On Saturday, some U.S. Republicans pledged to investigate GoFundMe’s decision to remove a page accepting donations to support protesting truck drivers in Canada. However, GoFundMe had already stated that it would just refund all donations.
Although the convoy protest was originally started as a movement against cross-border truckers being required to get Canadian vaccinations, it has become a rallying point for Canadian public health measures. It is also gaining support from former President Donald Trump and other Republicans in the United States.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claimed on Saturday that GoFundMe had “commandeered” $9 million in donations to Freedom Convoy to support truck drivers. He said he would cooperate with Ashley Moody, his state’s attorney general to investigate. “(T)hese donors must be given a refund.”
However, GoFundMe tweeted hours before DeSantis’ statement was posted on Twitter that it had changed its original plan for handling funds donated to support the truck driver protest. It stated that all donations would be refunded.
This refund will be processed automatically. You don’t need to make a request. GoFundMe stated in a tweet that refunds will be processed within 7-10 business day.
GoFundMe removed the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser page from its website on Friday because it was in violation of its terms and conditions. It stated that donors had two weeks to request a refund and any funds remaining would be distributed to “credible, established charities”.
Louisiana and West Virginia attorneys general were among those that called constituents to let them know if they had ever been a donor.
“My office will investigate whether #GoFundMe has violated state law.” Please contact my #ConsumerProtection section if you are a Louisiana donor for the #FreedomConvoy! On Saturday, Jeff Landry, Louisiana attorney general, posted a tweet.
GoFundMe didn’t immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
For eight days, protesters shut down Ottawa, Canada’s capital. Some were waving Confederate flags or Nazi flags, while others said they wanted to disintegrate Canada’s government. The increasing anger of the residents has caused Ottawa police to stand by as protesters smashed windows and threatened journalists and health-care workers.
Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, was among those preparing for disruptions Saturday, as protests spread from Ottawa. There were fears of clashes between counter-protesters.
Donald Trump Jr., the oldest son of the former president, called on Friday night for all Republican attorneys to investigate GoFundMe.