Tablet published a story yesterday about the intentionally obscure ways in which Black Lives Matter manages its money. The piece notes that while BLM presents itself as a grassroots organization, it also has a back office managing millions in donations through a series of constantly changing left-wing non-profit organizations, some of which have connections to billionaire Warren Buffett. Those organizations also include a board member who is a former domestic terrorist connected to the Black Liberation Army.
One of the organizations which initially managed money for BLM was the International Development Exchange (IDEX). The Tablet piece explains that IDEX was founded way back in 1985 with connections to the Peace Corps. But since the formation of BLM it has transformed itself:
Indeed, in 2013, after decades attending to the patient, detailed work of making grants to farmers in Guatemala, IDEX underwent a sudden transformation—just as the Black Lives Matter movement was beginning in earnest. For the decade prior, according to their financial disclosures, donor revenue to IDEX, which changed its name to Thousand Currents in 2016, remained in the modest six figures, often around $500,000 to $600,000 annually. But in 2013, IDEX received an unprecedented $450,000 in grant funding from a single source—raising from one donation about 73% of what the organization had taken in the year prior. That donor was NoVo, a social justice foundation formed in 2006 by Peter Buffett—the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett—and Peter’s wife, Jennifer…
At the same time NoVo was making its first large donations to IDEX, the philanthropy also made another, even larger donation of $750,000 to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, where in October of 2013, [BLM co-fournder Alicia] Garza was hired as special projects director.
By 2015, NoVo’s contributions to IDEX and NDWA went from $1.2 million to a little over $8 million. And that’s when IDEX added Susan Rosenberg to the group’s board of directors. Rosenberg is a convicted domestic terrorist with connections to the Black Liberation Army:
Rosenberg joined the Weather Underground, where she took up with a cohort of other young, affluent, highly educated white women to found a group called May 19th, which by 1979 was working alongside the Black Liberation Army. The three groups carried out a series of bombings, shootings, and robberies in which dozens of innocent people were killed and maimed…
In their aid to the Black liberation movement, the M19 women called themselves “the white edge,” meaning that they were able to buy supplies and drive cars on missions while avoiding questions from law enforcement tracking the liberation’s predominantly Black male membership. For their part, the men called the girls “crackers.” Rosenberg’s role in the Black rights movement satisfied her desire to push back against an American government that she saw as inherently violent and racist. “It was necessary to oppose it with force. I felt that we lived in a country that loved violence and that we had to meet it on its own terms,” she wrote.
Over the next several years, “the white edge” of the Black liberation movement helped spring key liberation leaders from jail, including a bomb maker held in New York’s Bellevue hospital. They also worked a series of bank robberies, the most high-profile of which was the infamous botched Brinks armored car robbery on Oct. 20, 1981, in Nanuet, New York, in which six BLA members and four members of the Weather Underground stole $1.6 million from a Brinks truck, killing Brinks guard Peter Paige and wounding two other men in the truck. In the course of their attempted getaway, the robbers shot and killed two Nyack police officers, Edward O’Grady and Waverly Brown, and seriously wounded a police detective named Artie Keenan.
Indicted by the FBI for driving the getaway vehicle, Rosenberg fled the scene and went underground until her arrest in 1984 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, when she and a partner attempted to transfer 740 pounds of dynamite, a dozen guns, and hundreds of fake IDs from a rental truck to a storage facility.
One of the things Rosenberg was allegedly involved in with the BLA was helping Joanne Chesimard aka Assata Shakur escape from prison in 1979 (though Rosenberg was never convicted of this). Shakur had been convicted of killing a police officer in 1977 and has been living as a fugitive in Cuba ever since. There is a reverence for Shakur among many BLM leaders. I wonder if Rosenberg’s involvement in her escape isn’t the real reason she was elevated to the board of the group overseeing BLM’s financies.
In any case, after her arrest with dynamite and guns in 1984, then-US Attorney Rudy Giuliani decided to drop the charges connected to the Brinks robbery and instead simply hit Rosenberg with the weapons charges. She was convicted and sentenced to 58 years in prison. But in January 2001, on his last day in office, Bill Clinton issued clemency to Rosenberg. And 14 years later, Rosenberg went from robbing Brinks’ trucks to support the Black Liberation Army to the board of the organization managing millions in donations for Black Lives Matter.
Any question about how seriously NoVo was invested in setting up Thousand Currents as the financial and administrative power behind Black Lives Matter was put to rest in 2017 and 2018. In those years, NoVo dispersed a whopping $12.91 million grant to Thousand Currents. By then the group had promoted Susan Rosenberg to vice chairman of the Board of Directors.
Rosenberg’s prominent role with the group attracted some attention back in July of this year, including from conservatives. Thousand Currents (the new name for IDEX) removed information from its website about the board members including Rosenberg. On July 10, Tucker Carlson ran a segment about Rosenberg on his show. That same day, Thousand Currents decided to transfer all control of BLM’s finances to another left-wing group called the Tides Center.
This definitely isn’t the side of BLM that the public usually sees. Clearly the money managers want to keep it that way.
Here’s the segment on Rosenberg that Tucker Carlson did back in July.