DHS ‘Coordinated’ Police Assaults on Occupy Everywhere Protestors

(Update from NYMag‘s Daily Intel as of 8pm: Around 2,000 activists have marched single-file back into the newly tentless Zuccotti Park. They are spending the evening in general assembly, forging a strategy for the coming days…” and links to OccupyNYC’s livestream, which won’t load directly on my pc.)

Via the Guardian, Rick Ellis at the Minneapolis Examiner:

Over the past ten days, more than a dozen cities have moved to evict “Occupy” protesters from city parks and other public spaces. As was the case in last night’s move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics. And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies…
__
According to this official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules. Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present.
__
The FBI has so far failed to respond to requests for an official response, and of the 14 local police agencies contacted in the past 24 hours, all have declined to respond to questions on this issue.
__
But in a recent interview with the BBC,” Oakland Mayor Jean Quan mentioned she was on a conference call just before the recent wave of crackdowns began…

Charlie Pierce at Esquire‘s Daily Politics Blog sums it up nicely:

Your right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances, and how you may do it, and what you may say, will be defined by the police power of the state, backed by its political establishment and the business elite. They will define “acceptable” forms of public protest, even (and especially) public protest against them. This is the way it is now. This is the way it has been for some time. It’s just that people didn’t notice. And that was the problem with the Occupy protests. They resisted the marginalization — both literal physical marginalization, and the kind of intellectual marginalization that keeps real solutions to real problems out of our kabuki political debates. They could not be ignored…
__
Late last night, the New York Police Department, apparently decked out for a confrontation with the Decepticons, cleared Zuccotti Park of the campers who had occupied it for nearly three months. It was, as all of these things have been, a fully militarized operation, launched with a maximum of surprise by armored tactical police who even brought a helicopter, in case they needed air support. They also uncrated all their exotic toys for the occasion. The operation netted the police about 100 arrests, and it is being said that it went off peacefully, although accounts on that do vary. (Keeping the press out while the action is being taken is a particular tell.) The action followed several days of similar operations in Oakland, and Denver, and St. Louis, and a particularly nasty bit of business in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where authorities appeared to require a tactical unit with automatic weapons to protect an abandoned building. All of them took the place by surprise, and in the middle of the night. These are basic military tactics…
__
… Never has civilian control over our thoroughly militarized urban police forces seemed so tenuous. Never have we seemed so close to being subject to a private police force that answers, primarily, to the economic power of the financial elite.
__
Some mayors don’t care. Michael Bloomberg in New York clearly steps to the tune called by his peers, and by the New York Post, the local franchise in a vast criminal enterprise run by an Aussie T&A merchant… But the precedent has been set, all over the country: Public protest shall be polite, quiet, and invisible, and that is the way they will let us be free.






108 replies
  1. 1
    Jonathan says:

    2 months ago, I didn’t know who Charlie Pierce was, where was he this whole time? This guy is on the pulse and on fire.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Baud says:

    These are basic military tactics…

    Out of curiosity, what are the non-military tactics a local police force would use to safely clear out protestors?

  4. 4
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jonathan: He used to contribute pieces to Eric Alterman’s blog back when that place was a bit more vital to the blogosphere.

  5. 5
    Valenciennes says:

    Thanks for pushing things into phase two, scared one-percenters and assorted lackeys.

  6. 6
    cathyx says:

    When I woke up this morning and read about the different crackdowns on protests around the country all happening over night, I thought to myself that this has to be a coordinated effort on behalf of the cities. I knew I was right.

  7. 7
    cathyx says:

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable”
    -JFK

  8. 8
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    someone should be creating a timeline online which would make all this stuff apparent.

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    This isn’t from a paper known as the Minneapolis Examiner; there’s a website aggregating material from writers known as “Examiners” and published on their website Examiner.com. The author, Rick Ellis, is apparently a real journalist, though.

  10. 10
    cathyx says:

    Wait, what? Newt is no longer the front runner.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....ch-romney/

  11. 11
    Cacti says:

    Wall Street crashed the economy and they get a 700 billion dollar bailout.

    A collection of powerless proles pitch a few tents in a park, and 100 police in riot gear are unleashed on them.

    The system rewards the failure of those with everything, and terrorizes those with nothing, who dare to shout “Unfair!”

