In the world of politics, there’s a term known as “astroturf.” It’s used to describe protests or political efforts that appear to be “grassroots” but in fact are artificially generated.
That’s what Ferguson mayor James Knowles III is saying about the violent protests that rocked his city last summer. But he told a radio audience that the mainstream media has largely ignored this important fact.
The Hill reports that Knowles said:
“Only a handful were even from Ferguson. And so we started asking the question: Where are these people coming from, and who’s supporting this?”
“And as the months have played out, we’ve seen that MoveOn.org, Organization of Black Struggle – national groups have openly and surreptitiously funded a lot of what’s been going on.”
In fact, a list of payments made to out-of-town protesters was discovered last month:
— Tabitha Bliss (@BlissTabitha) May 21, 2015
This list was reportedly compiled in response to complaints from many protesters about not getting their promised paychecks from Missourians Organizing For Reform and Empowerment (MORE), an offshoot of ACORN.
— Marissa S. (@southards_3) May 14, 2015
Of the 52 Ferguson protesters arrested during a two-day period in August, 48 were from out of town.