The FBI and Occupy

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A federal judge will decide March 15 whether to dismiss a lawsuit by the ACLU and the Bay Guardian seeking access to FBI records showing the agency’s involvement with the Occupy movement.

As if often the case, the FBI’s legal motions tell an interesting story that sheds light on what some of the still-unreleased documents might show.
The filings make it clear that the FBI was not only spying on the Occupy movement but was sharing data with local law-enforcement agencies -- and at some point may have classified some part of the Occupy movement as international terrorists.

The Guardian and the ACLU have been fighting for more than a year to get the agency to release its complete files on Occupy. After a March 8, 2012 Freedom of Information Act request yielded only a few pages, and the FBI claimed it had no more documents, the ACLU filed suit.

In a declaration dated March 15, 2013, David M. Hardy, chief of the FBI’s Information Section, confirms that the agency was sharing information on Occupy with other police agencies. He states that “The mention of the FBI sharing intelligence with another agency doesn’t mean that the document becomes and intelligence or planning document. It is simply documenting that information was shared.”

Among the documents that the feds did release is a Nov. 2, 2011 memo discussing the FBI’s contact with the Port of Stockton Police Department to “share intelligence about Occupy protesters targetting the Port of Oakland.”

And of course, the fact that the FBI is sharing intelligence means that it was gathering intelligence as well.

By law, the FBI can only investigate when there are federal crimes or federal statutes involved, and the vast majority, if not all, of the Occupy actions in cities all over the country were local in nature. Occupy was a famously diverse group of community-based organizations that had no national structure or leadership. In the few instances were Occupy protesters were charged with crimes -- mostly in cases of civil disobedience or minor vandalism -- there were no federal laws even remotely involved.

In his declaration, however, Hardy defends the FBI’s refusal to release some documents by saying that “the FBI’s general investigative authority ... and its general authority to collect records .... provides the statutory basis for the FBI’s role in providing services and support to state and local law enforcement agencies in investigating crimes and terrorism related to the enforcement of federal laws. The FBI is also assigned the lead role in investigating terrorism and in the collection of terrorism threat information within the United States.”

The case is before Judge Susan Illston.

Comments

with protecting the homeland from domestic threats might have investigated and infiltrated what was for about 15 minutes the biggest "threat" that a bunch of unwashed hippies could pose to our union.

Ya think?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

Do you really think Occupy (which you deride as a bunch of unwashed hippies) was a threat to national security?

Posted by tim on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 9:05 am

Do you really think Occupy (which you deride as a bunch of unwashed hippies) was a threat to national security?

Posted by tim on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 9:05 am

Clearly it was a threat to national security, Tim. Was it a threat to the territory of the US? Of course not. Was it a threat to the security of those who are playing keep away with the nation? Hell yes.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 9:40 am

it could have been cited as a threat as a pretext for taking it down anyway.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 9:42 am

pose a credible threat to the union. However the point was more that the Feds could use that perception to justify pre-emptory action to forestall the protests, and thereby justify their involvement.

The Federal laws on Terror have been used in a variety of situations, including even domestic violence, and I recall that being discussed during RossGate.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 9:41 am

Threat in what conceivable fashion?

Posted by Amy Arthur on Mar. 16, 2013 @ 2:19 am

In point of fact, the occupiers tended to be awfully well-informed, as you would know if you'd ever listened to them. The movement grew out of people who worked on Wall Street and saw firsthand what was going on. Hard to see in what way how frequently they "washed" has a whole lot to do with anything.

Posted by Amy Arthur on Mar. 16, 2013 @ 2:25 am
Posted by Guest on Mar. 16, 2013 @ 6:57 am

see that just about every other article was about "Occupy" and how, at least in SFBG's view, this was going to be that revoluttion that ageing hippies like Tim and Steven thought was going to happen in the 1960's before the boomers decided instead to work for banks and build up their retirement plans.

At the time I posted here, several times, that Occupy would fizzle out as soon as the cold, wet days of winter came. Occupiers to an unwashed man and woman claimed it was not so, and that this was the real deal, and that we shall not be moved, kumbaya, blah blah.

The November chills, winds and rains came, and Occupiers ran home to mom, never to be seen or heard of again.

Gone but not forgotten, evidently. Gotta love the left.

Posted by anon on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

Sorry, but weren't there twenty eight coordinated paramilitary raids on occupy encampments across the nation? Wasn't there a mayday march with 30,000 in New York? Didn't Russia insist on moving the G8 from Chicago to Camp David, after Occupy Abai formed? Didn't Strike Debt just buy up and forgive another Million dollars of medical debt? Didn't Occupy Sandy show a more compassionate face to the movement? Wasn't there the largest march of climate/occupy activists recorded three weeks ago in DC? Didn't 70,000 people just sign a pledge to engage in acts of Civil Disobedience over the summer just last week?

