Activism and Fund$

A poppy with a "free Byron" center

I have written something similar to this letter more than once, which made me think I should post it publicly. I understand that even activist organizations need operating expenses. I don’t have the slightest qualms about whether an organization I support accepts “dirty money.” If a person, corporation or gun runner wants to support good causes out of guilt or whatever, great. It won’t improve my opinion of the donor, nor will it make me think less of the recipient.

But that is a different thing than using PayPal, or worse, than
using *only* PayPal. If you have a PayPal account you agree to allow PayPal control over your finances. Where I might accept a Nobel Prize I would not give gun runners or terrorists access to my bank account. See the difference?

Doing business with PayPal actively supports this American Corporation which has shown willingness to mess with Canadian sovereignty, and worse, Canadian democracy.

Not cool.

Here’s the body of my letter:

Dear ——:

I understand and support what you are trying to do. What I can’t understand is why you deal with PayPal.

Just prior to the beginning of his trial, G20 activist Byron Sonne‘s defense account was summarily cut off by PayPal.

Previously, PayPal arbitrarily froze Pirate Party of Canada funds when they were gearing up for an election.

PayPal has also cut off Wikileaks, an international organization that not only has not broken a single law anywhere in the world, but also has not been charged with anything in any jurisdiction in the world. [Should the United States alter any of their laws in future solely to muzzle Wikileaks, well, that won’t count.]

And that doesn’t say anything about all the people around the world who have set up a PayPal account for some reason or other only to have PayPal arbitrarily decide to freeze their funds.

Aside from the fact that it is dangerous for any person or group involved in any type of political reform to trust any part of their income to this corporation which has a track record of selectively discriminating against same, the ethics of many citizens like myself will not allow us to deal with PayPal under any circumstances.

I understand why a new organization would sign up with Paypal – everyone knows the name and they make it easy to sign up – but you should understand that dealing with PayPal says that your organization is willing to deal with a corporate entity with a track record of bullying customers and assisting government repression.

Personally, like many people, I will not use Paypal no matter how good the cause. Nor would I feel comfortable forwarding your email to anyone else so long as you request donations that can only be made through PayPal.

If your organization wants the support of people with conscience, it needs to respect our choices.

I am sure there are more alternatives to PayPal but the only ones I am currently aware of are WePay, and Ogone allows for straight credit card payments in Europe [I don’t know if they operate in North America].

Just thought you should be aware of this important issue.

Laurel L. Russwurm

Which reminds me… I need to cut a cheque so I can post my small contribution for Byron Sonne’s defense.

Every bit helps. #freebyron

a pile of canadian money


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