George Soros funds Ferguson protests, hopes to spur civil action
Liberal billionaire gave at least $33 million in one year to groups that emboldened activists
By Kelly Riddell
- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 14, 2015
There’s a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson
protest movement. No, it’s not victim Michael Brown
or Officer Darren Wilson. It’s not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite his ubiquitous campaign on TV and the streets.
Rather, it’s liberal billionaire George Soros
, who has built a business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impacts American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org.
spurred the Ferguson
protest movement through years of funding and mobilizing groups across the U.S., according to interviews with key players and financial records reviewed by The Washington Times.
In all, Mr. Soros
gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson
, according to the most recent tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society
The financial tether from Mr. Soros
to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre.
“Our DNA includes a belief that having people participate in government is indispensable to living in a more just, inclusive, democratic society,” said Kenneth Zimmerman
, director of Mr. Soros
‘ Open Society
Foundations’ U.S. programs, in an interview with The Washington Times. “Helping groups combine policy, research [and] data collection with community organizing feels very much the way our society becomes more accountable.”
No strings attached
said OSF has been giving to these types of groups since its inception in the early ‘90s, and that, although groups involved in the protests have been recipients of Mr. Soros
‘ grants, they were in no way directed to protest at the behest of Open Society
“The incidents, whether in Staten Island, Cleveland or Ferguson
, were spontaneous protests — we don’t have the ability to control or dictate what others say or choose to say,” Mr. Zimmerman
said. “But these circumstances focused people’s attention — and it became increasingly evident to the social justice groups involved that what a particular incident like Ferguson
represents is a lack of accountability and a lack of democratic participation.”