    Bloomy showed yet again how thin-skinned, and prone to violence by proxy the 1-percenters have always been.

  12. 12
    cathyx says:

    @Cacti: Hence, the protests.

  13. 13
    Ira-NY says:

    It could be. But, the title of this post seems to be ahead of the evidence.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @cathyx: Oh my, is little Ronnie Paul finally going to have his chance?

  15. 15
    dr. bloor says:

    Oh, great. Obama wants his very own Chicago circa ’68.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @cathyx:

    Ah. See. Innovation. Newt has turned the GOP primary into a perpetual motion machine, moving faster and faster, approaching the speed of light.

    I sense interlocking intersections of facts and issues and perspectives, creating synergies at many levels.

    How can this power be harnessed, and made to work for good, not ill?

    Yoke them up to turbine? Might work.

  17. 17
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    As much as it would be interesting to know how these were coordinated, it has been pointed out on DailyKos that examiner.com is basically a fancy blog, and the entire article lists one justice department official, no name, not even anonymous in this case, with no links to any kind of evidence. I believe the appropriate term is citation needed.

  18. 18

    Why don’t they just occupy the park in shifts? They seem organized enough to do it. Always have 500+ people there with signs (and maybe voter registration forms) and keep rotating in and out so as to not violate any laws. On some level, there was no way they were going to be able to live in the park forever or even for a year. Homeless camps get cleared out on more or less yearly schedules in most cities as far as I know. Portland used to clear them out before the Rose Festival every year. It is, in fact illegal, to live in the park, but it isn’t illegal to be there for say, 8 hours everyday. They could maintain a highly visible, vocal and constant presence without violating laws by living in the park.

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    If DHS was involved in coordinating a crackdown or assisting one then it is well off the rails. That the FBI might be involved is less surprising. It has always had horrible judgment about the threat of political activism.

  20. 20
    bin Lurkin' says:

    There has to be some way we can let Obama know what’s happening, if he knew he would put a stop to DHS violating the rights of OWS.

    Six degrees of separation people, we can do it.

  21. 21
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    Don Perata is probably on his knees thanking the FSM for letting Kwan win the election for Mayor of Oakland.

  22. 22
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.”

    ― James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues

  23. 23
    JGabriel says:

    Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    … the entire article lists one justice department official, no name, not even anonymous in this case, with no links to any kind of evidence.

    Yeah. I’m not saying that this Examiner article isn’t true, but it needs more and better sourcing. Follow-up articles by other outlets would help too.

    .

  24. 24
    sralloway says:

    Look Baud. Cops are cops, not military patrols. As the 61-year-old son of two cops (mother and father) and a family with American military history going back to the revolution, I am goddamn sick of today’s cops thinking they are some kind of paramilitary outfit out to neutralize civilian dissent.
    And WTF is it with these Free Speech Zones?
    We are Americans.
    With Free Speech, guaranteed in the Constitution.
    Free Speech Zones? We don’t need no stinkin’ free speech zones. We are allowed free assembly.
    So take your argument about what are cops supposed to do and stuff it in your pipe.They’re supposed to be peace officers, guardians of the community, friends of civilians.

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    @PeakVT:

    If DHS was involved in coordinating a crackdown or assisting one then it is well off the rails. That the FBI might be involved is less surprising. It has always had horrible judgment about the threat of political activism.

    J. Edgar Hoover’s ghost reaching out from the grave.

  26. 26
    Allan says:

    A blogger for the Examiner and a contributing editor of FireDogLake are your sources. Confirmation bias trumps rationality.

  27. 27
    merrinc says:

    @magurakurin:

    Why don’t they just occupy the park in shifts? They seem organized enough to do it. Always have 500+ people there with signs (and maybe voter registration forms) and keep rotating in and out so as to not violate any laws.

    I said this EXACT same thing to my husband last week.

  28. 28
    dr. bloor says:

    @bin Lurkin’:

    So basically, the Secretary of Homeland Security to Kevin Bacon to Obama?

  29. 29
    RossInDetroit says:

    Oakland’s mayor Jean Quan disclosed today that she was one of 18 elected officials on a conference call last Thursday organized by the United States Conference of Mayors to discuss local responses to OWS around the US.

