POLITICAL HARASSMENT TRAINER COMING BACK TO ANCHORAGE THIS MONTH
ACORN, an organization that fell into disrepute and collapsed in disgrace, still has a walk-on role in radical left-wing politics, and that role now extends north to Alaska.
Recently, an organizational remnant of ACORN was active in training Alaskans go to Washington, D.C. to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — and intentionally get arrested in the process.
One of those protest organizer-trainers, Darius Gordon, will be back in Anchorage this month to meet with the Alaska Grassroots Alliance and debrief on their civil disobedience activities that were unsuccessful in blocking Kavanaugh.
Perhaps there will be more training ahead on ways to harass Alaska’s Republican politicians and how to proceed when arrested.
Gordon trained the Alliance in preparation for their D.C. arrest event, and several Alaskans were indeed taken away in handcuffs from in front of Sen. Dan Sullivan’s office. Gordon videotaped and posted it all on Twitter in September:
Gordon is also trainer in a specific technique known as birddogging, where protesters work in pairs to crowd a lawmaker, getting in his or her physical space.
These birddoggers practice tracking lawmakers, shouting at them in their face, as well as menacing them with their bodies by remaining close to impede their progress, while not touching them. They do it all without actually appearing to make an actual threat.
They are trying to provoke Republican lawmakers into a physical or verbal reaction that can be videotaped and shared on the internet. Much of CPD’s activity has the stated intent of turning voters against these conservative elected officials during the 2018 election.
Video footage of the Kavanaugh protests in September and October reveal numerous cases of birddogging, as trained by Gordon and the Center for Popular Democracy this summer.
“Birddogging” is a relatively new tactic that involves a video camera operator and persistent questioning of the tracked lawmaker in public.
As described by one left-wing site, “This form of simple, direct advocacy, when applied consistently, is amazingly effective –and yet, astonishingly rare. In 2018’s election year, birddogging is how we will win the policies we need. Together we can get trained up and plugged in to a national activist network that is going to play a huge role in 2018 and 2020, making sure than *everyone* running for office agrees to a bold progressive vision–that makes America sane again. Let’s get off the internet, and focus our energy on people who actually have the power to give us what we want, in person and in-public, especially when candidates are most accessible and amendable, during election season!”
CPD trains people to birddog lawmakers not only at the U.S. Capitol, but in public places, including restaurants and airports, and to scream at them when they go into a restroom, as this woman birddogger did:
Republican lawmakers such as Sen. Ted Cruz and members of the Trump Administration have experienced increased harassment from the group and its copy-cats.
Darius Gordon’s second visit to Alaska indicates that harassment will be the new norm from the Alaska Grassroots Alliance, which started training earlier this year for civil disobedience.
During one of their trainings in a church in Spenard, a heavy metal musician sprayed the group of pacifists with a can of pepper spray. He is currently in jail.
BUT HOW IS CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY RELATED TO ACORN?
ACORN, the international network of community organizations known as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, became embroiled in a series of scandals that ended its its financial demise in 2010, after video footage became public showing ACORN organizers actively involved in promulgating voter fraud and other frauds in key states.
President Obama had several ties to the group, including using it for a get-out-the-vote effort on his campaign.
Congress eventually defunded ACORN and it filed for bankruptcy after James O’Keefe, a conservative activist, made incriminating videos of likely criminal behavior, including promoting human trafficking.
But at its height, ACORN was powerful, with chapters in over 100 cities in the U.S., and more internationally.
Its founder, Wade Rathke, eventually ended up in Juneau running the Mental Health Consumer Action Network, a fledgling advocacy group. He has since apparently returned to community organizing with ACORN International, which still exists, and he appears to live in Louisiana.
Although ACORN in the U.S. died an ignominious death, one of its key players, Brian Kettering, is now the head of the Center for Popular Democracy, founded in 2012. That’s the group that has become involved in radicalizing Anchorage Democrats and helping them get arrested in DC during recent weeks.
HOW ANCHORAGE ACTIVISTS KNEW WHAT TO DO
In August of 2018, Darius Gordon of CPD came to Anchorage to help the Alaska Grassroots Alliance organize a trip to Washington, D.C. where protesters planned to be arrested to try to prevent Sen. Lisa Murkowski from voting in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. He had funds to assist.
The strategy worked — at least in part. Murkowski voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, although he was ultimately confirmed.
Several of the Alaska protesters were arrested and had their bail posted by the Center for Popular Democracy. In fact, an unknown number of protesters from the Alaska Grassroots Alliance had their entire round trip to DC funded by CPD, and had their bail reimbursed as well.
The Center for Popular Democracy received money last year from the Open Society Foundation, one of the primary funding funnels of George Soros. About half of CPD’s funding comes from the Ford, Open Society, and Wyss Foundations. Reports for this year’s funding sources are not yet available.