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New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street 584

jvillain writes "The Guardian has up a story detailing the crack down on Occupy Wall Street (OWS). It goes on to show how the FBI, DHS, Terrorist Fusion Centers and the banks all worked together to stifle dissent. From the article: 'This production [of documents], which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protesters organizing with the Occupy movement These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.' The next question is how many Americans are now listed as part of a 'terrorist group' by the government for their support of OWS?"
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New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:16AM (#42432651)

    Joe McCarthy, is that you?

  • by PlanetX 00 ( 623339 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:29AM (#42432741)
    Back in the day Janet Napolitano put out a report warning of right-wing extremist at the time of the Tea Party. Here is a bit of ranting by the progressives on how it should have been pursued: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/06/1117242/-Remember-the-DHS-Right-Wing-Extremist-Report [dailykos.com]

    At the time that the crackdown happened to the OWS people I wrote the following:

    "I’m very sorry to hear about your forceful removal from Zuccotti park where you were peacefully demonstrating against what you see as what is wrong with our country. You were exercising your free speech and free assembly rights and I hate to see this taken from you. Let me tell you that I know how you must be feeling right now. About two and a half years ago several of my friends and I joined a movement to protest the government bailing out the bankers that you are so upset with (first time I ever protested anything BTW). We had rallies around the country with the theme of promoting individualism over corporate cronyism. This movement was attacked by the press and government as being racist, gay-bashing, “Astroturf” (term for grass-roots effort sponsored by big money sources), and heartless (I’m sure there were cases where people on the fringe were causing such issues, the same can be said about the fringe in the OWS crowd, but for a majority of people I met while involved this was not the case) but now the whole movement has been marginalized. It is unfortunate that we were unable to convince you at the time of the importance of the issues we were facing and that you chose to sit on the sidelines mocking us as “Tea Baggers” and such. I do hope we can find some common ground now that you are awake and we can take our government back from the statist and big money influences we’ve ceded it to."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:40AM (#42432831)

    You've got a point about the cherry-picked behavior, but he has a point that either nearly 100% of OWS were completely dishonest hypocrits, or else none of them voted in the last election.

    Republicrats won by such a landslide and OWS was so large, that if even half of them had voted for reform, it would have been easily visibile. There was nary a blip, with less dissent shown in the last election, than average.

    OWS either stayed home on election day, or they're corrupt liars, working to advance the interests of those they claimed to be protesting against. Either way, it's a disgrace.

  • Answer: Zero. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dputiger ( 561114 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:41AM (#42432845)

    The next question is how many Americans are now listed as part of a 'terrorist group' by the government for their support of OWS?

    Get some historical perspective and look at the stings the FBI ran on MLK Jr and the Civil Rights Movement. This is nothing.

  • This is nothing new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:27PM (#42433279)

    'This production [of documents], which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protesters organizing with the Occupy movement These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.'

    A highly decorated Marine Corps General, and one of only a handful of men to receive the Medal of Honor twice wrote:

    "It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."

    -- General Smedley Butler [fas.org]

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:30PM (#42433299) Homepage Journal

    Our Constitution guarantees us a number of ways to work through government for change.

    And if the Government obeyed its restrictions in the Constitution, those would be valid methods.

    "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it." - Spooner

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:45PM (#42433449) Homepage Journal

    People have gotten quite skeptical these days,

    Largely, I suspect, because having discovered how weak their critical thinking skills are they're applying their disbelief with a broad brush.

    Fake public demonstrations existed before the Internet, but they really took off with the Internet because a single person can pretend to be dozens using the anonymity of Internet forums. With technology and focus a half dozen people could appear to be hundreds, or even thousands.

    But there being tigers hiding in the jungle doesn't mean they're hiding under your bed.