    Source: Xeni @ bOINGbOING

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It seemed to me from looking at the papers that something was up, and it was coordinated, because these actions have been taking place very close to one another, across the country…New York, Portland, Oakland, Denver.

  31. 31
    JGabriel says:

    @Samara Morgan: Please to be specifying: NLS?

    .

  32. 32
    mamayaga says:

    As Pierce points out, the repeal of First Amendment rights for those on the left actually occurred some years ago. Remember how protesters at the 2004 and 2008 GOP conventions were swept up in illegal mass arrests to prevent their being seen and heard? Recall how persons with the wrong t-shirts or bumper stickers were routinely expelled from or even arrested at Bush’s public events? By comparison, look at the many really ugly scenes perpetrated by tea partiers barely more than a year ago — where was the pepper spray and riot gear then? If camping out in parks by nonviolent protesters is somehow a dire threat to public safety, why were those screaming mobs, which included a substantial number of armed individuals, allowed to run whatever course they wanted?

    The real possibility that there was federal help and coordination in this most recent demonstration of the asymmetry of our civil liberties may very well put the community-organizer-in-chief in a bind. I’d bet that a lot of OWS activists are the same people who knocked on doors for him in 2008. Wonder how enthused they will be this time around.

  33. 33
    lacp says:

    @dr. bloor: “If only the king knew!”

  34. 34
    Dee Loralei says:

    Seriously, don’t go pushing this meme until there is at least someone willing to be named . Also, something from multiple trusted news outlets. What better way to rat-fuck the movement than to make them think that Obama , his Justice Dept, FBI and DHS all coordinated with state and local governments to get rid of the liberal kids!

    CIA started buying media outlets and friendly reporters and editors a long time ago so that they could place things like this into the public sphere and push for the reactions they wanted. I am not saying that this is what is happening here. I’m saying how hard would it be for some Rep operative to place this into the ear of a reporter?

    Seriously, think qui bono before you start believing this stuff. Who would most benefit from a super large mostly youth and liberal movement with a huge national group of supporters and driving a wedge between that group and Obama and other Dems?

    Until Obama, Holder, Napolitano or someone high enough up in one of those organizations admits it, then I’m not going to buy it. Obama may be slower to act than we would like, but he’s been for the most part on the side of little people and community action. All over the world! Why would anyone in his re-election campaign let him get on the wrong side of this? They are more astute.

    Why couldn’t this be a conference call of and by the mayors and police commissioners in the various cities, doing this together? Why does it have to be an OMG Obama did it thing?

  35. 35
    andrewsomething says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Thank you for that. Never enough Baldwin.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    United States Conference of Mayors

    Just wanted to re-highlight that. I don’t know if people realize that, yes, mayors and governors have associations and meet with each other all the time to discuss issues. It’s not necessarily that the mayors were getting their orders top-down from DHS and/or the FBI. They may have requested advice from them and made their own decision as a group to break up the camps.

    ETA a link to the organization. Basically, it’s a lobbying group for cities of more than 30K, but they do have regular conference calls, meetings, etc. between the various mayors.

  37. 37
    will says:

    hmmmm…..Im sure it is a total coincidence that all these militarized evictions happened with two days of each other….move one…there is nothing to see here

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    Shorter me: there’s a big, big difference between “the mayors coordinated their attempts to close the camps” and “the Obama administration ordered them to close the camps.”

  39. 39
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    You’re welcome, Andrew. When the world is full of loud and ugly noises, Baldwin’s words give me comfort.

  40. 40
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    A DK comment has some interesting information about the reporters information. It doesn’t sound like it’s straight up backpedaling, but maybe the reporter is having trouble confirming his source or something.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @will:

    I don’t think anyone is skeptical that the mayors could have coordinated the closings with one another. What I’m skeptical of is that the FBI and/or DHS ordered the mayors to close them, which is what some people seem to be claiming.

  42. 42
    Scott Alloway says:

    Made a comment earlier under SRAlloway. That’s me. Hey Moderator. Please release me, let me go.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    Yeah, turns out the full quote isn’t quite as damning as Anne Laurie’s snip makes it look. This is the omitted graf:

    The official, who spoke on background to me late Monday evening, said that while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement. (emphasis mine)

    Not quite a sign of Obama bringin’ the pain to the occupiers.

