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New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the papers-please dept.

Government 584

jvillain writes "The Guardian has up a story detailing the crack down on Occupy Wall Street (OWS). It goes on to show how the FBI, DHS, Terrorist Fusion Centers and the banks all worked together to stifle dissent. From the article: 'This production [of documents], which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protesters organizing with the Occupy movement These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.' The next question is how many Americans are now listed as part of a 'terrorist group' by the government for their support of OWS?"

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584 comments

"Stifle descent?" (5, Funny)

Joehonkie (665142) | about a year ago | (#42432483)

Really? "Stifle descent?" You couldn't have corrected that to something that makes sense?

Re:"Stifle descent?" (2, Insightful)

WillerZ (814133) | about a year ago | (#42432507)

What I find odd is this: "stifle" is a relatively obscure word to use and yet they can't spell "dissent".

Re:"Stifle descent?" (3, Funny)

cvtan (752695) | about a year ago | (#42432633)

I thought "stifle" was not that obscure, but I didn't get the reference to Descent when Descent 2 has been out for quite some time.

Re:"Stifle descent?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432635)

It's because most of these people are "uneducated".

Re:"Stifle descent?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432877)

It's because "stifle dissent" is a very common idiom when discussing such issues, and "stifle" is easy to sound out. I think it's a sign that they go to a lot of rallies and speeches and meetings, but do little or no actual reading (apart from forums, possibly, where similar people congregate to mangle the same word).

Captcha: Investor

Look out, hippies!

Re:"Stifle descent?" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432519)

I bet you all the people on the doomed Concorde flight wished someone could have stifled their descent.

Re:"Stifle descent?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432545)

They're obviously trying to keep the OWS movement in the higher floors, and stopping their descent to the streets.

Re:"Stifle descent?" (2, Funny)

shking (125052) | about a year ago | (#42432547)

The editors fell down on the job

Re:"Stifle descent?" (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42432609)

The editors fell down on the job

If only there was someone who could stifle descent for them.

Re:"Stifle descent?" (2, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year ago | (#42432897)

It's the oblivious mistake that's inserted into all /. headlines and/or summaries. 15% of all /. posts are regarding these mistakes, so it's important to make sure they're included in each and every article to keep the comment levels up.

Re:"Stifle descent?" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432761)

It makes sense - this shows the intelligence of these "Occupy" boneheads.

Re:"Stifle descent?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432795)

Really? "Stifle descent?" You couldn't have corrected that to something that makes sense?

Well, the original term was "stiffy descent," but then the context of the summary was changed, and the inuendo didn't fit as well, and then someone ran spellchecker...

Who Cares? (-1, Troll)

nefus (952656) | about a year ago | (#42432487)

Occupy Wallstreet was an astroturf movement, who the heck cares about an astroturf movement?

Re:Who Cares? (2)

penguinstorm (575341) | about a year ago | (#42432511)

What the hell does an "astroturf movement" mean?

Re:Who Cares? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#42432573)

What the hell does an "astroturf movement" mean?

Seems like it would be sort of like an earth quake, except then you realize that there's actually someone to blame for your fall because someone yanked the rug you were standing on.

Re:Who Cares? (5, Insightful)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year ago | (#42432587)

Obviously a scare-term that imbeciles have made up on the spot to 'justify' cracking down on protests & activists who don't cheer about rampant corruption between the government and the financial sector.

Re:Who Cares? (1)

roninmagus (721889) | about a year ago | (#42432625)

Obviously a scare-term that imbeciles have made up on the spot to 'justify' cracking down on protests & activists who don't cheer about rampant corruption between the government and the financial sector.

The term is often used in reference to the exact opposite groups, as well. For instance, the Tea Party (who don't necessarily support a crackdown like this) were called an astroturf movement. Generally any case in which a conspiracy theory can be put forward in order to discredit the group is an astroturf movement.

Re:Who Cares? (4, Funny)

daem0n1x (748565) | about a year ago | (#42432835)

They're not comparable.

