Monday, June 26, 2006

Rent-a-Demo

Extracted from: The Wall Street Journal, Weekend Edition, Saturday/Sunday, June 24-25, 2006. Starting in col 3 on A1 and then col 1 on A5. (About half a page).

How U.S. Citizens Mysteriously March For Kremlin Causes

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Russian Emigrés Pay Them To Flail Chechen Rebels As TV Moscow Films It All
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By Alan Cullison and James Bandler
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NEW YORK - Hoisting signs and American flags, hundreds of demonstators gathered in a park here for a noisy protest. An organizer explained the sponsors' eclectic mission:

"We are fighting against terrorism, hunger and inequality," he said. Demonstrators had a simple goal: getting paid. "Where's the moneyman?" shouted one of them, Pat Bradley.

Mr. Bradley said he and his wife, Kellie, recovering heroin addicts, had run into a rally organizer that morning outside their methadone clinic and were promised $15 each if they would ride a bus to a park in the Queens borough of New York City and chant slogans for 15 minutes. Mr. Bradley says he alternated shouts of "Stop the terrorism" with a more merchantile cry:

"Show me the money".

The rally last December was one of nearly a dozen paid-for protests organized by Russian emigrés in the U.S. in the past two years. They spent $150,000 to $200,000 in some months, accounting records indicate...
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Organizers said the effort was funded by private individuals they declined to name. Some former insiders of the campaign told a different story: that both its instructions and its funding came from Moscow. ...

This account was supported by emails and other documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

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(via scb)
Read the whole article here.
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