The FBI has performed multiple raidsof homes belonging to suspected anarchists in Portland, Oregon and in Olympia and Seattle, Washington. Five grand jury subpoenas have beenissued in connection with the searches. Photos from a raid carried out in Portland show law enforcement seizing computers and boxes from a home. The raids appear to be part of an investigation into activities by the Occupy movement’s “black bloc.”
Occupy had big plans for the spring. Having mostly been rousted outof public parks by police last winter, the movement promised a bigreturn on May 1st this year. But that promise quickly fizzled, in partbecause marches in several cities turned violent and further turned offlocal residents.
One of the places where May Day protests got out of hand was Seattle, where eight were arrested following a day of vandalism and confrontations with police. One witness described seeing anarchists at a Wells Fargo bank branch “throwing short-handled sledgehammers through the broken windows at the tellers.”
Seattle PD has an open investigation on the May Day vandalism, and members of a Seattle SWAT team raided a homebelonging to Occupy Seattle organizers in early July. The FBI-led raidsin Olympia and Portland are believed to be part of the sameinvestigation.
A page taken from the search warrantsserved in the raids suggests the FBI is investigating the black blocmilitants who are responsible for vandalism connected to the Occupymovement. The warrant specifically cites “black clothing” that mayhave been worn during the commission of crimes and “anti-government oranarchist literature.”
The black bloc has been condemned by some Occupy supporters such as Chris Hedges, who labeled it a “cancer” in the movement. But Adbusters, the anti-capitalist magazine that initiated Occupy, has written in support of the black bloc. And as Breitbart News author Liberty Chick noted back in May,the Occupied Wall Street Journal, official newspaper of the movement,has published conflicting views on whether to allow a “diversity oftactics” including those practiced by the black bloc.