Friday, May 23, 2014
Newly released emails and docs reveal not much about the Honolulu Occupy movement except for its peaceful nature
by Larry Geller
Just after after President Obama left the US for a tour of Pacific Rim countries in 2011, police mounted campaigns against the peaceful Occupy protests in at least 18 cities. Were these coordinated? Documents just posted by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund demonstrate that nationwide, Fusion Centers and the participating United States Conference of Mayors collected and shared surveillance information on peaceful protestors in each city. Also mentioned as a participant is the Major Cities Chief’s Association.
The documents are posted on the PCJF web page Out from the Shadows: The Hidden Role of the Fusion Centers in the Nationwide Spying Operation against the Occupy Movement and Peaceful Protest in America and may be downloaded for convenient searching off-line.
The coordinated crackdowns in 2011 were ugly violations of protestor’s rights, and included a deliberate suppression of media reporting:
The number of journalists arrested at Occupy Wall Street events around the country just keeps climbing. After this week’s police raids on Occupy LA and Occupy Philly, the total number of journalists arrested is now up to 30. The arrests have spread across 10 cities from Oakland to Boston, Los Angeles to Atlanta.
While the arrests are perhaps the worst examples of press suppression, other reports of police roughing up journalists or blocking them from reporting continue to roll in.
[freepress.net, 40,000 People Call on U.S. Mayors to End Journalist Arrests, 12/1/2011]
Honolulu (HPD?) also spied and reported on its Occupy movement, but did not seem to be greatly concerned. Here is one hit from a quick search of the documents:
The reports on other cities are far more detailed.
Hawaii’s fusion center is mentioned in the documents, which include the emails of correspondents located in Hawaii. An email which may belong to HPD Lt. Gordon Shiraishi is on the recipient list of a report on “Emerging Issues in the Occupy Movement” dated Dec. 2, 2011, which describes in detail tactics such as “Mic check”, which of course should be considered as expressions of free speech and not subject to police surveillance. Another email receiving documents was that of Chief of Police Louis M. Kealoha.
The documents reveal that The United States Conference of Mayors coordinated reporting via conference calls of mayors and police chiefs and via a survey facility maintained on their website. A reminder informs contributors that “Be assured that that report will not attribute information to any individual city.” Well, the survey is no longer on their website, but the information is out. Where could information about Honolulu come from, for example, except from Honolulu?
While police have a responsibility to maintain public order during public demonstrations, the documents indicate that police attended (“infiltrated” may be too strong a word if the meetings were open) Occupy groups to obtain plans for demonstrations. One report warns that Jackson Brown will be singing at a protest and suggests that his action may be a “concert.” But again, the concern for the impact of the potential “concert” on street traffic seems warranted.
Democracy Now notes in today’s headline report on the document release that
Fusion centers have received hundreds of millions in federal funds since their creation after 9/11, but a Senate subcommittee report found they have failed to yield any significant information for fighting terrorism.
Democracy Now is itself mentioned several times in a report on social media mentions of the Occupy movement. It seems that a company called Globalincidentmap.com, whose website title is A Global Display of Terrorism And Other Suspicious Events, tracks Twitter and other media and reported to their “fusion center partners.” Snip:
Attached is an Excel file of about 2700 open source news items from the last 24-48 hours containing ‘Occupy’ from GlobalIncidentMap.com’s proprietary search engine. There are a few false positives but the vast majority are related to Occupy protests.
Since there is some thought out there that they might like to occupy fusion center properties we will be searching for any indicators to forward to customers and LE friends, if they find success occupying the SD LECC it might start a trend..
Anyone who wants to receive a daily file like this of open source news items containing ‘Occupy’ or potentially other keywords and phrases can contact me at MC@globalincidentmap.com or 417.254.0419 Morgan Clements – Publisher Globalincidentmap.com
There’s no smoking gun in the Honolulu mentions, not even a smoking Taser. We seem to be a thoroughly peaceful people of not much concern to national law enforcement. No doubt the trove of emails will be of more interest to groups in the several other cities where police violence has taken place.