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Revealed: How The FBI Coordinated The Crackdown On Occupy                                                                           December 29th, 2012

by Naomi Wolf, guardian.co.uk

New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent.

Police used teargas to drive back protesters following an attempt 
by the Occupy supporters to shut down the city of Oakland. 
Photograph: Noah Berger/AP

It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall - so mystifying at the time - was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves -was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document - reproduced here in an easily searchable format - shows a terrifying network of coordinated Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, police, regional fusion centre, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.

The documents, released after long delay in the week between Christmas and New Year, show a nationwide meta-plot unfolding in city after city in an Orwellian world: six American universities are sites where campus police funnelled information about students involved with OWS to the FBI, with the administrations’ knowledge (p51); banks sat down with FBI officials to pool information about OWS protesters harvested by private security; plans to crush Occupy events, planned for a month down the road, were made by the FBI - and offered to the representatives of the same organizations that the protests would target; and even threats of the assassination of OWS leaders by sniper fire - by whom? Where? - now remain redacted and undisclosed to those American citizens in danger, contrary to standard FBI practice to inform the person concerned when there is a threat against a political leader (p61).

As Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF, put it, the documents show that from the start, the FBI - though it acknowledges Occupy movement as being, in fact, a peaceful organization - nonetheless designated OWS repeatedly as a “terrorist threat”:

“FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) ... reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat ... The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.”

Verheyden-Hilliard points out the close partnering of banks, the New York Stock Exchange and at least one local Federal Reserve with the FBI and DHS, and calls it “police-statism”:

“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 protestors 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 documents show stunning range: in Denver, Colorado, that branch of the FBI and a “Bank Fraud Working Group” met in November 2011 - during the Occupy protests - to surveil the group. The Federal Reserve of Richmond, Virginia had its own private security surveilling Occupy Tampa and Tampa Veterans for Peace and passing privately-collected information on activists back to the Richmond FBI, which, in turn, categorized OWS activities under its “domestic terrorism” unit. The Anchorage, Alaska “terrorism task force” was watching Occupy Anchorage. The Jackson, Michigan “joint terrorism task force” was issuing a “counter-terrorism preparedness alert” about the ill-organized grandmas and college sophomores in Occupy there. Also in Jackson, Michigan, the FBI and the “Bank Security Group” - multiple private banks - met to discuss the reaction to “National Bad Bank Sit-in Day” (the response was violent, as you may recall). The Virginia FBI sent that state’s Occupy members’ details to the Virginia terrorism fusion centre. The Memphis FBI tracked OWS under its “joint terrorism task force” aegis, too. And so on, for over 100 pages.

Jason Leopold, at Truthout.org, who has sought similar documents for more than a year, reported that the FBI falsely asserted in response to his own FOIA requests that no documents related to its infiltration of Occupy Wall Street existed at all. But the release may be strategic: if you are an Occupy activist and see how your information is being sent to terrorism task forces and fusion centres, not to mention the “long-term plans” of some redacted group to shoot you, this document is quite the deterrent.

There is a new twist: the merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI means that any of us can become WikiLeaks, a point that Julian Assange was trying to make in explaining the argument behind his recent book. The fusion of the tracking of money and the suppression of dissent means that a huge area of vulnerability in civil society - people’s income streams and financial records - is now firmly in the hands of the banks, which are, in turn, now in the business of tracking your dissent.

Remember that only 10% of the money donated to WikiLeaks can be processed - because of financial sector and DHS-sponsored targeting of PayPal data. With this merger, that crushing of one’s personal or business financial freedom can happen to any of us. How messy, criminalizing and prosecuting dissent. How simple, by contrast, just to label an entity a “terrorist organization” and choke off, disrupt or indict its sources of financing.

Why the huge push for counter-terrorism “fusion centres”, the DHS militarising of police departments, and so on? It was never really about “the terrorists”. It was not even about civil unrest. It was always about this moment, when vast crimes might be uncovered by citizens - it was always, that is to say, meant to be about you.

European Parliament may regulate “Fracking” 
because of safety concerns                                               December 9th, 2012

by Daniel Boffey, policy editor, “The Observer”

Brussels will move to regulate the shale gas industry, a senior member of the European parliament has warned, claiming the UK cannot be sure it knows what it is doing in embarking headlong on a “dash for gas”.

Jo Leinen MEP, a member of the parliament’s environment committee, said the UK government could not be confident it understood the scale of health and environmental consequences of “fracking”, in which pressurised water, sand and chemicals are pumped into rocks to force them to release gas.

The chancellor, George Osborne, announced last week that the coalition would offer tax breaks to fracking firms, and intended to set up a new regulator for “unconventional gas”.

The energy secretary, Ed Davey, is shortly expected to lift restrictions on fracking at a site in Lancashire where the process was halted when evidence emerged it was triggering earthquakes.

The British Geological Survey is expected to reveal that the amount of shale gas deposited around Blackpool, is 50% bigger than estimated.

But Leinan, a member of the German SPD, spoke of the European parliament’s growing concern over large-scale fracking, adding that it would pass new regulations to “manage, to discipline” the sector. He said: “There are basically only two countries where the government is behind using it. It is Poland and it is Great Britain, and Poland has not gone very fast. Then in Great Britain they give green light for industrial exploitation but they have to know what they are doing. I don’t know if they can be so sure and clear about what they are doing.”

Recent reports on fracking from the European commission warn of the high risk of ground- and surface-water contamination, noxious air emissions, risks to biodiversity and noise pollution.

There is also doubt about the amount of the gas that could be retrieved, despite the government’s claim that shale gas could be a substantial boost to the British economy.

