“This production, 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 show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”
~PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund obtained records from the FBI via a Freedom of Information request; many of these records were highly redacted and you can see them HERE. The FBI gave notification to the heads of the New York Stock Exchange over a month in advance of the Occupy Wall Street protests in NYC; the FBI also started notifying businesses to prepare for a potential conflict. My major takeaway from all of this is that federal agencies infiltrated civil disobedience groups from the very early stages of #OWS, viewed them as potential “domestic terrorists” and alerted corporate institutions and more specifically large banks in advance of any potential protests. That’s a big problem.
This is a delicate matter; on one hand – when groups protest “the man” or “the system” … sometimes that comes from people willing to use violence as their tool. The FBI and other federal agencies have a responsibility to protect all Americans and businesses from such threats. But there is a flip side to that coin; absolute power corrupts absolutely. We live in a very silent police state. Every email you write, every conversation you have, every text you send … none of it is private. We must always be aware of government agents trying to incite others to break the law. We must always assume another person is not who they say they are. Always beware the agents provocateurs.
I remember when President Obama once said in his 2004 DNC convention speech, “We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States.” Well – “poking around in our libraries” means evading American privacies. And that’s exactly what is happening. Myself – my thought process is more in line with what Benjamin Franklin was purported to have said, “Those willing to give up liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both.”
You can read a nice summary of the reports obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund HERE.
“Avoid all large gatherings related to civil issues. Even seemingly peaceful rallies can spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security forces. Bystanders may be arrested or harmed by security forces using water cannons, tear gas or other measures to control crowds.”
~Domestic Security Alliance Council notice to corporate clients prior to #OWS
The Digital Journal gives some insight into the documents HERE:
The documents also prove that the FBI worked in concert with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and private corporations to combat the perceived threat from the nascent Occupy movement. A report from the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), which describes itself as “a strategic partnership between the FBI, DHS and the private sector,” labeled last December’s West Coast port protests as “criminal activity.” The DSAC report also contains a “handling notice” that acknowledges the information contained in the report is “meant for use primarily within the corporate security community.”
The Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) also reported to the DSAC regarding cooperation between labor unions and the Occupy movement in staging the port protests.
Perhaps most alarmingly, numerous FBI divisions referred to Occupy protesters as “domestic terrorists.” Among these divisions were: Anchorage, Alaska; Jacksonville, Florida; Tampa, Florida; and Memphis, Tennessee. The Jackson, Mississippi Joint Terrorism Task Force issued a “Counterterrorism Preparedness” alert, in which the Occupy movement is named. The FBI’s Memphis Joint Terrorism Task Force includes Occupy along with the Aryan Nation and Anonymous as potential terrorist threats.
Gawker has some great background on one of the guys who gave information to companies and authorities before unions and protests began HERE:
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been going on for a month. And it seems the FBI and NYPD have had help tracking protesters’ moves thanks to a conservative computer security expert who gained access to one of the group’s internal mailing lists, and then handed over information on the group’s plans to authorities and corporations targeted by protesters.
Since the Occupy Wall Street protest began on September 17, New York security consultant Thomas Ryan has been waging a campaign to infiltrate and discredit the movement. Ryan says he’s done contract work for the U.S. Army and he brags on his blog that he leads “a team called Black Cell, a team of the most-highly trained and capable physical, threat and cyber security professionals in the world.” But over the past few weeks, he and his computer security buddies have been spending time covertly attending Occupy Wall Street meetings, monitoring organizers’ social media accounts, and hanging out with protesters in Lower Manhattan.
of their intelligence-gathering operation, the group gained access to a listserv used by Occupy Wall Street organizers called September17 discuss. On September17 discuss, organizers hash out tactics and plan events, conduct post-mortems of media appearances, and trade the latest protest gossip. On Friday, Ryan leaked thousands of September 17 discuss emails to conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who is now using them to try to smear Occupy Wall Street as an anarchist conspiracy to disrupt global markets.
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