This is the age of protest. Everything has its detractors and protesters come out in the
millions thousands. Sometimes, make that a lot of times, they get paid to protest. The paid protesters and their benefactors would rather you didn’t know that. A grass roots protest that springs into life on its own is more likely to earn your sympathy. If you knew the protesters were getting paid to protest you might think their hearts weren’t really in it. You might be skeptical of claims that the protesters are representative of millions of other people.
If you doubt this you’re sadly wrong. Non-profits can raise money to pay protesters and fat cat Billionaires like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg will donate to those non-profits, or to other groups to further their political views and create a false image of just how much of America in actually engaged with their cause.
Environmental goups such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club are awash in donated cash and they can spend some of that, perhaps a lot of that, to create mass protests by paying the protesters (that they bus in to the site of the protest) to protest. Often the protesters are not locals to the area where the protest occurs. They may be bused in from many points.
North Dakota has seen massive protest gatherings aimed at stopping the Keystone Pipeline. These protests end up costing the state. “After five months of protests, over 600 arrests related to those protests, and more than $22 million in North Dakota taxpayer dollars spent on law enforcement resources to keep North Dakotans safe during the protests, state and local law enforcement agencies are in dire need of federal support.”
So North Dakota is doing something I think is just the coolest thing. They are taking steps to identify paid protesters and make sure they are paying North Dakota state income taxes on the amounts they are paid to protest. Nonresidents of states with an income tax are required to pay state income tax on income they earn within the borders of that state. Protesters are no different than seasonal oil field workers. Well, no different in the eyes of the state tax man. They surely are different from oil field workers who risk their safety putting in a hard day’s night on an oil rig.
So I come to praise not to bury the North Dakota tax revenue man. This is brilliant and salutary work that he’s doing. I’ve been to North Dakota and always liked the place and the people. Now I have one more reason to admire the Peace Garden State.
This move to collect taxes that are due will have an effect on the environmental groups that are paying protesters. No longer will they be able to remain anonymous and no longer will they be able to keep secret the fact their protests are bought and paid for.
But that’s not all. We’ve seen a lot of damage being done by protesters who are little more than violent hooligan thugs. Thousands of dollars of property damage has occurred. Innocent people have been attacked and injured. There is a legal doctrine called Respondeat Superior. It means that employers are vicarously liable for the torts of their agents and employees. Ha!
Here’s a sample of the mindset and manners of today’s protesters. I don’t know if this one was paid for, it looks and sounds like the real thing from a very deranged person. Well, it’s from an anti-Trump protest in Seattle. The lack of sun might be making people nuts.