A communist-tied activist group promoting protests over the recent death of New York City homeless man Jordan Neely has received significant funding from organizations bankrolled by liberal billionaires.
Neely died after Marine Daniel Penny restrained him by the neck on a subway train on May 1 when he reportedly acted erratically, with the incident sparking protests and calls for Penny to serve prison time. Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL) New York, an organization with members who participated in a protest on Wednesday over Neely’s death, and published a statement saying he was “lynched,” previously took large donations from groups that George Soros and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg funded.
The Soros-chaired Open Society Foundations gave VOCAL New York just over $982,000 in contributions from 2017 to 2021. Of that funding, $100,000 was explicitly intended to support Vocal New York’s Housing Justice for All project, which teamed up with the Communist Party USA’s New York Young Communist League to oppose evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New York Young Communist League has promoted protests over Neely’s death and called itself “an active partner of the Housing Justice for All coalition.” Housing Justice for All Campaign Coordinator CEA Weaver tweeted in 2017 that voters should “elect more communists.”
The Zuckerberg-funded FWD.us Education Fund donated $100,000 to VOCAL New York in 2019, while the environmental organization Windward Fund, managed by the Democrat-linked consulting firm Arabella Advisors, granted the organization $15,000 in 2020 for “environmental programs.”
VOCAL New York Housing Campaigns Director Adolfo Abreu said during the protest that leaders like New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York Mayor Eric Adams were complicit in Neely’s fate, arguing that around $62 million in police overtime pay and funding for a newly approved roughly $455 million state loan for the Belmont horse racing facility could have been devoted to housing homeless people like Neely. VOCAL New York Homeless Union leader Milton Perez criticized rhetoric “blaming homeless people or people with mental health [disorders] for everything,” according to the New York-based outlet City Limits.
“Just arresting this person, though I think accountability is absolutely necessary, it will not solve the critical structural failings that lead to the 70,000+ people experiencing homelessness every single night in our city, and it will not have saved this person’s life,” VOCAL New York Organizing Director Jawanza Williams said of Penny and Neely in a Friday interview with Spectrum News 1 New York. Williams shared a tweet by the Queens Democratic Socialists of America chapter highlighting a recent daytime protest in response to Neely’s death.
“We will heal through community, organizing our neighbors, and fighting back against a sick system that commodifies our basic human needs,” the tweet said. “We will not rest until housing is a human right. Rest in Power Jordan Neely.”
VOCAL New York, FWD.us Education Fund, Windward Fund and Open Society Foundations did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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