Thursday, December 27, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #88 - Part 3

Yes, there was a coordinated attack on the Occupy movement

I have to take a moment out to tell you I told you so. I did.

As early as November 2011, just two months after Occupy Wall Street sparked the nationwide Occupy movement, I was telling you that government officials from local cops up to federal agents were coordinating and cooperating on actions to break up and drive out the encampments that had sprung up in scores of places. I told you that the claims officials made, the methods chosen, and the language used to defend those actions were too similar to be a coincidence.

Now we know for sure. Documents pried from the FBI by a Freedom of Information Act filing by the Partnership For Civil Justice Fund show that the FBI and the Department for the Protection of the Fatherland were coordinating with local police to spy on, keep track of, and deal with Occupy. In some of these files, even nonviolent protest were viewed as "criminal activity" and even as "domestic terrorism." In fact, the surveillance began in August 2011, a month before the occupation of Zucotti Park in New York City - beginning and continuing even as the feds' own documents say that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at Occupy protests.

And it wasn't just law enforcement: Those same records show the feds coordinating with banks and other private firms about possible protests - and even the Federal Reserve in Richmond got in on the act, passing on to the FBI information it had gathered about Occupy.

So when I told you there was a coordinated effort to undermine the movement, that wasn't paranoia, that was prescience.

As a footnote to this, one news source developed a list of seven issues that Occupy helped to bring to the forefront of political discussion in the US. They are:

- income inequality
- the Robin Hood tax, otherwise known as the financial transaction tax
- student loan debt, now over $1 trillion
- the Volcker Rule, which limits a bank's ability to make speculative trades with its own accounts
- the foreclosure crisis
- political favoring of the rich
- corporate personhood


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