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Politics

Unknown Funders Help 'Indivisible Team' Cause Commotion at GOP Town Halls

February 27, 2017 - 6:00am

A group of Washington insiders with unknown funding sources is instructing protesters on how to organize and cause commotion at town halls in a lengthy online guide which outlines how to “lay low” and look inconspicuous so congressmen don’t suspect they might be protesting the Trump agenda.

 A blow-by-blow of the Indivisible Team’s sleek, 26-page guide covers everything from bringing signs, to where activists should sit and how protesters should look to increase the chances of getting called on by congressmen at town halls.

 As of last week, the guide had been downloaded over 1.7 million times.

Members are cautioned not to sit in large groups together and to spread out to make it look like the room is full of activists.

“Head into the venue a bit early to grab seats at the front half of the room, but do not all sit together,” reads the IT guide. “Sit by yourself or in groups of two, and spread out throughout the room. This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.”

The guide goes on.

“Look friendly or neutral so that staffers will call on you,” the group says. “If they aren’t giving you real answers, then call them out for it. Other group members around the room should amplify by either booing the [member of Congress] or applauding you.”

All the tactics, IT says, are part of a larger scheme to rattle and “keep the pressure” on members of Congress working in Washington to enforce President Donald Trump’s agenda, which IT sees as “racist, authoritarian, and corrupt.”

IT has caused waves in recent weeks as GOP congressmen ran into heated town hall meetings of protesters shouting, chanting and waving signs opposing a plethora of issues.

IT says it’s following the same grassroots path as the Tea Party, which conservatives formed organically after the 2008 election. 

The group wasted no time, however, in trying to set itself apart while trashing the Tea Party over what they saw as a severely misguided message.

“We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress,” the group wrote. “We saw them organize locally and convince their own [congressmen] to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism— and they won.”

Two months ago, a group of four former congressional staffers teamed up to create the nonprofit organization, which is largely aimed at dismantling Trump’s policies and taking out congressmen who follow his lead. 

Since then, IT has grown by leaps and bounds. The nonprofit currently has over 7,000 affiliated groups in all 50 states and in nearly every congressional district. 

The group’s founder, Ezrah Levin, became IT’s first paid staffer two weeks ago, but it is unclear exactly how he is being paid for his work. 

The group's vice president Leah Greenberg previously worked for Humanity United, which is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute. IT’s secretary, Angel Padilla, works for the National Immigration Law Center, which Soros funds via his Open Society Foundations.

Because the organization is applying to become a nonprofit, however, details of its backers currently remain unknown. The group said it plans to hire eight more staffers “in the near future,” though it’s uncertain who will pay them. 

The group denies any Soros involvement, citing other donations from the general public as its main source of funding.

“We have received donations from more than 4,000 people since putting a donate button on our site two weeks ago,” Indivisible Guide board members told the Daily Signal, adding that Republicans were simply trying to “dismiss” widespread popular approval. “We think George Soros funds many worthy programs, but he has not funded us.”

The group made headlines in Florida after Marco Rubio failed to show up at an Indivisible-organized town hall in Miami last week. Rubio skipped out on the town hall since he didn’t organize it and told press he felt it would not be productive.

“They are designed to basically heckle and scream at me in front of cameras so that Channel 4 and other networks and other stations at night will report,” Rubio told CBS-4 Miami’s Jim DeFede this weekend.

With or without Rubio’s participation, the Indivisibles said they wouldn’t be going anywhere. If anything, their resolve has only gotten stronger. 

“This is the first of MANY events we will host,” Indivisible Miami wrote. “The longer you hold out in not showing, the louder you make our voice.”

