is under indictment for alleged securities fraud, boasted that “patriotic” truckers from his state helped fund the Canadian drivers and that he’s launching a probe.

Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers’ worthy cause using GoFundMe. This BLM-backing company went woke, froze the funds, & failed to deliver Texans’ money. Today I assembled a team to investigate their potential fraud & deception. Texas donors will get Justice! #GoFundMe
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 5, 2022

Yes please investigate. As a Canadian I would like to know what dark money was used to try to overthrow the govt of Canada.. may be how you folks do things south of us but here we have real lawful elections..
— Princess of Whales, friends call me Deb (@Debdicker) February 5, 2022

Ottawa’s police chief has called the truckers’ protest a “siege,” and Ottawa’s premier complained that the protest morphed into an “unacceptable occupation.”

GoFundMe on Friday shut down the online fundraising campaign for the truckers, and blocked money raised for the protest because of “unlawful” activities, it said in a statement. It also said the group violated GoFundMe’s terms of service.

“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,” the statement noted.

Ottawa police thanked GoFundMe for the action.

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.
— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) February 5, 2022

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