Group Says Protesters Get Government Grants
April 18, 2000
Some of the organizations participating in the demonstrations against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., over the weekend were recipients of taxpayer dollars, charges the National Taxpayers Union.
- According to their calculations, some $15 million in federal funds flowed to at least a dozen groups participating in the protest.
- Four of the dozen organizations cited in the study -- the Earth Action Coalition, the AFL-CIO, the Rural Coalition and Friends of the Earth -- were listed as sponsors or endorsers of the protest on the "official" protest website.
- Some of the groups named defended their involvement in the protests and their federal grants, saying the two were entirely unrelated -- while others claimed they had nothing to do with the demonstrations.
- Thomas E. McClusky, author of the study, said the $15 million figure may just a scratch the surface -- since it is difficult to pin down some of the groups that sent protesters and to identify how much in federal funds they received, if any.
NTU also estimates the protests cost the federal government $20 million in holiday pay for government employees who work in areas impacted by the demonstrations and who were given the day off.
The District of Columbia government is also seeking $5 million in federal funds to cover costs associated with the protests.
Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth, countered that taxpayers should also question U.S. grants to the IMF and World Bank.
Source: Stephen Dinan, "Taxpayer Watchdog Says Some Protest Groups Get Grants," Washington Times, April 18, 2000.
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