RFK Jr. targets 'financial censorship of political enemies'

'The ability to save and spend without political interference is a prerequisite for the exercise of meaningful dissent, and I will defend it accordingly,' Robert F Kennedy Jr says

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., promised Thursday to protect Americans from "financial censorship" if elected president, arguing that financial companies acting out of "fear" of the government pose a threat to freedom that transcends partisanship.

"The ability to save and spend without political interference is a prerequisite for the exercise of meaningful dissent, and I will defend it accordingly," Kennedy tweeted. "This is not a right- or left-wing issue. It is about protecting democracy from powerful established interests. The digitization of currency has given government unprecedented powers to surveil and control economic life."

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and fierce critic of COVID-19 restrictions who is challenging President Biden for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, accused western governments of "financial censorship of political enemies" during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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In a Twitter thread, he pointed to the Canadian government's financial sanctions against "Freedom Convoy" protesters, comparing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's actions to Russian President Vladimir Putin's freezing of assets belonging to opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces his candidacy for President of the United States in a speech at Boston Park Plaza in Boston April 19, 2023. (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images / Getty Images)

A woman wears a Kennedy for President button

Supporters of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., await his 2024 presidential bid announcement in Boston April 19, 2023. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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"It’s not outlandish to imagine that even here in America, your bank account could one day be frozen because of your politics, or comments you’ve made on social media," Kennedy wrote. 

"After all, in 2010, Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard suspended WikiLeaks, at the behest of the U.S. State Department. GoFundMe blocked U.S. accounts from sending funds to Canadian truckers and planned to donate the money to their own preferred charities instead, backing down only when faced with a lawsuit. PayPal modified their acceptable use policy to fine users $2,500 for spreading what they deemed to be misinformation, a change they rescinded under pressure. Nonetheless, thousands of customers are currently suing PayPal for the arbitrary seizure of their accounts," he continued. 

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Paypal and Venmo

In this photo illustration, PayPal logo is seen displayed on a mobile device. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. criticized PayPal's modification of its acceptable use policy to fine users for spreading "misinformation." The company later said this was an "error. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"These are the decisions of private companies, but often those private companies are acting out of fear of Congress or regulators, or directly at their bidding," Kennedy said. "Their decisions impinge directly on our rights."

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Kennedy, who is the son of Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former President Kennedy, declared his candidacy for president last month, saying that a "corrupt merger of state and corporate power" is "threatening now to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism on our country." 

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A recent Fox News poll found that Kennedy polls far behind Biden for the Democratic nomination, carrying only 19% to the president's 62% support among Democratic primary voters. Self-help author Marianne Williamson is also running against Biden and received 9% support in the survey.