As occupiers took to downtown's Pershing Square today and at least one arrest was possibly made, news that cops infiltrated the Occupy movement in L.A. weeks before Wednesday's raid was reverberating across the nation this weekend.
Undercover detectives blended in at the City Hall encampment, an LAPD official told City News Service.
Scary? They were there to gather intelligence on the protesters, possible threats and plans. According to CNS:
The undercover work yielded information that some protesters were preparing bamboo spears and other potentially dangerous weapons in advance of an expected eviction by the LAPD, none of which were used during the largely non-violent eviction.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the investigators did not camp overnight at the Occupy L.A. encampment on the south lawn of City Hall.
At the end of Wednesday morning's bust some observers among the media there noted that there were people who appeared to be protesters, in Occupy t-shirts, standing among the remnants of the camp, sharing high-fives with uniformed officers.
Occupy protester Mario Brito told CNS the undercover operation was …
… Tantamount to 1950s McCarthyism … For all the talk of the LAPD being a new LAPD, this smacks of politically motivated policing.
Cops told the Times that the intel they gathered could have been soaked up by anyone, as Occupy and its meetings were open to the public.
City News noted that during the raid cops used a “Trojan horse” strategy of storming the lawn through City Hall and then dividing the area into segments officers could control.