DHS Tracks OWS

Rolling Stone has the story:

As Occupy Wall Street spread across the nation last fall, sparking protests in more than 70 cities, the Department of Homeland Security began keeping tabs on the movement. An internal DHS report entitled “SPECIAL COVERAGE: Occupy Wall Street,” dated October of last year, opens with the observation that “mass gatherings associated with public protest movements can have disruptive effects on transportation, commercial, and government services, especially when staged in major metropolitan areas.” While acknowledging the overwhelmingly peaceful nature of OWS, the report notes darkly that “large scale demonstrations also carry the potential for violence, presenting a significant challenge for law enforcement.”

The five-page report – contained in 5 million newly leaked documents examined by Rolling Stone in an investigative partnership with WikiLeaks – goes on to sum up the history of Occupy Wall Street and assess its “impact” on everything from financial services to government facilities. Many of the observations are benign, and appear to have been culled from publicly available sources. …

This has to have been done primarily for its intimidation value… and DHS knows that. There is not even the remotest actual threat by OWS to America’s security; indeed, there’s far more threat from the police clad in riot gear and armed with clubs, pepper spray, flash-bangs, tasers, LRADs, etc. But if the notion can be conveyed to the public that there is a threat, then DHS itself has fired a shot across the bow of OWS. And that can’t be good news for our rights and civil liberties.

H/T Michael Moore.

AFTERTHOUGHT: here (.pdf) is the document itself. If you read far enough, you’ll find that DHS is sourcing its info on the use of social media and internet technologies to… get this… Daily Kos. Smile, folks; Big Brother and all that…


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