Progressive organizations, media, activists, even regular progressive people are under attack.
Some of this is nothing new. Rightwingers have long characterized progressives as socialists, communists, traitors, etc. This has been going on for a long time. There are several new ways progressives are being attacked.
-Activist, protest groups that have been around for a long time are now being characterized as Antifa, lumped together and accused of starting violence. Rightwing and white supremacy sites are accusing them of being funded by George Soros. George Soros has done some good things, funding the Tides foundation to the tune of over $3.5 million over the years. Tides gives away about $150 million a year, so his contribution is negligible. But Soros also funded Hillary and funded the fake progressive think tank, Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta, Hillary's campaign manager. Still, Soros leans left and has put some money into some good things. You can tell a person by his enemies and Soros's enemies include right wingers and Bibi Netanyahu.
I spoke to Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator for Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ), the organization that right wingers are saying is funded, through the Tides Foundation by George Soros. Regarding Soros funding his organization, he confirmed my appraisal that it's a pile of crap. Actually, AFGJ is a fiscal sponsor for over 100 progressive organizations Including some led by writer contributors to OpEdNews, including Debra Sweet (World Can't Wait,) Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers (Popular Resistance,) to name a few. Here's a graphic showing some of the organizations they are fiscal sponsors for.
AFGJ's Chuck Kaufman made it clear regarding Soros, telling me, "AFGJ never got any money from Tides or from Soros. Several of our fiscally sponsored projects have received grants from Tides or Soros."
One new organization that was just recently created, Kaufman told me, in December or January-- Resist Fascism-- which AFGJ also fiscally sponsors. My own research shows that, based on published annual reports, AFGJ has not received an funds from the Tides Foundation for several years. Kaufman confirms this, saying, "No funds have been given from Soros or Tides to Resist Fascism, one of our fiscally sponsored projects, which has been conflated with Antifa. They are taking pieces of a story that doesn't reflect reality."
I asked Kaufman how this right wing attack has affected his organization. He replied, "We have gotten threatening phone calls but it hasn't had any financial donors to withdraw their support, any financial effect, except maybe to increase their support." That's good news. But I do believe that the threat this new level of attack presents is real and that it puts leaders of progressive organizations at risk.
This new development, characterizing protest organizations as Antifa is a vile lie. What makes it profoundly worse is that centrist, establishment Democratic party spokespeople are joining the right wingers in perpetrating this lie, suggesting that progressives and progressive organizations are part of "alt-left" a made-up framed meme created by the right and parroted by establishment Democrats who are functioning as useful idiots of the right. Mainstream establishment newspapers like the NYTimes and Washington Post (right wingers are now referring to WaPo as the Bezos/Amazon Washington Post and maybe progressives should start doing that too) are also promoting the idea that lefty protesters-- against war, against hate and racism are part of "alt-left" or Antifa.
I spoke to one co-founder of the group ResistFascism.org and it was made clear to me that they do intend to engage in protest and activism, but not in violence. It is not reasonable for anyone to accuse this organization or any other organization that uses the word Fascist or Fascism in their name of violence or being a part of the violent part of Antifa, which is a Europe-based loose coalition that goes back decades.
I fear that the next step by these attackers, who are using the kinds of framing that Frank Luntz and George Lakoff create to embed meaning in words, will be to attack any lefties who protest against hate, intolerance, war, Monsanto or social or economic injustice. Already several states are entertaining passing laws that absolve drivers who hit protesters with their automobiles. Will Potter, founder of the website GreenIsTheNewRed.com, and author of a book by the same name has chronicled the ways that industry has massively assaulted food and environmental activists, attempting to pass laws that make protesters into terrorists who are jailed in maximum security prisons.
This is incredibly damaging to any chance the middle class has to join together to stand up against predatory, extractive capitalism and transnational capitalists.
-Progressive media have been deprecated by Google, so these media have seen dramatic decreases in referrals from search.
-All news media are under attack from the White House. This produces a terrible effect. People are trusting and respecting the media less and less, so when the truth, when facts are reported people either don't believe them or they don't pay attention to the news at all.
On the other side, some White Supremacy and neo-nazi sites have been taken down-- like DailyStormer-- by web hosts and the domain name registrar GoDaddy. There's a part of me that cheers those actions, because I've been personally threatened and harassed by White Supremacists. But there is also the danger, as has been pointed out in comments at OpEdNews, that this could bode ill for progressives as well, that the same kind of thinking could affect progressive sites like OpEdNews.
Apparently Paypal, Square and Patreon have also refused to process payments or donations for some hate sites. This happened to Wikileaks several years ago. I didn't like it when it happened to Wikileaks, but have mixed feelings when it comes to hate sites. Who knows where this slipper slope will lead.
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