    I went down to see the Occupy Boston encampment down in Dewey Square last year. I'm no expert in counting people, but there were clearly hundreds of people living in a constricted half-acre tent city -- the densest human habitation I'd ever seen. This is the *opposite* of the labor efficiency of Internet astroturfing. How much would it cost to pay hundreds of people to live like that for two months, or to be arrested as hundreds of the protesters were? Altogether there were over seven thousand arrests, and that was only a tiny fraction of the protesters.

    I think the reaction to the FBI documents is overblown. The FBI was keeping tabs on the movement, but that's part of the agency's job, and that *can* be done without violating anyone civil rights (whether it *was* done remains to be seen). But the movement itself wasn't overblown. It's the largest economic protest in this country since the Bonus Army of 1932.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:00PM (#42433579) Journal

    What, is this the same movement that has been criticised a million times for not being organised, having no leadership, and having "no clear message"? Are you sure you know what you're talking about?

    It doesn't need that to have been organized by someone. Check it out [wikipedia.org], it was formed by the anarchist group Adbusters [wikipedia.org]. They carefully planned it as well. Lawyers gave them the advice to stage it in Zuccotti park because it is a privately owned public space, which made it confusing whose responsibility it was to clear it.

    Of course, to start a movement, you need people who will go along with you, to carry the movement along. It's not like all those protesters were manipulated into being there, they wanted to protest.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:27PM (#42433825)

    Can you name any major political change that happened through normal democratic methods without widespread protests ?

    Outlawing the slave trade in/by the United Kingdom, followed by outlawing slavery in the UK.

  • Re: Who Cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Urza9814 ( 883915 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:28PM (#42433845)

    Zucotti park wasn't planned. I was there on day one, originally the plan was to occupy Wall Street itself...but the entire area around it for several blocks was barricaded by the NYPD requiring a corporate ID to walk down the public streets...So we marched for a while until coming across Zucotti, at which point people basically decided "screw it, let's camp here!"

    Lawyers wouldn't have made that decision. Zucotti is private property, while there is case law on the books protecting coming on sidewalks for protests.

    As for occupy having a fully formed website....big Fuckin deal, so does everything these days. Not hard to find a college kid to buy a domain and install WordPress. Please tell me what corporations were funding the dozen student orgs I did that for in college....because we sure could have used that money....and why the hell did I pay for all those out of my own pocket?

  • by NotSanguine ( 1917456 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @03:28PM (#42434957) Journal

    It remains PRIVATE PROPERTY. The public has access, but there are rules, like, I dont know, not setting up your tent and grill.

    "Allowing public access" swings both ways, when OWS basically prevents any other use of the park.

    Do such rules exist? I am not aware of them. You may well be correct. But, at least for me, that's not really the point.

    I posit that you're looking at this backwards. That's not intended as an insult, BTW. Rather than looking for ways to limit and discourage our fellow citizens (and no, I did not take part in any OWS activities) from expressing themselves and their points of view, I believe we should expand and encourage opportunities to do so for all of us.

    The NYC government should have provided sanitation facilities and police *assistance* with security to the OWS (and any others, regardless of their point of view) protestors, rather than treating them as criminals for exercising their constitutional rights.

    As a native (and life-long) New Yorker, I was ashamed of my city government for debasing the ideals of our once-great nation.

    Feel free to disagree with me. I don't expect that everyone should share my point of view. What I do expect is that we, as a society, and our government should be accommodating, assisting and expanding the ways that peaceful protests, dissenting opinions and alternative ideas can be expressed and discussed.

    Your thoughts?

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @03:36PM (#42435061) Homepage Journal

    "Also, don't you find it ironic that OWS is so heavily staffed by children of privilege like those two?"

    No. The investment banker takedown of our economy put lots and lots of middle to upper middle class people out of work. Besides, what is your point? That children of privilege should not care about the country? Or that children of privilege are trying to overthrow the government?

    The real conspiracy is that OWS got labeled as a bunch of dirty hippies when in fact they were regular people who were fed up, and the whole country should have been behind them.

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons