An internal Department of Homeland Security report obtained by Rolling Stone shows the agency was keeping its eyes on Occupy Wall Street, concerned about potential disruptions to transportation networks and infrastructure. The five-page memo from October, titled, “SPECIAL COVERAGE: Occupy Wall Street,” acknowledged the peaceful nature of the movement and made mostly anodyne observations from publicly available sources, but did warn of the potential for violence.
“Large scale demonstrations also carry the potential for violence, presenting a significant challenge for law enforcement,” the report states. The “continued expansion” of the protests would make it harder for police and “movement organizers to control protesters,” which could potentially put “critical infrastructure” in danger, it concluded. Thus, the report called for heightened “continuous situational awareness” of the movement as it expanded. Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings argues this a potentially dangerous step towards a possible “covert and illegal campaign of domestic surveillance.”