A nonprofit organization established by Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential candidate, has come under scrutiny for funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to a fund that finances radical climate groups engaged in disruptive protests worldwide. Onward Together, founded by Clinton in 2017 as part of the resistance against former President Donald Trump, directed a substantial grant of $300,000 to the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF) based in Los Angeles. The CEF, which subsidizes far-left groups advocating for urgent climate action, expressed gratitude to Clinton’s nonprofit for their generous support.
Supporting Extreme Protests for Climate Action:
The recent tax forms of Onward Together revealed that the $300,000 cash grant to the CEF accounted for nearly one-third of its contributions to various left-wing groups during the period between April 2021 and March 2022. The CEF, known for its financial assistance to radical organizations conducting extreme protests, aims to draw attention to the perceived urgent need for comprehensive policies to address climate change. By funding disruptive demonstrations, these groups hope to emphasize the severity of the climate crisis and pressure institutions to take immediate action.
CEF’s Role in the Climate Activism Landscape:
Margaret Klein Salamon, the executive director of the CEF, has emphasized the critical nature of the climate emergency. According to Salamon, scientists warn that we have reached a point of no return, while institutions continue with business-as-usual approaches, merely paying lip service to sustainability. The CEF believes that activists must intervene and employ unconventional methods, such as gluing themselves to paintings or blocking major events, to convey the gravity of the climate situation.
CEF’s Impact and Initiatives:
The CEF has provided substantial financial support to radical groups engaged in disruptive protests worldwide. In its most recent annual report, the fund disclosed that it channeled $5 million to 44 organizations and generated significant media coverage with 24,000 press clips in the previous year. The CEF takes pride in backing courageous young activists who protested against Senator Joe Manchin at a coal plant and supported a NASA scientist who chained himself to a Chase Bank branch to raise awareness about the climate emergency. The fund also highlighted the efforts of bold activists protesting at major sporting events and museums.
Expanding Influence and Activism:
The CEF has expanded its reach beyond the United States and supports climate protest groups in various locations. Climate Defiance, a new climate protest group based in Washington, D.C., funded by the CEF, recently blockaded streets during the White House Correspondents Dinner and has pledged to escalate their actions. The organization also has organizers and supporters in cities such as Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York, Ohio, and Minnesota, as stated on its website. The CEF’s grantees include international groups like Just Stop Oil, Declare Emergency, and others operating in multiple countries.
Controversy Surrounding Disruptive Tactics:
The tactics employed by these climate protest groups have sparked controversy. Just Stop Oil, a group affiliated with the CEF, has gained attention for gluing themselves to famous paintings and blocking main roads and highways, causing inconvenience to the public and even emergency vehicles. Such actions have resulted in arrests and damage to priceless works of art, igniting debates about the appropriateness of these disruptive measures.
Supporters and Backers of the CEF:
Apart from Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together, the CEF also garners support from Hollywood celebrities, left-wing foundations, and the charitable vehicles of Democratic donors. Actors Jeremy Strong and Thomas Middleditch have contributed to the fund, along with philanthropic organizations led by Democratic donor Susie Tompkins Buell.