Abolish Prisons—Brought to You by Big Philanthropy

by | Aug 3, 2023 | Law and Fair Courts, Restoration News

Ultra-wealthy funders are bankrolling radical Marxist groups working to unleash felons on America’s streets. Everyday families will pay the price.

If there’s one thing the Left excels at, it’s routing secret donations to extremist groups through tax-exempt groups under the guise of “charity.”

Case-in-point: Mass Liberation Arizona, which demands the U.S. “divest” and “decarcerate” all prisons nationwide to promote socialist “liberation.” These aren’t your average Bernie Sanders-style “democratic socialists,” either—Mass Liberation takes its inspiration from Assata Shakur, the communist cop-killer and Black Liberation Army soldier who escaped U.S. authorities by fleeing to Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 1984.

The FBI currently has a $1 million bounty for Shakur’s arrest, in part for murdering a New Jersey state trooper in 1977—for which a court gave her life in prison.

Not exactly the “role model” Big Philanthropy likes to promote.

Perhaps that’s why Mass Liberation hides its close relationship with Tides Advocacy, the 501(c)(4) branch of the $1.5 billion Tides Nexus.

Source: Mass Liberation Arizona homepage.

Tides brags that Mass Liberation Arizona registered and turned out voters in Maricopa County’s 2022 county attorney race to support “a pro-choice candidate,” Democrat Julie Gunnigle, who pledged not to enforce the state’s “unconstitutional” 15-week abortion ban.

Also worth noting is Mass Liberation Arizona’s website, which features an all-white cast of activists demanding Maricopa County’s first female county attorney, Allister Adel, resign from her office; she died shortly after resigning from office in 2022.

The Tides Nexus is one of the Left’s top money pots, specializing in moving money from left-wing donors to political groups and even sponsoring new ones—including Mass Liberation Arizona.

In practice, that means this radical socialist group doesn’t file IRS Form 990 disclosures, reveal its budget or board, and operates under Tides’ tax exemption, all while lobbying for laws that would devastate neighborhoods across the country.

And that helps to hide Mass Liberation’s support for the Marxist-led Black Lives Matter. In 2020, Mass Liberation Nevada—a “sister” group—helped organize hundreds of Black Lives Matter rioters on the Las Vegas strip, 80 of whom were arrested for failure to disperse. The Nevada chapter posted $1,000 bail for many of the rioters.

Later that year the Nevada chapter mobilized thousands of voters to elect Belinda Harris in Las Vegas’ 2020 judicial race, a Black Lives Matter supporter; today it demands white Americans commit to “solidarity” with “Black folx” against the “Prison Industrial Complex:

As a white person . . . I WILL NOT TAKE UP SPACE talking, tone policing, asking for receipts/proof, over-sharing, or teaching in Black spaces.

I know the [criminal justice] system was designed to harm and oppress Black people . . . I trust and believe [black people] without requesting ‘proof’ or centering my own experiences.

When my whiteness is called out, I will STOP TALKING . . .

I understand that as I commit to being accountable in decentering whiteness, I also commit to the action and labor necessary to support the dismantling of the criminal punishment system. I know that my white comfort is never more important than Black lives.

Source: Mass Liberation Arizona

Pass-Through Funding

We’ve traced $760,000 in funding for Mass Liberation Arizona from Borealis Philanthropy, itself a major pass-through funder that, like Tides, helps mega-donors fund politics without revealing their identities. Restoration News has reported on how Borealis bankrolls the gay and transgender movement wreaking havoc on our schools.

Ditto Tides, which sends pass-through grants from anonymous leftists to groups pushing the Left’s agenda on everything from global warming policies to rolling back cash bail.

We’ve also identified a 2022 grant from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust tagged for Mass Liberation Arizona. The trust is a massive donor to Arizona groups, contributing $123 million to state nonprofits in 2021 alone.

A National Network

As the name suggests, Mass Liberation Arizona is only one offshoot of a larger campaign which shares the same objective of black “community liberation”: Mass Liberation Project, itself also a project of Tides Advocacy created in 2019.

America’s criminal justice system is far from perfect. Yet the project doesn’t want to reform the system, but destroy it. Mass Liberation Project aims to “end mass incarceration and abolish the criminal legal system,” as it calls America’s courts, and restore felon voting rights. Restoration News has documented the Left’s larger push to cultivate the felon vote, both by re-enfranchising former felons and in some states allowing them to vote from jail.

We’ve traced $600,000 to Mass Liberation Project from the Open Philanthropy Project, the philanthropy of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna. Other donors include the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, a secretive mega-donor; the Heising-Simons Foundation, the philanthropy of Democratic mega-donors Mark Heising and Liz Simons; and the David Rockefeller Fund, a regular contributor to the Tides Nexus. 

Sowing Chaos from the Shadows

Tides and other pass-through groups are among the most powerful tools in the Left’s arsenal. They take advantage of generous nonprofit laws and tax exemption to funnel huge sums to toxic groups like Mass Liberation, hiding their donors in the process.

It’s yet more evidence that America’s politics are really run by activists—not the parties—and only because they’ve thoroughly weaponized our charities for partisan profit. For conservatives, the solution can only be a complete restructuring of our nonprofit sector to crack down on 501(c)(3) abuse and restore genuine charity.