By Matthew Rothschild on May 20, 2013

With all the hullabaloo over the IRS's special scrutiny of Tea Party groups, a far worse case of political meddling and governmental overreach has been going on: The spying on leftwing activists in the Occupy movement.

Thousands of documents obtained by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy show how Homeland Security and local law enforcement were obsessed with the Occupy movement and other activists.

They treated Occupy activists as potential terrorists.

They infiltrated Occupy meetings.

They tracked Occupy activists online.

They kept an eye on the Rev. Jesse Jackson when he visited an Occupy protest in Phoenix.

They also monitored the protests against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

And they shared information and coordinated planning with some of the very financial institutions that Occupy was protesting.

Based on these documents, I wrote the cover story for the June issue of The Progressive, "Spying on Occupy Activists: How Cops and Homeland Security Help Wall Street."

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, you have to wonder why Homeland Security and law enforcement were focusing so much attention on Occupy and ALEC activists rather than on those who presented a real risk of terrorism in the United States.

Michael Isikoff of NBC News notes that law enforcement in Boston were tracking Occupy protesters at the same time they were not following up on Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The pursuit of Occupy activists was not a mere bureaucratic foul-up, as occurred in the IRS office in Cincinnati. It was a systematic effort by Homeland Security and law enforcement offices around the country to monitor leftwing activists who were simply exercising their First Amendment rights.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Obama Should Fire Holder over the AP Scandal.

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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