Remember when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosic called the burgeoning Tea Party protests “astroturf“?
Well, now House Minority Leader, the San Francisco Democrat is singing a different tune as she sees protests more in line with her ideology. She has praised the latest round of anti-Wall Street (at least I think that’s what they’re against) protests, heralding them “for their spontaneity.” About this movement, she added, “It’s independent … it’s young, it’s spontaneous, and it’s focused. And it’s going to be effective.”
Well, these rallies aren’t quite as spontaneous as Mrs. Pelosi contends:
A liberal organizer told the Daily Caller on Thursday afternoon that he paid some Hispanics to attend “Occupy DC” protests happening in the nation’s capital.
The DC attended the protest event, an expansion of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that began in New York City. Some aspects of the protest, it turned out, are more Astroturf than grassroots.
One group of about ten Hispanic protesters marched behind a Caucasian individual from the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting rent control in Washington, D.C.
Asked why they were there, some Hispanic protesters holding up English protest signs could not articulate what their signs said.
Interviewed in Spanish, the protesters told conflicting stories about how their group was organized. Some said it was organized at their church, and that they were there as volunteers. Others, however, referred to the man from the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition — the only Caucasian in the group — as their “boss.”
TheDC asked that organizer whether he was paying the group to attend the protest, and he conceded that some protesters “aren’t” volunteers.
Mrs. Pelosi couldn’t be reached for comment.
Glenn Reynolds who tipped me off to this story quipped, “If it were a Tea Party it doing this it would make national news.”
UPDATE: Glenn links more evidence of Astroturf:
BREITBART: L.A. Protests Astroturfed: “The marchers also included scores of people bused in by various labor unions, which led observer Andrew Breitbart to smell conspiracy. The conservative blogger was videotaping the march and argued that the union involvement meant the demonstration had been ‘astroturfed’ — that is, manufactured to give the false appearance that it was a public groundswell.” Well, when even sympathetic media accounts can only report “hundreds” of protesters it’s not a very successful false appearance.