Over the weekend, the group behind a move to crowdfund a portion of Trump's wall asked heavily armed right-wing militias to come hang out down at the border.
The shady group that is privately building a portion of Trump's unnecessary border wall has found some new allies: right-wing militias.
Thus far, We Build the Wall has been disreputable and had bungled its wall-building efforts on multiple occasions, but it didn't seem to have veered into radical militia territory. That's changed now.
According to TPM, a Facebook video from Saturday shows a WBTW spokesperson giving Stewart Rhodes, the head of the Oath Keepers, a tour of the building site. The spokesperson, known as "Foreman Mike," explicitly called for right-wing groups to join them. "We're going to have a ceremony here, we'd like any of our Oath Keeper friends to come on in, any of our Three Percenter brothers, all of them."
The Oath Keepers have joined a call to beg Trump to "please call up the militia" — a militia comprised of them and their like-minded right-wingers. They're always heavily armed. So, it isn't shocking they'd be enthusiastic about the ridiculous private wall and Trump's unchecked aggressiveness at the border.
In fact, they're so enthusiastic that they told a member of another right-wing militia, the Guardian Patriots, that they were considering "setting up operations" at the border. Rhodes, while touring the wall, said that his group was talking to officials in border counties and "we're hoping to get them and the sheriffs to come on board, either to form posses, or otherwise to have some sort of volunteer… under the county’s authority so that they have a little bit more legitimacy and some liability protection."
In other words, Rhodes wants counties to invite his group of heavily armed right-wingers to come to help them "guard" the border. No wonder he fits right in with WBTW.
The Three Percenters are arguably even more fringe than the Oath Keepers. They assert their primary purpose is to stand firm against government tyranny, but their real goal is to violently threaten people who don't agree with them. Their leader told Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who supports gun control, that she was a tyrant and said, "this country has long had a remedy for tyrants—a second amendment remedy." Dressed in paramilitary gear, decked out in weapons, they provided security during the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
And it isn't as if WBTW needs all that much help to be a threat to people's safety. During the Oath Keepers tour, WBTW's spokesman bragged about stopping seven people who were "near death when we got to them. Just begging for water. They gave us all the information we needed." Remember, this is a group with no legal authority whatsoever to detain or question immigrants.
When you combine the anti-immigrant zealousness of the wall-builders with the aggressive paramilitary presence of these right-wing groups, people are definitely going to get hurt.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.