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Thousand Oaks

Freedom Movement Coalesces in Ventura County

Ventura County freedom movements are joining together as dozens of pro-Constitution, pro-freedom groups and individuals unite to right the ship of state in Ventura County. One of the new entities is Free Ventura, an overarching organization led by businessman Bryce Eddy and Godspeak co-pastor Rick Brown. The group recently drew more than two hundred participants to its first two meetings.

“We have tremendous momentum and energy because most people are upset with the status quo and feel betrayed by both political parties,” Eddy told the Guardian after the Mar. 16 meeting. “We have energy to change things here, and we’re trying to collaborate and pull people together and agree on the things that we agree on. We want to field good candidates and win Ventura County for the sake of freedom.”

The bipartisan non-profit group held its inaugural gathering on Feb. 18. Meetings take the form of a forum where candidates and leaders address the group and answer questions from the audience. Sheriff Bill Ayub and candidates for Ventura County supervisor and state legislature attended, as did those working to transform local schools and school boards.

The coalition encourages political involvement and provides voter registration resources and civic participation training. Free Ventura also recruits, vets and supports candidates for office.

Local activist Steve Martinez, 27, attended a meeting and appreciated the honest questioning of candidates.

“I thought it was good that they came up with these questions to put them in the hot seat and get more information about what they’re about and what they’re trying to do for our community,” Martinez says. “They’re running for office, so you need to know.”

Longtime Thousand Oaks political activist Sandy Patrizio came to sniff out new candidates. He likewise gave the meeting his approval.

“All the candidates are politicians,” he told the Guardian, “but I thought it was well-run and organized and put together very, very well. Everything was done timely. … I’ll be back.”

Eddy says he’s pleased with the level of interest and engagement so far.

“I have been pleasantly surprised at the audience that we’ve attracted, the size and enthusiasm, and I’m very grateful for the people who have come to speak and the politicians that have been willing to answer our questions,” he says.

Free Ventura’s leaders and participants hope the movement continues to draw freedom-loving citizens together under a loose umbrella, not to control but to unite efforts where practical and applicable.

“I have one passion right now,” Eddy told Feb. 18 attendees. “And that’s to save the Republic.”

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