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Texas truck convoy organizers shun protesters considered too extreme

By Maryann Martinez, Texas Bureau Chief In Eagle Pass For Dailymail.Com

07:11 03 Feb 2024, updated 07:11 03 Feb 2024

  • As Texas truck convoy arrived at border, organizers vet who can enter ranch where convoy will rally Saturday
  • Organizers not allowing anyone making violent threats, drinking, armed or with a criminal record onto ranch
  • Screening of attendees comes as migrant center in Eagle Pass evacuated after extremists threatened to burn it down and kill migrants 

As the Texas truck convoy arrived at the border near Eagle Pass, Texas Friday night, a screening process set off a confrontation between convoy planners and people who were deemed too extreme to join the convoy party. 

Several groups were turned away Friday evening from the Quemado, Texas ranch where the convoy will gather to protest President Joe Biden‘s border policies.

A group of so-called street preachers holding signs that read, ‘BLM are racist thugs,’ and ‘AIDS: Judgement or Cure’ were outraged after they were denied entry to the Cornerstone Children’s Ranch.

‘You’re worse than Democrats,’ a man named ‘Jim’ yelled into a megaphone across the street from the convoy gathering. 

Clad in colorfully-worded t-shirts, Texan cousins Marty Byrd (left) and Sandy Wilkerson were among those preparing to welcome the convoy to their state and the border hot spot of Shelby Park
Right wing activists arrived at the gathering point outside the Cornerstone Children’s Ranch in Quemado protesting loudly as some were barred from the site
There were angry confrontations as the organizers tried to filter out the newcomers
The driver of this hearse was told to cover up his messages before being admitted to the site
Christian messaging was seen on many of the vehicles arriving at Eagle Pass yesterday
Supporters of the former president were out in force for the gathering with Donald Trump and MAGA hats rivalling Stetsons as the headwear of choice
And the Texas state flag flew proudly alongside the Stars and Stripes on many of the vehicles
The convoy of conservative activists, who call themselves ‘God’s Army’, set off for the southern border on Monday ahead of Saturday’s rally
International media organizations have also descended on the road to Eagle Pass as the convoy’s progress made headlines around the world
Some of the activists looked prepared for a long stay at the nation’s troubled southern border
Many locals brought their children out to greet the arrival of the convoy yesterday


Christian hardliners Jesse and Jim Morrell (right) were among those refused entry to the site. As seen here, many of the signs and t-shirts featured words that were offensive and inflammatory, leading organizers to turn them away

‘I’ve personally been to over 25 Trump rallies and never had a reaction like this.’

One organizer repeatedly honked his car horn in an attempt to drown out the loud speaker and the local cops showed up at one point. 

‘We came here thinking we might make some friends, but I guess our Christianity doesn’t mesh with whatever they’re trying to do here,” Jesse Morrell from Open Air Outreach told DailyMail.com.

Although people on both sides of the conflict were wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ red hats, organizers explained they have to be selective about who was given access to the property. 

‘The convoy has been traveling across the country; they’re very tired. They’ve been dealing with a lot of criticism, threats, making them look like January 6ers,’ explained Mike Forzano of the group Exiled Patriots that is providing security for the convoy.

‘We’re not about confrontation here. If you’re about confrontation, you’re not coming in. To remain peaceful, we have to have peaceful people.’

A hearse that read ‘Collecting Democrat Votes One Dead Stiff at a time’ and ‘Clinton Foundation suicide limo service’ was also told it could not enter unless it covered the lettering on the front and sides.

‘No guns, no alcohol, no drugs, no offensive things– we don’t want that,’ Forzano added.

Texan Ray Howard (right), arrived at Shelby Park with friends from his home town
Figures from US Customs and Border Protection show that more than 2.5 million people entered the country through its southwestern border last year
‘The convoy has been traveling across the country; they’re very tired. They’ve been dealing with a lot of criticism, threats, making them look like January 6ers,’ explained Mike Forzano of the group Exiled Patriots that is providing security for the convoy

The vetting comes on the heels of a threat against a Border Patrol migrant center in Eagle Pass, where extremists were planning to set the migrant center on fire.

The danger prompted the evacuation of the soft-sided facility known as ‘Firefly’ Thursday night.

Some 175 migrants were moved to other facilities in Texas.

The organizers for the ‘Take our Border Back’ convoy have repeatedly stated they want their event to be peaceful, and are concerned they will be blamed for the actions of others acting alone. 

They’re gathering to support Texas’ recent actions to defy federal law and seize a park in Eagle Pass, after accusing the Biden Administration of not doing enough to secure the border. 

A tense legal and political stand-off between the Lone Star State and the feds has been playing out since Jan. 10, when the state claimed it would enforce border security at Shelby Park.

There was a ready market for sales of Donald Trump merchandise as the protesters gathered
And there was little doubt about who most of those in attendance would like to see in the White House next year
Anticipation was building last night among thousands of arrivals ahead of Saturday’s events which are due to start with speeches at 9am
The convoy of truckers has been making its way to three migrant hotspots across three states in a bid to shame the White House into tackling the worsening migrant crisis
The border at Shelby Park has become a flashpoint between federal authorities and the Texan National Guard after State Governor Gregg Abbott challenged the White House

The Biden Administration had threatened to regain control by any legal means. 

‘There are people who are on a list to not be allowed,’ Franzo said, adding they are working with law enforcement.

‘Those people are people who have threatened the government, threatened us, threatened people, maybe a little bit wild, or maybe criminal record– they’re not allowed.’

All press was given access, except for CNN, as Forzano said, ‘they’re the only ones who don’t give anyone a fair shot.’

The rejection did not sit well for the extreme preachers who promised to be back Saturday with an even louder megaphone. 

‘These are fake conservatives, the organizers are,’ Morrell quipped. 

 Saturday’s events were slated to begin around 9 am. 

VIP speakers were slated to arrive at the ranch and speak throughout the day, but there was no official schedule for who or when they would be showing up.

This article was originally published by a www.dailymail.co.uk . Read the Original article here. .

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