Thursday, May 17, 2012
White House, Homeland Security, involved in coordinating response to quash Occupy movement
“These documents show not only intense government monitoring and coordination in response to the Occupy Movement, but reveal a glimpse into the interior of a vast, tentacled, national intelligence and domestic spying network that the U.S. government operates against its own people.”—Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
by Larry Geller
Honolulu police conducted a preemptive “strike” against local Occupy protesters one day before a planned May Day demonstration (see below). Did they act on their own, or did they coordinate, through Hawaii’s “fusion center” with national efforts to quash Occupy?
Documents handed over in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) and filmmaker Michael Moore confirm that intense surveillance and coordination of police actions have extended right to the White House situation room and the Department of Homeland Security.
"These documents show not only intense government monitoring and coordination in response to the Occupy Movement, but reveal a glimpse into the interior of a vast, tentacled, national intelligence and domestic spying network that the U.S. government operates against its own people," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the PCJF. "These heavily redacted documents don't tell the full story. They are likely only a subset of responsive materials and the PCJF continues to fight for a complete release. They scratch the surface of a mass intelligence network including Fusion Centers, saturated with 'anti-terrorism' funding, that mobilizes thousands of local and federal officers and agents to investigate and monitor the social justice movement," Verheyden-Hilliard stated.
This set of released materials reveals intense involvement by the DHS' National Operations Center (NOC) in these activities. The DHS describes the NOC as, "the primary national-level hub for domestic situational awareness, common operational picture, information fusion, information sharing, communications, and coordination pertaining to the prevention of terrorist attacks and domestic incident management. The NOC is the primary conduit for the White House Situation Room and DHS Leadership for domestic situational awareness and facilitates information sharing and operational coordination with other federal, state, local, tribal, non-governmental operation centers and the private sector."
[The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund , DHS Releases More Documents on Occupy to PCJF, 5/15/2012]
This is a sample snip of one of the documents posted on the PCJF website:
Of course, the 1 percent are interested in what the 99 percent are doing. The 1 percent are on one side of a class war, and the Occupy movement represents an insurgence to them.
In this war the weapon of mass destruction is money. Money to buy elections, of course, and money to buy politicians. Money puts pipelines over aquifers. Money escapes responsibilities for oil spills. The 1 percent are interested in making sure that the 99 percent don’t have access to this powerful weapon, so they strap the most ambitious of them with crushing student loans. They hope to “reform” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid so that seniors, who vote, won’t have access to money either.
Far from being “job creators,” the 1 percent favor keeping the surfs in their place, which is in abject poverty—that is, with minimal access to an arsenal of money.
The problem with some of the 99 percent is that they object to this, and they’re getting uppity. They stand in front of the New York Stock Exchange and yell at it and demand reform. This aspect of the insurgency is exceedingly troublesome since it is impervious to the money weapon, and so the police and military must be mobilized to suppress dissent. Nevermind the Constitution, it’s only a piece of paper to them, and there are few, if any, consequences for violating its protections. The police are out there breaking heads, supported by an extensive intelligence and command network that includes the military.
Preemptive police raid against (de)Occupy Honolulu
Police coordinated preemptive strikes before the planned nationwide May Day demonstrations in an attempt to defuse dissent. Indeed, May Day was a ticking bomb, so what else could they do? Honolulu was not overlooked.
(De)Occupy Honolulu, 30 April 2012, Day 177 of continuous encampment: Ten heavily armed Honolulu Police Department officers accompanied by about a dozen City workers under the direction of Westley Chun, Director of Facilities Maintenance and Engineering, taped off the portion of Thomas Square sidewalk used by (De)Occupy Honolulu and forced protestors outside the perimeter. Since the tents had been rotated out after Raid 14 on April 27, none were subject to seizure under the "Bill 54" ordinance 11-029.
But one tent containing newly produced artwork by Hawaii artist Michael Daley and California artist Raul Gonzalez was singled out for seizure along with two large paintings which had just been completed the previous afternoon. Westley Chun directed the seizure of the tent, the artwork, and newly acquired paints and art supplies.
[The Doug Note, Artwork singled out for seizure in Raid 15 on (De)Occupy Honolulu, 4/30/2012]
Was the HPD coordinating with other organizations, perhaps through the Hawaii fusion center (the Hawaii Pacific Regional Information Clearinghouse)?
Fusion centers are owned and operated by state and local entities with support from federal partners in the form of deployed personnel, training, technical assistance, exercise support, security clearances, connectivity to federal systems, technology, and grant funding.
Of course, we can’t learn the extent of HPD-federal cooperation. The police did use a tactic in that April 30 raid that mimics similar tactics used elsewhere, but of course they could simply have done their research on YouTube: they cordoned off the area of the raid with tape, excluding observers and minimizing video recording.
A short official brief on the Hawaii fusion center is here. An ACLU article mentions the participation of both the military and private sectors in fusion center information sharing. The article confirms that these fusion centers are closely following civilian activities:
- In March 2008 the Virginia Fusion Center issued a terrorism threat assessment that described the state's universities and colleges as "nodes for radicalization" and characterized the "diversity" surrounding a Virginia military base and the state's "historically black" colleges as possible threats.
