Press.TV. Aug 14:
‘Police crackdown cannot deter Occupy protestors’
A US newspaper has revealed that the FBI has been raiding the houses of anti-Wall Street protesters in Oregon and Washington in what the agency describes an “ongoing violent crime investigation.”
The Oregonian newspaper reported that heavily-armed domestic terrorism units of the FBI have been raiding the homes of the activists in Seattle and Olympia, Washington and Portland, Oregon over the last month.
The report said that at least six homes have been raided in the two states since July 10.
The FBI has described the raids as part of an ongoing violent crime investigation, linked to last year’s Occupy May Day protests, during which a number of minor acts of vandalism allegedly took place.
The paper said the agents were searching for “anti-government or anarchist literature or material” as well as “documentations and communications related to the offenses, including but not limited to notes, diagrams, letters, diary and journal entries, address books, and other documentations in written or electronic form.”
Press TV has conducted an interview with Tim King, Executive News Editor of Salem News from Oregon to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Thank you so much for being with us. Mr. King, let’s look at the situation with the anti-Wall Street. The situation that now they are saying that more people have been arrested. What is this about exactly? Do you think that they feel threatened that much by the Occupy movement or is it being used as an example to try to silence any type of show of opposition to the policies?
King: Well, I certainly think it is the latter. I do not think there is anything to be gained by this at all. It is really a nightmare in America to start to see something come true that you know; they really have never wanted to believe that there is this level of interference in our rights and in our lives.
The Portland and Seattle movements are not in the category where they should merit this type of response. They have been very non-violent. So I think it is a real surprise and I am glad that some of the mainstream groups here in the US, the Oregonian newspapers, have been covering it … At least it is on the radar at this point. Yes it is really scary. I am in America right now. It is really frankly hard to believe.
Press TV: You said that it is a scary time in the United States right now. Do you think the average Americans feel the same way because we know that there have been many different laws that have been changed. Many even the December 31st signing of the latest act by Barack Obama that basically goes against the principles of speech and so many basic rights of many Americans take for granted. Do you think the average Americans are waking up to the reality of what their society is becoming?
King: I do not know if I can say that for the average Americans. I think the average Americans are still just getting by. They are working hard. They are not really a dialed in population like we would like to think they are.
But you have a politically aware segment of the American population that they are certainly waking up to this. The different laws that Obama has passed, you know they all began under Bush and that began in recent years but the fact is that it has continued long like this. Especially when movements are doing nothing but trying to have a voice, they are objecting as we all know to the Wall Street debacle and all of the things that have broken this nation. It seems like a very reasonable thing to stand up and protest.
They have not done any terrorist acts. They just have not been any of the things that would seem to justify this type of [response]. FBI is knocking in doors with battering rams taking people by surprise, refusing to disclose the contents of the search warrants because it is remaining sealed. These types of things build no confidence at all.
Press TV: And how do you think it affects the Occupy movement over all? Because there have been such harsh crack downs depending on the states and the cities. Do you think that it has hampered the growth of this movement at all? Or do you think that actually in many ways it will enhance its growth because obviously it is being shown of the harsh crack down that the state is coming down on these occupiers?
King: We know groups that both of our agencies work with that of course it is Occupy Marines. I think that is one of the strongest voices out there right now.
Do I think they will be deterred by this? No. I think it will bring more protestors to the streets. I think it will broaden Occupy rather than taking it down. Of course the federal government of Barack Obama would like to think that this type of heavy handed tactic would go a long way towards reducing the numbers of unhappy Americans on the streets but I do not see it. I do not see the Americans backing away and you know again I believe that the Americans are awfully short on information in the biggest way. But those who are politically aware are really paying attention to this and they are angry. They are upset and they want their country back.