Marching to Soros' Tune: 100 Women's March Partners Funded by Left-Wing Billionaire

Executive Summary

The Women’s March on Washington became an instant media cause. The protest was a classic left-wing, catch-all event celebrating a host of liberal causes from abortion to eco-extremism. Nor did the Women’s March end after one day. March organizers continue to promote new “actions,” including a “Day Without a Women” strike on March 8.

While many celebrity voices were on stage on Jan. 21, highlighting what had become a massive, anti-Trump event, there was another influential voice not heard that day. It belonged to one man.

George Soros.

The liberal billionaire didn’t fund the Jan. 21, 2017, march directly. He had already given nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to 100 groups partnering with the march. That list included some of the most prominent groups battling the right: Planned Parenthood, the Center for American Progress and People for the American Way (PFAW). Those donations represent just a fragment of Soros’ massive global influence. His Open Society Foundations have given away more than $13 billion to push his globalist, anti-American views.

The media turned the march into a celebration of anti-Trump sentiment and ignored or downplayed negative stories. Those ranged from Soros’ backing of the groups involved, controversial event partners such as the Communist Party and Madonna’s F-bomb laden tirade against President Donald Trump that included her fantasies about “blowing up the White House.”

The Media Research Center’s Business division analyzed the groups involved in the Women’s March and found that the march’s most-important supporters were backed by Soros. Key findings include:

  • Partners Received More Than $246 Million From George Soros: 100 of the 544 Women’s March partners received a total of $246,637,217 from Soros between 2000 and 2014. Soros gave more than $1 million to 36 of those partners, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, MoveOn.org, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

  • Partners Hostile to Christians and Conservative Values: Soros money goes to many causes openly hostile to people of faith and their values. The ACLU, which received $37.3 million from Soros, has tried repeatedly to close Catholic hospitals and “emboldened” criminals in Chicago. The Center for American Progress (backed by $12.2 million from Soros) used the Orlando nightclub shooting to bash Christians. Even Human Rights Watch, which tracks human rights violations around the globe, ignores the right to life for the unborn and supports abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

  • March Excluded Pro-Life Voices: Soros is one of Planned Parenthood’s largest donors, and has given at least $21.2 million since 2000. While Planned Parenthood partnered with and sponsored the Women’s March, at least two pro-life groups were removed from the march’s “partners” page. Organizers added “safe, legal, affordable abortion” as a core principle of the march, alienating the conservative, pro-life women (and men) who otherwise supported the march.

Recommendations for Journalists

MRC Business has identified the following recommendations for the media to cover future events fairly:

  • Expose Background Groups: Events like the Women’s March cannot take place without significant financial backing and resources, yet the media rarely cover that information. Journalists must thoroughly investigate and report which organizations and donors push agendas behind the scenes. During the one hour and 15 minutes of march coverage, ABC, CBS and NBC never disclosed controversial march influencers. Those ranged from partners like The Communist Party and media organizations to behind-the-scenes players like George Soros.

  • Treat Liberals and Conservatives Equally: The media must highlight when conservative groups are discriminated against. ABC gave the Women’s March a glowing review while ignoring march organizers’ removal of two pro-life groups from its partner list. CNN also failed to mention the exclusion of pro-life groups in its interview with march organizer Pam Campos-Palma.

  • Report Soros’ Ties to National Events: The broadcast networks, which made such a big deal out of the Women’s March on Washington, ignored Soros’ financial support for partner groups. Yet, the liberal media pounce on opportunities to blast conservative donors like the Koch brothers. The media must report on all donors, not simply conservative ones.

 

Introduction

The Women’s March on Washington claimed to stand for all women, but it didn’t. In fact, its messaging was blatantly liberal and the organizers made it clear pro-life women were not welcome.

The march stemmed from fear and anger over President Donald Trump’s election victory and snowballed into a liberal anti-Trump movement backed by more than 500 groups.

Celebrity speakers like Ashley Judd and Madonna pushed the march’s message even further left. Judd recited an R-rated poem calling Trump’s team “Nazis” and claiming Ivanka Trump was her father’s “favorite sex symbol.” Madonna shouted, “It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the fuck up,” before admitting, “Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”

Of the march’s 544 partners groups, 100 liberal organizations already had the financial support of left-wing billionaire George Soros. He gave them nearly a quarter of a billion dollars combined between 2000 and 2014.

