May Day, 2012
I tried to catch network news tonight to see how the May Day protests were being reported, considering there’s been some hype about this being the relaunch of #OWS. Unfortunately Obama’s well-played May Day appearance in Afghanistan successfully dominated the headlines, which had lots of positive angles for the reelection effort.
Not having images of thousands of protesters mobilized across the country featured prominently on the boob-tube was just one of them.
Instead on the tube we had Obama saying things like
“As we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic crisis at home, it is time to renew America.”
As the campaign version of Obama got his moment before the serious war machinery, talking about renewal and other meaningless political rhetoric, activists were getting the old NYPD/FBI intimidation treatment:
Oliver said the National Lawyer’s Guild is aware of at least five instances of NYPD paying activists visits, including one where the FBI was involved in questioning. (He wouldn’t elaborate.) We spoke to three of these activists.
In the first case: activist Zachary Dempster said that six NYPD officers broke down the door of his Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment at around 6:15am this morning. Dempster said they were armed with a warrant for the arrest of his roommate, musician Joe Crow Ryan, for a six-year-old open container violation. But Dempster believes this was an excuse to check in on him, as he’d been arrested in February at an Occupy Wall Street Party that was broken up by cops, and charged with assaulting a police office and inciting a riot.
After running his ID, a detective questioned Dempster in his bedroom for about five minutes about tomorrow’s May Day protest, he said.
“They asked what I was doing tomorrow, and if I knew of any activities, any events—that was how the conversation started,” Dempster said. Dempster said he’s not planning doing much, as his case from February is still open. Dempster’s roommate was also asked about him and May Day.
I’m sure this is all just to keep us good Americans safe, because there are lots of threats out there. To emphasize that point, I can point to another dangerous plot thwarted by the FBI. This time, instead of dark-skinned suspects, the FBI has produced 5 caucasians who were allegedly plotting to blow up a bridge in Cleveland:
Five men, at least three of them anarchists, plotted to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, but there was no danger to the public because the explosives were inoperable and were controlled by an undercover FBI employee, the agency said Tuesday in announcing the men’s arrests.
The target of the plot was a bridge that carries a four-lane state highway over part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the Brecksville area, about 15 miles south of downtown Cleveland, the FBI said.
Authorities said three of the men were arrested Monday and are self-described anarchists, not tied to international terrorism.
Occupy Cleveland media coordinator Jacob Wagner said at least some of the suspects had attended the group’s events but that they weren’t affiliated with or representing the group.
So not terrorists, but anarchists, which, really, is almost as scary. AND they went to some occupy meetings in Cleveland. What a gift!
Notice, though, that this was another example of a “non-threat” threat, because the bombs were “controlled by an undercover FBI employee”.
The FBI has become very good at busting plots they help concoct then trap stupid people in. Also, great timing, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.
Those who continue building occupy wallstreet into a movement capable of taking on the systemic corruption and cronyism of late-stage capitalism are going to be in for a bumpy spring/summer. Obama may talk about renewal, but when it comes to the suppression of dissent, for his administration, it’s business as usual.