Occupy descends into terrorism

A.M. Mora y Leon
Occupy has proven itself to be a fast-forward Internet-age show of how a grievance group descends from public nuisance to flat out terrorist group. The recent busts in Chicago and Cleveland prove it, and worse can be expected whenever Occupy gathers.

It may sound extreme to say so, but consider the genesis of Occupy and how closely it resembles the evolution of other intractable terror groups:

Occupy started out with big demonstrations that had no permits, the better to make the claim that the demonstration was somehow spontaneous. This was nonsense, and the absence of permits was a warning shot that the group had no intention of obeying the law. From there, Occupy's extended campouts turned every city center into a public health hazard, with filth and disease the main characteristic, but violence, thefts, rapes, murders and desecration of city property also prominent. City officials who coddled them ended up spending as much as $5 million to chase them out and clean up their mess, as happened in Los Angeles.

After the initial show of lawlessness, billed as grassroots activity, acts of piracy followed. Grain shipments were blocked from setting sail to overseas markets in Washington state, and truck drivers were stopped from making their deliveries in Oakland. Businesses were desecrated and in Manhattan, some went out of business. Shop windows were trashed in Oakland and San Francisco, signaling conclusively that a war on the private sector had followed.

With the public against them by that point, the group refused to fade into irrelevance. In part that was because Occupy had always had political sponsors -- from the SEIU which financed much of their operation and gave them office space to the likes of political powerbrokers on the left like Van Jones to even more shadowy players from the Soros front groups. But they also had the open support of politicians, ranging from President Obama to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to Vice President Joe Biden to the congressional Progressive Caucus.

That political support is a key reason why they haven't faded away. But with the public against them, they've morphed into more extreme forms of expression, including terrorism, which is what happens when any terrorist group forms. They can only form with political support in some quarters, even if it is veiled. It happened in Lebanon with Hezb'allah, it happened in Colombia with FARC, it happened in Nigeria with the recent church bombings, and it happened in Spain with the ETA. In Colombia's case, political will - the refusal to tolerate any terror-coddling in any form, under the leadership of President Alvaro Uribe, is what it took to turn the terror dynamic around. A pity that lesson has not been learned here. For, as Occupy gets bolder and more outrageous in its acts, including terrorism, it will also get more sophisticated. The eight or so clowns who have been busted on terrorism-related charges were all amateurs. The terrorists who follow them won't be. IBD has a piece on the dynamic here.

Occupy has proven itself to be a fast-forward Internet-age show of how a grievance group descends from public nuisance to flat out terrorist group. The recent busts in Chicago and Cleveland prove it, and worse can be expected whenever Occupy gathers.

It may sound extreme to say so, but consider the genesis of Occupy and how closely it resembles the evolution of other intractable terror groups:

Occupy started out with big demonstrations that had no permits, the better to make the claim that the demonstration was somehow spontaneous. This was nonsense, and the absence of permits was a warning shot that the group had no intention of obeying the law. From there, Occupy's extended campouts turned every city center into a public health hazard, with filth and disease the main characteristic, but violence, thefts, rapes, murders and desecration of city property also prominent. City officials who coddled them ended up spending as much as $5 million to chase them out and clean up their mess, as happened in Los Angeles.

After the initial show of lawlessness, billed as grassroots activity, acts of piracy followed. Grain shipments were blocked from setting sail to overseas markets in Washington state, and truck drivers were stopped from making their deliveries in Oakland. Businesses were desecrated and in Manhattan, some went out of business. Shop windows were trashed in Oakland and San Francisco, signaling conclusively that a war on the private sector had followed.

With the public against them by that point, the group refused to fade into irrelevance. In part that was because Occupy had always had political sponsors -- from the SEIU which financed much of their operation and gave them office space to the likes of political powerbrokers on the left like Van Jones to even more shadowy players from the Soros front groups. But they also had the open support of politicians, ranging from President Obama to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to Vice President Joe Biden to the congressional Progressive Caucus.

That political support is a key reason why they haven't faded away. But with the public against them, they've morphed into more extreme forms of expression, including terrorism, which is what happens when any terrorist group forms. They can only form with political support in some quarters, even if it is veiled. It happened in Lebanon with Hezb'allah, it happened in Colombia with FARC, it happened in Nigeria with the recent church bombings, and it happened in Spain with the ETA. In Colombia's case, political will - the refusal to tolerate any terror-coddling in any form, under the leadership of President Alvaro Uribe, is what it took to turn the terror dynamic around. A pity that lesson has not been learned here. For, as Occupy gets bolder and more outrageous in its acts, including terrorism, it will also get more sophisticated. The eight or so clowns who have been busted on terrorism-related charges were all amateurs. The terrorists who follow them won't be. IBD has a piece on the dynamic here.