This week the world has been watching the thousands of truckers in Canada protesting the vaccine mandates at the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa. The Freedom Convoy has received worldwide support and millions of dollars were raised using Gofundme to help fund the protest. However, the crowdfunding platform decided to halt the fundraise and reimburse the donors who sent money. The decision has caused a massive uproar as Gofundme’s decision has exposed the vulnerabilities of centralized crowdfunding applications.
Trucker’s Vaccine Mandate Protest Raises $9 Million, Gofundme Shuts Down the Fundraiser and Reveals Plans to Reimburse Donors
There’s a large group of truckers that are currently protesting in Ottawa over the vaccine mandates applied to the trucking industry, specifically truckers who cross the U.S.-Canada border. The Covid-19 vaccine mandate has prompted a large convoy of truckers to occupy the streets surrounding the Parliament buildings in downtown Ottawa, Ontario.
Truckers are upset about the mandates for various reasons as many believe that the sanctions are immoral and that no drug should be taken without voluntary consent. Additionally, there’s growing evidence that the vaccines in highly vaccinated regions are not mitigating the virus.
Yes – Follow the money. @gofundme should be called before a parliamentary committee and required to provide a full list of donors and recipients. https://t.co/URNGMUfxk5
— Catherine McKenna (@cathmckenna) February 3, 2022
Truckers are also upset with the 23rd prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau who has been against the truckers convoy and is not willing to hear the protestors’ demands. At a press conference last week, Trudeau called the protesters “a small fringe minority.”
Furthermore, after being vaccinated three times and getting his boosters, Trudeau fell ill with Covid-19 just before the truckers arrived in downtown Ottawa. While some of the protestors left after the weekend, the majority has remained behind to express their discontent and grievances with the Canadian government.
ATTN: everyone who donated to the @gofundme for the Trucker convoy needs to report fraud to their credit card companies and file a claim. We need tens of thousands of claims against their company
— CHARGE BACK GOFUNDME 🇺🇸🇦🇺 (@ElijahSchaffer) February 5, 2022
On Friday, after the Freedom Convoy raised $9 million in funds, the crowdfunding company Gofundme decided to stop the fundraise and reimburse those who donated to the Canadian trucker’s crowdfund. “To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser,” Gofundme tweeted. “This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.”
Furthermore, the police in Ottawa thanked the Gofundme platform for shutting down the Freedom Convoy’s fundraiser. The police stated:
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.
Gofundme’s Move Sparks Controversy and Decentralized Crowdfunding Ideas
Of course, Gofundme got a lot of backlash from Freedom Convoy supporters and those who are against vaccine mandates in general. One individual tweeted a reply to the police statement and said: “This is fascism, Ottawa Police. Good job.”
Others shared videos of the Freedom Convoy participants dancing in the streets and being completely peaceful. Furthermore, Gofundme’s decision exposed the vulnerabilities tied to centralized crowdfunding applications, and it sparked a decentralized fundraise that was created for the truckers.
A Freedom Convoy fundraiser was initiated via Flipstarter by a BCH supporter after Gofundme shut down the donations page.
The Flipstarter’s description says: “The Canadian Freedom Convoy is a peaceful protest of truckers and citizens speaking out against vaccine mandates and the government’s heavy-handed approach to curbing the spread of Covid. Many feel these measures have unreasonably infringed upon Canadians’ rights as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedom.” The Flipstarter is attempting to raise 100 bitcoin cash (BCH) for the Freedom Convoy.
Yes, the horror taking place is unbearable… 😐 https://t.co/bDCIfTgr6W
— Five Times August (@FiveTimesAugust) February 5, 2022
In addition to the decentralized Flipstarter fundraise, a Twitter account dubbed: “Honkhonk Hodl,” has created a fundraiser where people can leverage the Lightning Network (LN) to donate satoshis (fractions of bitcoin) to the Freedom Convoy.
Bitcoin advocate Marty Bent wrote an opinion editorial about Gofundme’s decision called “They’re making the case for Bitcoin right before our eyes.” Bent’s blog post insists the move by “Gofundme and the Canadian government is an incredible endorsement of bitcoin and its reason for being.” The bitcoin supporter added:
Bitcoin is an imperative and today’s events make this fact more evident than ever.
What do you think about Gofundme shutting down the Freedom Convoy’s fundraise? What do you think about people raising cryptocurrencies to donate to the effort? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
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