In an article for TrendingPolitics dated February 11, 2022, Kyle Becker reports on the seizure by TD Bank of GoFundMe funds earmarked for the Freedom Convoy Movement.
According to the report, TD Bank revealed to CTV News that it will “apply to surrender to an Ontario court the money that had not been refunded by GoFundMe, totalling about $1 million, as well as some $400,000 the group had accepted through direct donations.”
Spokesperson Carla Hindman stated that “TD has asked the court to accept the funds, which were raised through crowdfunding and deposited into personal accounts at TD, so they may be managed and distributed in accordance with the intentions of the donors, and/or to be returned to the donors who have requested refunds but whose entitlement to a refund cannot be determined by TD,”
Keith Wilson, an attorney representing the Freedom Convoy movement, indicated that the group intends to fight to ensure that the funding is returned to the movement. Currently, the group is conducting a cryptocurrency fundraiser that has garnered close to a million dollars. The fundraiser is based on Satoshis.
In an email to CTV News, Wilson stated, “We will be taking expedited legal steps to have the restrictions on the donated funds lifted as soon as possible.”
Becker identifies cryptocurrency as the next frontier on the “Freedom vs. Fascism movement.” Supporters have posted videos on Facebook that argue, in part, “The principle philosophy of what Bitcoin is is freedom. For everyone who had their voice stolen by ‘GoFraudMe’, ‘GoFundMe,’ you should feel solace that there are now alternatives.”
A Christian-affiliated crowdsourcing platform called GiveSendGo is now attempting to take GoFundMe’s place in raising funds for the movement. The platform declares unequivocally that the Canadian government has no authority to freeze or seize its funds.
In a tweet dated February 10, 2022, GiveSendGo declared, ““Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo. All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.”
GoFundMe has begun issuing refunds to individuals who donated to the convoy. They also offer the option to donate the funds to other charities. GoFundMe states that the protest has become an occupation and is therefore no longer eligible for the kind of funding the platform provides.
In response to this argument, GiveSendGo Founder and CEO Jacob Wells stated to Fox Digital News, “Big Tech really has taken it upon themselves to be the arbiters of truth. And it’s a place that they were never intended to be, and it’s caused more damage than good. We are now stepping into that place because there is a natural pushback from many people because America was founded on these ideas of freedom.”
Wells goes on to discuss the animosity engendered by digital platforms attempting to “control the narrative.” He argues that GiveSendGo is one of many digital platforms that are just beginning to push back against the left-leaning cultural hegemony of entities like GoFundMe.