I really get a kick out of people who post anonymously about how "Occupy" is dead, like if they keep saying it people will just believe them and forget about human rights & economic justice. The camps were just phase 1 of a much longer, and drawn out battle. We knew it September 16th and we know it now...

Posted by Gary Roland on Mar. 17, 2013 @ 10:59 am

YES! This.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 17, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

Thanks Gary Roland for attempting to shout down that silliness about the death of occupy. I agree that it's some sort of wishful thinking by those unaccustomed to actual thought. What they are accustomed to doing is listening to someone repeat things until they start repeating them along with each other... it's really a sad and boring song that they sing...

Yeah, the initial 'camp' idea was to make 'us' as visible as possible to as many as possible - that's how i found out about Occupy at around 1am on the 18th - and did exactly what those people in Zuccotti hoped, and 7 'camps' in this region were online within days - all of them still hard at work and new people listening daily - - although there are very few actual tents anymore, i don't think that was ever the long term strategy... But i do think that we're not done with those tents just yet and we'll be seeing them again.

Posted by a thomas on Mar. 17, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

Occupants demonstrated littlre resolve or determination.

And yes, in a couple of cities the cops cracked down, and that was expected. But there were camps in over 400 cities and almost of all them just went awat as soon as the cold and the rains came.

Occupy, like March, came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. Nothing has changed and it was a failed venture.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

Occupy was shut down violently by the Obama regime. That's the bottom line. Many aware people already know that.

There is no protesting allowed in this country any longer unless possibly you have a permit from The Establishment authorizing your protest (of The Establishment). If a protest requires a permit and permission from The Establishment, then it is no longer a protest. It is a meaningless, waste-of-time charade, because a real protest is often spontaneous, without permission from The Status Quo Establishment and without any "designated protest route with police escort."

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

of focus. Other than NYC and Occupy, there was not much force used against the hundreds of camps. There was no need for that, since it was obvious that the camps would dissolve once the cold weather arrived, and so it was.

America doesn't do protest any more.

Posted by anon on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 5:51 am

Willfully-ignorant as usual. Just use a search engine and watch the extensive violence against Occupy in the many *credible* videos on YouTube.

"America doesn't do protest any more."

You mean the U.S. doesn't do protests any more. The rest of the Americas are still allowed to protest.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

really changing anything. The same folks are in charge with the same policies, and the same homeowners are getting foreclosed.

I'm sure it felt great for those whow anted their 15 minutes of adequacy but, in terms of political significance, it's a historical (if not hysterical) footnote.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

Combination of the two. Libruhls tend to self-destruct as a group any time they attempt to do anything political, which is why people being paid and people who are vacuous and looking for anything to hold onto tend to be much more effective.

The observation that "getting libruhls to do anything together is like herding cats" is apt. On the other hand, getting stupid people motivated by social shaming to all heft the same banner has always been especially easy, as we saw in the 1930s.

Posted by Amy Arthur on Mar. 16, 2013 @ 2:33 am

I'm puzzled by your report that the FBI contacted "the Port of Stockton Police Department to 'share intelligence about Occupy protesters targetting the Port of Oakland.'" Why would the Port of Stockton, 70 miles from Oakland, need intelligence about Occupy protesters targeting the Port of Oakland? Perhaps seagoing vessels bound for Oakland were being diverted to Stockton, but I doubt that the Port of Stockton is equipped to berth and offload the kind of large, transoceanic ships normally accommodated at the Port of Oakland.

Posted by Alan Kurtz on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

I'm puzzled by your report that the FBI contacted "the Port of Stockton Police Department to 'share intelligence about Occupy protesters targetting the Port of Oakland.'" Why would the Port of Stockton, 70 miles from Oakland, need intelligence about Occupy protesters targeting the Port of Oakland? Perhaps seagoing vessels bound for Oakland were being diverted to Stockton, but I doubt that the Port of Stockton is equipped to berth and offload the kind of large, transoceanic ships normally accommodated at the Port of Oakland.