Research suggests that 2,500 to 3,000 horizontal wells and up to 113m tonnes of water would be required to produce just 10% of the UK’s gas consumption over the next 20 years.

Christophe McGlade, from the UCL Energy Institute who worked on a report for the European commission on the level of shale in the EU, said: “Just because the resource is there, it does not mean that it can be produced economically.”

Leinan told the Observer that whatever the level of gas that could be extracted might be, anxiety over the risks demanded regulation that would fix safety standards across the EU.

He added that the European parliament had already voted in favour of the commission exploring what new laws were now necessary.

Leinan said: “We need new elements [of law]. Whether we fit them into existing legislation or create a ‘fracking law’ is still an open question. But from our analysis there are questions that are not being answered by the existing legislation.

“We want to have a proposal from the European commission for a level playing field in the European Union and, let’s say, to have the same standards for environment and health protection.

“If fracking gets used as a method for energy supply it is a major issue. We will be busy with this sector for some time to manage it, to discipline it.”

Leinan said that among the regulations would be a demand for full disclosure on the chemicals used in the fracking process. He also suggested that fracking should not be attempted near water supplies nor near urban areas, due to the risk of earthquakes.

A freeze on fracking was imposed in the UK following two small earthquakes in 2011 in north-west England where the Australian firm Cuadrilla Resources has exploratory drilling sites. A report commissioned by the company concluded that it was “highly probable” that the test drilling triggered the earth tremors, but that they were due to an “unusual combination of geology” at the site.

Vanessa Vine, a campaigner who lives nearby in Balcombe, said the government appeared to be “steam-rollering through regardless of the facts, or of the need to protect the greater good”.

On Saturday night a Department of Energy spokesman said: “Cuadrilla’s operations near Blackpool in Lancashire are the only ones in the UK that have begun fracking for shale gas. They remain at the exploratory stage and their operations are suspended while we consider the comments received on the independent report into seismic activity and the recent comprehensive report by the Royal Society into the risks of fracking for shale gas.

“Shale gas operations... will have to meet tough standards of safety and environmental protection.”

Tony Farrell hands himself in!                                            October 4th, 2012

by Tony Farrell

The Principled Analyst Not Against the Police Service

At 5pm on Sunday 30th September 2012, I pressed the button of a door outside Digbeth Police Station in Birmingham as the building was closed to the public. Over the phone system, I spoke to an operative and told them I was presenting myself for arrest under Section 15 iii of the Terrorism Act 2000. The operative took some details and told me to wait for assistance. Within 5 minutes, three police cars pulled up outside and five uniformed police got out of their vehicles.

I stood still and held out my arms with wrists together so that they could easily cuff me. They asked me what did I want them to do that for. I said I wanted the police to do their duty and act in accordance with the law. I quoted the act at them. None of them seemed aware of the S15 iii TA2000. I told them that I was confessing to the above offence and wanted to clear my conscience. I told them I had, in the past, paid lots of money to an organisation which I had reasonable cause to suspect had been engaged in terrorist activity and that now I was aware that what I had done in the past was a criminal offence. I told them I just wanted to make a fresh start and confess my crime and take the full consequences of the law.

They asked me how much money was involved. I said about £1500. They then asked me who was the terrorist person I paid money to. I replied that it was not really a person but rather a large organisation that they had had lots of underhand dealings with. (I was referring here to West Midlands Police’s role in the cover up of Hillsborough). So they asked me the name of the organisation. I said South Yorkshire Police. I said I had paid them money via Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

They all looked bewildered. They asked me how I came to suspect South Yorkshire Police were engaged in terrorist activity. I told them who I was and that I had been the Principal Intelligence Analyst in South Yorkshire Police for a long time and had come to disbelieve the Government narrative on 7/7 in July 2010. I mentioned the roles of former Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes and DCI Steve Williams in the London Bombings and the role of other officers in sacking me for speaking truth to power.

One of the five officers, who was an Asian, held out his hand and said, “I’d like to shake your hand, Mr Farrell”. Two other officers did likewise and then left me with two remaining officers who took me to the police station for further questioning. They declined to arrest me however.

At the station, I was searched and they took details. Everything was amicable and I was well looked after. The uniformed officers seemed to be waiting for a steer from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit. They tried also to contact South Yorkshire Police to confirm my identity but seemingly could not get through to anyone there. I told that over and above who I was. I told them that I had recently acquired information that could be very useful for the police service and would share it only if I thought I could trust them to act in accordance with their oath and duties. They said that would best be done in conjunction with West Midlands CTU.

After an hour or so of waiting for contact with South Yorkshire Police, I suggested that the officers look on the internet, instead, to confirm who I was. So they took me to a computer and Googled a few things. One of them remarked, as he was reading my letter addressed to all Chief Constables, “Bloody hell, you are quite famous!”

They looked at Nick Kollerstrom’s website. Briefly, they looked at the “Kollerstrom and Farrell are Dead” film and others like it and said they would watch them in their own time. All this appeared entirely new to them. They did not seem aware of any of this activity by truth activists.

After three hours of frank but pleasant exchanges, they drove me home and came inside my apartment. They admired my chess set and I gave them colour copies of my analytical reports of 7/7, 9/11 and the terror threat which are now in the Royal Courts of Justice. I asked them to read, digest and pass them on to West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit. They thanked me for them.

They shook my hand, wished me well, and left. That evening, I left Birmingham and headed for Sheffield to confront South Yorkshire Police. But that’s another story. Updates to follow!

The moral of this story is that Police Officers and the Police Service need our help in exposing what is going on.

Tony Farrell gave a presentation, here, at New Horizons on 3rd October, 2011.

Check out “Previous Speakers, 2011”