This is a story you just knew was coming eventually:
According to internal documents newly released by the FBI, the agency spearheaded a nationwide law enforcement effort to investigate and monitor the Occupy Wall Street movement. In certain documents, divisions of the FBI refer to the Occupy Wall Street protests as a "criminal activity" or even "domestic terrorism."
The internal papers were obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice fund via a Freedom of Information Act Request. The fund, a legal nonprofit that focuses on civil rights, says it believes the 112 pages of documents, available for public viewing on its website, are only "the tip of the iceberg."
"This production ... is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement," wrote Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the fund's executive director, in a press release Saturday.
According to the documents, the FBI coordinated extensively with private companies, including banks, that feared they could be affected by Occupy protests. Occupy, which took root in New York City's Zuccotti Park in September 2011 and spread to cities across the country, targeted corporations and other forces it believed to perpetuate social inequality. The FBI's investigation included the movement's manifestations in New York; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Anchorage, Alaska; Jacksonville, Fla.; Richmond, Va.; and Memphis, Tenn., among others.
Make no mistake: The government was not spying on the Occupy movement because they thought it would be violent; they were spying on the Occupy movement because they were afraid it would be successful...in spotlighting the corruption of the American political system and the omnipotence of the 1 Percent. This kind of baloney goes on completely regardless of whether our leaders are Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives.
We cherish the right of dissent in our country...for a few days, maybe two weeks, tops (see "Nutter, Michael"). Then we move to crush it.