by Eric Odom
Grassroots projects like Border Convoy are awe-inspiring to be a part of. Only through grassroots movements will you ever see ideas go from concept to reality in a matter of days, and only through the extremely hard work of dedicated individuals can efforts like this actually get off the ground.
Contrary to what some believe, the first stage of the Border Convoy was a great success. Sure, our route didn’t quite go as planned. Sure, we had some major hurdles to work through and had to completely reconfigure halfway through. But at the end of the day, we met and networked with some of the most dedicated local organizers in the country. We stood with those folks in Phoenix, Oracle, San Antonio, Austin, McAllen, Brownsville and Albuquerque. We shared our stories, exchanged ideas and discussed plans for next steps in our fight to secure our borders.
Anyone who claims the Border Convoy had no accomplishments is either misinformed or willfully attempting to damage our part of the fight for liberty. We reject those attempts to damage us, and hope our stories in the coming days will help folks see the truth about what really happened down on the border.
Regarding the toxic spin some would like to see spun into larger audiences, let’s address that head on. A certain talking head who, from day one, has been undermining our efforts and was nearly removed from the convoy by the Murrieta group on August 1st, 2014, has now attempted horrible character assassination against several of our core organizers. This individual runs a radio talk show and is desperate for attention and listeners, and has constantly sought to poison the well along the way. We could go in to great detail on this, but truth is our objective is securing the borders, not starting ridiculous personality wars that have no place in this fight.
This individual has concocted a fantastic story of lies and misdirection. Specifically, he has slandered and defamed multiple members of our convoy group with false allegations of financial mishandling. Please be aware that our organizers have families and regular lives. Our organizers have jobs they have to return to. Our organizers now have to deal with fallout from poisonous lies that do nothing but distract us all from our overall goals and objectives.
Regarding the financial handling of the Border Convoy, we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished and stand by it. The first stage of the convoy cost us around $15,000 when all is said and done. It might seem like a large number, but in reality it isn’t at all. Especially when you consider some $8,000 spent on hotels, $2,000 spent on printed materials (signs, stickers, etc), $1,500 on vehicle branding then the fuel and food. We also booked hotels for GMN and paid for their live stream. It was never suggested that we would pay for anything else and GMN was planning on raising its own money. This was agreed on early in the planning stages when we first shared the idea of doing the convoy with them.
Every penny that was raised directly through this website was used directly on the first stage of this convoy. That said, about 75% of what was raised through the actual LibertyNews/Border Convoy fundraiser was raised via the Liberty News email list and its members.
Yes, the donations result in a Border Convoy shirt and sticker. And yes, those will be shipped out (we don’t do immediate fulfillment… it’s just not possible).
On the Grassfire.com side it’s a different story. Grassfire has more than 1,000,000 members nationwide. Grassfire, as an organization, started some 12 years ago on this very issue. They have been on the front lines fighting for border security longer than any of the rest of us involved in the border convoy. Grassfire is a primary sponsor for the Border Convoy. They paid for everything up front and without them NONE of it would be possible.
Grassfire (and our core crew) never intended for this fight to end on August 9th. The Border Convoy brand should never have been intended to end on August 9th. And, quite frankly, Grassfire’s members do not want this fight to have ended on August 9th. Meaning, Grassfire’s donors do not want the fight to have ended on August 9th.
Conceptually there is a phase 2 and more for Border Convoy. We want/need to create resources and materials for local organizers we met along the way. They are desperate for help, for guidance and for ideas. Whether we like it or not, it cost money to make that happen. Stacks and stacks of booklets/guides don’t just appear without being paid for. We cannot send people in to these communities to work with them and help get them organized without money.
Grassfire has been at this for 12 years. It is, without question, one of the most prominent organizations out there fighting on this issue. And while false, slanderous rumors may suggest otherwise, you can ask any Grassfire member who is taking part in our fight for border security and he/she will tell you they are proud of what we’re doing and want us to keep doing it.
At the end of the day, the vast majority of the comments we get in social media, and the vast majority of the email coming in through Liberty News and Grassfire is extremely positive and encouraging. People want and need us to continue the fight, and they financially support these efforts. We want and need to get to communities like Murrieta, Brownsville, McAllen and Oracle to provide help and support where we can. It’s challenging, though, when people ask for help and then don’t like that it actually cost money to help.
We can promise you this. Not a single person involved in what we’re building here made a penny more in pay from the Border Convoy. Not one. Not from Border Convoy itself, not from Liberty News and not from Grassfire. And please know that we all work 60+ hours a week for the cause of liberty. We have families and lives. The false accusations and lies hurt people who shouldn’t be hurt, and they slow down the overall fight for freedom in America.
Should we always seek answers and accountability? Absolutely. But we should never pass judgement based on rumors not built on fact.
And finally, there are a number of people who we owe extreme gratitude to for making all of this possible. Samara DiGiovanna (Thanks for putting up with us when communication collapsed!), Kim Smith (You’re a rock star and the level of stuff you can deal with at once is nothing shy of amazing), Carl Musick, John Henry, Jenna Bargas (How in the world would we have gotten back on track in San Antonio without you???), Sherri Moyer, Stasyi Barth, Lisa Maloney Vinton, Greg Allison (Nobody flies a flag at a protest like Greg), Beth Baumann (we made this all difficult for Beth and that never should have happened) and several others who worked tirelessly to keep the messages flowing.
Most of these good people know the truth about what happened, why it all happened and where it should go from here. Most of these individuals are fully on board to take it all to the next level.
This is a war we’re all fighting here, folks. Let’s keep our eyes on the real enemies and not turn our weapons on each other. At this point that’s the last thing we need to do.