 

 

 


 

Comments

Last night's so-called "Town Hall" here in Maryland -- suburban DC, really -- was an utter farce. All of our senators and congress members showed up to talk. No questions were permitted from the floor. They "designed" it so that the only questions were predetermined and read from the stage by local students (how sweet). Of course, no questions about corporate money in politics, no questions about DNC corruption, no questions about pizzagate, none about most pressing issues. The event had the lingering stench of HRC and the DNC about it. (Maryland is a deep blue state, so HRC/Soros/DNC "guidance" is suspect.) The "organizers" should be ashamed. #OurRepsShowUpMD #IndivisibleMD #IMPACTSilverSpring #TakomaParkMobilization #OneIndivisible #CitizensIndivisible -- what a joke.

Hey, Allison - looks like you struck a nerve among the lefties!! Their trollers are here to tell you!! Just for clarification, we "tea party types" initially learned of these meeting tactics from the left's playbook for "facilitated meetings." These were designed to steer public meetings toward a predetermined "consensus," that the organizers could tout as "public opinion." It worked then because most people were not aware of what was happening and were convinced they participated in an honest discussion. When we learned this, we were easily able to counter the left's tactics and logic was applied to make them look silly. AMERICA FIRST!

Besides, 1.7 million potential protestors is "spit in a bucket" compaired to 350 million voters who put Donald J. Trump into the "Oval Office" to "replace & erase" the memory of the former niggler's (look it up whiners!) presence.

I did look it up and 251 million people voted and merely half of those voted for Hilary. So where in the hell did you get the 350 million people put trump into offices. 62 million (46%) of the people put trump into office not 350 million like you suggested. Look it up. Besides being a racist with your comment you are also a complete fucking moron.

Indeed...

This is how a civil national protest is organized from the ground up. Who cares the funding? We know it's not the Russians. This only grows if the people support it. The Tea Party grew because there were people who supported their message. This movement will grow if there is support. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right and in my opinion, the most important one. Holding all elected officials accountable is our responsibility.

I am not being paid! People are REALLY upset. Hope this translates in votes in 2018.

As usual, you miss the point. Or do you? How about focusing on the patriots on the right who take away voters rights, change laws to make protests illegal, punish (their favorite) legal protesters, et. etc. The fact that Adolph Trump violates law after law doesn't seem to be relevant. Just admit that you're a fascist tool with the usual accoutremonts-racist, bigot, moron! I can see that you don't believe in evolution-you're going the wrong way- W. to Palin to Trump. Nancy to Alison. What's next? Back to the Apes(Bannon)?

This protected right of assembly and speech is how common people keep the electorate honest. Whether left or right, black or white. This is what makes America, America...power to the people...

And your point is? The fact that hundreds of thousands of citizens are showing up to exercise their First Amendment rights of assembly to air their grievances to their REPRESENTATIVES sing guidance on ways to best do it doesn't take away the fact that they are doing it of their own volition. You gotta problem w that?

...not until they finally compell us to "put them down" in one fashion or another... (and THEN "it's on them"...and you). [That's how it has always been: from Vietnam to MLK to WATTS to "The South Bronx" and EVERY OTHER "protest demonstration turned ugly" (and "turn it ugly" they ultimately always do...)

If the Koch brothers fund it is A OK.

Sally, as a TEAPartier who went to townhalls and to Washington a couple of times, I'm still waiting for my check from the Koch Bros! BTW, now that Progs are adopting "TEAParty tactics", it seems they are dropping the pejorative 'Teabagger' term! What's up with you "New Teabaggers"?

The Koch brothers wouldn't fund radical groups that are anarchists Get a life Sally the changes coming are not the oppressive ones king Obama came in with where were then??

Well, I am not involved with Indivisible but know some people who are. They are all just concerned citizens and want their elected representatives to know of their concerns. Nothing sinister as best I can tell. They have used the Tea Party's success as a model for modern political messaging. They've taught members how to effectively formulate questions. Don't know about national funding sources but at local levels these appear to just be citizens concerned about health care, education, integrity, immigration and civility. Doesn't appear in any way sinister..just good Americans

Alison Neilson again writing a Bannon inspired conspiracy theorist piece. But unlike the Tea Party/Trump/Banon, these protests are from real people, concerned construction and maintenance of civil society - not burning the country to the ground.

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