Police State Tactics: Signs Point to a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities
Who organized that critical conference call? Was it Quan or one of the other mayors, or was it someone in the federal government? Siegel says he doesn’t know, and Quan isn’t saying.
But both Siegel and Boghosian say they strongly suspect federal involvement in the planning of the recent spate of police violence against occupiers. Says Siegel, “It’s only logical to assume that the ‘Fusion Centers’ are involved, especially after the Oakland occupiers shut down the port in Oakland.”
Some 72 Fusion Centers, located around the US and funded by the US at a cost of half a billion dollars, are a post 9-11creation of the new Homeland Security Department. Bringing the FBI together with local law enforcement departments, they both collect and share domestic intelligence, and can serve as command centers to direct local law enforcement in helping implement national law enforcement goals. There are also many Joint Terrorism Task Forces, which directly link the FBI with urban police departments.
Says Boghosian, “What we are seeing here is the Miami model, with various levels of law enforcement, local, state and federal, all at work. It would be shocking if federal law enforcement were not seeing this occupy movement now as a national security threat.”
Mara Veheyden-Hilliard, co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Mass Defense Committee, based in Washington, agrees. “These crackdowns on the occupation movement certainly appear to be part of a national strategy to crush them,” she says. “We haven’t yet found overt evidence of federal involvement, but the fact that in rapid succession local authorities have taken action raises the specter of coordination.”
She adds, “There is absolutely no legal justification for the involvement of the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in this movement. These demonstrations are not terrorist activities, and police should not be treating them as such, yet all over the country the police are treating the protesters as if they are criminals. The similarity of the response everywhere to the movement makes it appear that there is a coordinated strategy.”
Meanwhile, Siegel, now back in private practice, says that since the riots that followed the killing of Oscar Grant by a BART transit cop, who shot Grant fatally in the head after he had been arrested, subdued and handcuffed for a turnstile jumping violation, federal law enforcement officials have been observed actively involved in police activities in the Oakland area.
Some Oakland residents have reported seeing federal vehicles and possibly also National Guard equipment during the police actions against occupation demonstrators, too, though National Guardsmen can only be legally activated by a governor, and California Gov. Jerry Brown, a former mayor of Oakland, has not publicly issued any such order.