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Senator Ted Cruz on Sunday demanded that the Federal Trade Commission open an investigation into...

Senator Ted Cruz on Sunday demanded that the Federal Trade Commission open an investigation into GoFundMe after the crowdfunding site shut pages raising money for truck drivers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the U.S.-Canada border.
The Texas Republican appeared on Fox News where he revealed he sent a letter to the FTC urging the agency to probe GoFundMe for potential ‘deceptive trade practices’ and accused the website of ‘theft.’ 
He also accused the site of removing the page because it didn’t line up with Silicon Valley ‘politics.’ 
GoFundMe removed the fundraising page for the Freedom Convoy on Friday and gave donors two weeks to ask for a refund. It said the remaining funds would be disbursed to charities.
A statement released that evening explained: ‘GoFundMe supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created. 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.’ 
After swift backlash for trying to redistribute the funds, the charity site updated users on Twitter that all donors to the convoy would automatically receive refunds.
‘Listen, it is theft on the part of GoFundMe. Let me say — the Canadian truckers are heroes. They are patriots marching for your freedom and for my freedom,’ Cruz told Fox host Maria Bartiromo.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz praised the Canada truckers as ‘heroes’ and accused GoFundMe of taking the crowdfunding page down for political reasons

‘Those truck drivers that — God blessed them — they’re defending Canada, but they are defending America as well.’ 
The protest began as an Ottawa-bound convoy of drivers demonstrating against a recent mandate requiring truckers entering Canada to either be fully vaccinated or submit to COVID testing and quarantine measures. Similar demonstrations have since been held in Toronto and Quebec City, with demands ranging from an end to all COVID mandates to the removal of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 
Truckers and their rigs blocked traffic in Canada’s capital city and at key border crossings. Life for Ottawa residents was disrupted with persistent honking.
Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly told reporters on Friday, before hundreds more were expected to arrive over the weekend, that it was ‘an increasingly volatile and increasingly dangerous demonstration.’  
But on Sunday Cruz praised the truckers for ‘standing up’ to the dismay of ‘big government.’

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A truck remains parked on Metcalfe Street with a message condemning the mandates imposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the Freedom Convoy truck protest on February 5

Demonstrators stage a counter-protest at city hall as truckers and supporters continue to protest against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 5

‘That is courage on display, that the government doesn’t have the right to force you to comply to their arbitrary mandates. And they’re standing up for freedom, and of course, big government hates it and is trying to crush them,’ he said.
He went on to accuse GoFundMe of shutting down the crowdfunding page, which had raised north of $10 million, for political reasons rather than for violating its terms of use.
‘The corporate media hates it and is trying to silence them, and big tech — look at what GoFundMe did, people gave $10 million to support the Freedom Convoy because they were so proud of the courage of these truck drivers, and the thieves in Silicon Valley decided “We don’t like your politics, so A, We will take your money and  then B, we’re going to give it to people we like”,’ Cruz alleged.
‘Listen, if anyone else did that, that is called theft. And so today I sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking that the FTC open an investigation into GoFundMe, into whether they have committed deceptive trade practices 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.’

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Police officers walk past parked tractors, as truckers and supporters continue to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 6

People carry signs, as truckers and supporters continue to protest COVID vaccine mandates, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 6

What began as a blockade in Ottawa and at key border checkpoints has since spread to cities and towns across Canada

He added: ‘They are deceiving consumers and it is wrong.’ has reached out to Cruz’s office to request a copy of the letter. 
The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices, according to the agency’s site. It makes recommendations to Congress, issues reports and is able to sue companies or individuals accused of engaging in shady business practices.
Ottawa’s police department thanked GoFundMe for removing the page on Friday.
‘We want to thank GoFundMe for listening to our concerns as a City and a police service,’ the department wrote on Twitter. 
‘The decision to withhold funding for these unlawful demonstrations is an important step and we call on all crowdfunding sites to follow.’   

GoFundMe issued a statement Friday night saying the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser violated its terms of service ‘which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment

Following backlash from their decision, the company said it will issue full refunds to donors

In the recent past GoFundMe removed campaigns that it claimed spread misinformation about COVID vaccine safety, on top of reserving the right to remove pages violating its explicit terms.
However, those terms of service also give it the right to prohibit ‘any other activity that GoFundMe may deem, in its sole discretion, to be unacceptable.’
Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Saturday that he would open an investigation into GoFundMe shutting the Freedom Convoy’s page.
 It is a fraud for [GoFundMe] to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing,’ DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
‘I will work with [Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody] to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.’

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