Monday, January 30, 2012

The Occupy Movement: It's a Federal Case

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com



With this weekend's violence in Oakland, it is time to look into the national aspect of this phenomena from a law enforcement point of view. Can anyone seriously say that there is no national coordination going on here with these disruptions? From New York to Oakland to Los Angeles and beyond, it is one case of violence, public disorder, destruction and disruption after another. The question is will our Justice Department under Eric Holder seriously investigate it?

First of all, there is every reason to suspect that there is a link between the activists and the Democratic Party. Nancy Pelosi has publicly stated that she supports the protesters "when they speak truth to power". She also made her infamous, "God bless them" statement. President Obama, no less, said that he "can empathize with the protests". Nowhere do you see posters or chants attacking Obama or the Democratic Party.

In addition, I can name right off the top of my head three national organizations that have jumped into the Occupy Movement; SEIU, CAIR and the National Lawyers Guild, the latter of which was created in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist Party USA. Its Los Angeles director, James Lafferty, has not only taken a leading role in the LA protests, but was arrested in New York.

The point of the matter is this; if Occupy leaders are coordinating across state lines to cause disruption and violence, that is where federal law enforcement should step in. Let me note that I do not see a dangerous parallel with the civil rights protests of the 1960s when the FBI was wiretapping Martin Luther King under orders from J. Edgar Hoover. King's protests resulted in local arrests because he was engaging in civil disobedience of unconstitutional laws, but nowhere did King and his followers engage in violence. They did not throw rocks at police. They did not forcibly take over buildings. They never tried to shut down a sea port by forcibly occupying it. They did not assault people or cause property damage.

As for what is happening today, local law enforcement does not have the tools to go beyond making arrests at the local level. When it comes to any form of national coordination of violence , it requires a federal agency to effectively coordinate across state lines to investigate it.

That is why we have federal agencies to begin with. For example, if a local drug dealer is standing on an Oakland street corner selling drugs to addicts, that is a case for the Oakland police. But when that seller is connected to a larger dealer who is obtaining his heroin supplies from another dealer in New York, now you need a federal agency like DEA, which can coordinate together effectively to take down what is a national trafficking organization,.

Can anyone seriously argue that the Occupy movement, which has long ago crossed from peaceful protest to violence and disruption, is a spontaneous, local phenomena with no national coordination?  Hardly.

It is past time that the Department of Justice started to investigate this movement on a national level. The RICO statute may be the appropriate tool. It is possible that the FBI is already looking into it, but if so, are they on a tight leash with this politically-oriented Justice Department under Eric Holder?

Final comment on Oakland: It is time for some serious charges that carry some serious prison time for those who were arrested.


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