John Kerry’s wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry, worth as much as $1 billion according to some estimates, has directed donations in the millions to the Tides Foundation, a 28-year-old grant-making institution that funds some of the principal groups organizing demonstrations and disruptions of the GOP convention.
The umbrella coalition organizing the protests is called United for Peace and Justice – strongly critical of the war in Iraq. The coalition was sponsored by Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center, which was funded by the Tides Center’s Iraq Peace Fund and Peace Studies Fund. Clark’s group also sponsored International ANSWER. Both groups are run by long-time communist revolutionaries.
Teresa Heinz Kerry’s favorite charity has also funded The Ruckus Society, http://www.ruckus.org/, an anarchist group known for disrupting the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999 and planning similar disruptions for the New York convention. The group has been training protesters for the GOP convention in the art of sit-ins and blockades.
Mrs. Kerry, working through the Howard Heinz Endowment, oversaw the donation of more than $4 million to the Tides Foundation between 1995 and 2001.
Other groups in the United for Peace and Justice Coalition funded by Tides include the American Friends Service Committee, MADRE, the Institute for Policy Studies, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild.
Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice national coordinator, a long-time communist revolutionary, also runs International ANSWER, dominated by the Communist Workers World Party. The Communist Party USA is also one of the affiliated groups under the United for Peace and Justice coalition.
According to the New York Daily News, fringe elements are hoping to spark major disruptions “with a series of sneaky tricks – including fooling bomb-sniffing dogs on trains bound for Penn Station.”
“Internet-using anarchists are telling would-be troublemakers to decoy specially trained Labrador retrievers with gunpowder or ammonium nitrate-laced tablets in a bid to halt trains or even spur the evacuation of Madison Square Garden,” the paper reported.
The Republican convention will be held at Madison Square Garden Aug. 30 through Sept. 2.
New York City police have expressed concern about the way some of these groups have used the Internet to disseminate plans for disruption. Among those messages cited:
– “Go to a rifle, pistol or skeet shooting range, spend an hour shooting to saturate clothing with smell of gunpowder, go directly to a New Jersey Transit, LIRR or subway train headed for Penn Station.
– “Try to have at least two people on a train in different locations, sit or stand near the doors as the train approaches the station, try to get near police and dogs, loiter as long as possible around the dog, try to pet it if possible.
– “If the dog alerts on your scent, do not leave or resist; the situation will cause a major disruption of the train schedule. … If there is more than one person on the train that causes a dog to alert, you can bet that the train will not be going anywhere for a long time … neither will any trains behind it.
– “It is important that the police call in all possible resources to investigate the situation. … This will result in the maximum disruption. … With any luck, Madison Square Garden will be evacuated.
– “Rush hours are ideal, the final night of the convention, very good, too.”