    Continue reading on Examiner.com Update: ‘Occupy’ crackdowns coordinated with federal law enforcement officials – Minneapolis Top News | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/top-ne.....z1dpwPFbhx

  44. 44
    Marc says:

    And I’m sure that it’s a coincidence that this idea is being pushed by people, including the Fper here who posted this, who have consistently been hostile to Obama?

  45. 45
    Tim says:

    @magurakurin:

    Protesting in shifts such as that would make it difficult for people to work around their work schedules.

  46. 46
    robert says:

    There are two things which would point to this being fact:

    1. At several of the removals the press was banned from getting anywhere close to the action.

    2. When that many government offices refuse to make a statement they know they can’t deny what happened so it’s best to stay quiet.

    We all know how dirty Homeland Security is – why they are using taxpayer dollars to act as the copyright infringement police for the RIAA and MPAA and don’t even hide the fact. They have violated free speech laws shutting down websites without a court order or even jurisdiction. Yes, this sounds just like DHS’s doing.

  47. 47
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    I just love a good conspiracy theory!

  48. 48
    David Koch says:

    Multiply anonymous government sources tells me Saddam was behind 9/11 (Iraq intelligence met with Mohammad Atta in Prague) and that F.D.R. purposely let Pearl Harbor happen in order to drag the country into World War II. Also too, the say Obama’s birth certificate is fake.

  49. 49
    brewmn says:

    God, I hate Firedoglake. How did these malcontents and losers ever get any cred in the blogosphere to begin with? Jane Hamsher has been the Andrew Breitbart of the Left longer than Breitbart has been the Breitbart of the Right.

    Yes, and Anne Laurie sucks for uncritically repeating it. Are you sure you folks aren’t Republican plants working under deep cover? Because you seem way more occupied with taking down Obama than doing something that might actually improve the lot of all of those Americans you claim to care so much about.

  50. 50
    celticdragonchick says:

    … Never has civilian control over our thoroughly militarized urban police forces seemed so tenuous. Never have we seemed so close to being subject to a private police force that answers, primarily, to the economic power of the financial elite.

    We had a clue on this when BP was telling local law enforcement what to do and who to arrest for taking pictures during the Gulf Oil Spill.

  51. 51
    Jebediah says:

    @Baud:

    Out of curiosity, what are the non-military tactics a local police force would use to safely clear out protestors?

    I’m not a law enforcement expert, but off the top of my head, I’m thinking:
    a) give notice, and do it during the day
    b) don’t exclude the media
    c) leave all the military toys behind – they are not needed
    c) walk up to the scawwy, scawwy hippies and say “Move along or get arrested.”
    d) Arrest the many who will choose to not move along, WITHOUT cracking their skulls/tasing/pepper spraying/tear gassing.

    I may be leaving some stuff out, but my basic point is don’t use more force than is ACTUALLY needed. The protesters haven’t really posed much of a threat to anyone, much less the police.

  52. 52
    Marc says:

    Is there some non-conspiracy theory, non-crazy justification for why Obama would want to shut down something that is benefiting him?

    As opposed, by contrast, to the “local cops love power trips, and mayors of big cities answer to their rich buddies” theory?

  53. 53
    celticdragonchick says:

    I’m just going to point out that DHS and the FBI can and do work on operations without getting specific input from the POTUS. In fact, they are not supposed to base anything on how it woujld affect the POTUS politically. It would not shock me to discover that federal law enforcement was involved, and I would not automatically assume that anybody had talked about this with Obama. I would be surprised if they had, actually.

  54. 54
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Jebediah:

    I may be leaving some stuff out, but my basic point is don’t use more force than is ACTUALLY needed. The protesters haven’t really posed much of a threat to anyone, much less the police.

    They have to show some reason for all those expensive weapons and tactical team training sessions they got with the DHS grants. Busting hippie protestors is tailor made for thast.

  55. 55
    lacp says:

    DHS and the FBI might have collaborated with state and local authorities; that’s certainly possible. But I don’t think they have the authority to order the local police to take these kinds of actions, do they?

  56. 56
    brewmn says:

    And I would also point out that Pierce, whom I love (and to whom Laurie has apparently outsourced all of her commentary), makes no claim about Fed direction or involvement. But he’s a first rate writer and has an actual respect for journalism as it should be practiced.

