Sorry Freedom Convoy, fundraisers are only for left-wing criminals

free speech Feb 18, 2022

It seems to be harder to donate money to the Canadian truckers protesting their country’s vaccine mandate than it is to keep Hunter Biden out of a strip club. After GoFundMe seized millions of dollars raised on its platform for the Freedom Convoy, Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo stepped in and enabled donors to give nearly $10 million.

A protester displays his Black Lives Matter sign during a Breonna Taylor memorial march in Louisville, Kentucky (Getty)

It seems to be harder to donate money to the Canadian truckers protesting their country’s vaccine mandate than it is to keep Hunter Biden out of a strip club. After GoFundMe seized millions of dollars raised on its platform for the Freedom Convoy, Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo stepped in and enabled donors to give nearly $10 million.

GiveSendGo was promptly hacked and the personal information of 93,000 donors to the Freedom Convoy released to the public. The media — who largely resisted touching the Hunter Biden laptop story because it allegedly contained “hacked” information — jumped on the opportunity to shame and harass private citizens for donating to causes of which they don’t approve.

An Ottawa gelato shop has already closed over violent threats after the owner’s name was listed in the hacked donor list. No good could come from further publicizing donors. Still, Washington Post reporters started reaching out to names on the list to demand they explain their actions.

“Your name and email address are associated with a $40 contribution,” an email from a Post reporter to a donor reads. “Could you please… share what motivated you to contribute to the campaign?”

Reporters will try to claim that this is just routine journalism — but we weren’t born yesterday. We see the baited hook behind these questions and the harassment they will bring onto private citizens. Even Representative Ilhan Omar condemned the practice, tweeting, “I fail to see why any journalist felt the need to report on a shop owner making such a insignificant donation.”

The attacks on Freedom Convoy fundraisers are happening at the same time that Black Lives Matter Louisville and the Louisville Community Bail Fund paid $100,000 to release an alleged attempted political assassin. Quintez Brown, a BLM activist who appeared on MSNBC lobbying for gun control and was invited to the a national gathering for the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, is accused of firing multiple gunshots at a Jewish Democratic mayoral candidate earlier this week.

Few national outlets have covered the shooting. As far as I can tell, none have scrutinized how BLM raised the $100,000 bail to spring Brown from jail. (Some have even blamed right-wingers for the attempted murder.) Similarly, it didn’t seem many news outlets clamored to know who was donating to the Minneapolis Freedom Fund that allowed for the release of rioters and alleged rapists, domestic abusers and cop killers. Oh, and remember how quickly the press stopped talking about the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre when we found out that the two-decade career criminal accused of running over dozens of people had been released on a mere $1,000 bail?

Pointing out hypocrisy is sometimes a funny exercise, but it’s downright disturbing when it reveals deep-rooted injustice. People with the “correct” political opinions or “right” ethnicity can get away with just about anything. Everyone else faces the wrath of government forces, the media and Big Tech companies who collude to deny access to society and erode civil rights. This double standard is no joke and promises a long and difficult fight ahead for anyone challenging those with real social and political capital.

By Amber Athey

CONTINUED:

Doxing Day in Canada

David Harsanyi hits media outlets disclosing names of those who gave to truckers' effort

In Canada, first the doxing, then the struggle session.

This week, one of the most popular small-donor fundraising sites for the Canadian truckers protesting the COVID vaccine mandates, GiveSendGo, was hacked. The names of donors were shared with the public. We know about this mostly because erstwhile news organizations, such as Reuters, have showered attention on the breach as if they were providing a public service.

Indeed, many of the same outlets that refused to report specifics about the Hunter Biden email scoop in 2020 (though the story was obtained in a completely ethical journalistic manner) or share specifics from the Democratic National Committee email hacks in 2016 (illegally obtained, but with high news value) have no compunction highlighting a site that takes aim at ordinary people who have done nothing but engage in political dissent.

In Canada, the doxing has already begun. Tammy Giuliani, a small-business owner who employs 40 people, was forced to shut down her gelato shop because of threats made against her employees after her $250 donation to the truckers' cause was disclosed, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

The Citizen's Blair Crawford doesn't marvel at the fact that a person who lives in a (nominally) liberal democracy can be intimidated for engaging in political protest, but instead strongly insinuates that Giuliani had it coming: "Giuliani made her Feb. 5 donation on the second weekend of the demonstration, when Ottawa police were describing it as 'volatile and dangerous' and lawyers were seeking a court injunction to silence the constant blaring of air horns in the downtown core."

So what? The police were wrong. The protests have not been "dangerous" to this point. A deep dive into the scaremongering tactics of Canadian authorities might be worthwhile for someone who isn't merely a stenographer at the struggle session: "Never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate what has transpired over the past couple of weeks," she said. "None of us anticipated what it turned into and we certainly don't condone it."

No one can blame Giuliani for engaging in a bit of self-flagellation to save her business. Giuliani, who claims she gives money to animal shelters, a soccer team and a choir ("We rarely say no"), was compelled to take out loans to stay open during the pandemic. It's "a debt that will probably take seven years to pay off," she told the Citizen. It's not difficult to imagine why a business owner battered by counterproductive state-compelled economic shutdowns would oppose vaccine mandates. Nor is it difficult to imagine how disclosing her donations – and the subsequent media attention – is intended to chill speech.

At least one reporter for the Washington Post, already on the case, is allegedly contacting Americans who have contributed as little as $40 to the anti-mandate cause in Canada. How could the Post possibly know the names of donors if it wasn't working off the list obtained through the hack? And how could it possibly care? That is, unless the goal is to Brendan Eich dissent.

Now, of course, this isn't Canada. The government doesn't have the authority to unilaterally seize the assets of political protesters as if it were a third-world autocracy. Yet this is what the hysterics surrounding the specter of "dark money" is all about. The fact that we aren't obliged to publicly attach our names to all political donations is endlessly frustrating to those intent on smearing and intimidating their political opponents. Anonymous speech is as much a part of "democracy" as marching in the streets or writing a newspaper column. And in a healthy liberal media environment, reporters would be demanding answers from those abusing power, not working with them to inhibit political speech.

By David Harsanyi

Sorry Freedom Convoy, fundraisers are only for left-wing criminals
Sorry Freedom Convoy, fundraisers are only for left-wing criminals It seems to be harder to donate money to the Canadian truckers protesting their country’s...
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