GoFundMe, now nixing Canadian trucker fundraiser, promoted Capitol Hill Occupied Protest appeal

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Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, which is now caught up in controversy over its nixing of a fundraiser for the Canadian trucker protests, once promoted an appeal for the 2020 Seattle Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP.)

The platform on Friday announced that it had frozen the convoy’s official campaign, offering a justification that there was violence connected to the Freedom Convoy and the protest had turned into an occupation. The truckers are protesting Canada’s vaccine mandates.

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“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,” a statement from GoFundMe said.

FILE PHOTO: Protestors stand on a trailer carrying logs as truckers and supporters take part in a convoy to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, January 29, 2022. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Protestors stand on a trailer carrying logs as truckers and supporters take part in a convoy to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, January 29, 2022. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle/File Photo

It said it had subsequently judged the fundraiser to be in violation of its terms of service (specifically clauses barring the promotion of violence and harassment) and that it was being removed. It subsequently reversed a decision to redistribute any funds that had not been claimed.

The GoFundMe page to support the “Freedom Convoy” of Canadian truckers was approaching $10 million as of Monday evening, which is more money than the major federal political parties of Canada raised during the last quarter of 2021.

However, despite its concern about “occupation,” in 2020 the platform not only allowed, but also gave its backing on social media to a fundraiser for a farmer working in the left-wing Seattle protest which occupied a six-block downtown area.

“In a community with no police, this farmer is feeding people & bringing them closer together,” the tweet said with a link to the fundraiser. “Learn how you can support Marcus’ mission within the CHOP”

The platform retweeted a Bloomberg interview with the farmer, in which he said it was interesting to him to see “an area that has been highly gentrified taken over and occupied and for these people to experience what it’s like to be occupied and to deal with issues of being displaced.”

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While the CHOP was initially heralded by liberal media outlets and politicians, the New York Times later reported on the experience of besieged business owners who endured the occupation and violence that accompanied it.

“Business crashed as the Seattle police refused to respond to calls to the area. Officers did not retake the region until July 1, after four shootings, including two fatal ones,” the Times reported.

Fox News reported at the time that crimes including shooting and assaults had taken place, that protesters had reportedly blocked police from responding to crimes and that the local police chief had said that 911 response times to reports of burglaries, rapes and other crimes had tripled in the vicinity.

The contrast between GoFundMe’s backing of CHOP and its nixing of the Freedom Convoy fundraiser was noted by commentators including Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

“Double-standard?” he tweeted on Friday.

Fox News’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.

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