The poor bankers and oil companies behind the "grassroots" Tea Party don't have a chance against the overwhelming financial might of the tree-hugging hippies!

Re:Who Cares? (0, Troll)

aurispector (530273) | about a year ago | (#42432857)

Kind of like the term "useful idiot", huh? Besides, who "cracked down" on the ows hippies? They were simply left to rot in their little camps until it was clear that their only remaining purpose was to occupy public spaces and make a mess.

But it really takes an imbecile to believe that ows could spring into existence fully formed, complete with a slick web site and well orchestrated publicity. Perhaps the better term would be "McMovement".

Re:Who Cares? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42432627)

What the hell does an "astroturf movement" mean?

The reference is to Astroturf, a kind of artificial grass once used for sports fields. It means a campaign run by or at the behest of an organization to generate the appearance of grassroots support or opposition to a product or policy positions.

It's most often used in marketing, but also increasingly in politics.

Re:Who Cares? (2)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about a year ago | (#42432581)

and the evidence that it was an astroturf movement would be?

Re:Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432735)

and the evidence that it was an astroturf movement would be?

That most of its members are bums looking for a warm place to sleep? That most of the members that are not bums are still surfing mom's couch after 6 years in college that Uncle Sam paid for?

Re:Who Cares? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42432655)

Occupy Wallstreet was an astroturf movement, who the heck cares about an astroturf movement?

If the FBI was investigating it, who would be the group behind the astroturfing? Are you imagining it as a trick to bring out the people who don't support the government's policies so the government can identify who they are?

Stifle descent? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432503)

As long as they don't stifle dissent, we'll be ok!

FUCK WITH THE MAN WILL YOU !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432505)

And you pay the price !! Don't Treat On Me !! Go back to commie land you hippie commies !!

dissent, not descent (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432515)

Stifle dissent

peaceful protesters? (-1, Flamebait)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about a year ago | (#42432521)

Not from videos and reports I've seen. And I'm sure that those OWS folks who actually got off their sleeping bags and voted, put the current administration in office which is now cracking down on them.

Re:peaceful protesters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432623)

http://www.verumserum.com/?p=33490

Re:peaceful protesters? (2, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#42432637)

"Cracking down" as in "allowed an illegal occupation of a private park for months before getting fed up with the ghetto that resulted"?

Wow, super harsh. OWS was full of itself from day 1.

Re:peaceful protesters? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432865)

Seriously, for a bunch of squatters that were not always civil, they were allowed to get away with way, way more than any other protest I can remember.

Aside from a delusional persecution complex, I can't believe anyone would think the government "stifled dissent".

Re:peaceful protesters? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432651)

Joe McCarthy, is that you?

Re:peaceful protesters? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432663)

How many videos have you seen? How many minutes, total? Do you realize that the protests have been ongoing for well over a year? Can you comprehend how utterly stupid it is to extrapolate the motivations and behavior of a movement with thousands of people, spanning millions of man-hours, from a few minutes of cherry-picked video?

No, I suppose you can't... because Fox News hasn't explained that to you.

Re:peaceful protesters? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432713)

The tea party has been going longer than the OWS group and I don't see the list like this for them http://www.verumserum.com/?p=33490

Re:peaceful protesters? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432841)

That's because a) the Tea Party is not an ongoing protest movement, b) it does not suffer the kind of scrutiny that OWS does, and c) your confirmation bias blinds you to the very real poor teabagger behavior that has been caught on tape to date.

Of course, you knew all of that, and just wanted to regale us with your unoriginality once again. By all means, please serve up some more copypasta.

Re:peaceful protesters? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432893)

The Tea Party is also sponsored by Faux News.

Re:peaceful protesters? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432963)

HAHAH Not suffer the kind of scrutiny??? What networks do you watch? They are heavily scrutinized. They even had false accusation brought up against them, such as the "N" calling incident. But no one could provide proof, even with ALL the cameras rolling. And it's not an EVERYDAY protest because those people actually have jobs that they go to and don't have the luxury of rich daddy and mommy tits to suck on as they sit in their little tents and play on their phones. But I guess you are sitting in your moms basement right now cheering them on. So by all means keep being a leech.