Posted by Alan Kurtz on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

The Occupy Movement needed a bath.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 6:53 am

The Ports of Oakland, Stockton and SF are within Federal jurisdiction. Longshore workers are subject to Longshore and Harborworkers Comp Act not state workers comp. Other martime employees are covered by Federal Jones Act. So actions at places of Maritime commerce are not "local" in character but Federal.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 8:00 am

various federal crimes that Occupiers could be charged with. They have been used before to prosecute protestors.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 9:39 am

the struggle continues, good thing too. As we approach end game, the global military industrial death culture will come to an end or will morph into mature fascism with the death toll to go along with that. As the peace path revolution comes to a boil we will assemble; occupy, idle no more, and more in `place of boiling waters' Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo is on I-94 midway between Chicago and Detroit. Detroit where home rule has been removed, now, after corporate abandonment, following the advice from the "boys" of Chicago. `Chicago school of economics' is the ideology that drives the insanity, an insanity we are prone to, partly due to Calvinism, the theological rationale for Capitalism, now centered in Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids just up the road, the Rome of Protestantism, ancient sacred site, here they claim Jesus yet serve money.
Join us in Kalamazoo to see what love can do. Peace-Hope!

Posted by rick on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 11:23 am

Haven't hard that kind of agit-touchy-feeley thing since 1968.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 11:42 am

I simply do not get why the FBI was.involved at all.

Posted by michael r on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

Because the FBI is America's secret police.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

Their enforcement and prosecutions are better - you only have to look at hoe efficient they are at executing criminals compared with the States.

And it's not unusual for the Fed's to investigate even small crimes, and in fact in DC, they ARE the police.

Occupy was something of a joke from the outset, but it didn't hurt to use more resources than necessary, just to kill it off with less risk to the rest of us.

Posted by guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

So long as they're keeping your secrets, the secret police are all good, eh?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

I think I know what is better for other people than they do for themselves.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

google: Mayors deny colluding on 'Occupy' crackdowns
spam filter blocked link again.

(Mayors deny colluding = that means they did collude).

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

If SFBG doesn't think it would just be a matter of due diligence for a federal agency to look into Black Block and the anarchists destroying the property of small businesses, and Anonymous which exposed the home addresses of police officers in Oakland (whatever else they deserve), all to see whether any of it was coordinated across borders and such, then it needs to stop smoking its own tabloid. Feds might've found very little, but they wouldn't have been wrong to look into things, and even if they found very little, it would be putting people (informants) at risk if they released files outlining exactly how it came to find that there wasn't much under the rocks it overturned just for the sake of transparency.

This here Oaklander thinks Black Block is a terrorist organization. Self-righteous white liberals out to wreak even more havoc on our poor, struggling city, then leave. And everyone knows only the Feds would be able to get a fix on their activities in realtime (unlike, say, postmortem investigation by any PD).

The author and for that matter commenters on all sides of this never could've imagined Port of Stockton would have anything to do with Occupy anything. There's obviously a lot more that the author can't imagine with sheer rhetoric alone.

Just noticed this: "...the vast majority, if not all, of the Occupy actions in cities all over the country were local in nature. Occupy was a famously diverse group of community-based organizations that had no national structure or leadership."

Aside from the fact Black Block wasn't anything close to a "community-based" organization, the shutting of ports by Occupy in general wasn't "local." Remember this? http://www.pmmonlinenews.com/2011/12/occupy-movement-factions-reveal-por...

The author's argument is just utterly flawed. Investigating groups who claimed to be a part of Occupy and investigating Occupy is not the same thing.

Posted by Occupied on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

If SFBG doesn't think it would just be a matter of due diligence for a federal agency to look into Black Block and the anarchists destroying the property of small businesses, and Anonymous which exposed the home addresses of police officers in Oakland (whatever else they deserve), all to see whether any of it was coordinated across borders and such, then it needs to stop smoking its own tabloid. Feds might've found very little, but they wouldn't have been wrong to look into things, and even if they found very little, it would be putting people (informants) at risk if they released files outlining exactly how it came to find that there wasn't much under the rocks it overturned just for the sake of transparency.

This here Oaklander thinks Black Block is a terrorist organization. Self-righteous white liberals out to wreak even more havoc on our poor, struggling city, then leave. And everyone knows only the Feds would be able to get a fix on their activities in realtime (unlike, say, postmortem investigation by any PD).

The author and for that matter commenters on all sides of this never could've imagined Port of Stockton would have anything to do with Occupy anything. There's obviously a lot more that the author can't imagine with sheer rhetoric alone.

Just noticed this: "...the vast majority, if not all, of the Occupy actions in cities all over the country were local in nature. Occupy was a famously diverse group of community-based organizations that had no national structure or leadership."

Aside from the fact Black Block wasn't anything close to a "community-based" organization, the shutting of ports by Occupy in general wasn't "local." Remember this?: http://www.pmmonlinenews.com/2011/12/occupy-movement-factions-reveal-por...

The author's argument is just utterly flawed. Investigating groups who claimed to be a part of Occupy and investigating Occupy is not the same thing.

Posted by Occupied on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 10:34 pm
Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

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