PayPal has cut ties with the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after it was used to raise funds for pro-Trump rioters and members of the far-right extremist Proud Boys group who attended last week’s MAGA riots in Washington DC.
GiveSendGo, which bills itself as the ‘#1 free Christian fundraising site’, permitted a series of fundraisers to be held on its website that were seeking to raise money for the legal defense of those arrested in the violent Capitol siege on January 6.
‘The account in question was closed due to a violation of our Acceptable Use Policy,’ a PayPal spokesperson said in a statement. ‘PayPal carefully reviews accounts to ensure our services are used in line with our long-standing policy, taking action when we deem that individuals or organizations have violated this policy.’
PayPal added that it forbids its services to be used to ‘promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance’.
GiveSendGo’s founder Jacob Wells said it does not endorse or support every campaign that’s posted to its platform.
Wells said the site opted to shut down its PayPal account after the payments giant contacted it about ‘certain campaigns’ the company ‘wanted to censor.’
‘We told them on a phone call, we disagreed with their stance but we would take those campaigns down,’ Wells said. ‘After discussing it with our team we decided to stop using PayPal. We broke up first.’
A fundraiser titled ‘Legal Defense Fund For Patriots arrested in DC’, is seeking to raise $50,000 for those arrested in the nation’s capital last week
PayPal has cut ties with the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo (founder Jacob Wells shown right) in light of a series of fundraiser for people who attended last week’s MAGA riots in Washington DC
PayPal said it forbids its services to be used to ‘promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance’ (Pictured: Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make ‘OK’ hand gestures indicating ‘white power’ in front of the Capitol last week)
Wells continued that his company are ‘not worried about any fallout’ from their fractured relations with PayPal.
‘We have so many customers that did not like when we used PayPal for a processor. We are excited about the new processing alternatives we are working on implementing. As they they say, when one door closes another one opens,’ he said.
‘On a side note to that matter, I want to stress what our Mission is. GiveSendGo exists to share the hope of Jesus with everyone that uses our platform. From the Giver to the Goer (campaign owner). We do not give money to, support/endorse, condone every campaign on our platform.
‘This is no different than the idea that Twitter agrees with every tweet you post. Jesus was called a “Friend of Sinners”. He hung out with/engaged with/was called names for being willing to associate with all sorts of people. If this is what we are being accused of, then guilty as charged.’
On the website there are still a number of active fundraisers in support of the legal defense funds of ‘patriots’ who attend last Wednesday’s riot.
One, titled ‘Legal Defense Fund For Patriots arrested in DC’, is seeking to raise $50,000.
‘These patriots peacably [sic] assembled at the nation’s capitol [sic] as career politicians tried to defraud the will of the American People inside that very chamber,’ the fundraiser’s description reads.
‘While these Americans stood outside presenting clear and irrifutable [sic] evidence of election fraud at the doorsteps, non-representitives [sic] inside the building, whom’s allegiances lye with their own interests and not the will of the people, refused to hear their greivances [sic]. They refused to address the many evidences [sic] brought before them on their doorstep.’
The campaign adds that the funds will be excluded to those ‘who were filmed standing on or desecrating furniture. All peaceful occupants will be included in fund. 95% of funds will go directly to those afflicted with legal expenses for their peaceful actions that day.’
So far the campaign has raised just $25 of its overall goal. A similar fundraiser, seeking $25,000, is yet to receive a single donation.
Other campaigns remain on the site from before the riots, from account holders seeking to raise funds to help pay for their travel to DC for the January 6 demonstrations, including Proud Boys members.
A similar fundraiser, seeking $25,000, is yet to receive a single donation
The ‘Defend Our Liberties in DC’ fund, raised $1,320 of its $7,500 goal to ‘assist 13 Proud Boys from the West Coast’ in getting to the District.
Similarly, a campaign titled ‘Add some silver or gold to the Patriot’s Purse’, which includes a photo reading ‘Trump 2020: Make Liberals Cry Again’, raised $1,000 for the cause
Tear gas is dispersed as Trump supporters gather on the steps of the Capitol Building following the ‘Stop The Steal’ rally on January 6
A campaign titled ‘Add some silver or gold to the Patriot’s Purse’, which includes a photo reading ‘Trump 2020: Make Liberals Cry Again’, raised $1,000 for the cause.
Similarly, the ‘Defend Our Liberties in DC’ fund, raised $1,320 of its $7,500 goal to ‘assist 13 Proud Boys from the West Coast’ in getting to the District.
In a statement, the website’s founder Jacob Wells claims they actually cut ties with PayPal first, not the other way around
‘Americans and our freedoms are under attack,’ the post reads. ‘It is imperative we make a stand in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, through January 21, 2021. We have found our purpose in life and we know what must be done. We are motivated patriots ready to fight for our Constitution and the liberties they are trying to take away.’
There is also an active fundraiser for Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, which has so far raised $113,000 of a $200,000 goal.
The 36-year-old was arrested in DC two days before the Capitol siege for burning a Black Lives Matter banner outside of a historical church in DC. He was also found in possession of high-capacity firearm magazines.
Tarrio was banned from entering DC as a result, which prevented him from participating in the storming of the Capitol.
He did however cheer on the attack on the social networking site Parler and promised the following day to provide legal support to any member of his group who ends up being arrested.
‘To those that are currently being hunted by the tyrannical government and media…Unless you destroyed property or assaulted an officer… (Which is serious but they’ve dropped those charges for anarcho-Communists)…they can only charge you with trespassing. Do not let them scare you with anything else. This is the time to say F**K THE SYSTEM,’ he wrote.
There is also an active fundraiser for Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, which has so far raised $113,000 of a $200,000 goal
The 36-year-old was arrested in DC two days before the Capitol siege for burning a Black Lives Matter banner outside of a historical church in DC. He was also found in possession of high-capacity firearm magazines
Paypal previously closed an account held by the group Joy In Liberty, which was among those paying for supporters of President Trump to travel to Washington, having raised some $30,000.
The company said Tuesday that it has also closed an account by Ali Alexander, one of the purported organizers of the riot. He has also been banned indefinitely from Twitter.
‘We regularly assess activity against our acceptable-use policy and carefully review actions reported to us, and will discontinue our relationship with account holders who are found to violate our policies,’ PayPal added of Alexander to Bloomberg.
Crowdfunding site GoFundMe took similar action following the Capitol Hill riot, saying it would no longer allow users to fundraise for travel expenses to engage in potentially violent political events after pro-Trump protesters used the platform ahead of storming the US Capitol.
Many companies are halting political donations following last week’s unrest.
Airbnb, Amazon and American Express are among a long list of companies that are suspending donations to all of the legislators who were involved in contesting certification of the electoral results.
Other companies, including Bank of America, Facebook and Google, are cutting off all political donations, regardless of party.
PayPal said Tuesday that it has also closed an account by Ali Alexander (above), one of the purported organizers of the riot
This is not the first time GiveSendGo has been swept up into a wave of controversy.
In August, the website spoke out in defense of its decision to host a campaign for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen who shot dead two protesters in Kenosha last summer.
The campaign had raised in excess of $280,000 for Rittenhouse.
Of his decision not to remove the fund, Wells said: ‘We’re not the judge and the jury, God is. And we’re going to leave it up to him in that.’