Re:peaceful protesters? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432887)

Aye, because unlike the Tea Party protesters and their corporate backers and media conglomerates with special interests, OWS hasn't singled out a political movement/activist group as its supposed mortal enemy and started compiling lists of every time a member of that enemy group goes to sleep, goes to the toilet, scratches his or her arse, and everything else in between. Of course you're going to document some of them smoking weed (etc.) if you're watching them like a hawk. You're also going to document particularly nasty things like murders, rapes, and assaults that happen in the area and are not, in fact, caused by the protest, as websites like that would have us believe.

If the Tea Party protests were subject to such unhealthy, obsessive scrutiny, I can guarantee that you would find a similar frequency of crimes documented.

Here's one example of that unhealthy interest, across the pond:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053463/Occupy-London-90-tents-St-Pauls-protest-camp-left-overnight.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Looking through tents with heat-detecting cameras, FFS. If that isn't an unhealthy and chilling manifestation of the special interests of a media conglomerate, nothing is.

And for the record, "some of the protesters are committing petty crimes" is not a justification for clearing protests. It is unconscionable to support the silencing of either political movement.

Re:peaceful protesters? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432831)

You've got a point about the cherry-picked behavior, but he has a point that either nearly 100% of OWS were completely dishonest hypocrits, or else none of them voted in the last election.

Republicrats won by such a landslide and OWS was so large, that if even half of them had voted for reform, it would have been easily visibile. There was nary a blip, with less dissent shown in the last election, than average.

OWS either stayed home on election day, or they're corrupt liars, working to advance the interests of those they claimed to be protesting against. Either way, it's a disgrace.

Re:peaceful protesters? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432937)

You would have preferred that they throw their vote away on the Libertarian candidate, who, by the way, caucused with the GOP? Or the Green candidate, who didn't even manage to get press coverage? Face it: we're in a two-party system, and they voted in the lesser of the two evils. Unless you're in it for the GOP to take over all branches of government, then voting Dem. was the only viable option.

Don't let a little thing like reality get in the way of a good self-righteous rant, though.

Re:peaceful protesters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432961)

Its not Republicrats, Its Republicans.

And you better believe that the OWS either voted Democrat, as shown by the senate races, or Green. But the fuck if they're going to vote Libertarian; which has essentially become part of the Republican party.

Do tell us what videos you've seen. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432855)

What videos of violence at OWS did you see?

OR are they theoretically you've seen them because people you like told you they existed?

The problem with protests. (-1, Flamebait)

hessian (467078) | about a year ago | (#42432525)

Our Constitution guarantees us a number of ways to work through government for change.

The problem with protests is that by working around these methods, the methods are weakened. In addition, people start believing that dramatic public attention-getting is more important than reasoned political argument.

As the only people who truly profit from this, the media love it, coming and going. One great reason to support piracy is to weaken the profits of Hollywood and the news-entertainment media.

Re:The problem with protests. (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#42432577)

Our Constitution guarantees us a number of ways to work through government for change.

One of those constitutional guarantees is freedom of speech to say you disagree with what the government is doing. Nothing about that "damages" the constitution.

Re:The problem with protests. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#42432617)

As long as you don't consider rock throwing as speech. That's when things get ugly.

Re:The problem with protests. (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#42432803)

Yup, and another, tight beside that speech, is the right to peaceful assembly.

Hmm right to speak out, and a right to assemble.... sounds like protest to me!

Re:The problem with protests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432605)

That would be all nice and dandy ... if it weren't for the issue of corporate America buying the elections ...

Re:The problem with protests. (1, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#42432647)

Corporations cant vote, only people can. Stop giving the voters a free pass simply because you deem their intelligence less than yours; it reeks of arrogance and a superiority complex.

Re:The problem with protests. (1)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year ago | (#42432679)

LordLimecat lives in a fantasy land where all parties have equal exposure and corporate malfeasance is Absolutely Not A Thing and massive businesses cannot sway elections or influence the government in any way.

