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Naomi Wolf Versus Joshua Holland: Was There a Coordinated Federal Crackdown on Occupy Wall Street?

Naomi Wolf responds to Joshua Holland's criticisms of her piece alleging a coordinated federal crackdown on Occupy Wall Street.

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And Truthout.org journalist Jason Leopold sent me, on 1 December, this update about his own investigation, which, fascinatingly, gives a second-source confirmation to the evidence presented above that FOIA requesters are being asked by DHS to "narrow" their document search requests to "senior staff" only. His last paragraph also confirms that though LAPD denies all coordination with DHS, the LAPD has also acknowledged to him giving information about the protests to DHS:

"I was curious as to whether the federal government was monitoring the activities of  Occupy Wall Street  or played a role in what appeared to be a coordinated crackdown of the encampments by local law over the past several weeks, so I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on 31 October, seeking a wide range of internal documents from both agencies about discussions officials may have had about Occupy Wall Street. Much to my surprise, because I usually wait an average of six months, the FBI responded to my FOIA two weeks later, on 15 November, stating in a letter that the agency conducted a search of its Central Records System and could not locate a single document about Occupy Wall Street. I found the 'no records' response to be remarkable […]  As I noted in an report I wrote about the FBI's response to my FOIA , ' Jordan T Lloyd, a member of the FBI's cybersecurity team in New York, received dozens of emails  about Occupy Wall Street' from a man 'who identified himself as a conservative computer security expert' who [had] 'gained access to the group's listserv' […]

"Because I don't believe the FBI conducted a thorough and comprehensive search, I filed an appeal with the agency on Monday […]

"DHS, on the other hand, appears to have located some documents responsive to my FOIA. I was contacted by an FOIA analyst a couple of weeks ago regarding my request and asked to "narrow" the search for responsive documents to "senior DHS officials" only due to the fact that there were multiple requests DHS received from others for similar documents and the staff, I was told, was 'overwhelmed'. I agreed to do this in the interest of receiving documents sooner rather than later. I requested DHS expedite my FOIA and the agency agreed to do so.

"Early Wednesday morning, as LAPD began to move in on the encampment at Los Angeles City Hall, I saw two DHS 'federal response' team SUVs parked in front of a building about a block away from the encampment, and DHS personnel who appeared to take over for several LAPD officers […] I phoned the police department to get additional information about DHS's presence and was told that the federal building was located just one block from the encampment and that DHS has an office in there, which is 'where they process immigrants'. LAPD told me there was 'absolutely no coordination or involvement by Department of Homeland Security' in any of the 'law enforcement activities' that took place early Wednesday morning, although local DHS officials were briefed by LAPD, the police spokesperson told me." (Indeed  DHS is already active in other ways  in municipal security in LA.)

Holland's conclusion that I have no evidence of DHS or federal coordination with municipal police on protest  surveillance and management also flies in the face of reporting that goes back nearly a decade, documenting in detail the creation by DHS of "security zones" that do just this. It also neglects to address a series of press conferences in which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has confirmed to the New York Times and others close DHS-NYPD cooperation in the creation of DHS-managed surveillance zones where public protest is federally tracked. A 2009 study by Jeremy Nemeth, PhD, in the publication Cityfutures, details DHS coordination with municipal leaders and police forces in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, that turned whole sections of these cities into DHS-managed "security zones" (see maps in the link below).

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