Ferguson Mayor: Media Ignoring How Ferguson Protesters Aren't Local, Or Working for Free

May 31st, 2015 8:45 PM

The newspaper The Hill reports that the mayor of Ferguson, James Knowles III, charged on Sunday that violent protesters in his community are arriving from out of town and getting paid. It’s not what you would call “grass roots” unrest.

“They’ve been openly raising money and distributing money for some time,” Knowles told radio host John Catsimatidis on “The Cats Roundtable” on AM 970 in New York. “The mainstream media continues mostly to ignore this fact,” he added. “It’s unbelievable what we’ve seen.”

Knowles recalled on Sunday how his city’s residents were puzzled last year by a flood of unfamiliar faces. Ferguson police were especially troubled, he added, given they were arresting scores of citizens from outside their jurisdiction.

“When this all started back in August…many of us who live here…noticed that there were a lot of people from outside,” Knowles said. “Only a handful were even from Ferguson,” he said. “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,” Knowles said.

The Ferguson mayor added that negative attention over Brown’s death even attracted demonstrators from overseas. “People have come from all over the world and gotten arrested during this unrest,” Knowles said.

Weasel Zippers relayed this link and reminded its readers that protesters have complained on Twitter about not getting paid (with the hashtag "#Cutthecheck") and exposed a list of payments to activists. There's nothing illegal about this. It's just reckless for the media to portray protests as some sort of local, organic movement working only on emotion.