Re:The problem with protests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432705)

Yeah, I'll get right on that. Oh wait, you mean my voice doesn't matter compared to the billionaires and Super PACS funding the elections? Yeah, I thought so.

Re:The problem with protests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432629)

Don't be an activist! Don't protest! Don't voice your displeasure! Protesting is uncool! Just go and vote for either of the two main parties! Reasoned political argument!

Re:The problem with protests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432709)

people start believing that dramatic public attention-getting is more important than reasoned political argument.

And in a democracy of sorts, that would be the case. Ultimately, the masses elect the ones that stand for their desires and ideals (and in a few nations and for some issues, vote on those issues directly).

Maybe the current generation of politicians wouldn't understand the needs of the dramatic public attention-getting, well, public. But they'd be replaced in large parts, if they don't.

Of course, that's just the theory. Seems harder to realize in practice in the USA and a few more countries. My observation with regards to that is that true democracies have quite a lot of parties in their national parliaments; it can't be that people only need 1-2 of them.

Re:The problem with protests. (5, Insightful)

joss (1346) | about a year ago | (#42432759)

Are you out of your fucking mind ?

Can you name any major political change that happened through normal democratic methods without widespread protests ?

Getting rid of the monarchy, getting rid of slavery, votes for women, civil rights, whatever. None of these happen through people simply going through the motions of voting. "Change must come through the barrel of a gun ..." might be an exaggeration, but it is not far off. Non-violent protest is sometimes sufficient, I hope that this is all it will take to reduce the current "government by Goldman Sachs" but sitting on your backside righting letters to congress or voting for a particular candidate definitely is not going to do it.

Re:The problem with protests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432907)

Right letters, write wrongs.

Re:The problem with protests. (0, Flamebait)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year ago | (#42432971)

Can you name any major political change that happened through normal democratic methods without widespread protests ?

Sure.

Women getting the vote.

Many were arrested at protests and rallies and these had the intended consequence of shocking the public. In many cases, the intention of the protestors were to be arrested, thereby ensuring that the press would cover the story and get publicity for their cause.

But there was no violence against the movement by the government or by the movement itself.

Really, you need to learn your history before popping off.

Re:The problem with petitioning for redress (5, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#42432905)

Our various governments propose ways of "petitioning for redress of grievance", and, as each becomes popular, strive to cut them off.

In British law, as applied to the 13 colonies, a signed petition could be presented to a governing body and it had a duty to respond. As the Yale law journal points out, that was so heavily used in response to slavery that it was withdrawn in the U.S. (see http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/796438?uid=3739448&uid=2&uid=3737720&uid=4&sid=21101604364957 [jstor.org]) A certain well-known president is trying to bring it back, but that's a different discussion.

With organized petitioning unavailable, personal appeals to one's representative became popular. It soon became impossible to meet your representative, and written letters turned into counts pro and con that their staffs reported.

Groups and companies then banded together and hired lobbyists, to button-hole legislators in the lobby of their building, where the public was allowed. When these became too bothersome, only selected lobbyists were invited to meetings, and the general public was excluded from the buildings.

The press is still allowed in some selected lobbies, but there is always a back corridor available for legislators to use to bypass them.

Groups then started petitioning in person, on the front lawn of the parliament buildings, and occasionally their representatives would come out and meet them. More often, the police closed off access to the building and its vicinity.

No organization, whether legislative or commercial, enjoys hearing criticism. As soon as they get too much from a given channel, that channel will be cut off. Only the occasional brave, duty-oriented legislator will ask their electors for comments.

In my own country of Canada, this last happened when the government of the day asked for broad comments on amending the copyright law, when my local city councilman needed opinions and options on a garbage-collection proposal, and most recently when the CRTC asked for suggestions to moderate the bad practices of cell-phone providers.

Redress of grievance still exists, but it's genuinely rare.

--dave

This is your chance, patriots (2, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#42432535)

If you love freedom of speech and association, here is your chance to do something concrete about it. Make out a physical check in the amount of $1 or $5 or whatever you want. Mail the check to OWS (http://occupywallst.org/donate/) and copies to the FBI and the DHS.

