Home Tech No, a shadowy figure is not buying tents for student protesters in Columbia

No, a shadowy figure is not buying tents for student protesters in Columbia

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No, a shadowy figure is not buying tents for student protesters in Columbia

Several elected officials, including New York Mayor Eric Adams.Law enforcement officials, right-wing media and far-right extremists have pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that Hungarian Jewish billionaire George Soros or some nefarious and dark organization is helping to finance The pro-Palestinian student protests. at universities across the United States.

They are promoting the well-worn anti-Semitic trope that a puppet master is behind the protests, based on the fact that many of the students at universities like NYU and Columbia set up tents of the same color, make and model at the same time at their campsites.

But the real explanation for their proliferation is simple: they are cheap and easy to find. As online publication Hell Gate NYC pointedThe tents seen at the NYU campus camp sell for just $15 at retailer Five Below, while the green model seen at the Columbia camp is available online at Walmart for only $28.

The tents used by students are among the top results on Google Search, and students who searched for “tent” on Amazon would have been prompted to purchase. the green Camel Crown tent for $35, listed as the best-selling item by the online retailer. It is also available with one-day shipping. Another popular tent seen at protests has been discounted in recent days, and now costs less than $20.

On Facebook, WIRED discovered dozens of accounts posting an identical message accompanied by the same image of the Columbia camp. All posts had been published since Wednesday morning and new posts with the same message were still being shared on Thursday morning. “There is something strange about those tent camps on campus,” the posts said. “Almost every store is identical: same design, same size, same straight-out-of-the-box look. “I know college students aren’t as rich or as coordinated.”

The conspiracy constitutes one of the last movements in a angry reaction against the peaceful protests, which began earlier this month. The reaction has included calls to use heavy-handed tactics to break up the protests, which have been incorrectly Some call them “pogroms.”.

In many cases, pro-Israel voices have tried to portray the protests as more than students expressing their First Amendment right to free speech, claiming that someone or some group was controlling them. The conspiracy began to take hold on Tuesday, when New York City Police Department Deputy Commissioner for Operations Kaz Daughtry said Fox 5 New York: “If you look at the stores, where did they get them from? The same place, the same person? “Someone is behind this and we are going to find out who it is.”

The conspiracy gained strength that same day when Adams repeated Daughtry’s comments: “Why is everyone’s tent the same? Was there a liquidation sale of those stores? There is some organizing going on, there is a well-concerted organizing effort, and what is the goal of that organizing? That’s what we have to ask ourselves.”

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