Report: FBI Afraid Occupy L.A. Movement Would Join With 'Violent' Citizens Upset About Jail Abuses
New documents released this week shed light how the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, local law enforcement agencies and the private sector worked together to thoroughly monitor and then ultimately crack down on the Occupy movement since September 2011.
The nonprofit Partnership For Civil Justice Fund obtained redacted documents through a FOIA request. The group's executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard said in a statement, "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."
We took a look at some of the documents that dealt with local groups affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The FBI took note of the disturbing reports that sheriff's deputies were beating inmates at the county (p 72). In this report, however, the FBI's concern wasn't about the inmates, but how news reports of these beatings could be riling up citizens who were riding public transit.
The LASD Transit Security Bureau reported an uptick in violent incidents, which it blamed mostly on the bad economy. But it said that there was an increase in the number of assaults on bureau deputies. This report blamed the increase on news of mistreatment in LASD jails (eds. note: we tried to correct scanning errors below where we could, but the reports contain missing words or fragments. "lis" seems to refer to a Lieutenant in the transit bureau who was offering up information to the FBI.):
...the number of assaults on Transit [Security] bureau [deputies] has gone up to around five or six a month. According reasons for this are the above mentioned factors and recent news stories regarding the mistreatment of inmates in the LASD jails. stated many individuals stopped by Deputies are "verbal abusive' often screaming at Deputies about "beatings" in the jails. This type of behavior from an uncooperative (and possibly unstable) individual can often lead to a use of force.
The FBI was concerned that the people concerned about mistreatment in prisons and the Occupy movement would join forces:
On [10-19-2011] a peaceful protest by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement occurred on a Blue Line train. stated big the protesters had a purchased tickets and were [all] cooperative. lis concerned however about what may happen if the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters mix with the more violent individuals upset about the alleged mistreatment of prisoners in the LASD jails.
The other concern the FBI had about the local Occupy Wall Street movement was that it could be part of a broader effort to shut down ports from Anchorage to San Diego.The FBI sent out a message to the Domestic Security Alliance Council, which is described on its website as "a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector, enhances communications and promotes the timely and bidirectional effective exchange of information keeping the nation's critical infrastructure safe, secure and resilient." It was sent out on December 9 in anticipation of the shutdown on December 12, 2011. There were notes in the report that this information only be passed on to authorized parties, which definitely did not include the media. It stated: "The potential impacts of the port shutdowns include transit delays, blocked roads, commercial disruptions, and possible violence."
The report notes that the protesters' intentions were peaceful but warns, "Even seemingly [peaceful] rallies can spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security forces."
ICE agencies in San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle and the Coast Guard were all on notice, but they were not planning to send personnel to help local law enforcement unless it was requested. There are warnings to be prepared for curfews, tear gas and water cannons to control crowds. The report says, "People may be harmed by being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Source: Undercover Cops Infiltrated Occupy L.A. in Weeks Before the Raid
FBI Monitors Occupy, Denies Violating First Amendment (Gothamist)
F.B.I. Counterterrorism Agents Monitored Occupy Movement, Records Show (NY Times)
Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy (The Guardian)