In the days before and after the march, the three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) devoted an astonishing one hour, 15 minutes and 18 seconds to the event without ever criticizing the vicious, liberal march speakers or mentioning Soros.

While the networks ignored controversial elements of the protest, MSNBC argued the opposite. On Jan. 21, MSNBC Live declared that marchers were in D.C. to send “a message of unity,” not to be “hateful or anti-Trump.” But CNN commentator Bakari Sellers more accurately acknowledged, “it’s not about women, it’s about liberalism.”

In reality, the Women’s March became hateful as soon as left-wing organizers took over.

 

The March Turns Left

The night after Trump won the presidential election, a Hawaiian woman named Teresa Shook created a Facebook event calling for a March on Washington to protest Trump the day after his inauguration. Overnight, the event grew to 10,000 attendees, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Bob Bland, a female New York fashion designer who created the pro-Hillary “Nasty Woman” T-shirts during the election, soon took over Shook’s event and recruited radical feminist activists to help her organize.

Once liberals firmly controlled the march, they began squabbling over everything from the name (Million Women’s March was “appropriating black activism”) to whether the march was racially inclusive, since the original leaders were not minorities.

One goal march organizers did rally together for was silencing pro-life organizations. While Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups had been listed as march partners since at least mid-December, pro-life groups, including And Then There Were None and New Wave Feminists, were removed from the partners list.

After kicking New Wave Feminists out, march organizers declared “safe, legal, affordable abortion” as one of their “Unity Principles” which identified the march’s new, more restrictive, far left core values.

Pro-life leaders rebuked the Women’s March for becoming a “Protect Planned Parenthood” event that marginalized people who share their views.

March Co-Chair Linda Sarsour further backed Planned Parenthood. In a Jan. 15, MSNBC interview she declared “hands off Planned Parenthood” was part of the march’s “top messaging.”

Sarsour is the controversial Muslim Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and one of the Women’s March’s national co-chairs. Between 2011 and 2016, she posted at least 30 tweets praising Sharia law and the Nation of Islam, and attacking people critical of Islam. She later deleted the tweets.

According to her Women’s March bio, Sarsour also successfully forced New York public schools to close for two Islamic holidays.

Sarsour is a featured speaker at the upcoming Jewish Voice for Peace National Member Meeting in March 2017. Jewish Voice for Peace openly “seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.”

Increasingly liberal partners signed on close to the march date, from the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, to the U.S. Communist Party. Media groups including the Communications Workers of America (a union representing journalists and other communications personnel), the Women’s Media Center, the Alliance for Women in Media, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association also partnered with the event.

Approximately 575,000 people attended the Jan. 21, march in Washington D.C., according to data gathered by researchers at the Universities of Connecticut and Denver. Roughly another 4 million joined similar women’s marches in other U.S. cities, Europe and Canada. But those numbers inflate the march’s political impact. Since this was an anti-Trump event, most of those marching in other nations can’t vote.

 

Soros Funded 100 Women’s March Partners

The Women’s March claimed to stand for “vibrant and diverse communities.” However, it hawked the same worn-out liberal ideals of “LGBTQIA rights” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual), abortion, “environmental justice” and others.

Soros, the 19th richest man in America with a net worth of $24.9 billion, according Forbes, gave more than $246 million to 100 of the Women’s March partner groups over 14 years. He distributed the money through personal contributions and donations from his Open Society Foundations (OSF). Donation records from OSF are only available for 2000 to 2014, meaning Soros’ total donations were most likely much greater.

The biggest recipients included cornerstones of the activist left — the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Planned Parenthood and Center for American Progress. These four organizations have all worked against conservative values.

1. The ACLU Targeted Christians and “Emboldened” Criminals

The ACLU, which received more than $37 million from Soros, has repeatedly attempted to undermine conservatives and people of faith, including hospitals and charities serving children worldwide.

For at least seven years, the ACLU tried to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions in violation of the Catholic faith. In December 2010, the ACLU wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, demanding a federal probe into hospitals not providing “emergency” abortions.

The ACLU filed lawsuits against several Catholic hospitals in 2015 because “Catholic bishops are not licensed medical professionals and have no place dictating how doctors practice medicine,” according to The Washington Times. A Michigan district court dismissed the suit in April 2016.

