Dems’ Favorite Fundraising Platform Used By Groups Behind Conference Tied To Terror Orgs

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ActBlue, the primary funding platform used by Democrats, provided fundraising services to organizations behind a pro-Palestinian conference where speakers praised the outcome of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) served on the steering committee of the People’s Conference for Palestine while fundraising through ActBlue, the platform favored by Democrats running for office. The conference, which took place over Memorial Day weekend and was attended by Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, featured speakers who praised the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks and was endorsed by Salah Salah, a founding member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

In addition to being on the steering committee for the conference, USCPR and AROC also promoted the event on their social media accounts.

Salah lauded the efforts of the event’s organizers, calling their event “a continuation of your achievements organizing unprecedented protests across North America and other capitals and cities around the world” and called on people sympathetic to the Palestinian cause to participate in the conference, according to a video shared by the conference’s organizers. Wisam Rafeedie, who Amnesty International says produced literature for the PFLP, also endorsed the event and spoke to attendees about how they can more effectively engage in activism. (RELATED: Dems’ Favorite Fundraising Platform Takes Donations For Groups Cheering On Hamas Violence, Attacking Israel)

The United States has designated the PFLP as a foreign terrorist organization since 1997, with the Palestinian organization hijacking planes, carrying out suicide bombings, attacking synagogues and bombing civilians, among other violent acts, according to the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Al-Quds Open University, which praised Hamas’ militants as “righteous martyrs” in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, also endorsed the event.

Sarah Abdelshamy, an activist affiliated with the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) said at the event that “in the past eight months we’ve seen incredible images of victory” including “scenes of our heroic people breaking down the siege that has suffocated the Gaza Strip for more than 17 years,” according to a recording of the event.

“This is a protracted people’s war of liberation and that the only one that is capable of sustaining it is the Palestinian resistance, which will continue to fight until liberation from the river to the sea,” she continued.

Abdaljawad Omar, a Palestinian writer and professor, argued that “without the events of October 7, regardless of our feelings about those events, the political possibilities we now witness would not exist,” pointing to the rise in student movements, heightened calls for divestment from Israel, increased international recognition of the Palestinian state and shifts in public opinion toward Palestine.

“No single moment has opened so many doors of political possibility like the events that transpired after October 7,” he continued. “October 7 and the promise of liberation it holds would not have manifested in our conference today, in our gathering today, without the capacity to resist.”

Ashraf Taher, another PYM organizer, argued at the conference that “liberation only comes from armed struggle.” Ashraf Hazayen, also affiliated with PYM, said that the Oct. 7 attacks were “waged for and because of the people of Gaza and the Palestinian people as a whole,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

ActBlue processed over $3.5 billion in donations for Democratic political campaigns and left-of-center organizations, like AROC and USCPR, during the 2022 election cycle, according to its website. The New York Times called the platform “Democrats’ not-so-secret weapon.”

In addition to putting on a terrorist-endorsed conference, AROC and USCPR have also been involved in organizing disruptive protests following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

AROC, for its part, organized a blockade of a Tacoma, Washington, port in November 2023, attempting to block a ship they believed would carry military aid to Israel from leaving. AROC did this in conjunction with the Seattle chapter of Samidoun, which the Israeli government alleges is part of the PFLP.

USCPR, meanwhile, funded three fellows who have helped organize protests at Yale, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of California, Berkeley, the New York Post reported. Craig Birckhead-Morton, USCPR’s fellow at Yale, was arrested and charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct after failing to disperse while protesting on campus, marking the second time he’d been arrested, the Yale Daily News reported.

USCPR praised Birckhead-Morton’s efforts, saying that he is “doing phenomenal organizing with the Yalies4Palestine.”

Nidaa Lafi, another one of USCPR’s campus fellows, was present at a pro-Palestinian encampment at UT Dallas and was seen leading a protest at the University of Texas at Austin, according to the New York Post.

USCPR pays its campus fellows between $2,880 and $3,660 to spend eight hours every week to organize pro-Palestinian campaigns, the New York Post reported.

National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP), PYM and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) were also involved in organizing the People’s Conference for Palestine. While these groups don’t fundraise directly through ActBlue, WESPAC, which processes tax-deductible donations for NSJP and PYM while serving as the fiscal sponsor of USPCN, does raise funds through the platform.

Fiscal sponsorship refers to an agreement whereby an established nonprofit like WESPAC processes tax-deductible donations on behalf of another group that is not registered as a nonprofit with the Internal Revenue Service, according to the American Bar Association. A fiscal sponsor is legally the same entity as the group it is sponsoring under the most common variation of the arrangement.

USPCN, NSJP and PYM promoted the event on their social media platforms or website. NSJP even hosted a workshop at the conference titled “Sowing the Seeds of Revolution through Alternative Education.”

These three groups, like AROC and USCPR, have also been involved in the pro-Palestinian protests following Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

Members of NSJP, for instance, administrated a Telegram channel disseminating literature that encourages violence against police and provides tactics for breaking and entering. USPCN, on the other hand, organized protests across the country after releasing a statement the day of the Oct. 7 attacks calling them “self-defense operations” constituting a “legitimate response to unending violence from Israel’s extreme right-wing, racist, white supremacist, zionist [sic] government.”

Several organizations that endorsed the conference, though were not necessarily involved in organizing it, also fundraised through ActBlue. These include Christians for a Free Palestine, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and CODEPINK, among others.

WESPAC also endorsed the conference, according to the event’s website.

AROC, USCPR, USPCN, NSJP, WESPAC and ActBlue did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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