The Partnership for Civil Justice (a public interest legal organization which the Washington Post called “the constitutional sheriffs for a new protest generation”) reported this week that the Obama administration treated a peaceful boycott as a terrorist threat:
4,000 pages [of documents] obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund [through Freedom of Information Act requests] reveal that Fusion Centers and their personnel even conflate their anti-terrorism mission with a need for intelligence gathering on a possible consumer boycott during the holiday season. There are multiple documents from across the country referencing concerns about negative impacts on retail sales.
The Executive Director of the Intelligence Fusion Division, also the Joint Terrorism Task Force Director, for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department circulated a 30-page report tracking the Occupy Movement in towns and cities across the country created by the trade association the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
He directed that the recipients of the document, who included top staff at the Washington, D.C. Fusion Center, “develop a one page product that we can send to our District Commanders to make them aware of the potential threat.”
The Executive Director of the Intelligence Fusion Division, also the Joint Terrorism Task Force Director, for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department instructs D.C Fusion Center regarding the “potential threat” of the Black Friday Boycott
Page 7 of an International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) report on Occupy’s planned Black Friday Boycott, circulated through counter-terrorism officials
Page 18 of an International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) report on Occupy’s planned Black Friday Boycott, circulated through counter-terrorism officials
The ICSC report detailing Occupy Black Friday “threats” includes images of “Sample Anti-Black Friday Icons and Posters” with slogans urging people to “buy local” or “do your shopping at a small independent merchant.” The report identifies among “Specific Known Threats” “buy nothing day tactics which might be used by Occupy and other protesters” including credit card cut ups, free non-commercial street parties, and alternative mass green transport activities.
Additional “Specific Known Threats” in the report are identified by individual Occupy locations from Occupy Bee Cave, Texas (“Assessment … Aim: to educate how military spending has affected the economy – consistent with anti-war agenda of the group”) to Occupy Seattle (“Assessment … leafleting likely in order to draw attention”).
The intelligence reporting and communications apparatus was in full throttle over potential Occupy Black Friday boycotts. One sample document issued from the Baltimore police shows a distribution list ranging from the Maryland Fusion Center, the FBI, the DHS, the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network, the Secret Service, the NYPD and other city and state law enforcement, the manager of corporate security for an energy company, university personnel, and the Federal Reserve.
The “counter-terrorism” documents contain multiple references to Black Friday boycotts as well as potential negative impacts on retails sales.
PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard stated: “It is outrageous that counter-terrorism officials used their anti-terrorism authority and funding to “protect” corporate America from a consumer boycott. It is well past time that the vast flow of tax-payer money to the Fusion Centers be ended.”
Watch this must-see interview for context: