Paxton is questioning the crowd-funding platform's decision to remove a "multimillion" fundraising campaign for the Canadian truckers' "Freedom Convoy." The truckers are protesting the Canadian government's COVID vaccine mandate. It requires all truckers crossing the border to be fully vaccinated in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine.
The GoFundMe account set up to support the truckers was recently taken down after police reports of violence and "other unlawful activity" by some protesters.
"GoFundMe’s response to an anti-mandate, pro-liberty movement should ring alarm bells to anyone using the donation platform and, more broadly, any American wanting to protect their constitutional rights,” Paxton said in a statement. “Many Texans donated to this worthy cause. I am acting to protect Texas consumers so that they know where their hard-earned money is going, rather than allowing GoFundMe to divert money to another cause without the consent of Texas citizens. I will get to the bottom of this deceitful action.”
On Feb. 4, GoFundMe issued its own statement saying all of the money donated to the account will be returned. After criticism of the initial refund process, GoFundMe simplified it.
"We will automatically refund all contributions directly — donors do not need to submit a request. You can expect to see your refund within 7–10 business days."
Meanwhile, the mayor of Ottawa declared a state of emergency as protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions continued to paralyze Ottawa's downtown.
Thousands descended on Ottawa over the weekend, joining a couple of hundred protesters who have remained since last weekend.
Residents are furious at the nonstop blaring of horns, traffic disruption and harassment and fear no end is in sight, the Associated Press reported.
On Jan. 22, the United States began enforcing a similar requirement, mandating that non-U.S. individuals along the northern and southern borders be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The “freedom truck convoy” has attracted support from former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters have jumped on the bandwagon.