GoFundMe has announced the fundraiser for Canada’s trucker convoy has now been removed from the platform.
This news comes after the company previously stated it was suspended and under review after more than $10 million was raised.
In a statement posted to the website, GoFundMe said it “supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.
“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.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson thanked GoFundMe on Friday for “listening to the plea” made by the City and Ottawa Police to no longer provide funds to the convoy organizers.
“In light of the unlawful behaviour that has transpired in the last few days, they have come to the right decision in support of our city and our residents,” he said in a tweet.
He said that he is hopeful that limiting their access to funds will “restrict their ability to remain in Ottawa,” and encouraged other crowdfunding platforms to block fundraising efforts as well to help end the protest.
Nevertheless, a new “official donation site” was set up on Friday on GiveSendGo, according to lawyer Keith Wilson, who represents the protest.
The GoFundMe fundraiser, which listed Tamara Lich as an organizer and B.J. Dichter as a “team member,” was created to support the truckers that have travelled across Canada to Ottawa to participate in a protest against COVID-19 restrictions.
The company said it works with local authorities to ensure it has an understanding of what is taking place in connection with any fundraiser.
“Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform,” the company said.
Originally, $1 million was released to the organizers, which GoFundMe said was due to a clear distribution plan being provided and funds would be used only for participants who travelled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest.
“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 verified by GoFundMe,” the company said.
All donors may submit a request for a full refund until Feb. 19, 2022 using this dedicated refund form.