The left-wing group that helped organize the violent shut down of the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday is backed by a progressive charity that is in turn funded by George Soros, the city of Tucson, a major labor union and several large companies.
The Alliance for Global Justice, based in Tucson, is listed as an organizer and fiscal sponsor for Refuse Fascism, a communist group that encouraged left-wingers to shut down the Yiannopoulos event, The Daily Caller is reporting.
The call to arms succeeded. Yiannopoulos’ talk was cancelled after demonstrators lit fires, vandalized businesses, and assaulted Donald Trump and Yiannopoulos supporters.
Refuse Fascism, which includes Princeton professor Cornel West as one of its founding “initiators,” defended the response, issuing a statement on its website that called the shut down “righteous.”
And on its Facebook page, the group asserted that the vandalism and arson were not “violence.” Instead, the group argued that Yiannopoulos and Trump perpetrate violence through the policies they support.
“Dismantling police fences is not violent. And to compare preventing someone like that from speaking to the real-world violence that they perpetuate everyday is ludicrous,” reads one post on the group’s Facebook page.
The organization did not mention the violent attacks against conservatives. One Trump backer was attacked with shovels by a group of men clad in black. He was shown laying unconscious in the middle of the street. A female Trump supporter was blasted with pepper spray while giving an on-camera interview.
Refuse Fascism’s involvement has spurred questions about who is behind the group. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Trump asserted that the protesters were paid to agitate.
While it is unclear whether those who carried out the violence were paid to do so, the benefactors of the Alliance for Global Justice — and Refuse Fascism — are listed online.
According to its most recent 990 tax form, Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ) received $2.2 million in funding for the fiscal year ending in March 2016.
One of the group’s biggest donors is the Tides Foundation, a non-profit funded by billionaire progressive philanthropist George Soros. Tides gave AfGJ $50,000.
Other notable donors include the city of Tucson and the United Steel Workers labor union. The former gave $10,000 to AfGJ while the latter contributed $5,000.