    Journalism as opposed to whatever you would call the work of FDL, the “Minneapolis Examiner,” and this post.

  57. 57
    gwangung says:

    @brewmn:

    And I would also point out that Pierce, whom I love (and to whom Laurie has apparently outsourced all of her commentary), makes no claim about Fed direction or involvement.

    Heh. If there was no jurisdictional squabbling, then it was probably the Mayors’ operation from the get go.

  58. 58
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Marc: Oh my God? Really? Of course, the reason is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end, every reason and every consequence, the all of the all — hippie punching. There is nothing outside of hippie punching because hippie punching is all that there is.

  59. 59
    cat48 says:

    There is absolutely nothing new about America being a “police state.” Protests have always been treated this way. There’s just more information about them today freely available. The National Guard shot protesters dead at Kent State which proved to me when I was very young. Fire hoses & police dogs were routinely let loose on Civil Rights marches. This was the nightly news daily. Also, 500 dead drafted soldiers per week, came home from Viet Nam. Very turbulent times. Not even close today.

  60. 60
    Jenny says:

    Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster.

    That’s what government sources tell me.

    LBJ assassinated JFK. Jackie Kennedy says so in her posthumous oral history book. Coming from a source so close to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, it must be true.

  61. 61
    RalfW says:

    But the precedent has been set, all over the country: Public protest shall be polite, quiet, and invisible, and that is the way they will let us be free.

    Unless you are armed, angry, in a zippy chair, and support the GOP, in which case your protests will literally, in the case of Bachmannalias, be bankrolled by the government.

    That the libertarians can’t see the leather-gloved hand of excess, concentrated power being assembled to expunge the rabble makes it clear that libertarians are really just self-absorbed, self-fellating tax cheats.

  62. 62
    MaximusNYC says:

    I was at Zuccotti Park tonight during the General Assembly.

    The OWS legal team announced that they had been told by the NYPD that the park will stay open 24 hours “if the rules are followed”… “the rules” being a mixture of clearly defined and nebulous.

    The clearly defined ones include no tents and no large containers. I was able to walk thru the checkpoint into the park carrying a 24-pack of bottled water. But later the cops supposedly confiscated a small plastic sheet someone placed over some books, calling it a “tarp”. So the policies are being enforced somewhat arbitrarily, and the cops are roaming around like hall monitors looking for violations.

  63. 63
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Only discovered him in my college years. Literally changed my life. Thanks for this.

  64. 64
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @MaximusNYC: So glad you were there. And so envious. Wish I could be with you.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jebediah:

    Arrest the many who will choose to not move along, WITHOUT cracking their skulls/tasing/pepper spraying/tear gassing.

    Now tell me, where’s the fun in THAT?

  66. 66
    celticdragonchick says:

    @RalfW:

    That the libertarians can’t see the leather-gloved hand of excess, concentrated power being assembled to expunge the rabble makes it clear that libertarians are really just self-absorbed, self-fellating tax cheats.

    I think most of the Balko type libertarians are all too aware of what you are getting at with police powers.

  67. 67
    MaximusNYC says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: I’m on Twitter… my username links to my feed. I’ve been trying to live-tweet from Zuccotti when I go down there (I work nearby).

  68. 68

    You know, I never thought as a kid coming up in the late 70’s that I’d ever see CEO’s making 273 times what average laborers made, that I’d need a credit check just to get an interview, that I’d go for over two and a half years between job, that NYC would need bulldozers, sonic cannons and helicopters to clean a public park and that book burnings would be carried out by the establishment. I never thought I’d live to see my country become an Orwellian fever dream. Yet these past ten years, we’ve descended further and down a rabbit hole, so deeply that we’d never see even a pinprick of daylight.

  69. 69
    celticdragonchick says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    Any chance of setting up a permanent occupation on private property that will welcome it?

  70. 70
    celticdragonchick says:

    @jurassicpork:

    You know, I never thought as a kid coming up in the late 70’s that I’d ever see CEO’s making 273 times what average laborers made, that I’d need a credit check just to get an interview, that I’d go for over two and a half years between job, that NYC would need bulldozers, sonic cannons and helicopters to clean a public park and that book burnings would be carried out by the establishment. I never thought I’d live to see my country become an Orwellian fever dream. Yet these past ten years, we’ve descended further and down a rabbit hole, so deeply that we’d never see even a pinprick of daylight.

