American Far Left Joins Terrorist Groups for Beirut Conference
International Action Center
Posted: February 4, 2009
Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the International Action Center (IAC) is an "anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist" organization that opposes the "U.S. conspiracy to re-colonize the Middle East," according to its Web site. IAC views Hezbollah, Palestinian terror groups like Hamas and groups fighting U.S. forces in Iraq as legitimate popular resistance forces and a bulwark against U.S. imperialism and "Israeli terrorism."
In recent years, IAC has sponsored and organized numerous anti-Israel events, rallies and demonstrations in the U.S., often through its anti-war affiliate, the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, which it founded in 2001.
ANSWER and IAC organized many of the rallies and protests in response to Israel's military operations against Hamas in Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009 and during the summer 2006 war in Lebanon. These protests often featured offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric and expressions in support of terror.
In addition to its domestic activity, IAC co-founded the International Campaign Against U.S. and Zionist Occupations, an umbrella organization that coordinates international opposition to Israel and to American military presence in the Middle East. IAC representatives have been involved in several conferences featuring Hamas and Hezbollah in the Middle East.
IAC has several connections to the Workers World Party (WWP), a Marxist-Leninist organization that opposes capitalism and advocates for the rise of socialism. IAC co-director Sara Flounders is a contributor to the Workers World newspaper and many of IAC's members are also members of WWP and other far Left organizations. For example, Larry Holmes, the co-founder of ANSWER, has served as a spokesperson and co-director for IAC and is also a member of WWP. Holmes ran for president on the WWP ticket in the 1984 and 1988 elections.
The IAC has ties to two public charities called the Progress Unity Fund (PUF) and People's Rights Fund (PRF), both of which have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
PUF is a San Francisco-based organization that began in 2000 with the mission of providing a "progressive alternative to mainstream charities." Since its inception, PUF has given large grants to both ANSWER and IAC. PUF's annual revenue is approximately $250,000 and it provides ANSWER and IAC with an average of more than $100,000 a year. PUF also claims to have "helped found" ANSWER in the wake of September 11 to "promote a peaceful alternative to racism and war." The "Donate" button on ANSWER's Web site leads one to PUF's homepage.
PUF is also linked to WWP. Two of PUF's founding members, including its president Brenda Sandburg, were journalists for the Workers World Newspaper.
Similarly, PRF has reportedly provided funding to IAC and has accepted checks on behalf of an IAC Free Speech Legal Defense Fund in 2000 for then-IAC co-director Brian Becker (currently the National Coordinator of ANSWER). PRF shares an address and phone number with IAC at the Solidarity Center, an office in New York that also houses the Workers World Party.