Re:This is your chance, patriots (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432699)

The OWS "movement" has plenty of Soros Money. It doesn't need any from me. Try taking a bath and getting a job, too.

Re:This is your chance, patriots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432721)

How about something more anonymous then a check? Why not take Bitcoin? It seems tailor made to the OWS movement.

assasination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432569)

do you all read the bit about assasination?

America was Founded by Terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432591)

Seriously we can't try and bullshit our way out of this one. It is merely fact.

Main Entry:
terrorist [ter-er-ist]
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: subversive
Synonyms: bomber, guerrilla, incendiary, radical, rebel, revolutionary, thug

Re:America was Founded by Terrorists (2)

Jiro (131519) | about a year ago | (#42432817)

Any reasonable definition is going to include terrorists primarily targeting civilians or using civilians for shields. The founders didn't do that.

dickzing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432601)

Mark any and all posts containing hogwash as spam! For the greater justice!

Um, what? (3, Insightful)

Slyfox696 (2432554) | about a year ago | (#42432615)

So the FBI silently investigated people who reasonably could have resorted to lawlessness, and that's now stifling dissent? As someone who supported the idea of OWS, even that doesn't make any sense to me. As the saying goes, civil disobedience is still disobedience. When you walk the thin line of breaking the law, you should expect the organizations which investigate crimes to be interested.

The summary, and the article attached to it, seem nothing more than sensationalist in order to drive web traffic. More than sensationalist, outright biased. Just reading a few paragraphs of the summary pretty well shows this article was not at all interested in truth, but rather just spreading biases against the many agents and officers who were simply doing their job.

This article and summary make very little sense. Or, would that be "since", in order to keep in step with stifling descent?

Re:Um, what? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432667)

No, its stifling "descent".

That should make it clear that the article is the paranoid ramblings of a buffoon, shamelessly copy-pasted by the utterly incompetent morons who call themselves "website editor" as a job title.

Re:Um, what? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#42432687)

Right, now re-read what you said and keep in mind the fact that the FBI was coordinating and conspiring with the Banks that you're protesting against...

Personally, I don't think we need "Terrorist Fusion Centers" at all. We're more at risk from dying in a car accident. We need more "First Responder Centers".

Re:Um, what? (5, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year ago | (#42432765)

I think there are several things in the article that are pretty much impossible to defend. Maybe you did not read it, or you have a very different worldview to me.

  • Classifying OWS as "domestic terrorists" and having agents in those parts of the FBI investigate them. This flatly contradicts common sense. People protesting against banks are not terrorists, unless you warp the meaning of "terrorist" to encompass any politically motivated crime. It's obviously very convenient if you can classify people you don't like as terrorists, but that doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it.
  • The fact that the government apparently lied in response to FOIA requests by claiming no such documents existed, when those documents later turned up. Lying in response to requests for citizens from transparency is a major warning sign of bad things to come.
  • The general line-blurring that apparently occurred between state and private security. Law enforcement is the domain of government for a reason!
  • The general point made about financing of WikiLeaks is sound. Going via the judicial system, passing laws which are not bills of attainder, building a case, prosecuting it, allowing for a defence etc .... all very messy and inconvenient compared to simply adding the people you don't like to a banking blacklist. Exclusion from the financial system should not be allowed, period - if somebody has broken the law, then it's the judicial systems job to handle that, not the banks.

Re:Um, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432859)

pretty much impossible to defend

If I've learned anything from watching the Republicans over the last couple of decades, it's that they're more than happy to defend anything... as long as it's their guys doing it.

Democrats are more than happy to rail against their own, too bad they're too dumb to do anything about it.

In U$A, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432619)

the FBI occupies you.

OWS was a joke (-1, Troll)

cdrguru (88047) | about a year ago | (#42432671)

The time for this has evidently passed. So much could have been accomplished when the movement captured the interest of many people, but they instead decided to do some pretty lame-assed stuff and not accomplish anything.

