According to a Congressional Research Service report from 2003 the FBI has a dual mission of protecting US national security and combating criminal activities. Its criminal investigative priorities also include civil rights violations. Yet FBI documents recently obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) reveal how the bureau has acted in a way that totally undermines this claim to be protecting US citizens from civil rights violations.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has called this collusion ”police-statism” and stated:
“These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security [DHS]are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”
The heavily redacted documents obtained by the (PCJF) through a freedom of information request reveal how the FBI has regarded the Occupy Wall Street Movement as a criminal and terrorist threat from its inception. The documents, which include reports from various agents during 2011, clearly show that the Occupy Wall Street movement was engaged in peaceful protests and distanced itself from any kind of political violence.
This active collaboration between branches of state and the security arms of the banks/big corporations is very disturbing and raises questions about the type of society America has become. The mainstream media both on the domestic and international stage portray America as one of the world’s leading democracies where the rights of citizens are protected and cherished by the state that is supposed to represent their interests.
The documents reveal how this collusion takes place under the banner of the Domestic Security Alliance (DSAC). Its reports are prepared by FBI and DHS agents for corporate security officers of the banks and big corporations. The purpose of these reports being to,”document the Occupy Wall Street movement” and to ”raise awareness concerning this type of criminal activity”. Most of the reports have the following warning attached to them,”Recipients are reminded DSAC LIRS [reports] contain sensitive information meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released to the media, the general public…”.
Let’s just look at one example from the documents which reveal the sinister and anti-democratic nature of this collusion between the FBI, DHS and corporate America: the 2 November 2011 protest at Oakland port. The DSAC coordinated a whole host of state agencies to monitor this peaceful protest including the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Agents were used to infiltrate the planning meetings of Occupy Oakland to identify how ”significant a threat” the protest would be.
On 2 November 2011 Occupy Oakland organised a general strike that temporarily shut down Oakland port. 7-10,000 protesters used human body chains to prevent longshoremen and trucks from entering and exiting the port. This forced the port authorities to call off the evening shift.
The various reports covering this protest reveal the fear of the establishment that the protests might receive active support from the unions and the wider community. Anything that might hinder the potential profits of corporate America is seen as a serious threat. An analysis of the Oakland port protest by one agent sums up this fear of corporate America rather well.
”The protesters actions shut down the port of Oakland for 14 hours. If this movement were to spread to the port of Long Beach, the second busiest port in the United States, the disruption of port operations resulting in cargo reaching their destination late could have much more serious effects on the supply chain in the United States”.
The reports contained in the heavily redacted documents were produced during the violent state crackdown on the Occupy Wall Street movement during the autumn of 2011. They reveal the fear of the American state and its masters in big business at ordinary citizens exercising their democratic rights to protest against the enormous social and economic inequality in America. Will there be any government action to stop this abuse of citizen’s rights? I fear not. It’s just one more example of how America is sleepwalking into becoming a police state.