The Business Behind the Left’s Pay-to-Protest Scheme
Big-money groups are helping to organize and fuel 'AstroTurf' progressive uprisings
When left-wing organizers were recruiting people to travel to Washington, D.C., to try to “shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump” and “paralyze the city itself,” they offered a number of incentives — free housing, food, and also legal assistance in case of arrest. They also organized training camps, workshops and media-encounter events in the run-up to the main event: the big riot.
On January 20, rioters met at Logan Circle in downtown Washington, D.C., armed with crow bars, metal poles, hammers, bricks and explosive devices, according to the indictment. They were dressed all in black with hoods and masks to conceal their identities, and goggles and gas masks to reduce the effects of tear gas.
They rampaged through downtown Washington, D.C., using verbal commands to move as a black bloc and smashed the windows of an Au Bon Pain, broke the windows of a parked limousine and assaulted the limousine driver, and pulled trash cans into streets. The group also smashed the windows of a Starbucks, a Bank of America, a Bobby Vans restaurant, a McDonald’s and a second Starbucks inside the Crowne Plaza hotel before breaking the windows of a police car and attempting to crash through a police line, injuring a police officer.
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A total of 234 people were arrested, and the organizers who’d recruited them using the website DisruptJ20 provided them with lawyers and “jail support.”
The housing, the food, the organized activities and the defense attorneys at the ready made the riots possible. But why did news reports never mention that the riots were being funded?
It’s because the liberal media “sees protests as a tactic,” says Tim Graham of the Media Research Center, adding that while the media often label Tea Party gatherings as “AstroTurf events” — and therefore not true grassroots events — it never does the same with the Left.
“They’re not going to allow the idea that there’s liberal AstroTurf. To suggest such a thing is a conspiracy theory,” Graham told LifeZette.
The DisruptJ20 website says its efforts are “nationally supported” but that it doesn’t take money from corporations or nonprofits. The group could not be reached for comment.
The Black Lives Matter movement, one of the organizers of the violent counterprotests in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, does take money from nonprofits and anyone else who wants to donate.
A year ago, Breitbart reported that hacked Open Society Foundation documents showed that the George Soros-funded group gave Black Lives Matter groups $650,000. The Ford Foundation subsequently announced that it was launching a fundraising campaign to raise $100 million to support Black Lives Matter.
It’s unclear how often individual protesters are paid a fee to protest, but regardless, the organizational side of the unrest is becoming big business. The movement first attracted attention with violence in the streets during the Ferguson riots. A raised fist brings notoriety, and notoriety brings in big money. It’s a clear exchange.
Craig Shirley, a presidential historian, said he doesn’t think the left-wing riots are anything new. It’s just like the 60s, he says, only then it was the KGB funding some of the anti-war protests. Now it’s George Soros and his Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation. We just don’t hear about it.
“The media is utterly and completely corrupt,” he said. “There’s no room for another point of view. There’s only one point of view.”
The protesters, explained Shirley, aren’t anarchists — the term Antifa likes to use. They’re Jacobins whose goal is the destruction of everything: family, faith and law and order, so that everybody can start from scratch with nothing — everybody except them. They will control the resources and enjoy the best of everything, as the Bolsheviks did in Russia, and the communists did in Cuba after the revolution.
The Black Lives Matter movement, and the many other “social justice” groups being funded by Soros, now have the money to not just pay protesters, but to employ full-time activists who can devote their lives to organizing, disrupting, and shutting down planned and permitted events whose organizers or speakers they find offensive, he said.
It’s unknown how much Soros money is funding Antifa protesters. But there is hard evidence that paid protesters were instigating violence at Trump and Pence events during the presidential campaign. That evidence came in the form of a Project Veritas video where Bob Creamer, founder of Democracy Partners, is seen and heard saying that his “role” in the Clinton campaign is to stage “events,” wherever Trump and Pence are going to be, using consultants and people from the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign.
Scott Foval, whose organization Americans United for Change was subcontracted to do some of this work, was also caught on video describing how they set out to instigate violence at Trump events: “You can message to draw them out, and draw them to punch you,” he said in the video, explaining that the media will always cover them if they’re outside a rally, whether anything happens or not.
(photo credit, homepage image: otto-yamamoto, Flickr; photo credit, article image: 5chw4r7z, Flickr)