    We are getting the fucked up dystopic corporate dictatorship parts of Blade Runner, and none of the cool punk fashions or flying spinner cars.

  71. 71
    celticdragonchick says:

    @jurassicpork:

    You know, I never thought as a kid coming up in the late 70’s that I’d ever see CEO’s making 273 times what average laborers made, that I’d need a credit check just to get an interview, that I’d go for over two and a half years between job, that NYC would need bulldozers, sonic cannons and helicopters to clean a public park and that book burnings would be carried out by the establishment. I never thought I’d live to see my country become an Orwellian fever dream. Yet these past ten years, we’ve descended further and down a rabbit hole, so deeply that we’d never see even a pinprick of daylight.

    We are getting the fucked up dystopic corporate dictatorship parts of Blade Runner, and none of the cool punk fashions or flying spinner cars.

  72. 72
    someguy says:

    So I followed the links. Where exactly are you getting the thing about DHS coordinating this? That would be a pretty big story.

  73. 73
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @MaximusNYC: Thank you. I’ve never tweeted, but will take steps to do so, for you.

  74. 74
    policomic says:

    @El Cid: What information do you have identifying Rick Ellis as a “real journalist”? I tried to look up his info on examiner.com (which invites prospective “examiners” to “Share Your Passions,” “Build Your Online Brand,” and even “Get Published”), but all I’ve found so far is a list of his posts, which include everything from TV reviews to copied and pasted (and uncredited) stories from the AP and The Hill (thanks, Google). I can’t find a bio, though.

    None of this precludes his actually being a journalist, I guess (though The Hill’s Julian Pecquet and Sam Baker, among others, may have a bone to pick with him for copying their stuff). But I’m sincerely asking: who is this guy, and why should we believe an unnamed Justice Dept. source is confiding in him?

  75. 75
    Carolinus says:

    The author of the examiner article seems to be walking back how confident he is w/ respect to the claim that there was federal coordination: http://twitter.com/#!/allyourtv

    Yes, it’s my story. Been trying to update it all afternoon, but having tech problems. Original source is with Justice Dept.

    After a bunch of calls, suspect Oakland mayor was referring to conference call of U.S. Mayors, not Feds. But haven’t confirmed

    Also from the Guardian’s OWS liveblog: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....ction-live

    The post on examiner.com – which, despite appearances, is not a regular news website with editors who check reporters’ copy – is only the platform on which the FBI allegation has appeared.

    and

    This story has had some traction online, but it should be pointed out that Examiner.com, while having the appearance of a newspaper website, is a platform on which users can post copy that hasn’t gone through an editing process, and the story is based on a single, anonymous source.

    This whole Fed intervention thing probably should be considered a rumor unless there’s corroboration.

  76. 76
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @jurassicpork: As a kid coming up in the late fifties and early sixties, I really, really never thought I would see days like this. God. Damn.

  77. 77
    MikeJ says:

    @Carolinus: People have been floating this coördination story for nearly a month. I’d like to see more proof than one unsourced blog post first.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    We are getting the fucked up dystopic corporate dictatorship parts of Blade Runner, and none of the cool punk fashions or flying spinner cars.

    Cyberpunk without the sci-fi.

  79. 79
    cam says:

    @Jonathan: Before he moved to Esquire, Pierce was a sportswriter in Boston. Until recently, he still had a sports blog on the Boston Globe’s website, Boston.com. He’s also a frequent presence on NPR as a weekly to It’s Only a Game and sometime panelist on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. Here’s his website: http://www.charlespierce.net/aboutPage.

  80. 80
    gwangung says:

    @MikeJ:

    People have been floating this coördination story for nearly a month. I’d like to see more proof than one unsourced blog post first.

    And have it be something more than some low level pipsqueak trying to throw his weight around to get a promotion….

  81. 81
    policomic says:

    And since I shouldn’t accuse a man of plagiarism without links, compare:

    with

    (scroll down a bit)
    or

    with

    Those were just a couple of random picks.

