The so-called leaderless Occupy movement has just been caught red-handed operating what appears to be a nerve center staffed by professional agitators deeply tied to groups funded by billionaire activist George Soros.
The groups, most prominent among them being the Tides Center, have been involved with Occupy since the anti-Wall Street movement’s inception.
The radical connections have been largely missed by the general public. CNN, the only news media outlet to receive exclusive access to Occupy’s alleged headquarters, did not fully identify the activists found running it.
The article and accompanying video purport to depict “a few dozen Occupy Wall Street organizers” who “show up to work every day at an office building in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District.”
CNN surmised “the office space appears to be the movement’s nerve center,” a notion denied by Occupy leaders interviewed by the news network.
Continued the piece: “But the volunteers who plan future actions, network with other Occupy protests and deal with logistical issues insisted the location is not Occupy Wall Street’s headquarters.”
The news network maintained it visited Occupy’s nerve center. CNN reported the Occupy office boasts a finance committee that manages expenses and donations; a communications group that disseminates information agreed upon by consensus and a housing group to make sleeping arrangements for protesters.
CNN quoted activist Han Shan, identifying him only as “a member of Occupy Wall Street’s press relations and direct-action working groups.”
“This is just an office space that a handful of people have tried to make a resource for the Occupy Wall Street movement,” Shan stated.
“Everybody is looking around trying to figure out where the heck the headquarters is, and the truth of the matter is this movement is bigger than any piece of geography, than any piece of real estate, than any square block.”
Shan’s radical resume goes far beyond Occupy. He is the former program director for the Tides Center-funded Ruckus Society and an activist with the Tides-funded Adbusters.
Shan was listed as the contact person for protests outside the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Those protests were sponsored by both Adbusters and Ruckus.
Shan previously pulled off a stunt at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, where he reportedly climbed to the top of the building and unfurled a 600-square-foot cartoon that depicted the earth falling through a broken shopping bag. The action was aimed at getting mall visitors to ditch their purchases, go home and observe Thanksgiving Friday as “Buy Nothing Day.”
Since 1992, “Buy Nothing Day” has been sponsored annually by the Vancouver-based Media Foundation, which publishes Adbusters.
Adbusters magazine is reported to have come up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The Adbusters website serves as a central hub for Occupy’s planning.
Working with the Ruckus Society, Shan was a leader of the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle that turned violent. Ruckus helped to spark those riots.
Ruckus is directly tied to Occupy. WND previously reported how official direct-action training resources for recent Occupy events include several manuals from the Ruckus Society, which trains radical activists in “direct action” techniques.
Ruckus was also listed as a “friend and partner” of the Occupy Days of Action held last month.
Ruckus is funded by the Tides Center, which has been involved in Occupy since the movement’s onset.
Another grantee of Tides is the Adbusters magazine. MoveOn.org, which has joined Occupy, is funded by Tides.
Tides functions as a money tunnel where major leftist donors provide large sums that are channeled to hundreds of radical groups. One prominent Tides donor is Soros.
Besides accepting major donations from Tides, Ruckus is also funded directly by Soros’ own Open Society Institute.
Meanwhile, another Occupy staffer loosely identified by CNN is Haywood Carey, who is labeled simply as an Occupy “activist.”
As the Heritage Foundation pointed out, Carey was a paid employee of the Change to Win labor federation from 2008 to 2009.
The federation is a coalition of four member unions: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union; United Farm Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers.
In his book “Beyond the Fields,” labor historian Randy Shaw notes the groundwork for the founding of Change to Win were laid out by SEIU activist Stephen Lerner.
Shaw relates: “Lerner’s December 2002 Labor Notes article, ‘Three Steps to Reorganizing and Rebuilding the Labor Movement,’ laid the groundwork for the decision by SEIU and other unions to break away from the AFL-CIO in 2005 and form the new labor federation Change to Win.”
As WND was first to report, the tactic of blocking bridges, already used by Occupy Wall Street to hold up the Brooklyn Bridge amid other recent attempts, was institutionalized by Lerner.
Meanwhile, another professional radical running Occupy yet not fully identified by the news media is Beth Bogart, who has been widely quoted as helping to run the movement’s press relations department in New York and other cities.
Not mentioned in most media accounts is that Bogart, formerly known as Beth Bogart Fenton, is co-founder of Fenton Communications.
Fenton is an extremist-led outfit that crafts the public relations strategy of Tides grantees. It came under new scrutiny after WND published a series of exposés tying it to Occupy Wall Street. One of its senior employees represented the anti-Wall Street march past millionaires’ homes in New York in October.
After WND’s report, Fenton denied ties to the Occupy movement.
Fenton’s Chris Potter denied the firm was working for Occupy, claiming his group was doing a “favor” for a friend in New York by helping with recent publicity.
However, with Bogart now serving as an Occupy media strategist, the Fenton links to the movement continue.
Fenton Communications has been behind the public relations strategy of a who’s who of far-left causes, organizations and activists, from representing Soros himself to Health Care for America Now to crafting strategies for MoveOn.org and a litany of anti-war groups.
Fenton, which works closely with Tides, first made its name representing communist dictatorships in the 1980s.
Fenton Communications was founded in 1982 by David Fenton, an activist who served as a photographer for Bill Ayers’ domestic Weather Underground terror group.
Fenton used the Tides Center to set up Environmental Media Services in 1994. Tides reportedly originally ran EMS’ daily operations.
David Fenton serves on the board of numerous Tides-funded groups, while his firm represents more than 30 Tides Center grantees, as well as Soros himself and the billionaire’s Open Society Institute. Fenton helped to craft Moveon.org’s attacks on Gen. David Petraeus.
An example of the close public relations relationship between Fenton and Tides is the Social Venture Network, which was established and operates as a project of the Tides Foundation, while its strategy is represented by Fenton. SVN’s board has included Tides’ founder Drummond Pike as well as Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink.
Another group, September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows, is an anti-war organization founded by individuals who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The group’s campaign was coordinated by Fenton while the group was funded by Tides.
Also represented by Fenton is the Win Without War group, which was funded by Soros and Tides.
WND found more than 30 recent examples of Tides grantees whose strategy was coordinated by Fenton.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott