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Feds Helped Coordinate Occupy X Crackdowns 803

Posted by samzenpus
from the occupy-a-job-long-hair dept.
Lawrence_Bird writes "The Feds helped break up the Occupy protests by providing advice and assistance from the FBI and DHS. From the article: 'Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said on Monday that her city and others across the country coordinated their crackdowns of Occupy Wall Street camps. Rick Ellis, a Minneapolis-based journalist for Examiner.com, reports that these cities also had the help of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation." In related conspiracy news, apcullen wrote in with a story by Time Magazine guest columnist Naomi Wolf who claims: "Instead of imminent safety issues, the timing of the crackdown was far more likely to do with the fact that the Occupy movement was planning something media-savvy at last: a 'carnival' on Wall Street on Thursday in which protesters would telegenically tell their individual stories of hardship, job loss and disenfranchisement. It is that event that posed a 'safety risk' — to the efforts of Wall Street and the Bloomberg administration to manage the narrative."
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Feds Helped Coordinate Occupy X Crackdowns

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  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:14PM (#38077310) Homepage Journal
    We see what our new POTUS, with his new administration, does as head of state. Not that this comes as any surprise considering every thing he's done so far. Naturally, our federal government will continue to make decisions that favor their corporate sponsors, everyone else be damned.
    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:18PM (#38077364)

      Don't worry, I'm sure he'll be giving us a fresh new round of bullshit promises in the Fall when he needs us to vote for him again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kenja (541830)
        Politifact shows Obama having kept more of his campaign promisses then any president in a long time. Granted there are some big ones he has failed on such as Guantanamo, but overall he has been very true to his word.
        • by PortHaven (242123)

          Really...

          And those were?

          --

          And half those orgs are biased. I used to have some respect for FactCheck.org, but they've done out and out hit pieces on things for which solid evidence existed.

        • by jasno (124830) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:08PM (#38078210) Journal

          Just off the top of my head, he's broken promises regarding:

          - Ending the wars. Regrettably Bush was responsible for the draw-down in Iraq. Obama just held to the agreement.
          - Human rights. He's deporting people in droves. He's murdering citizens based on the decisions of a secret council.
          - Transparency. His administration is seeking to weaken the Freedom of Information Act. He doubled-down on prosecutions of whistle-blowers. He's stonewalling on Solyndra and Fast-n-furious.
          - Guantanamo. Still going strong.
          - Medical Marijuana.

          Hell, he just added a new foreign base in Australia. Do we really need to expand our military into Australia?

          There are 3 pages of broken promises over at politifact: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-broken/ [politifact.com]

          Sure, other presidents might have been worse. I don't care. I voted for a guy who promised he'd be different. He wasn't. He lied.

    • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:36PM (#38077640) Homepage

      As the original submitter I'd just like to add the one line that was truncated from my submission:

      Nixon must be smiling!

      For me, the issue isn't if the local coppers break up the protest (for instance, in NYC it is on private property not owned by the protesters) but that the DHS and FBI are helping coordinate the effort. I take a dim view of the Feds being involved in this in any manner unless it is happening in Washington DC.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:16PM (#38077342)

    Did you really think you could threaten the powers-that-be and not have them turn the full force of the government they control on you at some point? Did you really think that just because they supported protests in the Middle East that they would tolerate them HERE against THEMSELVES? Come on.

    • by MarkGriz (520778) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:34PM (#38077614)

      I'm fairly certain the constitution says "... or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      It doesn't say anything about turning a public park (privately owned I know) into an encampment for the convenience of the protesters.
      Why can't they protest, then go home and come back the following day. Convenient, no, but that's the price of admission.

      Don't misunderstand, I fully support those advocating the fight against corp and govt corruption, cronyism etc.
      I just don't agree they should be able to take over a public park and deny the rights of the other citizens access to it.

      I also find it highly ironic that some of the protesters relying on the 1st amendment to enable their protest, also take offense
      to the very same freedom of the press that amendment enables.

      • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:04PM (#38078140) Homepage

        I just don't agree they should be able to take over a public park and deny the rights of the other citizens access to it.

        I don't think that they denied anyone access - it's just that you'd have to listen to those damn drum circles and put up with a higher population density. Even so, I don't think there are laws against making a park uninviting, unless you want to start talking about "public nuisance" laws, in which case, you could probably charge anyone at any protest.

        Look at it this way - not many people want to use parks between 10pm and 5am (which is why most curfew laws aren't vigorously protested). If the OWS folk had simply showed up each day (without camping) between the hours of 5am and 10pm, they would have been just as "disruptive" to the general populace even though they were not permanently camped. I'm not sure how you prevent this sort of "permanent protest" without also getting to the point where you can step on other protests that are shorter-lived.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:09PM (#38078224) Journal

        It doesn't say anything about turning a public park (privately owned I know) into an encampment for the convenience of the protesters.

        It doesn't say anything about NOT turning a public park into an encampment. Camping in a public park is a peaceable assembly, therefore Congress can make no law prohibiting it. End of story.

        Don't misunderstand, I fully support those advocating the fight against corp and govt corruption, cronyism etc.

        No, no you don't really. If you did, you'd realize that the inconvenience caused by OWS is negligible compared to the evil done by those on Wall Street. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

        I just don't agree they should be able to take over a public park and deny the rights of the other citizens access to it.

        OWS protesters are citizens too. You're advocating that they be denied use of the park. Do you not see the hypocrisy?

    • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:49PM (#38077866)

      Did you really think you could threaten the powers-that-be and not have them turn the full force of the government they control on you at some point?

      I believe both Gandhi and Rev. King counted on just that full-force response. It's rather the 'point' of a protest to get the powers that be to acknowledge you...and that acknowledgement, going back millennia, is usually full force/too far and results in the protesters getting some semblance of what they want, eventually anyway.

      The OWS movement will need to do what the Tea Party did...actively influence election outcomes. Granted they have to do it without massive funding of the Koch's and Fox's relentless propoganda. But it can be done.

      The mantra of the temperance movement back in the day comes to mind. "We don't need to win the election, just swing it to someone else". Once they show enough force to knock off a few incumbents, then the power starts flowing.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        The OWS movement will need to do what the Tea Party did...actively influence election outcomes.

        The OWS movement are actively influencing election outcomes. Just not the way they want to.

        If Obama loses the election, it will be in no small part due to the OWS movement.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:48PM (#38078824)

        I believe both Gandhi and Rev. King counted on just that full-force response. It's rather the 'point' of a protest to get the powers that be to acknowledge you...and that acknowledgement, going back millennia, is usually full force/too far and results in the protesters getting some semblance of what they want, eventually anyway.

        Yes. I'm blown away by the lack of understanding of how protest and civil disobedience works. It's SUPPOSED to be inconvenient, it's SUPPOSED to attract attention and disrupt society, it may very well involve BREAKING LAWS, so long as the law-breaking is non-violent, and it is SUPPOSED to elicit government response, perhaps violent response.

        Protest is not about politely asking for X, Y and Z, and the government saying "Hmm, let me think about it." Protest is about putting yourself in harms way to demand X, Y, and Z, and if you have to *non-violently* break laws to do that, then that's just part of the package. It's impossible to overstress how critical the "non-violent" part is. You? You're just standing there. The police? They're beating the crap out of you, spraying you, possibly shooting at you. No matter how much you disagree with somebody, a normal person will have a serious problem with the government brutalizing people who are doing nothing violent.

  • by ryants (310088) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:20PM (#38077394)
    Denial reported here. [reason.com]:

    Update: A spokesperson for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has emailed to deny that Quan "coordinated" Oakland's response to Occupy protesters with other mayors. "Mayor Quan never said that cities with occupy encampments were coordinating their removal efforts," Susan Piper wrote in an email. "The mayor has talked with other mayors to share experiences." In a subsequent email, I asked Piper if Quan received advice from either the DHS or the FBI on how to respond to protesters, as reported was by Rick Ellis of Examiner.com. Piper's response: "Not true."

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:26PM (#38077476) Homepage Journal

    having an organized approach and being advised by experts was a lot better then every group of police doing it themselves.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:54PM (#38077960)

      Right, because when stamping out freedom, you want to do it in the most professional and organized way possible.

      I suppose this is "a lot better" from the perspective of the fascists who want the protestors to disappear, but from the perspective of someone who's tired of the robber barons running the show, this is definitely worse.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pharmboy (216950)

        Freedom of speech doesn't include freedom to shit all over the streets, block the free movement of others, and create a health hazard. I 100% support their right to speak, primarily because so much of their speech is anti-capitalist, and want them to be seen and heard for exactly what they are. But Jebus, the areas where these guys have been have become a health hazard.

