Elon Musk brands GoFundMe ‘professional thieves’ after row over anti-vax rally

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Tesla founder Elon Musk has accused crowd-funding website GoFundMe of "double standards" after withdrawing support for and withholding funds from a convoy of anti-vaxx Canadian truckers.

Hundreds of truckers have shut down the centre of the Canadian capital Ottawa for eight days to demand an end to Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

Internet fundraising giants GoFundMe blocked the release of almost $10million CAD, or around £5.8million, in donations to the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” because of what they described as their alleged "promotion of violence and harassment."

With that in mind, Musk took to Twitter to suggest that the internationally-renowned company are “Professional Thieves.”

He also asked: "Double standard?" alongside a picture of a June 2020 tweet GoFundMe posted in support of Seattle’s lawless Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, an “autonomous zone” where riots broke out and police were not permitted to enter.

“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,” GoFundMe wrote in a statement about blocking the funds.

Donors have until February 19th to request a refund, and the rest of the money the group raised would be allocated to “credible and established charities” chosen by Freedom Convoy organisers, the site said.

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Police said the situation in the capital is “increasingly volatile and increasingly dangerous." Some truckers brandished “F–k [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau” banners.

“The hatred, the violence, the illegal acts that Ottawa residents and businesses have endured over the last week is unacceptable in any circumstance,” Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly reportedly said.

“Do not bring weapons. Do not bring firearms. Do not come here to cause harm. Do not come here to break the law. You will be held to account,” Sloly warned after reports of a man arrested for trying to transport a weapon to the capital.

The officer added that he was among several officials who had received death threats.

The truckers have been in the capital since January 29th. They're demanding an end to vaccine mandates introduced in Canada.

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