A Christian charity feeding children overseas was also targeted by the ACLU in late 2015. A middle school in California was raising money to feed children in Tanzania, but when the ACLU discovered that the charity the school was sending money through also partnered with the Christian charity Kids Around the World, it threatened to sue the school. The threat forced the school to cut all ties with the charity and stop fundraising.

The ACLU also successfully undermined the Chicago police department’s ability to protect the city. In August 2015, the ACLU of Illinois claimed Chicago police were “engaging in racially biased stops” because the majority of stops in a four-month period involved African-Americans, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Chicago police superintendent struck a deal with the ACLU giving it oversight authority on the department’s stop activity, after which police stops dropped by 90 percent during the first quarter of 2016. However, the ACLU’s oversight merely caused criminals to “become emboldened by the police disengagement,” and Chicago crime increased, according to The Wall Street Journal.

2. Human Rights Watch Defends Gays, But Not the Unborn

Human Rights Watch (HRW) tracks crime and human rights violations around the world. Nevertheless, HRW is still mired in its own liberal bias. It has also received $32 million from Soros.

During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia HRW’s bias was evident. HRW Director of Global Initiatives Minky Worden complained on National Public Radio that NBC “dropped the ball” by not “robustly” reporting the “human rights abuses” of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law. “Robust,” meaning the reporting wasn’t sufficiently pro-gay.  

Liberal activism also showed up at the HRW-sponsored film festival. While HRW sponsors the festival to “encourage filmmakers around the world to address human rights subject matter,” the 2015 lineup featured several left-wing “social justice” films about the Black Panthers (the Vanguard of the Revolution) and transgender prostitutes.

HRW doesn’t extend human rights to the unborn even though it acknowledges “terminating a pregnancy” can present “complex questions about the worth of human life, and about when a human being begins to exist.” Instead, HRW supports “common sense abortion policy” and celebrates each time a nation’s abortion laws become less restrictive.

HRW has even defended the largest U.S. abortion provider: Planned Parenthood. In a January 2017 column, HRW’s Women’s Rights Division Senior Researcher Amanda Klasing claimed defunding Planned Parenthood would “imperil many women’s access to a whole range of important health care services.”

3. Soros Advances Abortion Agenda Through Planned Parenthood

Soros has dumped at least $21.2 million into Planned Parenthood’s national and regional branches, not counting an additional $1.5 million he gave in 2015 to cover up Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue sale scandal.

Planned Parenthood had a prominent role in the Women’s March. Not only was it a “Premier Partner” and “Exclusive Premiere Sponsor,” but Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards spoke at the march rally.

The Women’s March listed Planned Parenthood as a partner in mid-December 2016, but “Reproductive Rights” (aka “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people”) was not added as a Women’s March “Unity Principle” until organizers rejected pro-life groups as “partners.” Planned Parenthood was listed as both an “Exclusive Premiere Sponsor” sponsor and “Premier Partner” partner on Jan. 19.

4. ThinkProgress Uses Gay Nightclub Shooting to Bash Christians

When rumors spread that Trump’s presidency could cost Planned Parenthood federal funding, The Center for American Progress (CAP) rose to Planned Parenthood’s defense, wailing that “would have a significant impact on the organization’s ability to provide much-needed services.”

Not surprisingly, CAP also partnered with the Women’s March, and is Soros funded. Soros gave CAP nearly $12.2 million.

CAP runs the “progressive perspective” news website ThinkProgress that boasts a 34-member staff. And just like the ACLU, ThinkProgress and CAP make a habit of attacking Christians and conservatives.

According to CAP, the right has coordinated to push “Sharia hysteria” which “mischaracterizes Sharia as a totalitarian ideology of hate and triumphalism committed to replacing the U.S. Constitution with a radical Islamic caliphate that will subordinate and punish all non-Muslim adherents.”

Following the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016 ThinkProgress tried to link Christians and conservatives to the shooting because of their “anti-LGBT rhetoric.” Though ISIS “may sensationalize anti-gay violence,” ThinkProgress LGBT editor Zach Ford wrote, “that doesn’t actually make radical Islam more violent against LGBT people than the conservative Christian sentiment that permeates the U.S.”

