Department of Homeland Security officers roust Occupy Wall Street protesters in Portland.

Have the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and other federal law enforcement agencies been helping the NYPD and other police forces to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters?

That is very much the case according to a Justice Department official who spoke to a Minneapolis publication.

The official said that the feds have been involved in nine other evictions over the past 10 days and stressed that while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handled the Occupy protests ultimately has rested with local law enforcement.

In several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of Occupy 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, the official said. 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.

Charles Pierce, writing at Esquire‘s Daily Politics blog, notes that:

Your right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances, and how you may do it, and what you may say, will be defined by the police power of the state, backed by its political establishment and the business elite. They will define “acceptable” forms of public protest, even (and especially) public protest against them. This is the way it is now. This is the way it has been for some time. It’s just that people didn’t notice. And that was the problem with the Occupy protests. They resisted the marginalization — both literal physical marginalization, and the kind of intellectual marginalization that keeps real solutions to real problems out of our kabuki political debates. They could not be ignored . . .

Did President Obama green light the actions? We will eventually find out, and if the answer is that he was personally involved at some point it will be yet another black eye for a president who campaigned on, among other things, moving away from the police state mentality of the Bush-Cheney administration.

* * * * *


NYPD riot police move in on Occupy Wall Street protesters. About 200 were arrested.

With hundreds of New York City police officers clearing Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street protesters early yesterday, in some cases brutally, and similar eviction actions planned or already carried out in other cities, it’s time to ask who the winners of the nearly two-month-long protests were.

First and foremost, the protesters themselves, but only barely.

The message of these largely young, white college grads that the 1 percent who control Wall Street and other financial institutions have rigged the rules to the detriment of the other 99 percent hit home with many Americans, most of whom approved of the demonstrations while not participating in them. But protesters were fast wearing out their welcome as Zuccotti and other protest sites became health and fire hazards, as well as hurting nearby businesses, and if anything the police actions in New York and other cities were overdue.

The very targets of Occupy Wall Street also were winners.

With the exception of Bank of America and a few other banks rescinding plans for debit card use fees at the height of the protests, nary a $300 haircut was ruffled, a glass of champagne went flat or a single Mercedes was traded in for a Prius as conscience-free banksters and their accomplices continued on their obscenely profitable and usurious ways.

On the political front, the Democrats were the clear winners.

Charges early in the protests from Republicans that Democrats are radicals who favored “mob rule,” as House Majority Whip Eric Cantor put it, were inane and the GOP was compelled to soften its message, eventually deciding on an equally silly line: Democrats are culturally out of touch with struggling blue collar whites and moderates.

Never mind that congressional Republicans have done everything in their power and then some to block efforts at jobs creation and jump starting the ailing economy, while most GOP presidential wannabes embrace the status quo, which is to say further undermining . . . struggling blue collar whites and moderates.

The Republican lip lock with the Vampire Elite may have its biggest test in Massachusetts next year where Elizabeth Warren is taking on moderate Republican Scott Brown, who captured the late Senator Robert Kennedy’s historically Democratic seat in a January 2010 special election.

Warren has aligned herself with the Occupy Wall Street movement and is running a television ad that pushes back against ads by Crossroads GPS, a Karl Rove-backed operation, that characterize her as an elitist and attack her for her support of the protesters.

The ad riffs on the broader argument advanced by the protests — inequality, excessive Wall Street influence and lack of Wall Street accountability — and on the fact that anxiety and anger over these problems are mainstream public sentiments that go far beyond the diehards camped out in tents.

Back in New York, a beyond patient Mayor Michel Bloomberg stressed that the protesters would still be able to use Zuccotti as long as they complied with rules that ban tents and sleeping bags.

“Protestors have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags,” he said. “Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.”

Protesters would have none of that and went to court to challenge the mayor’s eviction order. A small group later occupied a private lot about a mile away from the park in Canal Street after snipping a chain link fence with bolt cutters, whereupon police arrested them.

