Naomi Wolf in the Guardian:
New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.
There is a new twist: the merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI means that any of us can become WikiLeaks, a point that Julian Assange was trying to make in explaining the argument behind his recent book. The fusion of the tracking of money and the suppression of dissent means that a huge area of vulnerability in civil society – people’s income streams and financial records – is now firmly in the hands of the banks, which are, in turn, now in the business of tracking your dissent.
Remember that only 10% of the money donated to WikiLeaks can be processed – because of financial sector and DHS-sponsored targeting of PayPal data. With this merger, that crushing of one’s personal or business financial freedom can happen to any of us. How messy, criminalizing and prosecuting dissent. How simple, by contrast, just to label an entity a “terrorist organization” and choke off, disrupt or indict its sources of financing.
Why the huge push for counterterrorism “fusion centers”, the DHS militarizing of police departments, and so on? It was never really about “the terrorists”. It was not even about civil unrest. It was always about this moment, when vast crimes might be uncovered by citizens – it was always, that is to say, meant to be about you.
The only thing mystifying about the OWS crackdown was what took the cops so long to get around to it. OWS wasn’t just breaking the law, they were openly defying it. In every case I am aware of the OWS protesters were given the opportunity to peacefully disengage and walk away before any arrests were made or force was used.
Naomi Wolf neglects to mention that OWS members regularly engaged in criminal acts like vandalism, assault, trespassing and arson and that some members planned terrorist acts. Not to mention the various and sundry OWS-related crimes like rape and drug use.
Personally, I am not bothered by the idea of law enforcement agencies keeping an eye on protests and protest groups so long as they stay within constitutional boundaries. The Ku Klux Klan has a legal right to peacefully assemble and protest but if they are planning to march in your town wouldn’t you want the police to know about it and be present?
I am also not bothered by the idea of law enforcement agencies communicating with each other and with interested parties (like banks in this case) to coordinate their actions. We thought that kind of stuff was a good idea after what happened on 9-11, remember?
But the lie that really needs to be laid to rest is the idea that the reason for the crackdown on Occupy Wall Street was that they represented a threat to the powers that be. OWS was a bunch of rebels without a clue and the only thing they were a threat to was each other and to public health and sanitation.