- A DHS analyst at a Wisconsin fusion center prepared a report about protesters on both sides of the abortion debate, despite the fact that no violence was expected.
These bulletins, which are widely distributed, would be laughable except that they come with the imprimatur of a federally backed intelligence operation, and they encourage law enforcement officers to monitor the activities of political activists and racial and religious minorities.
Fusion centers are also the focal point for growing suspicious activity reporting programs that encourage public reporting of innocuous everyday activities. The Colorado Information and Analysis Center even produced a fear-mongering public service announcement asking the public to report innocuous behaviors such as photography, note-taking, drawing and collecting money for charity as "warning signs" of terrorism.
We do know that HPD is involved in a program to increase the sharing of all manner of data on a city, state and federal level. The federal involvement is explicit in a 2008 strategic plan, drawn up with the participation of the chiefs of police of each county, the state Attorney General, the US Attorney, and former prosecutor and present Mayor of Honolulu, Peter Carlisle:
Intelligence Fusion Centers are being developed in jurisdictions throughout the nation and are a key element in the National Strategy for Information Sharing. Preliminary planning has begun in Hawaii and HIJIS will be a crucial source of data access and sharing for the Hawaii Intelligence Fusion Center
The extent of surveillance and data sharing in Hawaii must be left as a subject of further research, but it does appear that Honolulu police are following the national pattern of suppression of Occupy movements on an escalating basis. There have been additional raids since May Day.
When compared to other cities, Honolulu appears to have fewer Occupiers. Perhaps that’s due in part to the smaller population, and also to a certain restraint in holding demonstrations of any kind. It’s not that we don’t have them, it’s just that few people turn out. Part of that may be due to a cultural propensity for retaliation. Try and find a job when your picture has been in the newspaper as a protestor.
It seems, though, that the police are as bent on wiping out what Occupiers we do have. Don’t they understand that they are in the 99 percent also? No, they don’t. The message has not been strong enough.
In Honolulu, it seems we just take what’s dished out to us. And we feel lucky to have the scraps, and to live in such a great place. This weekend there could be clashes and perhaps bloodshed at the NATO summit in Chicago. But here, APEC 2011 concluded without incident, and the police have just added to their collection of Occupy artwork.
Occupy, or (de)Occupy, will not go away. In fact, along with Occupy Wall Street and the many other movements across the country, it is actually the only hope we have to reclaim our democracy from the oligarchs. The Occupiers are working on our behalf.
That’s why the police are interested.
That was so well written.
Kind of off topic, but not really, I recently learned that police go through counter-terrorism training that includes learning how to make bio weapons: anthrax, etc. They actually get in the lab and cultivate the virus or bacteria in their own petri dish. Crystal methamphetamine is among one of the substances they become pros at producing. This so "they know what to look for, ingredients...."
To that end, will the idiot big brains also be teaching the Russian troops that arrived in the states to train how to make bios too?
And before you start thinking bad things about our local cops like, what IF one of them goes rogue, we are assured that all trainees have security clearances and anyway cops wouldnʻt do that. And , no, there wouldnʻt be any hostage taking to learn how to make this stuff.
Hello??? God please save us from the conjob by the whackjobs.
Nothing like making your own real homegrown domestic terrorists when the fake CIA terrorists keep getting their covers blown.
Somehow the idea that police keep anthrax around and cultivate it themselves doesn't sound likely. I suggest not believing everything that appears on the Internet. On the other hand, we can't believe what appears in newspapers or on TV either...
Larry, I guess you just assumed I saw that on the internet. Thatʻs understandable. I did not.
It was told to a class of students by a police officer who was a guest for a power point presentation...complete with photos of him holding his own specimen that he cultured.
For obvious reasons, I canʻt be more specific on your site but if you would like to email me, thatʻs fine.
In fact, after this class I searched the internet because I was so shocked to learn of this practice......and was unable to find anything pertaining to this being a part of their training.
I donʻt think the cop was lying. (hmmm, did I just say that?)
Sorry for my assumption.
I have to say I find this very scary.
So when some Congressperson receives an anthrax letter in the mail, instead of suspecting it came from some scientist in a lab, should we be checking police training facilities?? Can they really be working with deadly microbes? Can they take some home as a hobby? The mind boggles.
Same for training police to make crystal meth so they have an alternative career if they get tired of giving traffic tickets...
Agreed on all counts.
How long has this been going on?
How many of those cops are now due to retire?
How many of those cops are retiring because of bad acts?
What entities such as blackwater, halliburton, etc. could be headhunting for new talent with the very likely possibility they know of the training?
What underpaid law enforcement person would be able to refuse the enticements these entities can offer?
And with the starry eyed naivety of the officerʻs assurances that they had security clearances and are ʻtrackedʻ, I feel warm, fuzzy and safer now.