FBI Had Counterterrorism Agents Investigate Occupy Movement

The New York Times reports that the FBI had counterterrorism agents to investigateOccupy Wall Street, and that “F.B.I. personnel around the country were routinely involved in exchanging information about the movement with businesses, local law-enforcement agencies and universities.”


The Partnership for Civil Justice received the records after a Freedom of Information Act request. They show that once again the agency used counterterrorism agents to track domestic activists — like they have in the past with environmental, anti-poverty and animal rights groups.

The Times reports that:

The memo said agents discussed “past and upcoming meetings” of the movement, and its spread. It said agents should contact Occupy Wall Street activists to ascertain whether people who attended their events had “violent tendencies.”

The memo said that because of high rates of unemployment, “the movement was spreading throughout Florida and there were several Facebook pages dedicated to specific chapters based on geographical areas.”

The F.B.I. was concerned that the movement would provide “an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction.”

The records provide one of the first glimpses into how deeply involved federal law-enforcement authorities were in monitoring the activities of the movement, which is sometimes described in extreme terms.

An agency spokesman told the paper that “The F.B.I. recognizes the rights of individuals and groups to engage in constitutionally protected activity. While the F.B.I. is obligated to thoroughly investigate any serious allegations involving threats of violence, we do not open investigations based solely on First Amendment activity.”

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Happy Holidays!