What these people were preaching was revolution. Toss out the bankers and leaders in the financial world and bring the economy down in a big crash. Rebuild it in a different model, one that works for the common people. That is going to antagonize the current powers to no end and certainly justifies a significant response.

What OWS didn't do was actually "occupy" anything. They sat on the sidewalk with signs as people passed by. The could have stormed the citadels of the finance world and brought business as usual to an end. Sure, they all would have been arrested and some possibly killed. But it would have done something. Instead they put on a big show for the media and did nothing.

Using explosives and guns to actually force an end to the economy as we know it would have resulted in most or all of them being killed, but it would have had a farther reaching effect. We would be picking up the pieces and might actually be figuring out how to make the world work with a lot fewer people - a big economic crash and restructuring would kill millions if not billions. That would have put them on the map in a big way.

There was a time when people like myself thought they might actually be able to pull something like that off. I can only imagine how worried people in power might have been - and you can therefore see the response. They wanted to make sure nothing was going to happen and look, it didn't.

Re:OWS was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432703)

tl;dr, you're dissatisfied with them and hence you are fine with them being silenced by the powers that be.

Did I get this correct?

A bit of advice to OWS types (1, Informative)

mikein08 (1722754) | about a year ago | (#42432685)

1. Do not carry any kind of ID on you. None. And remember, personal cell phones, esp. smart phones, are a form of ID. If you absolutely MUST have a phone with you, make sure it's not registered to you. 2. Do not talk to the cops. Not one word. 3. And, instead of "occupying wall street", you might try "occupying a job". Lastly, a question: did you vote for Obama? Remember, it's his minions who are spying on you.

Paranoid Much? (4, Insightful)

MNNorske (2651341) | about a year ago | (#42432695)

I mean seriously this reeks of paranoia. There's a very valid reason for banks cracking down on OWS. In the USA there are really only two ways to legally create a bank account. One is as an individual the other is through an incorporation. Individuals can obviously have multiple co-signers such as in a family. And, incorporated entities can be businesses, non-profits, cities, etc... OWS organized itself as the antithesis of any incorporated entity. There were no official leaders, no board or leadership who was legally responsible for filing taxes, nothing. Their use of banks to collect donations, organize and pool funds, and then disperse them therefore broke pretty much all the laws that were put in place to stop groups like organized crime and terrorists from utilizing banks in the same way. The folks who work at banks can lose their jobs and face criminal prosecution if they don't report activity that looks exactly like what OWS was doing with the bank accounts they were opening. So please, use your brain and think things through before you post an article like this that simply reeks of paranoia. You may not like the system or the laws, but they exist, and the banks and FBI are simply following them.

Re:Paranoid Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432899)

It sounds like OWS is discovering some of the rationale for having corporations to begin with, even if they may not realize that's what it is: to "hold property without the perplexing intricacies, the hazardous and endless necessity of perpetual conveyances for the purpose of transmitting it from hand to hand." (Dartmouth College vs Woodward). Too bad they'll probably never really understand, on account of the para-religious doctrine stating that Corporations Are Bad (and should not have free speech rights and the like, because they might exercise them to support the Republican party or something like that).

Re:Paranoid Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432901)

Wow, I can't believe you posted that in a serious manner. Are you seriously suggesting that OWS should be treated like terrorists, because the banks and FBI are "simply following" laws put in place to deal with organized crime?? I do believe this is the very sort of thing the organization is protesting!

Any desent will be quelled (5, Interesting)

PlanetX 00 (623339) | about a year ago | (#42432741)

Back in the day Janet Napolitano put out a report warning of right-wing extremist at the time of the Tea Party. Here is a bit of ranting by the progressives on how it should have been pursued: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/06/1117242/-Remember-the-DHS-Right-Wing-Extremist-Report [dailykos.com]

At the time that the crackdown happened to the OWS people I wrote the following:

