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Nov 16 2011

OWS Evictions Coordinated by Federal Agencies

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

As suspected and alluded to by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan in an interview with the BBC, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI coordinated with mayors throughout the country on tactics to out Occupy Wall Street protesters from city parks. The heavy handed tactics has lead to police abuse, destruction of private property, illegal searches, injuries and arrests.

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.

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.

(emphasis mine)

The raid on NYC’s Zuccotti Park happened just one day after the last raid on Oakland’s #OWS protest that precipitated the resignations of Mayor Quan’s legal advisor and friend, Dan Seigel and Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu.

On her blog, Rachel Maddow makes the point that these raids, especially the police violence, only steels the protests resolve to continue:

{..} Greg Sargent argues that Occupy Wall Street accomplished something important today, despite the eviction. Ezra Klein asks whether or not Mayor Bloomberg, Brookfield and the NYPD have actually done the movement a favor. And my friends Allison Kilkenny and Amanda Marcotte both criticize the justification used not only for the city to clear the park, but to infringe upon First Amendment Rights.

Glenn Greenwald argues that the only laws being broken are by Mayor Bloomberg:

To justify his raid, Mayor Bloomberg said: “We must never be afraid to insist on compliance with our laws.” Leaving aside the fact that torturers, illegal eavesdroppers, wagers of aggressive war, Wall Streets defrauders, and mortgage thieves are some of his best friends who thrive and profit rather than sit in a jail cell, this is the same Mayor Bloomberg who, now beyond all dispute, is knowingly and deliberately breaking the law by violating a Court Order of which he is well aware. He’d be arrested for that if he weren’t a billionaire Mayor (and indeed, having seen that bevvy of political and financial elites break the law in the most egregious ways with total impunity over the last decade, why would Bloomberg be afraid of simply ignoring the law?).

1 comment

  1. TMC

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