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Homeland Security: Lawful Protests against Wall Street are an Attack

The United States Constitution:

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Silicon Angle, September 6:

The US Department of Homeland Security’s National CyberSecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) recently issued a bulletin alerting the security community, especially financial services, of Anonymous’ illicit activities over the coming months….

DHS said there are 3 possible attacks that will happen. It will be initiated by an operation called Occupy Wall Street (OWS) as announced by Anonymous supporter Adbuster in July. The protest will amass some 20,000 people to “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months” in protest to some of the government’s policies.

Computer World, September 2:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today issued a somewhat unusual bulletin warning the security community about the planned activities of hacking collective Anonymous over the next few months….

The first attack, dubbed Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is scheduled for Sept. 17.

The so-called ‘Day of Rage’ protest was first announced by a group called Adbusters in July and is being actively supported by Anonymous. The organizers of OWS hope to get about 20,000 individuals to gather on Wall Street on that day to protest various U.S. government policies.

Anyone who has been watching the Occupy Wall Street live stream of nightly meetings and deliberations will know how acutely the leadership has stressed nonviolent behavior. According to this report, seven occupation protesters have been arrested to date. Their crimes? Two walked into a Bank of America building. One hopped onto the wrong side of a barricade on a public street. And four? Four of the arrestees were arrested for the crime of wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

A peaceful assembly dedicated to petitioning for the redress of grievances — a First Amendment protected activity — has been reclassified by the Department of Homeland Security as an “attack” and an “illict activity.” Police officers have erected barricades to prohibit the free movement of citizens on Wall Street and have criminalized free speech.

From whom stems the “illicit activities”? Who and what here is being “attacked”? From where I sit, it looks as though the Constitution itself is a target — and all this is going down during Constitution Week.

Postscript: No, I can’t link to the bulletin in which Homeland Security officials described peaceful protest as an illicit attack. DHS officials have declined to share this bulletin with the public. Simmer down and move along, people.

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