Following the shut down of GoFundMe’s fundraising page for the Canadian Freedom Convoy, GiveSendGo founder and CEO Jacob Wells blasted the crowdfunding platform and big tech for their "authoritarian" hold on their platform's content.
"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," Wells told Fox News in a phone interview Monday. "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."
As of Monday, the new fundraising page for the convoy on the Christian crowdfunding platform has raised over $6 million.
"This is like the tip of the spear and what is coming in a tsunami of technology that is pushing back against this authoritarian style of social platforms where it's like these people just think that they get to control the narrative," he said.
"It’s mind-blowing to me that they actually think that is the way that it ought to be, because in my perspective, it only breeds more distrust and more vitriol, more divide."
According to Fox News, GiveSendGo launched in 2014, and gained attention after allowing donations for Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense, which allowed the teen to post his $2 million bail after GoFundMe blocked donations to the cause. The platform lifted its ban on Rittenhouse fundraisers after he was acquitted in November.
Wells said that the "Freedom Convoy 2022" fundraiser is the largest one in his platform to date.
After convincing GoFundMe to shut down the convoy's fundraiser campaign last week, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly warned those that are financially supporting protesters that police will "continue to go after the money."
So far, Wells said that he has yet to be contacted by Canadian authorities regarding the new fundraising page for the convoy.
He noted that the GiveSendGo fundraising page was set up by the organization Freedom 2022 Human Rights. This organization is a sanctioned Canadian nonprofit, which means it was cleared by the Canadian government to collect donations for humanitarian relief.
"It's very, very fascinating to me that governments have stepped in to that extent, especially in the Western world, because it goes against everything that we know, which is that our rights don't come from government, they come from God, and that he's given us those," Wells said. "And it's the government's place to ensure security of those rights not to try to take them from us."
"GiveSendGo will always stand for freedom for people on either side of our current ideological separation," said Wells, in response to governments that have made a "mockery" of the sacrifice military service members have made to preserve freedoms by enforcing coronavirus-related mandates. "That freedom was first bought at the cross for us. But it was also maintained by the blood of courageous men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we could live in freedom."
The GoFundMe page had gathered over $10 million before being shut down. $1 million had been released to the protestors before the page was shut down. Originally, the funds raised would go to another charity of the organizers’ choosing, but in the face of fraud allegations brought forth by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, GoFundMe instead said that those who donated would be automatically reimbursed.
"Obviously anybody that's looking at GoFundMe or some of these big tech companies, you can see the bias written all over them," Wells said, pointing to the hypocrisy of GoFundMe allowing fundraising for demonstrators who took over the Capitol District in Seattle in 2020. "These occupations had taken over parts of cities in the United States. So, that bias here is overwhelming."
With thousands of people losing their jobs because of their vaccination status, Wells said that the money collected through the GiveSendGo fundraiser allows the Canadian non-profit to address this "humanitarian crisis" and is "not going towards violence."
"There will always be levels of detractors that try to instigate something," Wells told Fox News. "And the opposing forces are going to try to make that the talking point in the narrative. And we're not going to allow that to happen because we know that that isn't the movement that is happening. This is a movement of peace, a movement of standing for their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
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