“The Orlando shooting is not an opportunity to absolve conservatives who have railed against LGBT equality for years,” he continued.

A month later, the same editor went on a strikingly different tirade on Twitter, defending an attack on police officers.

“Given how police haven’t been held accountable for murdering black people, it’s no surprise some are taking justice into their own hands,” he tweeted after the deadly ambush on police in Baton Rouge.

 

Women’s March Hosts Convicted Murderer, Former Communist Party Leaders

Soros money wasn’t the only thing that tainted the march’s reputation. Speakers at the march included a convicted murderer and at least two communists.

$1,146,728 worth of Soros donations went to Critical Resistance, a group founded by Women’s March speaker and honorary co-chair Angela Davis. Davis also worked for multiple branches of the University of California, which has received almost $9 million from Soros.

According to CBS News, the FBI listed Davis as one of its 10 most wanted fugitives in 1970 for purchasing weapons later used in a hostage situation at a Marion County courthouse. At the time, Davis was a Black Panther and Communist activist. The FBI captured her in October 1970 and charged her with murder and kidnapping, according to The New York Times. She was later acquitted of all charges, but not before President Richard Nixon branded her a “dangerous terrorist.”

Rather than being ashamed of her past, Davis’ Women’s March website bio boasted of her arrest and position on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Davis’ past as a fugitive, however, was just a bullet point on her far-left resume. According to The Los Angeles Times, Davis ran twice as the Communist Party’s vice presidential candidate in 1980 and 1984.

Davis also won the Lenin Peace Prize from the mass-murdering Soviet Union for her work as a “high profile communist in the latter days of the Cold War,” according to The Washington Times, USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev personally gave her the award in Moscow.

Fellow speaker and Director of Native Organizers Alliance Judith LeBlanc was also a leader in the Communist Party USA. According to C-SPAN, LeBlanc served as the party’s community relations director in the 1990s.

But Donna Hylton had the most appalling background of all the speakers. She spent 27 years in prison for torturing and murdering a 65-year-old real estate broker. According to a 1995 Psychology Today report, Hylton and six others kidnapped Thomas Vigliarole and spent between 15 and 20 days torturing and raping him before he died of asphyxiation. Hylton was just 20 when she took part in the murder, according to The New York Times.

Yet during a post-march interview, Hylton had the audacity to complain about the time she spent in prison. She claimed she was “silenced,” “negated,” “vilified,” and “dehumanized” as an incarcerated woman.

 

March Props Up Pro-Abortion Media Figures, Excludes Pro-Life Groups

Because the Women’s March boasted a pro-abortion platform, support from the liberal broadcast networks, Hollywood and the Soros-funded Planned Parenthood was no surprise.

In January 2017, the march clarified that its platform supported the ability to take the lives of unborn children — alienating pro-life women and men. Initially a pro-life group called New Wave Feminists was accepted as a partner. But after Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti and others in the media criticized the pro-life group’s presence, the march booted it from the list. The Women’s March also removed the pro-life group And Then There Were None from its partner list, according to LifeSiteNews.

Women’s March organizers then issued a set of “Unity Principles” supporting abortion and a host of other liberal causes.

Soros and the liberal media share the march organizer’s pro-abortion agenda. Soros gave more than $21 million to Planned Parenthood, and the broadcast networks spent more than an hour promoting the Women’s March.

However, the media’s pro-abortion bias existed long before the Women’s March. ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows covered the Women’s March 129 times more than the 2016 March for Life. ABC also ignored the march organizers’ purge of pro-life groups. Worse, the broadcast networks spent more time on the Women’s March — before it even happened — than they did before and after the 2017 March for Life.

Planned Parenthood also has numerous celebrity supporters, none of whom seem fazed that it has aborted an estimated 7.5 million babies in its 100 year history.

Women’s March speakers Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Janet Mock and Ashley Judd were among dozens of celebrities who publicly supported Planned Parenthood on social media. Planned Parenthood listed Johansson in its 2014 - 2015 annual report as a “media partner” for her Twitter support. Ferrera also joined fellow actress Lena Dunham in a 2017 video praising Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger.

Hollywood gave Planned Parenthood plenty of starpower, but Soros, broadcast networks and print media also supported the organization even after it was rocked by a horrific scandal in 2015. Starting in July of 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released undercover videos, suggesting that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of unborn baby parts.

