GoFundMe has withheld US$8 million in donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser for Canadian truckers after police stated it was no longer a peaceful protest. With an investigation pending into GoFundMe, this situation makes a clear case against centralised crowdfunding entities.
Vaccine Mandate Leads to Blockade
The Canadian insurrection has been driven by the Covid mandate requiring that all truck drivers crossing the US-Canadian border be vaccinated. Thousands of truckers in Canada have since gathered in capital Ottawa to protest the mandate and the force with which the state was handling the situation. During the debacle, a fundraiser was started on GoFundMe that raised an estimated C$10million for the protest.
On February 4, however, GoFundMe announced via Twitter that it would stop the fundraiser and reimburse the donors automatically:
According to a BBC report, GoFundMe shut down the fundraiser because the protest was deemed no longer peaceful, stating that “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”. As a result, the company stopped the fundraiser since it was in violation of its terms.
However, truckers insist the protests have been peaceful but that the state is looking for a way to curb the protest due to its ramifications for the city:
How Decentralised Donations Could Solve the Problem
With GoFundMe deciding to scrap the fundraiser, others in the decentralised community have stepped up to create a fund that can’t be blocked by authorities. One such instance is HonkHonk Hodl, which uses the Lightning Network to donate satoshis (fractions of bitcoin) to the Freedom Convoy.
The Canadian Bitcoin community would like to have a second financial access point for #FreedomConvoy2022. Legacy financial infrastructure can sometimes be politicised and clamped down upon, whereas Bitcoin is a truly censorship-resistant method of communicating value. Don’t allow your voices to be silenced, and don’t allow your financial sovereignty to be trampled upon.
HonkHonk Hodl has at this stage reached its goal of 600,000 satoshis, and is in fact well beyond with over 9 BTC (900,000,000 satoshis). Big names in the industry have joined the cause, with KrakenFX CEO and co-founder Jesse Powell, for example, making a donation:
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