FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.
The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.
“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 protestors organizing with the Occupy movement,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). “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.”
“The documents are heavily redacted, and it is clear from the production that the FBI is withholding far more material. We are filing an appeal challenging this response and demanding full disclosure to the public of the records of this operation,” stated Heather Benno, staff attorney with the PCJF.
The Occupy Movement has found an unlikely ally in a senior Bank of England official, Andrew Haldane, who has praised protesters for their role in triggering an overhaul of the financial services sector.
Haldane, who oversees the City for the central bank, said Occupy acted as a lever on policymakers despite criticism that its aims were too vague. He said the protest movement was right to focus on inequality as the chief reason for the 2008 crash, following studies that showed the accumulation of huge wealth funded by debt was directly responsible for the domino-like collapse of the banking sector in 2008.
Speaking at a debate held by the Occupy Movement in central London, Haldane said regulations limiting credit use would undermine attempts by individuals to accumulate huge property and financial wealth at the expense of other members of society. Allowing banks to lend on a massive scale also drained funding from other industries, adding to the negative impact that unregulated banks had on the economy, he said.
On Saturday, September 29, Occupy Our Homes DC shut down every Bank of America location in Washington DC in protest of their foreclosure of Reverend Vanzant - pastor of the first church in DC to specifically serve LGBT people of color.
Occupy Wall Street: One Year Later - Want to get caught up on the movement? Take a look at this video, highlighting last week’s actions as well as the many things we’re working on.
The anniversary of the Occupy Wall St is coming up and in preparation the NYPD has installed concrete blocks around the Zuccotti park. These props, among many others, are being produced as part of planned Sept 17th actions.
Want to come to the #S17 action but need a ride? Here you’ll find a list of bus rides and carpools whose drivers are generous enough to offer rides to fellow activists like yourself!
If you are driving to the action and have seats available in your car, then please help a fellow occupier out by adding your route to this map.
On Sep. 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street started a revolution. One year later, join us for three days of education, training, and protest in New York City. http://s17nyc.org.