By Tori Richards, Dustin Hurst and Earl Glynn | Watchdog.org
Thanks to your generous support, the New York City-based People’s Rights Fund has been able publicize the great work of Karl Marx and dictators Kim Jong-Il, Hugo Chavez and Saddam Hussein.
Don’t remember writing that check?
If you paid federal taxes after 1997, some of your money went to Tides, a San Francisco-based clearinghouse that collects and distributes about $251 million every year to hundreds of leftwing organizations.
Much of the money flowing into Tides comes from wealthy benefactors who use Tides as a clearinghouse — a way to help finance left-liberal organizations without leaving any fingerprints.
But since 1997, the U.S. government has joined in, making $79 million in grants to the non-profit. In the same period, Tides has funded such groups as the radical PRF and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization whose leaders were convicted of funneling money to the terrorist group Hamas.
Tides also gives money to groups you likely know and may even support such as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
In 2002, Tides received $6.8 million in federal grants and sent $5,000 to CAIR. That same year, the Justice Department indicted Ghassan Elashi, founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, for funneling $12 million to Hamas. The Justice Department labeled CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator along with 300 others. The ensuing trial, the biggest terrorism case ever held in the United States, led to a guilty verdict and a 65-year prison sentence for Elashi.
Other CAIR officials have been in trouble with the law as well, including their former communications director Randall Royer who was convicted of conspiring to join a terrorist organization and sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2004.
Tides did not respond to requests for comment, but in an undated press release from years ago offered this explanation for the CAIR donation:
“There have been many hateful claims about Tides Foundation and the Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR). As part of the Tides 9/11 Fund, Tides Foundation made a onetime $5,000 grant to CAIR. The grant was specifically for CAIR’s Interfaith Coalition Against Hate Crimes project in 2002. Based in Southern California the project was established to promote peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims and decrease hate crimes against Muslims,” Tides wrote. “CAIR has explicitly stated that they have no ties whatsoever to any violent or discriminatory organizations.”
Other groups tied to PRF include the Marxist Workers World Party and its youth outreach arms, the Revolutionary Socialist Youth and Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST). PRF also houses Occupy for Jobs, which fights for guaranteed jobs and income, and Bailout People, an organization seeking to end home foreclosures.
All of these organizations share the same address and phone number with the International Action Center (IAC), and are linked together as business entities, according to the legal database LexisNexis.
The International Action Center was founded by civil rights activist Ramsey Clark, U.S. attorney general during the Johnson administration. Its top officials have praised members of Hezbollah, a Middle Eastern organization on the U.S. government’s terrorist list. Other IAC and Workers World notable quotables:
- The Newtown, CT elementary school massacre was the fault of America’s “capitalistic system,” IAC asserted.
- In 2006, Sara Flounders, IAC’s co-director and a key member of Workers World Party, met with Leila Khaled, a terrorist who led the August 1969 hijacking of Trans-World Flight 840. The hijackers didn’t kill anyone, but caused more than $4 million in damage by blowing up the empty plane’s nose while the aircraft sat on the runway. Flounders called Khaled “heroic.”
- Organized a memorial rally after Venezuelan strongman and “comrade” Hugo Chavez died
- Posted a blog that portrayed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and his foreign minister Tariq Aziz as victims of a phony trial, saying both men “have set a remarkable standard of integrity that all freedom fighters in the world admire. Their legacies will long outlive … U.S. imperialist actions.”
- Protesters stormed a Times Square theater showing the movie “Red Dawn,” which depicts a North Korean invasion of America.
Workers World is a huge fan of North Korea, labeling its recently deceased leader Kim Jong-Il “brilliant” and “courageous” while calling his father Kim Il-Sung — a founder of the communist country in 1948 — an “amazing revolutionary.”
Brian Becker, a member of Workers World and the director of A.N.S.W.E.R., wants to spread Marxism to America’s political system and its youth. “There’s no reason junior high schools students … can’t become not only [members] in the party and in the movement, but leaders themselves,” he said in an April 24, 2011, video clip.
Not content with parroting the communist cant of Korea’s ruling Kim family, PRC has created an online bookstore that sold a plethora of pro-communist titles from the likes of Karl Marx, Lenin, Che Gueverra and a compendium of Fidel Castro’s speeches.
Peoples Rights also has something of a media arm. Though far less powerful than CNN, ABC or even Current TV, Peoples Video Network, a small production outlet publishing media congruent with the IAC’s values, receives money and support from PRF.
And PRF’s money? Some of that came from Tides. And Tides’ money? Some of that came from you.
Contact Tori Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @newswriter2