Sunday 22 September 2019

US veteran sets up GoFundMe for ‘ladders to get over Trump’s wall’

The GoFundMe page entitled ‘Ladders to Get Over Trump’s Wall’ raised over 66,000 dollars (£52,000) in one day.

US vet sets up protest GoFundMe page against border wall (Sergey Tinyakov/Getty Images and Charlotte Clymer/@cmclymer)
US vet sets up protest GoFundMe page against border wall (Sergey Tinyakov/Getty Images and Charlotte Clymer/@cmclymer)

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

A United States army veteran and activist has set up a charity GoFundMe page to pay for ladders so people can climb over Donald Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall.

Since Wednesday 19 December, the page created by Charlotte Clymer has raised over 66,000 dollars (around £52,000).

Although the page jokingly claims to be raising money for ladders, Ms Clymer says funds will be sent to Texas-based charity the Refugee and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

The page reads: “We wanna make sure ladders are ready to send over to our undocumented friends and help them.”

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(Screengrab/GoFundMe)

Ms Clymer, who now works as press secretary at the Human Rights Campaign in Washington DC, set up the page as a protest to another GoFundMe, We The People Will Fund The Wall, in support of the President’s border wall, which has surpassed 11 million dollars (around £8.6 million).

We The People Will Fund The Wall was set up on 16 December by triple amputee Air Force veteran, Brian Kolfage, and has a goal of one billion dollars (£790 million).

The page reads: “It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling. If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge 80 dollars, we can build the wall.”

Mr Kolfage has contacted the Trump Administration to secure a point of contact to hand over the funds once the target has been met.

NBC News reports Mr Kolfage previously ran a number of Facebook pages that were removed by the social media site for spreading false information.

He told the US TV network he did not mention the pages on his fundraiser as he “didn’t want it to be a distraction”.

Ms Clymer, who served in the army for six years, told the Press Association: “I am absolutely shocked that we’ve raised over 65,000 dollars in under 36 hours. It’s a nice moment of humanity in a not-so-great year for America.

“All of the funds will go to RAICES. They love the idea, and I’ve already added one of their accountants to the page as a team member to directly withdraw the funds when the time comes.

“I think the border wall GoFundMe is quite embarrassing. As a military veteran, it’s profoundly disappointing to see military service exploited as a cudgel against vulnerable, suffering people.

“And for a wall that will not be built with funds that will certainly not be raised for a problem that isn’t remedied by a wall.”

The two separate GoFundMe pages come after US President Donald Trump clashed with Congress over the call for funding to build a border wall with Mexico.

Mr Trump demanded 5.7 billion dollars (£4 billion) for the border wall, which was approved by the House of Representatives but is expected to fail in the Senate.

On 21 December, Mr Trump tweeted: “Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!”

If no deal is reached, several US federal agencies will begin to close at midnight on Friday in a partial Government shutdown.

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