Liberal billionaire George Soros has played a critical role in financing the Ferguson, Missouri, protest movement, giving at least $33 million in one year to back already established groups that "emboldened" on-the-ground activists there, The Washington Times reports.
Soros' backing "gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day cause celebré," the paper said.
A plethora of groups shared funding from Soros and closely collaborated, referring to each other's news columns and creating in effect an "echo chamber" of sorts using Twitter and Facebook, the Times reports.
Buses of activists from groups including the Drug Policy Alliance, Make the Road New York, and the Center for Community Change in Washington — all funded in part by Soros — went to Ferguson beginning in August and went on to organize gatherings and protests there until late December, according to the Times.
The Times reports that Soros-backed groups called Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, the Organization for Black Struggle, and a group called Dream Defenders were involved in establishing the Hands Up Coalition — a supposed "grass-roots" organization in Missouri.
The Times notes that the "hands up" moniker was based on claims, reported by Newsbusters to be false,
that slain Ferguson teenager Michael Brown had his hands up before being shot to death.
The Hands Up Coalition worked to recruit and organize youth across the United States to hold local events in their communities and make Ferguson a nationwide issue, the Times reports. The group calls 2015 "The Year of Resistance."
Dream Defenders was built to rally support and awareness for the Trayvon Martin case,
in which a black teen in Florida was shot to death in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman claimed he had been violently attacked by Martin, and was subsequently acquitted on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges by a local jury.
Kassandra Frederique, policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which receives $4 million a year from Soros' foundation, said she traveled to Ferguson in October "to be in solidarity and stand with the young organizers" of protests there, the Times reports.
"We recognized that this movement is similar to the work we're doing at DPA," Frederique said, the Times reports. "The war on drugs has always been to operationalize, institutionalize, and criminalize people of color."
Another Soros-funded group which helped fuel the Ferguson demonstrations is a network of grass-roots organizations called the Gamaliel Foundation. President Barack Obama started his community-organizing career at a Gamaliel affiliate in Chicago.
Clergy representatives from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference (SDPC), where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a trustee, also participated in the protests. Wright was Obama's long-time pastor in Chicago before publicity about his harsh rhetoric, including use of the phrase "God damn America," caused Obama to distance himself.
Soros gave the SDPC $250,000 in 2011, according to The Times.
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