"I’m very sorry to hear about your forceful removal from Zuccotti park where you were peacefully demonstrating against what you see as what is wrong with our country. You were exercising your free speech and free assembly rights and I hate to see this taken from you. Let me tell you that I know how you must be feeling right now. About two and a half years ago several of my friends and I joined a movement to protest the government bailing out the bankers that you are so upset with (first time I ever protested anything BTW). We had rallies around the country with the theme of promoting individualism over corporate cronyism. This movement was attacked by the press and government as being racist, gay-bashing, “Astroturf” (term for grass-roots effort sponsored by big money sources), and heartless (I’m sure there were cases where people on the fringe were causing such issues, the same can be said about the fringe in the OWS crowd, but for a majority of people I met while involved this was not the case) but now the whole movement has been marginalized. It is unfortunate that we were unable to convince you at the time of the importance of the issues we were facing and that you chose to sit on the sidelines mocking us as “Tea Baggers” and such. I do hope we can find some common ground now that you are awake and we can take our government back from the statist and big money influences we’ve ceded it to."

yu0 Fail It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432787)

Gawker At Most FUCKING USELESS Startling turn the project to

Answer: Zero. (3, Interesting)

Dputiger (561114) | about a year ago | (#42432845)

The next question is how many Americans are now listed as part of a 'terrorist group' by the government for their support of OWS?

Get some historical perspective and look at the stings the FBI ran on MLK Jr and the Civil Rights Movement. This is nothing.

Welcome to capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432867)

Welcome to capitalism, where he who has the capital makes the rules.

Besides who cares what happens to a bunch of jobless hipsters anyway.

FBI = cointelpro, Pres Reagan's private police etc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432873)

Nothing new. The FBI has always viewed anybody that questions the prevailing powers as subversive.

Cointelpro was a widespread illegal operation to quash civil rights and other movements. The documentation that proved this illegal operation existed was found by accident when some anti-war protesters broke into a selective service office that was shared with an FBI station, and found boxes of documentation which they removed, and distributed to media. Poor article, but you can google cointelpro and look around for better information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org]

The FBI also went after the head of the University of California, and eventually, under governor Ronald Reagan (who had acted as an FBI informant when he was in Hollywood), was able to have the head of the UCs fired. The UC head's only crime was not _completely_ stifling free speech rights of students-- he had made it an expulsion offense to protest any non-UC business on campus, but that didn't go far enough for the FBI. They wanted him to expel any students who protested anything on or off campus.

The FBI has a long storied history in anti-labor.

The FBI doesn't just engage in legal and illegal repression, it also is corrupt as in the connected being able to call in favors. Ronald Reagan suspecting that his daughter was living with an older married man, asked the FBI to check into this. The FBI sent multiple agents (at taxpayer expense) to stalk her, and report back to her father and mother.

The FBI has, since its inception, been an instrument of the rich and powerful to stifle dissent (and at times, even act as a personal police force to select members of the rich and powerful classes).

'peaceful protesters'???? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432921)

Not even sure why Slashdot even allowed this story to post; it's nothing more than a liberal spin on our integrated infrastructure doing it's job, all withing the limits of the law. Calling the OWS movement 'peaceful' is a common laughable spin designed to enrage other like-minded soft-headed entitlists into continuing to vilify those who resist economic chaos at the expense of short term wealth redistribution.

Slashdot admins and mods - please use more care and do some research before allowing this sort of ill-informed drivel to embarrass your front page in the future.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/08/morning-bell-occupy-wall-street-gets-more-violent/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mattkibbe/2011/10/19/occupy-wall-street-is-certainly-no-tea-party/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203804204577014051108901214.html

to be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432927)

OWS was directionless, disorganized, and really had no chance of making a difference.

(re)define corruption (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432949)

In my view a government, totally controlled by 'the big money' in the form of campaigning money, support money for senators and representatives, can be named corrupt. It is not interest in the country or people that drives them, it is only money.

Peaceful protesters? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432969)

Seriously. "Stifle descent" of these "peaceful protesters".

You must have been one of the lucky "useful idiots" who didn't get raped, robbed, or murdered at your OWS gathering. OWS were violent, repulsive losers who whine about others being successful while they sit around smoking dope in tents all day.

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