Photograph by John Taggart/New York Daily News
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Shaun Mullen
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JeffP
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JeffP
4 years 10 months ago
The growing distribution of wealth inequality, the buying of politics with interest groups that perpetuate that inequality, and the harm that massive wealth concentration does to our democracy will continue to be an issue whether or not the “Occupy” movement exists. What I fear is a general uprising, where more than protests occur, where news is that people are ransacked or that places get burned to the ground or worse. The current young adults have so much less to see in their futures–The Atlantic had an article reminding us that post WWII (boomers) were settling into home ownership and steady… Read more »
Rcoutme
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Rcoutme
4 years 10 months ago
I was just reading an article on a different set of ‘job creators’ and their view that government intervention would cause problems for their ‘workers’. It was about the mine and factory owners of Great Britain in the 1840’s and 1850’s. The children would have been out of jobs if the government stepped in. And, hey, it was restrictive to prevent them from entering into contracts with their workers. No comment on how the 7-year-old girls who were carrying 50-weight barrels up ladders 7 times a day after having been ‘apprenticed’ to them felt about the agreements. Job Creators. We… Read more »
JSpencer
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JSpencer
4 years 10 months ago

When an ideologue starts drawing from his core of hate and vitriole you know he’s been whipped!

As for the 1%, they’d better not rest too easy. When the young people of a country believe they have no future they aren’t going to roll over.

Barky
Guest
4 years 10 months ago
To the point of the article, I disagree that OWS came out as a winner at all. Basically they jumped the shark. The view from suburbia (where the real middle class lives, don’t count them out) is these folks turned a valid movement into an excuse to live like slobs, do drugs, and either commit crimes or live in lawlessness. Accurate or no, that’s the impression they left. They carried this on too far. They should have made their point and then went back to form a real grass roots movement instead of a commune. As much as I disagree… Read more »
RP
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RP
4 years 10 months ago
Who amoung is is nieve enough to think anything is going to change? When you have elected officials that can participate in insider trading, make millions on their insider information and will not demand a vote on legislation to make this trading illegal, there is always going to be the 99% and the 1%. They go to Washington with middle class assets, spend 4-6 years and go home millionaires. Not until the government fears the people instead of the people fearing government, will anything change. And the OWS movement is not targeted on the right people. When Washington is targeted… Read more »
SteveK
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SteveK
4 years 10 months ago

Tent Cities are an American Tradition

@ Barkey – To claim that normal, regular people like you and I (except for the fact that they have the courage that we lack) are somehow causing a “dystopian Woodstock wanna-be fiasco” is just what “Money & Power, Inc.™” are hoping to hear… Wanting you to say.

precious suburbs (the real middle class [sic]) into third world ghettos.

PS – The 1932 Tent City Protests got American Veterans the “GI Bill”!
PPS – Why do so many today think this kind of protest is futile?

dduck
Guest
dduck
4 years 10 months ago

I think America wins. With those unhappy being able to express themselves. Protest, garner what media coverage they can and a hospitable NYC and other locales mostly tolerating them- for a while. With that all, a relatively low incidence of violence and senseless rioting.
Proud of you Ms. Liberty.

Barky
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

It’s not that protest is futile or pointless, it’s just that protest for the sake of protest isn’t very useful and is actually kinda goofy.

Protest with a purpose and follow-up is most effective. Protest gets people’s attention and is the burst of energy required to get a movement going. But protest by itself can only go so far until it stinks like roadkill on the highway.

DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
Editor

i agree with you Barky… MLK set it out clearly in his Letter from Birmingham Jail missive about how to go about it… in tea party and wall protest, some steps are missing that could/might bring better resolution. Too, it has been long enough now that there are provacateurs present and active. Not boding well when that occurs.

SteveK
Guest
SteveK
4 years 10 months ago

I’m sorry that there are those, who’s opinions I respect, that think the OWL “is actually kinda goofy”… You want to see “goofy” look at what you’ve allowed to happen to you and your children for the sake of “profit and the American way”.

Bankruptcy is not a option for my grandchildren… nor is living a sub-standard life.

