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Report: White House Told GSA to 'Stand Down' on Occupy Protesters

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 01:01 PM

Documents show that the Obama administration advised authorities to not enforce local laws on Occupy Wall Street protesters, Fox News reported.

The watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained emails via a Freedom of Information Act request that show the General Services Administration telling federal law enforcement authorities to ease up on Occupy protestors camped out at the federally-owned Terry Schrunk Plaza in Portland, Ore., in 2011, according to Fox News.

"They have chained themselves to a large drum filled with concrete,”
said one email from Department of Homeland Security official Caitlin Durkovich to a GSA commissioner, Robert Peck. “GSA controls the permits and has asked FPS [Federal Protective Services] not to enforce the curfew at park and the prohibition on overnight encampments . . . Our FPS Commander in Portland says they are standing down and following GSA’s request to only intervene if there is a threat to public safety.”

Peck, one of the GSA employees who resigned amid revelations his agency held lavish junkets at taxpayers' expense – replied, according to Fox News: “Caitlin: yes, that is our position; it’s been vetted with our administrator and Michael Robertson, our chief of staff, and we have communicated with the WH [White House], which has afforded us the discretion to fashion our approach to Occupy issues . . . The arrests last week were carried out despite our request that the protesters be allowed to remain and to camp overnights . . . ”

"We now have a new GSA scandal — one that involves the Obama White House," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, Fox News reported.

"These documents clearly show that federal agencies colluded with the Obama White House to allow the Occupy Wall Street protesters to violate the law with impunity. These documents tell us that the GSA and DHS can't be relied upon to protect federal workers or property."

The Occupy Wall Street movement began in lower Manhattan in 2011 as a protest of wealth inequality and government corruption. As the protests spread across the U.S., it more resembled disparate groups camping out under tarps pushing a range of left-wing causes.

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Wednesday, 08 August 2012 01:01 PM
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