From The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/168729/nypd-brands-occupy-wall-street-couple-professional-agitators#
on July 5, 2012
on July 5, 2012
The New York Daily News recently exposed a story centered around two Occupy Wall Street activists, Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Swaye, who have been targeted by the NYPD.
In speaking with Occupy activists, it quickly becomes clear that protesters are extremely paranoid when it comes to the topic of the police. Many activists, based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence, believe undercover police are constantly in their midst, or target demonstrators perceived to be the “leaders” of Occupy, even though, as the group has emphatically stated since its inception, the movement has no leader.
These suspicions are not without foundation. Undercovers do attempt to infiltrate Occupy, and most recently, two agents did so quite quite successfully in the case of the NATO 3.
Gonzalez and Swaye are a unique example of police harassment because they weren’t exactly perceived as leaders, and they weren’t suspected of committing a crime. Rather, the NYPD branded them “professional agitators,” whatever that means. Police have been circulating flyers that look suspiciously similar to wanted posters, featuring the couple’s mug shots (the two have been arrested for civil disobedience in the past), warning officers to “Be aware that above subjects are known professional agitators,” and notes the “subjects’ MO” is to videotape officers “performing routine stops and post on Youtube.”
Gonzalez frequently videotapes police activity, such as stop and searches of vehicles, and other actions she perceives as police harassment. Here is video of Gonzalez filming police who are idling in front of her home.