US Homeland Security Monitored Occupy Wall Street, Documents Show

 
on March 01 2012 9:39 AM
Occupy Wall Street
Supporters of Occupy Wall Street carry a sign during a "national day of action" protest Tuesday in New York City. Reuters

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has compiled a secret dossier on the Occupy Wall Street movement, leaked e-mails reveal.

The five-page document, posted on Rolling Stone magazine's website, cites the need to monitor Occupy as a potential security risk. It emerged days after the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, with which Rolling Stone has a partnership, released 5 million e-mails from the servers of the U.S.-based private security firm Stratfor.

On Tuesday, 10 protesters were arrested in New York in a bid to revive the movement across the United States.

According to Rolling Stone, which first reported the DHS dossier's existence, Homeland Security kept tabs on Occupy through major media outlets and also combed Occupy-related Twitter feeds for information. The dossier, titled SPECIAL COVERAGE: Occupy Wall Street, contains a section on the movement's use of social media including an interactive map of protest sites throughout the country.

Mass gatherings associated with public protest movements can have disruptive effects on transportation, commercial, and government services, especially when staged in major metropolitan areas, the report states.

Large-scale demonstrations also carry the potential for violence, presenting a significant challenge for law enforcement.

On Tuesday, at least 50 Occupy protesters marched from a park outside the New York Public Library's main facility in midtown Manhattan to the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).

An agenda posted online by Occupy organizers called for a day of action against corporate greed, including the shutdown of Pfizer, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), privately held Koch Industries Inc. and the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council.

Chanting Shame on Pfizer, you're a bunch of liars, protesters denounced the company for seeking tax breaks and other benefits for large corporations.

In a statement, Pfizer later acknowledged involvement with legislative organizations but said its aim was strictly to advance the health of all Americans, according to Reuters.

Fellow activists assembled in dozens of other U.S. cities.

We don't want big companies to run our democracy, protester Michael Levitin told Agence France-Presse.

Fellow protester Yoni Miller, 18, who has been involved in Occupy Wall Street since it started last September, said it was inevitable that the movement would rise again in the run-up to this November's U.S. elections, AFP reported.

A man was arrested outside Bryant Park, adjacent to the Manhattan library, and another eight were detained after they tried to camp overnight in Zuccotti Park -- near Wall Street in lower Manhattan and site of the Occupy movement's origins. Camping in the privately owned but publicly accessible park has been banned since last November, when New York City police cleared protesters' tent encampment from the site.

After a strong start, focused on concern about rising income inequality in the United States, Occupy Wall Street has sometimes been criticized for lack of a clear list of demands and apparent internal disagreement about the movement's goals.

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