The Occupy Movement is one of several that is working to bring justice and enforce civil rights in this country. The Occupy Movement is totally nonviolent and democratic. It is a voice for the voiceless. It operates under our constitutional right to freedom of assembly – a right enshrined in the Constitution to protect democracy in this nation.
However, many of those in power do not want to see people exercise their right to assemble or to speak out against the gross distortions of our democracy, including the bailout of the banks while millions lost their homes and jobs, the catering of the political machine to the wealthy, the destruction of our environment by corporations who work only for the shareholder and not for our country or the communities in which we live.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) brought a Freedom of Information Act request regarding FBI surveillance of citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble – that is, those who are part of the Occupy Movement (notably, the FBI is not conducting surveillance of those involved in the Tea Party). The PCJF has posted the heavily redacted documents it received from the FBI in an effort of transparency regarding the governments actions against its citizens. Here is the link: http://www.justiceonline.org/commentary/fbi-files-ows.html. They have other information that we need to know and consider. This is not about conspiracies but about a government for the wealthy and corporations that no longer listens to 99% of its citizens and the response of those citizens. This is about government repression of its citizens.
Look into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – which allows the government to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without trial and without evidence. Chris Hedges and others brought a lawsuit blocking this provision of the NDAA, and a courageous judge agreed with them. However, the Obama administration then went to the Appeals Court to block implementation of the stay. The Appeals Court will meet in January to decide this issue; meanwhile, we are all potentially at risk of arrest.
It’s time to make a stand, as so many brave citizens are doing. We have lost many of our constitutional rights (such as habeas corpus) – we need to stand up and come together to restore those that have been taken from us, including the right to assemble without fear of government repression, and rebuild this country’s democracy.