More FOIA records requested via the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund that indicate that Occupy evictions were coordinated with federal agencies. This isn't exactly shocking news to me (I'd be more surprised if they didn't coordinate at the federal level), but the feds are playing keep-away with the specific information that could be the smoking gun by refusing to search where those documents are likely to be:
Two days before the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, Brookfield Properties' security was in direct communications and sharing information with the US Park Police in Washington DC, and communicating with other cities around the country, according to newly released internal documents from the National Park Service.
The PCJF is making the documents immediately available as we continue to receive them. To view NPS documents and sign up for alerts visit:www.JusticeOnline.org/nps.
The documents were released late Friday to thePartnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) in response to the civil rights legal group's FOIA demands to the NPS, FBI, CIA, DHS and other federal law enforcement agencies seeking information about the role of Federal agencies in the coordinated nationwide crackdown that led to the eviction of Occupy encampments in cities throughout the United States. The request was made also on behalf of author and filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee The PCJF is making the documents immediately available for review, and highlighting key initial findings .
"When the PCJF issued this FOIA request we wanted to uncover and expose whether local government and local law enforcement agencies were working in a coordinated way with the federal government to suppress and shut down the Occupy Movement which had inspired the country starting in September, 2011," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. "What these documents are beginning to reveal is also the coordination between law enforcement agencies and private corporate entities representing the 1 percent that wanted to see the Occupy movement removed from public view and shut out of America's parks."
These initially released documents show:
- The private corporate entity Brookfield Properties, which manages Zuccotti Park, had its security agency in communication with cities across the country about police actions designed to evict the Occupy movement and sought information as to Park Police plans to evict in D.C. 48 hours before OWS was evicted.
- U.S. Park Police were communicating step by step, as they took action in regard to Occupy DC, with the Secret Service, DHS, and other police agencies as well as personnel affiliated with LEO.gov, the FBI's nationally integrated network and alert system involving all aspects of civilian law enforcement, intelligence agencies and the military. As its website states, "LEO supports the FBI's ten priorities by providing cost-effective, time-critical national alerts and information sharing to public safety, law enforcement, antiterrorism and intelligence agencies in support of the Global War on Terrorism."
- Park Police officials executed a warrant to search a tent at Occupy DC in McPherson Square based on a "reliable informant" who told them there was a "pistol" present. The most that the police could find was alcohol.
- Government officials used the Occupy live stream, circulating the URL for personnel to watch, as they carried out their enforcement actions at McPherson Square.
It is also noteworthy that the DHS has not produced the communications they participated in, in response to FOIA demands, confirming the PCJF's assertion that the search they have conducted is inadequate. The PCJF has refused to narrow its request to DHS' initial search and is demanding further disclosure.