Politics

Why Pay Protesters When You Can Bribe Them With Beds?

Wealthy leftist donors pay activists to attend political protests. That we know. This was particularly revealed during the Brett Kavanaugh Senate hearings when a George Soros-paid activist ambushed squishy Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator.

Well, this sort of compensation for demonstrations is more insidious than you may think. Recently, I wrote about a city council candidate, Chris Rufo, who, along with his family, was intimidated into suspending his campaign due to intolerant leftist threats.

Rufo’s campaign policy paper reminded me of a far-left, supposedly homeless-helping organization called SHARE/WHEEL. During my police career, I had to deal with these SHARE folks who operated within my precinct. What I recall most about them was their consistent unwillingness to cooperate with the police, often “protecting” criminals from us.

In Rufo’s campaign platform position paper, he explains another, even more sinister, way leftist community organizations get people out in the streets to participate in their never-ending demonstrations. Why compensate people with cash when you can bribe them with a bed?

Regarding one of Seattle’s 400 “homeless” encampments, this one comprised of “tiny houses” run by SHARE, Rufo writes:

Even worse, the organization that runs the Licton Springs encampment, SHARE, effectively uses taxpayer money to lobby the city for more taxpayer money. They operate their encampments on a system of ‘participation credits,’ requiring residents to attend political rallies, campaign events, and city council hearings. At last year’s city income tax hearing at the King County Superior Court, I spoke with a homeless woman who lived in a SHARE encampment who explained that if she did not show up to the court proceeding, she would be kicked out of the camp for one week [emphasis mine].

What is this? Compassionate extortion?

Rufo refers to what has become the “Homeless-Industrial Complex” (HIC), of which I wrote about earlier this year. Eleanor Owen, a co-founder of the Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC), an organization established in 1979 to help the homeless, told Rufo that over the years the organization’s operation has changed. She explained that DESC’s focus has gone from “helping the homeless to securing government contracts, maintaining a $112 million real estate portfolio, and paying a staff of 900 people.”

Further, about DESC’s mission, Owen said, “When we started, we kept our costs low and helped people get back on their feet. [Now] It’s more important to keep staff paid than to actually help the poor become self-sufficient.” This explains how a billion dollars a year can be spent on the Seattle area’s homeless problem, and it only gets worse.

The HIC needs “homelessness” to continue or, even better, get worse to justify its existence. End homelessness and 900 (and that’s just one organization) people lose their jobs. These folks are not interested in ending the problem. They’re dedicated to seeing that the problem continues. In this endeavor, they have been wildly successful.

This is a leftist-run government phenomenon. Tyler Durden of zerohedge.com writes, “Social crises justify huge spending and expansions of the government. The homeless crisis is largely a problem in lefty cities where it’s heavily subsidized.”

Durden asks: “Why does Texas have only 17% of the homeless population of California? Why does Colorado have four times the homeless population of Utah? Why do Oregon and Washington have more homeless than Montana, Idaho, South and North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa combined?”

You might argue, at least with Washington and Oregon, it’s because the states have more moderate climates (well, in the western parts of those states: Seattle and Portland). That may be true, but you couldn’t say that about the other state comparisons. And what about New York City? It’s run by a socialist mayor, and it does not have anywhere near a moderate climate. Durden reports NYC will spend $2.06 billion on its homeless problem.

So, if you ever wonder how those leftist groups get people in the streets so quickly and so often, now you know. The formula is easy: Issue “homeless” folks some fake outrage, pre-produced signs, and slap a little cash in their hands. Or, better yet, just threaten to take away their shelter for a week if they fail to show up for the protest of the week.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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