There has been much interest and speculation regarding the role DHS and other federal agencies have had regarding law enforcement/surveillance activies surrounding the Occupy Movement. See, for example, the ongoing discussion between Naomi Wolf and Joshua Holland on this.
Here is a recently-released account from a member of Occupy LA that--if verifiable, is highly relevant to the topic. A link to the video was recentlyretweeted by Occupy Los Angeles (@occupyla). I have provided a full verbatim transcript below the video.
[Ed. Note: The video linked in this post has been removed at the YouTube source, presumably by its author. I am leaving the transcript, which I produced myself, in place here.]
Full transcript begins here:
Yesterday November 25, 2011, I was at the Occupy LA site and me and several people had spotted some Department of Homeland Security agents and, basically what I did was, I started letting people know who they were.
I started looking at [undecipherable}, basically trying to figure out who they are, profiling them, probing them. I walked up to a gentleman, I asked him some questions, because a few days ago he came up to me and asked me some questions.
He said he was a marine, but uh, obviously they were working for DHS. I wound up tailing who I call “the lumberjack” back to the federal building, and the gentleman was approximately 5’9”, umm, I want to say maybe 250-260, he wore a flannel jacket that was red, he had a great big bushy brown beard. He wore a ball cap and some glasses. He had a roll, a cardboard roll, that normally you’d find in with paper towels in one of his hands. I’m not sure if he was going to use it to shout, or what not. And I followed him back to the federal building.
On my way back, nothing strange seemed to take place. What I was doing was 360--a 360. I walked around the camp a couple of times, and during that time I saw a gentleman arrested who was playing a guitar, he was not doing anything wrong, it was very strange to me. The arresting officers, one was named Malek (sp?), the other one was a corporal, his badge number was #4305 or…or #43055, I’m not sure which one it is, it’s one or the other.
After that had happened, I began making my way around the north side of city hall. While I was over there, two cruisers pulled up. The two gentlemen that arrested the guy that was playing with his guitar walked up to me, placed me in handcuffs. I asked them what I’m being charged with, he said “walking across the street on a red light.” So I’m assuming jaywalking. And that’s completely false, I didn’t… I wasn’t walking across the street on a red light--I always wait at the crosswalk, I always wait for the, you know, the blue guy that says I can go. And they put me in the cruiser, they told me I wasn’t being arrested, that I was just going to be cited.
They took me to temple which is just west of city hall. They then began probing me, asked me what I was doing there, what I did in the military. My information was already up on their computer. They already knew who I was. They then advised me to leave, and if I didn’t, I would never see the light of day again. They said they would charge me with various charges. I asked them what charges, and the guy said he didn’t know, that his supervisor wasn’t sure what they wanted to charge me with yet.
One of the officers was a marine, he told me that they would allow me to go free as long as I would never return. They said if I do return, something will happen to my family. The officer showed me a picture of my son, which I’ve never seen before. It’s not one that…that I know of anybody that I know took it.
And I … at that point I was, I was really scared. I wasn’t sure what to do. I just complied with everything they said. I told them I was gonna leave right away, they wouldn’t see me again—you know, whatever…whatever I can say to basically let me go so I can find out to see if my family is OK.
And so I went back to camp, I told several people in a very short manner of what happened. I told them that they just detained me and then they have my family, so I have to leave. I grabbed my stuff, I got on the bus, I went home.
I called my family, everything was OK. So…I’m under the impression that it is a fear-tactic that they’re trying to do. A gorilla arrest to try to scare people there, you know, to not be there.
So that’s basically what had happened yesterday. I do plan on returning. It’s very scary what our government is doing to us right now, but I won’t let them stop us. So that’s basically what happened yesterday. My name is Michael Lasley and my DOB is 11/16/85. In case something does happen to me, everyone will have a chance to know what I experienced that day and our government is capable of making people disappear.
And that’s it.