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How America's National Security Apparatus -- in Partnership With Big Corporations -- Cracked Down on Dissent

A new report is an eye-opening look into how the U.S. counter-terror apparatus was used to track the Occupy movement.

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Hodai reveals that the “tactical response unit” of officers working at the action was under the direction of Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Eric Harkins. What makes this noteworthy is that Harkins was “actually off-duty, earning $35 per hour as a private security guard employed by ALEC.” ALEC also “hired 49 active duty and 9 retired PPD officers to act as private security during the conference.” ALEC also employed off-duty police officers from Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department during another ALEC summit in May 2012.

The Center for Media and Democracy report also provides details on how police officers tracked and went undercover to monitor the Occupy movement. The report focuses on an undercover police officer who went by the name of “Saul DeLara,” who presented himself as a homeless Mexican activist. “DeLara” went to Occupy meetings and then reported back on their contents to the police.

The revelations are confirmation that, as the Center for Media and Democracy noted in a press release,”the nation's post-September 11, 2001 counter terrorism apparatus has been applied to politically engaged citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights.”

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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