By Philip Mauriello Jr., Managing Operational Editor, 3L
If you are a law student who is looking to earn more money, there is a better opportunity to make some extra cash than working Federal Work Study jobs or waiting tables.
You can become a paid protestor.
In recent months since the election of President Trump, there has been a rise of “organic” and “grassroots” protests. However, what most people do not know, is that most of these protests are in fact not organic, but instead well orchestrated and well funded.
Recently, UC Berkeley was in the news for destructive protests that were waged to stop conservative speaker Milo Yianoppolous from speaking. Press Secretary, Sean Spicer in a White House Press Briefing remarked on the protests simply by saying “We know who they are”, referring to the idea that this was no organic protest and was essentially a well-organized gathering by professional agitators.
But let’s back up. How does paid protesting work? Well very simply in fact. It’s much like any other part-time job. You post an ad on classifieds sites like Craigslist and tell people how much they can be paid. These “jobs” are funded mostly in part by left-leaning non-profits who are not fans of President Trump.
The first example shows paid protestors being organized in Seattle on Craigslist.
Washing CAN! is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote social justice issues as well as oppose all of President Trump’s agenda. They have been loosely connected to liberal billionaire, George Soros (more on him in a bit).
Other posts have been taken down or expired, but their text has been maintained. This one was posted on the Philadelphia Craiglist page.
“STOP TRUMP – up to $1500/week
compensation: $15 per hour-$18 per hour
Hiring Immediately! Call Today Start Tomorrow!
$15 – $18 hourly rate + bonus + overtime! up to 77 hours per week!
Drivers Earn Gas Reimbursement!
Morning and Evening Shifts
No previous experience required
Full time and part time positions
Weekend positions available
Others have been found in different cities including Dallas (where the riots resulted in the death of five police officers and injuring another nine), Austin, Janesville (where pro-Bernie supporters were paid to protest a Trump rally), and Baltimore.
But back to the most recent occurrence at UC Berkeley. The story is really about two protests. The first set of protestors were civil. The second set of protestors came clad in all black, with covered faces brandishing objects that could either be used as flag poles and/or for causing enormous damage to life, limb, and property.
The question is, who were these second group of protestors? Why did they bring so much violence and chaos to what was otherwise a peaceful protest?
One group that has been linked to the protests at UC Berkeley is a group called Refuse Fascism.
Now, this is where is gets a little tricky, so bear with me.
Refuse Fascism is a communist non-profit organization that seeks oppose the policies of President Trump. Below is a call to action for the group.
This ad was taken from a site called CrowdRise which seeks to get individual donations for a cause. Notice however that the name next to benefiting is not Refuse Fascism, but instead a group called Alliance for Global Justice. The note at the bottom states that Refuse Fascism is merely a project of Alliance for Global Justice.
Peeling back more layers, who is Alliance for Global Justice? Alliance for Global Justice is another left-leaning non-profit who funds a number of other organizations. A simple search of their recent 990 tax form, shows that Alliance for Global Justice received its two biggest donations from two groups, the Tides Foundation and the New World Foundation. The Tides Foundation is a non-profit funded by billionaire George Soros (remember that name?). The New World Foundation is another non-profit which was chaired by the former Democratic nominee for President Hillary Rodham Clinton from 1982-1988. The Tides Foundation donated $50,000 to AfGJ in 2016, while the New World Foundation donated $52,000.
When the layers are peeled back farther and farther, the statement that these protests are entirely organic begins to unravel. They are far from organic and are orchestrated by men and women who have clear political goals to achieve.
So at this point, you may be asking, “So what? Even if they were paid you can still assemble freely.” Well, my argument is that these paid protests are dangerous to our democratic society. What happened at UC Berkeley was deplorable. Property was destroyed and innocent bystanders were attacked and injured.
If you think this is not serious, the FBI disagrees. They are currently in the process of investigating the identities of the masked protestors in black. According to the BerkeleySide, the protestors in black caused about $100,000 of damage to the MLK student union. After the event was canceled, the protestors in black filtered off campus into downtown Berkeley. John Caner, head of the Downtown Berkeley Association, estimated about $400,000-$500,000 worth of damage to private property.
What’s more concerning is how these protestors arrived on campus. UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof described the protests as “well rehearsed” and they appeared “armed and dangerous.” He went on to say the way they arrived they appeared well trained, almost para-military. It’s as if they were well-trained professionals who knew exactly what they were doing.
This is dangerous plain and simple. Every person in America has the right to speak up on issues that they feel passionate about, but when the discussion devolves into anarchy and chaos, no one benefits. Whether left or right on the political spectrum, this sets a dangerous precedent for the future. I fail to see how destroying property or causing chaos would help anyone flock to support your cause.
But maybe that’s not the point. The point is to sow dissension and chaos in the American populace. It feeds the hysteria and keeps sides from coming together to solve issues. Instead, political provocateurs like George Soros seek to wage domestic terrorism. If you cannot win the argument, simply silence the other side. The irony being that a group that is named Refuse Fascism, engaged in very fascist tactics to push its political agenda.
If you are on the right, don’t look at these protests as generalizations of everyone on the left. These paid professionals do not represent them.
Likewise, if you are on the left, it is time you dig deeper into the backgrounds of those who purport to have your political values in mind. You may find that they are not acting with your best interests in mind.
Freedom of speech and freedom to assemble are valuable and important rights in our society. Let us remember to use them constructively to fix the issues of our country, rather than as excuses to tear it down.