  82. 82
    Jebediah says:

    @celticdragonchick: @Villago Delenda Est:

    Sadly you are both right… I knew I was being unrealistic – my version of “where is my sparkle-farting unicorn pony?”

  83. 83
    cat48 says:

    @Carolinus:

    Too late to just consider it a “rumor” since Michael Moore read it earlier and used it as a source on Keith Olbermann tonight and treated it like the TRUTH with the info it was all Obama’s fault & why, why, why??? Great news show, Current!

  84. 84
    MaximusNYC says:

    @celticdragonchick: I’ve heard that there is at least 1 nearby nonprofit org whose HQ is serving as a kind of “back office” for OWS, to some extent. At the very least, some of the leadership can recharge laptops, make conference calls, etc.

    But I don’t know of any private establishment in the vicinity that would welcome hundreds of protesters on a long-term basis.

    Frankly, I think part of what makes OWS effective is that it is loud, outdoors, intrusive, irregular, and skirting on the edge of legality. If it were too orderly it would be easy for the powers that be to make it invisible.

  85. 85
    MaximusNYC says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Twitter can be an amazing medium, if you are following the right people’s feeds.

    It’s basically become my portal to the internet at large. I read it on my phone in the mornings during my commute. By the time I get to work, I’ve usually flagged 10 or 20 interesting links to follow.

    It’s also nearly unbeatable for real-time eyewitness news in certain situations. I learned about the first big Occupy Oakland crackdown from Twitter, as it was happening. I didn’t see a peep about it in the MSM till almost 24 hours after that.

  86. 86
    will says:

    @69

    yes…yeah and more yes

    I participate in Occupy Lexington…anyone in KY should get down there….

    the negative people invariably drive by and yell “get a job”

    most of us have a job but many wish we could find a career….I have one so am lucky….but I wish everyone could have what I have….obviously that makes me a dirty commie/socialist

    the idea of feeding your family everyday, and then retiring after working your a$$ for 40-50 years has totally disappeared here

  87. 87
    Sly says:

    @lacp:

    DHS and the FBI might have collaborated with state and local authorities; that’s certainly possible.

    It’s not only possible, it is likely. Giving advice to local law enforcement on legal and tactical matters, when requested, is part of their job.

    But I don’t think they have the authority to order the local police to take these kinds of actions, do they?

    No. And nothing the article says is suggesting that this is what took place.

  88. 88
    El Cid says:

    @policomic: (a) I didn’t advocate anyone believing or not believing him, or this particular view of the story. (b) I used the standard of “real journalist” only in the sense of what he placed in his bio.

    Rick Ellis has more than a decade’s experience in online local news and nearly twenty years experience as a journalist. Beginning at the Chicago Tribune, he has worked for a variety of news outlets, including Patch/AOL, Yahoo and Internet Broadcasting. While he was the managing editor of NBC13.com, the web site won a regional Murrow Award for best big market news site.

    See, I actually thought I was striking quite a cautionary tone, but apparently not sufficiently.

  89. 89
    Xenos says:

    @jurassicpork: When I was a teenager I was once approached by a guy whose father worked for the same company my dad did (a Fortune 500 manufacturing company). His dad worked at the warehouse, my dad was CFO. My dad’s income was listed in the SEC filings, and his income was 20x what a warehouse-based employee made. The CEO/President made 25x, but as a major shareholder made serious money if the firm was profitable.

    This was considered pretty shocking at the time (late 70s). I suppose the executives would have liked to have tripled or quadrupled their income, but tax policy at that time would have made that pointless. Nowadays, looting every last organization or company seems to be part of the basic business model.

  90. 90
    boss bitch says:

    Is what’s really happening at these protests between law enforcement, mayors and protesters not troublesome enough without having to resort to paranoia?

  91. 91
    policomic says:

    @El Cid: I’m sorry if I seemed to be attacking you, El Cid. I couldn’t find the bio, and was sincerely asking about your basis for calling him a “real reporter.”

    I then sort of went on a tear about the website and Ellis (based on his posts, which unlike his bio, I did find), expanding on the other point you raised, about examiner.com not being a newspaper. But that was not motivated by any indignation about your calling him a “real reporter” (the quote marks are just regular, not sarcastic), and I agree that the bio does provide a basis for calling him that.