Barky
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

SteveK,

Again, it’s not the message I’m degrading, it’s the modus operandi. I think they goofed.

Rcoutme
Guest
Rcoutme
4 years 10 months ago
I respectfully disagree with Barky. I am not certain that the OWS people really knew what to do to solve the problems. I think that their protest was to force the nation to see what the problems are (income inequality, in case anyone here has been brainwashed by FoxNews and other media outlets into thinking that they did not have a clear message). Solving such a huge problem is not something that your typical OWS protester is going to be qualified to do. Our politicians are paid to come up with such solutions, and if they don’t know how they… Read more »
DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
Editor
One of the things that weakens any movement is lack of unified leadership/spokespersons, and thence ‘clear cut’ demands with negotiations being pressed for to meet those/ negotiate those. Those stronger and more monied count on fragmenting to occur when there is no leader. They just wait for matters to progress into occupying a piece of land, rather than pressing forward their agenda in demanded meetings with those with the power to help change things. This is what MLK said must occur before non-violent protest. These may come yet. There is a shift it seems tho too sometimes this past week,… Read more »
Quelcrist Falconer
Guest
Quelcrist Falconer
4 years 10 months ago
SteveK, Again, it’s not the message I’m degrading, it’s the modus operandi. I think they goofed. Give the kids a break, they are young, naive and just starting to learn. Anyone who believes that the top 1% is going to negotiate in good faith without a gun to their head has not studied their history. What’s needed to fight the top 1% is a three prong assault consisting of a mass movement (of which OWS is a good start, but it’s got a long way to go, it’ll be up to the job at hand when it can put enough… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 10 months ago
I think part of the perceptual problem that the OWS movement has is explained in one of the comments above…that a couple of generations ago it was common for young adults to be moving swiftly into the adult world of responsibilities, careers, and homeownership while still in their teens or early twenties. That has steadily eroded and it isn’t ENTIRELY due to our current economic conditions. Even while the economy was good, there was a definite trend for ‘kids’ to remain in college longer, delay ‘settling down’, and live with their parents for a longer period of time even when… Read more »
wesleypresley
Guest
wesleypresley
4 years 10 months ago

Is this the same Federal government who encourages people in Syria and Iran to protest against their elites? Condemn violence abroad and beat the hell out of Americans at home. Occupy Iraq and Afghanistan is OK, Occupy Wall Street is bad. And people wonder why the USA is no longer a credible voice in world politics.

dduck
Guest
dduck
4 years 10 months ago

I think the message got out. 99, not 999 is now in the popular vocabulary.
I just wish, they could have “occupied” Washington, the unions, and the church. Late entry: college sports.

slamfu
Guest
slamfu
4 years 10 months ago
Gotta say I’m down with Barky and Cstan on this. I think OWS got too enmeshed in the idea of a leaderless movement. At some point after you get the attention of those in power you need to present a concrete list of demands and let them know there will be consequences if action isn’t taken. The OWS folks never seemed to get there and altho I was and am still amazed at the whole thing, it needed to be a bit more organized. You can still be a force, especially if you aren’t making or seen to be making… Read more »
JSpencer
Guest
JSpencer
4 years 10 months ago
Getting back to the fed response: “Did President Obama green light the actions? We will eventually find out, and if the answer is that he was personally involved at some point it will be yet another black eye for a president who campaigned on, among other things, moving away from the police state mentality of the Bush-Cheney administration.” Ageed, it will be a black eye. What is better than a crackdown? How about the courage to begin implementing policies that show we actually care about giving these kids a future with the same opportunities the boomers had? All this talk… Read more »
Rcoutme
Guest
Rcoutme
4 years 10 months ago

If anyone is actually interested in the policies that got us to the disparity in income and wealth the following is an excellent treatise on the subject.
http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/End-of-Loser-Liberalism.pdf

dduck
Guest
dduck
4 years 10 months ago

JS, Katrina vanden Heuvel is another disappointed Obama supporter and what a nice voice.

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