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When Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dropped most of the charges against anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University last week, he also let off some of the hooligans who coordinated their attack with a Cuban-trained militant in a Shanghai building financed by a multimillionaire.

In other words, the prosecutor who became notorious for prosecuting Donald Trump on flimsy charges is refusing to seek justice for individuals connected to a vast global network supporting pro-Hamas protests.

It is the same network that has supported Black Lives Matter since the movement first began destroying our lives in 2013, as Mary Mobley and I showed this week in a new report from the Heritage Foundation.

Furthermore, we have found that this network of organizations, which we call a revolutionary ecosystem, is not exclusively committed to “social justice” or to the political map of the Middle East.

Their goal: to overthrow capitalism, parliamentary democracy and the West in general.

One of the main organisms in this revolutionary ecosystem, the Alliance For Global Justice, insists that “liberal democracy is a farce” because it is “the ruling principle of the US/NATO empire that serves global capitalism.”

AFGJ’s connections to the rest of the ecosystem tell our story.

It provides financial support to Samidoun, one of the most important Palestinian activist groups, as well as BLM offshoots, and also helped found another leading activist group that has organized some of the largest protests in recent times: the ANSWER Coalition, a front organization of the Socialist and Liberation Party.

AFGJ itself is funded by George Soros’ Open Society groups and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The alliance is a small-scale ecosystem, and it is by no means alone in this: Soros foundations also fund the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), one of the most important BLM umbrella organizations, as well as Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the organizers of the violence in Columbia.


Anti-Israel protesters barricade Hamilton Hall on the campus of Columbia University on April 30, 2024.
Anti-Israel protesters barricade Hamilton Hall on the campus of Columbia University on April 30, 2024. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File photo

Another activist group, American Muslims for Palestine, which was also involved in recent protests at Columbia University and George Washington University, helped bring 200 Palestinian activists to the first BLM riots in Ferguson, Mississippi in 2014.

The revolutionary ecosystem consists of four components: the activist groups that organize the protests, the financial sponsors that give legal status to the activists, the donors that fund the activists through the sponsors, and the media groups that spread the message of the entire ecosystem.

Each group aims to overthrow the American way of life.

Israel’s struggle for self-defense and survival is just the latest pretext to pursue this overarching goal – just like the manipulation of the George Floyd tragedy in Minneapolis in 2020 and the police-caused death of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014 for Black Lives Matter.

“When we defeat Israel and the US empire, we will … know how to smash capitalism here in the United States,” Manolo De Los Santos, executive director of the People’s Forum, wrote on Instagram in December 2023.

De Los Santos is the radical leader who gave a fiery speech on April 29, the night of the riots in Columbia, to about 100 activists who had made the long journey from Morningside Heights to the People’s Forum headquarters on West 37th Street.

De Los Santos told the keffiyeh-clad crowd that Columbia University students had decided that “resistance was more important than negotiation.”

He urged the activists: “Go back. We must be the people who are willing to stand between the police and our students.”

After the speech, activists were given instructions to “resist.” Three hours later, protesters stormed Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall, smashing the windows.

Only after a dramatic rescue operation by the New York Police Department was the building freed 24 hours later in front of millions of people across the country watching live on television screens.

We discovered that De Los Santos had been traveling to communist Cuba since at least 2006 and apparently even received direct training from the Castro family puppet president, Miguel Diaz Canel.

In May last year, De Los Santos tweeted a photo of himself with Díaz-Canel. In the post, he denounced the “genocidal blockade” of Cuba and wrote: “The young people of the United States have great tasks ahead of them… they have the responsibility to defeat the United States.”

Who is funding De Los Santos and the People’s Forum headquarters?

A multimillionaire named Neville Roy Singham, who put the $785 million he earned from the sale of his Chicago software consulting company into the hands of Marxist groups.

Singham lives in Shanghai and, according to several reports, has “close ties to the CCP.”

This is just a slice of a revolutionary ecosystem – a group of groups that were involved not only in the riots in Columbia, but also in many of the anti-Israel demonstrations we have seen since Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7.

They are criminals who want to destroy the West and who train and finance the ecosystem – criminals that Alvin Bragg just let get away with.

Mike Gonzalez is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.