Occupy Violence: It’s Different, Somehow

The Occupy movement has a horrific record of violence. Occupy Wall Street Exposed has counted a dozen deaths, including three murders; more than a dozen rapes; more than 25 disgusting cases of indecent exposure, public defecation, etc; more than 500 thefts; more than 6,800 arrests; and in excess of $12 million in property damage. A sorry record by any standard.

But the would-be terrorist attack that was foiled on May Day, in which five Cleveland Occupiers plotted to blow up a bridge, was something different–an act of domestic terrorism. That gave Charles Cooke the idea of telephoning the Southern Poverty Law Center, which maniacally keeps track of “right wing” groups that threaten public safety, so see how their investigation of the Occupy movement is coming:

In light of the May Day arrests of the Cuyahoga 5, the Occupy Wall Street–affiliated group of men who planned to blow up a bridge in Cleveland, Ohio, I called the Southern Poverty Law Center to find out of they had any plans to start tracking the Occupy movement. The first person I spoke to was so shocked by the question that she paused for a good 15 seconds before promising to put me in touch with a representative. This she eventually did, however, and after a game of cat-and-mouse — the person she’d found for me was busy “hosting an international conference on right-wing extremism,” natch — we managed to touch base and I to pose the question: “Do you have any plans to start tracking Occupy Wall Street after a hate group tried to blow up a bridge?”

“No, I don’t think so,” he said.

You can read the linked post for a full account of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s tortured explanations of why it just isn’t interested in the Occupiers, no matter how many crimes and terrorist acts they may commit. After a good bit of back and forth, the bottom line came out:

“Isn’t that exactly what happened in Cleveland?” I asked. “These five men, all linked with Occupy Wall Street, attempted to blow up a bridge as an overture to the wholesale destruction of Cleveland, Ohio, and in the name of anarchism. They also looked to blow up the Republican convention.”

“They were anarchists,” he repeated.

“Yes?”

He paused. “We’re not really set up to cover the extreme Left.”

No, of course not. It’s good to have it down in black and white, though.

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