NYC nonprofit encouraged Columbia protesters to remake 'the Summer of 2020'

A charity that received $12 million from Goldman Sachs' philanthropic arm urged activists to emulate 2020's violent protests hours before protesters occupied Columbia University's Hamilton Hall.

NYC nonprofit encouraged Columbia protesters to remake 'the Summer of 2020'
AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
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A New York City nonprofit organization, the recipient of a substantial $12 million donation from Goldman Sachs' charitable wing, is facing scrutiny for its role in financing Columbus University's anti-Israel protests. The organization reportedly encouraged anti-Israel activists to recreate the violent protests witnessed during the "summer of 2020," just hours before rioters stormed and occupied a building at Columbia's campus.

On Monday evening, over 100 masked and keffiyeh-clad activists convened at the People's Forum's Manhattan office to plan their next moves as anti-Israel protests intensify across the country, the Washington Free Beacon reports. Manolo De Los Santos, executive director of the People's Forum, addressed the gathering, urging them to "give Joe Biden a hot summer" and "make it untenable for the politics of usual to take place in this country."

De Los Santos praised Columbia students for "decid[ing] that resistance is more important than negotiations" and encouraged those assembled to "support our students so that the encampments can go for as long as they can." He also criticized the "Zionist" Columbia administrators, accusing them of wanting "to be more like their masters in Israel."

Following "breakout sessions" that focused on organizing new methods of "resistance," the meeting concluded at 9:30 p.m. A few hours later, activists smashed the windows of Columbia's Hamilton Hall and barricaded themselves inside. No arrests were made, and the People's Forum did not respond to a request for comment on whether any attendees were involved in the riots.

The People's Forum, a registered charity that describes itself as "a movement incubator for working class and marginalized communities," has been a prominent presence at anti-Israel protests since Hamas's attack on the Jewish state on October 7, 2023. It organized a Times Square protest a day after the attack, where attendees celebrated Hamas and displayed antisemitic slogans and imagery, including a Nazi flag on a cellphone.

The nonprofit's operations are largely funded by a $12 million donation from Goldman Sachs's charitable arm, which is reportedly linked to Neville Roy Singham, an American businessman living in China who is accused of helping finance the Chinese Communist Party's "propaganda worldwide," according to the New York Times.

His wife, Jodie Evans, leads the activist group Code Pink, which has praised China as "a defender of the oppressed and a model for economic growth without slavery or war."

Experts who spoke to the Free Beacon warned that groups like the People's Forum could face the loss of their charity status if found to be involved in riots and violent protests, as the IRS guidelines prohibit charities from engaging in "planned activities that violate laws" or "induce the commission of crime."

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