Byron Williams, the California man who engaged police in a RoboCop-style shootout on Oakland's I-580 last Sunday, was an unemployed carpenter, multiple felon and big fan of Glenn Beck. According to TPM, before Williams, a former West Seattle resident, was stopped by police for swerving, he was on his way to the offices of the ACLU and the Tides Foundation, an obscure group that often found itself in Beck's cross hairs.
What the Tides Foundation actually does is hard to pin down. But considering its mission statement talks about promoting economic justice, it's understandable that Beck would try to lump it in with his other favorite whipping boys, like ACORN.
Byron Williams is still recovering from six gunshot wounds after a shootout with police.
From his radio show last August:
The Tides Foundation, they started laying the groundwork on this back during the Reagan administration. They have been assembling an army that we have laughed at and have dismissed as a bunch of community organizers.
"These people are bullies," Beck said. "These people are thugs."
So why might Williams have wanted to pay a visit to Tides?
His mother told the media that her son's anger stemmed from a hatred of the government's "left-wing agenda." She said her boy was on his way to "start a revolution," which only got off track because the heavily-armed Williams, who has previous convictions for drunk driving, was so soused he caught the attention of highway patrol.
Of course, Williams' mom never actually elaborated on which channel her son watched when she said that he got most of his ideas for revolution from "the news." But given the nature of his obscure target, it's pretty clear who he was tuning in to.