Update: 'Occupy' crackdowns coordinated with federal law enforcement officials
When the Oakland PD attacked the occupiers, I didn't get it. Why such an insane overreaction? Why would the police department of Oakland, a city synonymous with violent crime, the world headquarters of the Hell's Angels, need to bring in backup from the Alameda County Sheriff's Dept, the California Highway Patrol, and officers from the police departments of neighboring cities to deal with a group of non-violent protestors who, at worst, were trespassing, or creating a "public nuisance?" Why tear gas and rubber bullets? It's Oakland. They get a lot scarier when the Raiders lose the Super Bowl:
So why go full-force stormtrooper on a bunch of people sleeping in a park?
Over the past ten days, more than a dozen cities have moved to evict "Occupy" protesters from city parks and other public spaces. As was the case in last night's move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics. And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.
According to this official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules. Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present.