Tuesday, 29 November 2011

#Occupy Crackdowns Coordinated By Feds? (Part 3)

(Initial post  here  , follow-up from yesterday  here  . Information about #OccupySLC can be found  here  ,  here  , and  here  .)

Last night a friend of mine tweeted me the following:

She is referring to a meticulous blog post by Joshua Holland, syndicated at Alternet, that takes a hatchet to Naomi Wolf's piece in the Guardian ("The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy"). Quoth Holland:

There has been a flurry of speculation surrounding various reports suggesting that a "coordinated," nationwide crack-down on the Occupy Movement is underway. The problem with these stories lies in the fact that the word "coordinated" is too vague to offer any analytic value. 
The difference between local officials talking to each other -- or federal law enforcement agencies advising them on what they see as "best practices" for evicting local occupations -- and some unseen hand directing, incentivizing or coercing municipalities to do so when they would not otherwise be so inclined is not a minor one. It's not a matter of semantics or a distinction without difference.
Holland goes on to point out, as Wolf did in her original piece, that federal intervention / coercion / whatever term would avoid "semantics or distinction without difference" in Holland's world would constitute a violation of US constitutional law.

One of the original would-be debunkers of the coordination story, Angry Black Lady, also takes issue with Wolf's claims. Well, more than takes issue with - she basically calls Wolf a fraud and an idiot:

Frankly, it has been appalling to see the left so deftly manipulated by those who likely have agendas that don't square with Occupy Wall Street's. [Here ABL is referring to Philip Anschutz, owner of Examiner.com, where the "coordination" accusation first appeared.] 
Are various mayors and cities talking to one another? I'm sure they are. Are they receiving advice from the feds? I'm sure they are. ..[But] if homeland security, the FBI and federal law enforcement officials were working in concert to violently crack down on the Occupy movement, that would be a huge deal. If -- as Naomi Wolf baselessly charged -- the feds were being ordered to do so by Congress and the White House in order to protect their personal wealth, it would (and should) be a significant scandal. But, again, there is no evidence to support her claims.

Fair enough.

A major quibble that both ABL and Holland have is the involvement of the Department of Homeland Security -- to clarify, I don't think DHS was in any way involved in the crackdown in Pioneer Park. I would be curious to know when and how the SLCPD made their plans for the action.

With the Freedom of Information Act and the Government Records Access and Management Act on the side of sunshine and liberty, that shouldn't be too hard -- right?

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