  92. 92
    policomic says:

    Also, I notice that the post in which I provided links to a couple of Ellis’s cut-and-paste without credit examiner.com pieces finally made it through moderation, but minus the links. So I guess you’ll have to take my word for it, or look them up yourself (The Hill article was something about MN’s healthcare rating, and the AP one was about St. Paul’s new superintendent).

  93. 93
    El Cid says:

    @policomic: Remember: the category ‘real journalist’ if not being used in a sense of ‘honorable’ includes Judith Miller.

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @boss bitch: There’s always room for paranoia!

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    So… why is the headline to this piece still intact? Because the story doesn’t say any such thing.

  96. 96
    andrewsomething says:

    I was out the streets in NYC all day, and it really saddens me that the Balloon Juice comment section managed to turn the whole thing into yet another addition of “Firebaggers” vs “Obots.” I guess I’m just a DFH…

  97. 97
    will says:

    @andrewsomething:

    what did you expect?

  98. 98
    policomic says:

    @El Cid: Excellent point! :)

  99. 99
    MJ says:

    I don’t know how I feel about relying on an anonymous source for such a potentially explosive revelation. I think it is far more likely that these Mayors are all just getting desperate to get rid of the Occupy camps because we’re a week out from “Black Friday”, and they are trying to get rid of the camps b/c the fear that the occupiers will interfere w/ the holiday shopping season. In other words, doesn’t it look like money is the real issue here, and not any stealth effort by the feds to coordinate a nation-wide crack-down?
    Two follow-up questions:
    Also, if the feds were running the show, why would they leave the D.C. camp alone, which is the place where they arguably have the most influence? (See tonight’s Maddow show. Deleted the link to get out of moderation.)

    Also too, doesn’t the C.R.E.A.M. theory do a better job of explaining why there were simultaneous efforts to oust protesters at Occupy camps in cities like Toronto, Calgary, London and Zurich that all are way, way beyond the reach of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security?
    http://goo.gl/62hih

  100. 100
    andrewsomething says:

    @will:

    I don’t know. I often find individual comments here witty, funny, and interesting. Yet when viewed from 10000 feet, it really is just always rehashing the same boring arguments.

  101. 101
    MJ says:

    Hey Anne Laurie,

    Can you please get my comment out of moderation jail? http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-2880966

  102. 102
    MJ says:

    @A.L.
    Thanks for releasing my comment.

    Re-post Deleted

  103. 103
    Marc says:

    @andrewsomething:

    Blame the front-pager who posted this unsourced rumor.

  104. 104
    Nutella says:

    @Xenos:

    The CEO/President made 25x, but as a major shareholder made serious money if the firm was profitable. This was considered pretty shocking at the time (late 70s).

    I remember when it was changing in the mid-80s. Inc magazine had an article about Ben and Jerrys. Since they were such a hippie-dippie company they had a rule that no one in management could make more than 25x what the lowest paid person got.

    But the article told the sad story of how hard it was to get hot-shot executives to come to Vermont for that kind of money and how wrenching it was for the poor executives to abandon that old rule. Not once was it even mentioned, of course, that raising the receptionist’s salary by $100 would get the big boss a $2500 raise under the old rule.

    Even Ben and Jerrys when it was still independent jumped on the income inequality bandwagon in the 80s.

  105. 105
    AxelFoley says:

    @mamayaga: @dr. bloor:

    Really, you two assholes? You’re gonna blame this on Obama? Just like that fat asshat Michael Moore and his cronie Keith Olberman.

    Fuck them and fuck you two asswipes.

  106. 106
    gwangung says:

    In other words, doesn’t it look like money is the real issue here, and not any stealth effort by the feds to coordinate a nation-wide crack-down?

    When in doubt, follow the money.

    That’s ALSO a plausible hypothesis.

    Scientists know how to deal with competing hypotheses. (THough it often seems bloggers and commenters don’t).

  107. 107
    gwangung says:

    @AxelFoley: One size fits all hypothesis.

    Hallmark of….”great” thinkers.

  108. 108
    harlana says:

    @Jonathan: he’s been on the Stephanie Miller show forever, back when he was writing for the Boston Globe, still comes on every week. i think a lot of people on here might be too high and mighty to listen to a progressive comedy talk show, but she’s a huge Obama apologist, so there’s that.

Comments are closed.