According to a memo from Soros’ staff, he gave $1.5 million in 2015 to aid a public relations campaign designed to rebuild Planned Parenthood’s reputation.

Roughly one month after the first video, CMP released several more. During that time, ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows spent only 0.008 percent of their broadcasts playing the actual video footage, and devoted only 0.16 percent of their air time covering the videos. By October of 2015, networks had completely ignored seven additional videos from CMP.

Media figure, feminist and Women’s March speaker Gloria Steinem has also defended Planned Parenthood. In a November 2015, PBS appearance, Steinem called the scandal “an ultra right-wing attempt to restore the basis of patriarchy or a male-dominant system and the necessity of a long-term racist system which is controlling reproduction.”

Planned Parenthood and the media have a symbiotic relationship: The media protect Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood celebrates the media. Each year, Planned Parenthood distributes Maggie Awards which honor “exceptional contributions by the media and arts and entertainment industries that enhance the public's understanding of reproductive rights and health care issues.” Of course, those issues include abortion.

Planned Parenthood has given Maggie Awards to 270 media outlets and journalists since its founding. Award recipients included ABC, CBS, NBC and Women’s March speaker Janet Mock.

 

Conclusion

The claim that the Women’s March stood for “all women” was a lie. From pushing abortion rhetoric on its supporters to demanding liberal policy support after the March, organizers blatantly alienated conservatives.

What’s more, organizers still have not addressed the fact that an event portrayed as for women and minorities partnered with at least 100 Soros-funded groups.

Instead, the Women’s March has continued to regurgitate liberal demands in the weeks following Trump’s inauguration. Since Jan. 21, organizers have promoted “10 Actions for the first 100 Days” of Trump’s administration.

The first action — to be carried out during the last 10 days of January — encouraged marchers to write postcards to their senators supporting issues like “reproductive rights,” “LGBTQIA rights,” “worker’s rights” and “environmental justice.” The second action, which started Feb. 1, called for activists to organize meetings where attendees could “visualize what a more equitable, just, safer and freer world could look like four years from now.”

An “emergency call-to-action” to block U.S. Attorney General appointee Jeff Sessions also appeared on the Women’s March website during the first week of February. “If confirmed, he would reverse decades of civil rights progress for women, African Americans, the LGBTQIA community, and recent immigrants,” organizers claimed.

The Women’s March also called for a “Day Without A Woman” strike on March 8. Organizers encouraged women to “take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor,” “avoid shopping,” and “wear RED in solidarity.”

The Women’s March organizers made it abundantly clear that liberal policy, not pro-woman policy, was its actual goal. Yet, the media failed to expose the event’s hostility to conservatives and conservative values. Because of that, MRC Business has the following recommendations for the media to cover future events more fairly.

Recommendations For Journalists

  • Expose Background Groups: Events like the Women’s March cannot take place without significant financial backing and resources, yet the media rarely cover that information. Journalists must thoroughly investigate and report which organizations and donors push agendas behind the scenes. During the one hour and 15 minutes of march coverage, ABC, CBS and NBC never disclosed controversial march influencers. Those ranged from partners like The Communist Party and media organizations to behind-the-scenes players like George Soros.

  • Treat Liberals and Conservatives Equally: The media must highlight when conservative groups are discriminated against. ABC gave the Women’s March a glowing review while ignoring march organizers’ removal of two pro-life groups from its partner list. CNN also failed to mention the exclusion of pro-life groups in its interview with march organizer Pam Campos-Palma.

  • Report Soros’ Ties to National Events: The broadcast networks, which made such a big deal out of the Women’s March on Washington, ignored Soros’ financial support for partner groups. Yet, the liberal media pounce on opportunities to blast conservative donors like the Koch brothers. The media must report on all donors, not simply conservative ones.

Methodology

MRC Business searched Foundation to Promote Open Society and Open Society Institute 990s (mandatory annual nonprofit tax filings) for donations to any of the 544 Women’s March partners and sponsors. MRC Business also searched for donations made personally by George Soros to political action groups.

The division also researched all the event speakers, national committee members, and honorary co-chairs for ties to Soros and other liberal organizations.

MRC Business Staff Writer Sam Dorman contributed to this report.