        Truth be told, the police have screwed up some, but overall, have been pretty damn accommodating when it comes to allowing them to express

  • by PowerCyclist (2058868) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:28PM (#38077500) Homepage
    This is nothing new to protests. They get cleared out all the time (even in the USA) and then regroup. Is the timing suspicious, a little, but you could have picked any day for the clearing and then said it was to harm a future event. I was never in the protests (none were near my location) but I hope they shrug this off and regroup. I also REALLY hope they get some fricken direction and organization. Simply being there isn't enough, they have to organize efforts on specific targets more than the few leaders have so far. Oh, and for the love of God take some control over the 'live feeds' and at least try to find someone with any amount of charisma and social skills to narrate them. The live streams I've watched so far were a painful raping of my eyes and ears.
    • by identity0 (77976) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:03PM (#38078108) Journal

      I know some of the people doing the Occupy Portland livestream, so I would like to hear your or any other person's criticisms of it. Is it the video or audio quality? Camerawork? Lighting? Choice of subjects? What people are choosing to say?

      I will pass on any comments you have.

      If you would like to see it, it is at

      http://occupyportland.org/livestreammedia/ [occupyportland.org]

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:34PM (#38077602)

    The OWS movement in some form was inevitable. A movement to galvanize a response to economic inequality would have developed in some other way if OWS hadn't come along. Now they have a nice long winter to plan around kitchen tables across the USA.

  • MF Global (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:34PM (#38077604)
    stolen 900 million dollars of customer money, and if you disagree with Occupy Wallstreet then all i can say is: "get yourself a jar of vaseline go to your bank and give them all your money and bend over"
  • civil disobedience (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:42PM (#38077736) Homepage

    Wasn't this pretty predictable? I can't see how anyone participating in these protests could have imagined that they would be allowed to stay indefinitely without getting rousted by the cops. It's a form of civil disobedience. What is the point of arguing about whether DHS and FBI are involved, about details of the law, about various mayors' secret motivations, etc.? If you do civil disobedience, you expect to get hauled off to jail.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:56PM (#38077986)

      Wasn't this pretty predictable? I can't see how anyone participating in these protests could have imagined that they would be allowed to stay indefinitely without getting rousted by the cops. It's a form of civil disobedience. What is the point of arguing about whether DHS and FBI are involved, about details of the law, about various mayors' secret motivations, etc.? If you do civil disobedience, you expect to get hauled off to jail.

      Actually, it is only civil disobedience if you ignore the order to vacate. However, even those who did vacate were arrested outside the park as they were leaving. So, yes, once lawfully ordered to leave, some did refuse the order and were arrested. Many more were arrested, however, that had already left.

      As for DHS and FBI involvement, it matters, because it is limited federal resources being applied to local problems. Again, the only law being broken was for the failure to leave when told to do so. The FBI and DHS involvement occurred prior to this. Is it really the role of government police authority to be used on citizens when no federal laws are being violated?

      The irony is that people camping out in the park may be an embarrassment to city officials, but doesn't cost them much. Arresting and processing them through the legal system is a whole different story.

    • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:08PM (#38078200) Journal

      If you do civil disobedience, you expect to get hauled off to jail.

      Exactly. To add, the only way civil disobedience "works" is if people can get enough like minded people together so that when the arrests happen, there is not enough space to hold everyone in the jails and the cost of prosecuting all of the arrested people outweighs the benefits of prosecution.

      What the OWS folks really need to do is organize a huge, jurisprudence education campaign to inform people of their rights to judge the law itself. That way if the state decides to prosecute, they will find themselves saddled with juries who will not convict. THAT will deliver the message that the people stand with OWS and their goals. Once the state loses control of the judiciary and their ability to enforce unpopular laws, then we will have real change.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:13PM (#38078294) Journal

      This isn't civil disobedience. This is a constitutionally protected peaceable assembly. The ones breaking the law here are the city governments and police.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:49PM (#38077878) Homepage Journal

    Create a spoof of the Rose Parade on the same day. For example, a Scooby-Doo float that says "Rax the Rich!". (Except RIAA will get to them before the FBI does.)

  • by Darth Snowshoe (1434515) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:25PM (#38078500)

    I'm going go to out on a limb here and say that the level of animosity directed at OWS is more telling about Slashdot than about the movement itself. Take a look in the mirror for a moment - have you all really had bad firsthand experience with "hippy rapists crapping in the streets downtown" or whatever - or is it more true that OWS has hit a nerve here?

    The honest answer is a lot of Slashdotters are either IT people or programmers (or IT people wishing you were programmers) and you ARE part of the 99%. Your jobs CAN and HAVE been outsourced, to a large degree. Your current income level IS a product of outsourcing and capital flight. How much IT support comes from offshore?

    How many of you paid a big chunk for a CS degree and are now wondering how you're ever going to pay it off? Still renting? Living with friends? Living at home? Living without health care? Not yet confronted down-the-road looming expenses like kids, a mortgage, your parents' end-of-life care?

    Maybe put aside, for a moment, your epigrams about dirty hippies, and think about how OWS is relevant to your own situation.

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