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Reblogged:Poe's Law Headines and Pro-Hamas Astroturfing

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Over the weekend, I heard a podcaster speculating on reports that someone was paying people to stage pro-Hamas "protests," i.e., tresspass, squat on, and vandalize college campuses, while threatening Jews or counter-protesters.

Given the overall looniness of this day and age, any headlines to that effect would remind me of Poe's Law:
Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article.
Only now, one often needs to replace the emoji with a reputable source and creationist with conspiracy theorist, while remembering that there are some bat-#$%& crazy things going on out there because nobody is calling out the nuts, bigots, or war-mongers for what they are even as they accuse civiilized people of exactly those things.

Reputable news outlets are indeed reporting strong evidence of as much. From NBC News at the first link:
New York City officials said that a significant number of people arrested this week at campus demonstrations were not affiliated with the schools. Nearly 30% of the people arrested at Columbia were unaffiliated with the university and 60% of the arrests at City College involved people who weren't affiliated with that school, the mayor said.
And The Wall Street Journal, in a report titled "Activist [sic] Groups Trained Students for Months Before Campus Protests" adds:
Image by jakerome, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
In March, there was a "Resistance 101" training scheduled at Columbia with guest speakers including longtime activists with Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based group that celebrated the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. The administration twice barred the event, citing some of the organizers' known support of terrorism and promotion of violence. Columbia students hosted the event virtually nonetheless, which prompted Columbia President Minouche Shafik to suspend several of them.


Polat said student organizers at Columbia learned the discipline and planning needed to pull off an effective protest movement not only from their work with veteran demonstrators and outside groups, but from participating in Black Lives Matter marches or student labor organizing.

Some tools they learned were practical, such as how to raise money via student fundraisers and donations from friends and supporters to buy tents for encampments.
The links came from a post at the conservative Hot Air blog which asserts that these sources confirm not just that non-affiliated people are protesting, but that they are funded by George Soros.

While the latter wouldn't surprise me, I see no proof of that particular allegation. (That said, I do not know nor have looked into whether Soros is a major funder of some of the groups giving aid and comfort to these non-student, non-faculty thugs.)

-- CAV

P.S. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, astroturfing is (or was) a smear that leftists used to dismiss any kind of campaign of protests or rallies they didn't like, on the grounds that they allegedly didn't have as much organic support from the public as they seem to.

It's funny how that word hasn't come up yet, although, to be fair, many college students and faculty do support Hamas, thanks to the ideas that saturate college campuses: "Elite colleges are now reaping the consequences of promoting a pedagogy that trashed the postwar ideal of the liberal university." (HT: Yaron Brook)

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