GoFundMe Caves on ‘Freedom Convoy’ Refunds as Elon Musk, Ron DeSantis Slam Plan to Redistribute

Trucks parked in downtown Ottawa continue to protest Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions, on February 4 2022

Trucks parked in downtown Ottawa continue to protest Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions, on February 4, 2022. (Dave Chan/AFP via Getty)

The fundraising platform GoFundMe took down a page set up to raise money for the protesting truckers in Canada’s capital, claiming the intended recipients were in violation of the site’s policies on violence.

The “Freedom Convoy” is a protest in Ottawa consisting of hundreds of semis rolling into the city in protest of covid vaccine mandates for drivers. GoFundMe said that after speaking with law enforcement they were taking down a page raising money for the truckers because the protesters were engaging in violence or harassment, and it is against their policy to allow funds to be raised in support of that.

In announcing the move on Friday, GoFundMe said “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.”

That plan to take the funds and redistribute them to “credible” charities at their discretion was not widely well-received, and one of the loudest, if understated objections came from Elon Musk, who labeled the company as “thieves.”

Musk also implied hypocrisy on GoFundMe’s part.

He wasn’t the only major name objecting. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Saturday he was directing the state’s Attorney General to investigate what he described as “fraud. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey made similar announcements.

Early on Saturday the platform reversed course on the plan to keep and redirect the funds and instead will be offering refunds to all who contributed to the fundraiser.

A separate fundraiser was set up through GiveSendGo. On Saturday, that fundraising company stated that, although their site had come under attack for taking on the project, the page had raised in excess of $1 million for the protesters.

The convoy made news last weekend, too, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vacated Ottawa and speculation ran rampant about it.

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Caleb Howe is an editor and writer focusing on politics and media. Former managing editor at RedState. Published at USA Today, Blaze, National Review, Daily Wire, American Spectator, AOL News, Asylum, fortune cookies, manifestos, napkins, fridge drawings...